Design Science

Scientists Develop Hydrophobic Metal That Causes Water to Bounce

January 21, 2015

Christopher Jobson



Researchers at the University of Rochester’s Institute of Optics led by professor Chunlei Guo have developed a new type of hydrophobic surface that is so highly water repellent, it causes water droplets to bounce off like magic. Unlike earlier hydrophobic surfaces that rely on temporary (and slowly degrading) chemical coatings such as teflon, this new super-hydrophobic surface is created by etching microscopic structures into metal with the help of lasers. Potential applications include airplane wings that resist icing, a whole new type of rust proofing, or even a toilet that wouldn’t require water. Watch the video above to see the surface in action, and you can read Guo’s research paper here. (via Sploid)




Intricate Modular Paper Sculptures by Richard Sweeney

January 21, 2015

Johnny Strategy




Richard-Sweeney Bone Paper and adhesive- 2009








Inspired by the organic forms of nature like mounds of snow and clouds, English artist Richard Sweeney creates delicate modular sculptures out of paper. It’s hard to believe that some of these 3D sculptures came to life from just from paper, but the Wakefield, England-based artist works primarily with a ruler and cutter to bend fold and glue together his complex sculptures, which range from table-top size to floor-to-ceiling installations. Especially impressive are his pleated sculptures, which often don’t even use glue to achieve their three-dimensional terrain look.

Sweeney is currently part of a touring show titled Above the Fold. And for those lucky folks in the Netherlands, he’ll be showing his work at the CODA Museum in Apeldoorn this summer. (via Cross Connect Magazine)

Update: Along with 2 other artists, Sweeney has just launched a kickstarter campaign to fund an exhibition in New York.

Update: Paper Sculpture: Fluid Forms, an instructional book by Richard Sweeney, is now available in the Colossal Shop.



Art Illustration

Surreal Portraiture and Cubism Combine in Beautiful New Illustrated Tattoos by Artist Duo ‘Expanded Eye’

January 21, 2015

Christopher Jobson


The work of artist duo Jade Tomlinson and Kev James of Expanded Eye (previously) spans paintings, installations, street art, sculptures and most importantly tattoos that blend line work, typography, and geometry. Based in London, the pair approaches each tattoo as a piece of art, firmly establishing a narrative and purpose behind each design before making a commitment. They even go as far as asking potential customers to not “overly concern yourself with the aesthetics,” and instead let the piece evolve organically based on their own discoveries. You can see many more of their tattoos on Facebook (nsfw), they have several new giclée prints available through Vaults Gallery, and you can have a peek in their online shop.












Iced Flowers: Exotic Floral Bouquets Locked in Blocks of Ice by Makoto Azuma

January 20, 2015

Johnny Strategy

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The self-described botanic artist Makoto Azuma is trying to change the way we look at flowers. He’s used water and the stratosphere as backdrops for his exotic flower arrangements but now he’s experimenting with ice. In his latest exhibition “Iced Flowers,” Azuma locks floral bouquets in large blocks of ice and displays them like pillars. Placed in an inorganic chamber, the “flowers will show unique expressions that they do not display in everyday life,” says Azuma. The installation, held last week in Japan, was temporary by nature but the artist made sure to preserve the images. (syndicated from Spoon & Tamago)



Art Design Music

Soundweaving: Artist Converts Folk Embroidery Patterns into Paper Scores for Music Boxes

January 20, 2015

Christopher Jobson

Soundweaving is a recent project by Hungarian design student Zsanett Szirmay that turns patterns used in traditional folk embroidery into music by translating them into laser-cut punch cards fed through a custom music box. The project was partially inspired by actual paper cards used in some weaving looms to easily reproduce patterns for various textiles. Szirmay collaborated with musician and composer Bálint Tárkány-Kovács who helped with audio mapping and the development of each track. Soundweaving was on view as part of Vienna Design Week at MOME Laboratory through last week, and you can see much more over on Dezeen. I’ve had the video above playing in the background for the last 20 minutes or so, it’s surprisingly enjoyable, especially if you’re into Steve Reich or Philip Glass.


Photo by Sándor Fövényi


Photo by Sándor Fövényi


Photo by Sándor Fövényi


Photo by Sándor Fövényi



Art Design

Mathematically Precise Kinetic Sculptures and Toys by John Edmark

January 19, 2015

Christopher Jobson


If you enjoyed John Edmark’s trippy 3D-printed zoetrope sculptures last week, you might also enjoy some of his kinetic sculptures that rely on excruciatingly precise laser-cut wood and internal mechanisms to create optical illusions and other unexpected behaviors. Edmark describes these as “instruments that amplify our awareness of the sometimes tenuous relationship between facts and perception.” Here are three of my favorites, but you can see many more on his website.

Update: John Edmark’s Helicone toy is now available in the Colossal Shop.



Art Photography

Sinister Architecture Constructed from Archival Library of Congress Images by Jim Kazanjian

January 19, 2015

Christopher Jobson






Inspired in part by the classic horror literature of H.P. Lovecraft, artist Jim Kazanjian (previously) assembles foreboding buildings using snippets of photographs found in the Library of Congress archives. Equal parts secret lair, insane asylum, and the work of a deranged architect, Kazanjian’s collages are created from 50-70 separate photographs taken over the last century. Each piece takes nearly three months to complete as he painstakingly searches for just the right elements, a process he likens to “solving a puzzle, except in reverse.” From his artist statement:

I’ve chosen photography as a medium because of the cultural misunderstanding that it has a sort of built-in objectivity. This allows me to set up a visual tension within the work, to make it resonate and lure the viewer further inside. My current series is inspired by the classic horror literature of H.P. Lovecraft, Algernon Blackwood and similar authors. I am intrigued with the narrative archetypes these writers utilize to transform the commonplace into something sinister and foreboding. In my work, I prefer to use these devices as a means to generate entry points for the viewer. I’m interested in occupying a space where the mundane intersects the strange, and the familiar becomes alien. In a sense, I am attempting to render the sublime.

You can see much more of Kazanjian’s work on his website, and at Jennifer Kostuik Gallery in Vancouver later this year. (via Colossal Submissions)