Delicate Sketches of the Original Peace Symbol to be Exhibited in London 

Sketch of nuclear disarmament symbol, by Gerald Holtom. © Commonweal Collection.

Stretching back over a half century, one of the most iconic symbols adopted by the international community has been the peace symbol. Utilized by millions of activists, organizations, and artists across the globe, most people are probably unfamiliar with the design’s unique origins and the meaning behind the multi-pronged symbol.

Artist Gerald Holtom created the symbol for the first Aldermaston March in 1958, part of a series of anti-nuclear weapon demonstrations in the 1950s and 1960s. The symbol was next adopted by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, and soon peace groups around the world displayed it in a variety of configurations. But what exactly does it mean?

Holtom designed the peace symbol around the visual language of flag semaphores, a telegraphy method for communicating with flags at a distance, combining the letters “N” and “D” standing for “nuclear” and “disarmament.”

Flag semaphores for the letters “N” and “D” and an overlay. Courtesy Wikipedia.

Holtom’s original 1958 sketches are now in extremely fragile condition and are rarely seen in public. However, a few of them, along with 300 objects from a century of anti-war activist campaigns in the UK, will be on view as part of People Power: Fighting for Peace at the Imperial War Museum in London from March 23 through August 28, 2017. You can read more about the peace symbol’s history over on Hyperallergic.

Hey art and design teachers, here’s a fun project idea: have students create new symbols of ideas important to them using flag semaphores or some other symbolic alphabet as a starting point. Send the results to [email protected] by March 20, 2017 with the subject ‘Peace Project‘ and we’ll share our favorites here on Colossal.

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Experimental Cutlery That Challenges Traditional Ideas of Usability 

Design by Maki Okamoto. All images via Steinbeisser.

Merging design and haute cuisine, Amsterdam-based company Steinbeisser collaborates with designers and artists to produce surreal cutlery that operate beyond traditional ideas of usability for their online store Jouw… (Dutch for “your”). The tableware doesn’t necessarily make the experience of eating easier, but rather encourages the user to reconsider their relationship to utensils and how they are used.

“Yet it is not only about beauty, we also believe in sustainability,” explain co-creators Jouw Wijnsma and Martin Kullik on Jouw…’s website. “That’s why all the pieces are crafted only from natural materials, such as wood, calabash, stone, clay and glass. Often sourced locally and using materials that are found, recycled and/or reused. Even the smaller parts of the pieces such as glue, paint and glazing, are organic and biodegradable.”

One artist that incorporates reused materials is Swedish artist Maki Okamoto who works which antique silver nickel cutlery which she inherited from her husband’s grandmother. You can see more examples of experimental cutlery by more than 20 artists on Jouw…'s website and Instagram.

Design by Joo Hyung Park.

Design by Nils Hint.

Design by Maki Okamoto.

Design by Maki Okamoto.

Design by Nils Hint.

Design by Nils Hint.

Design by Nils Hint.

Design by Maki Okamoto.

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A Stop Motion Examination of Endless Loading Screens 

Director Rafael Vangelis transforms the unbearable task of watching an endlessly spinning wheel or loading bar into an entertaining and analogue study of self-produced loading mechanisms in his latest short film Analogue Loaders. Using stop motion techniques and traditional animation he turns clay, wood, 3D-printed objects, and even eggs into 3D loaders, dazzling the eye rather than enraging the mind.

Vangelis considers the short film an animated autobiography, as he spends a great chunk of his own life watching projects slowly load and computers crash. “The result,” says Vangelis, “is an homage to all the lost time we collectively spend in digital limbo in the hopes of sudden development on our screen.”

The video was just selected as a Staff Pick on Vimeo. You can see behind-the-scenes video of Analogue Loaders on Vangelis’s website.

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An Immersive Forest of 60,000 Rainbow Numbers by Emmanuelle Moureaux 

In celebration of The National Art Center of Tokyo‘s 10th anniversary, French architect Emmanuelle Moureaux was commissioned to fill the institution’s 6500 square foot exhibition space with her vision of the decade to come. Unsurprisingly, Moureaux, whose practice often involves layering color within space, decided to transform the white cube into a rainbow forest filled with more than 60,000 multi-colored numbers arranged in three dimensional grids.

The installation, Forest of Numbers, is composed of 10 layers, each to represent the next 10 years. Figures 0 through 9 create the 4 digits needed for each year. The numbers are also divided into 100 shades to align with Moureaux’s 100 Colors installation series which she has installed around the world since 2013. You can see previous installations from this series on her website. (via My Modern Met)

  

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Reaction: An Experimental Particle Animation by Anton Woll Söder 

Here’s a lovely bit of experimental visual goodness from Swedish motion designer Anton Woll Söder in collaboration with CypherAudio. Söder shares that the animation began as an exercise to learn more about VFX software Houdini and slowly evolved into the clip you see here. In recent years, the rapid evolution of PCs and the development of software like Houdini and Cinema 4D has created new possibilities for intricate particle-based animations. Prime examples include clips seen previously on Colossal like Cycle and the dance piece from the AICP Awards. You can see more of Söder’s visual effects work on Behance. (via Vimeo Staff Picks)

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