Architecture Students at SCI-Arc Use Tony Smith’s Sculpture ‘Smoke’ as Inspiration for Models of a Hyde Park Branch Library in LA (Sponsored) 

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M.Arch 1 project by Luiza De Souza

SCI-Arc, the Southern California Institute of Architecture, in Los Angeles is a school that considers architecture an art form capable of engaging with contemporary culture and public imagination. At the graduate level, the school offers creative individuals with an undergraduate degree in any field of study the opportunity to transition into the professional and academic world of architecture through its 3-year professionally accredited Master of Architecture 1 program.

Students in SCI-Arc’s M.Arch 1 come from a wide range of academic and professional backgrounds, but they all share an interest in cultural production. In order to familiarize students with problems central to the discourse of architecture, the program begins with a design studio that sets up a foundation of technical rigor and fine craft while utilizing contemporary architectural tools.

The first studio project uses Tony Smith’s sculpture, Smoke, whose angles offer a difficult drawing and modeling problem for students beginning architectural studies, to initiate a conversation about the techniques used to communicate ideas about geometry, form and space.

Transitioning from two-dimensional drawings into three-dimensional figures, students offer new readings of the formal parts that compose the matrix of Smoke as they build a family of closed physical models. These models launch the development of abstract ideas that shape the students’ proposals for a Hyde Park Branch Library in Los Angeles.

This first semester’s final drawings and models are thus reflections of the students’ individual creative positions, developed over the course’s rigorous exercises, and articulated through a small building proposal.

Following SCI-Arc’s studio model of the practicing architect as educator, this studio was coordinated by Anna Neimark whose professional practice, First Office, was a 2016 Finalist for MoMA PS1’s Young Architects Program. To view more SCI-Arc student and faculty work, visit sciarc.edu or instagram.com/sciarc.

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M.Arch 1 project by Jackson Lucas

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M.Arch 1 final project by Andrew Chittenden in Matthew Au’s 1GA studio

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M.Arch 1 project by Mikiko Takasago

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M.Arch 1 project by Dylan Graves

New Discarded Books Transformed Into Crystallized Sculptures by Alexis Arnold 

“In the Shade of Vines” (2016)

San Francisco-based artist Alexis Arnold (previously) looks to isolate the material rather than the content of the books she freezes in time, calling attention to both their physicality and quickly diminishing presence in our day-to-day lives. Utilizing borax crystals Arnold sprouts hardened, iridescent forms from a publication’s pages, posing the work more like a natural artifact rather than human detritus. Culling through discarded and found texts, she chooses those that seem to hold the greatest metaphorical weight. These selected titles are often those centered around advances in technology or wonders of our natural earth—Arnold subtly gesturing to how many experiences we leave behind as computers continue to gradually store the bulk of our collective knowledge. You can see more of Arnold’s crystallized works on her website and Instagram.

“In the Shade of Vines” (2016)

“The Science of Wine: From Vine to Glass” (2016)

“The Complete Book of Crochet” (2016)

“Hugh Johnson’s Story of Wine” (2016)

“The Art and Adventure of Beekeeping” (2016)

“The Art and Adventure of Beekeeping” (2016)

“Napa Valley: The Land, The Wine, The People” (2016)

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Ornate Tableware Sculpted in Gold and Silver Filigree by Wiebke Maurer 

Artist Wiebke Maurer is drawn to objects found in traditional place settings like spoons, bowls, saucers, and tea cups, but her interpretation of these pieces leaves function behind, resulting in delicate sculptures that fuse the past and present. Working primarily with gold and silver the pieces seem almost impossibly delicate, reduced to the most decorative aspects found in silverware design.

“I’m fascinated by historical European works of silver, gold and porcelain,” says Maurer. “I explore traditional ways to design objects, not to stick to tradition but because I use tradition as my starting point for my creative strategies. I’m not concerned about the restoration of the broken object: I want to deconstruct it, to reach the heart of its integrity and reinvent it, both formally and functionally.”

You can see more of Mauer’s work on Taste Contemporary Craft and at Flow Gallery.

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A Peek Inside Ivan Belikov’s Sketchbooks of Intricate Birds & Beasts 

Here’s an eye-popping glimpse inside sketchbooks belonging to illustrator Ivan Belikov (previously) who depicts everything from the fragile wings of birds to the momentous weight of prehistoric creatures as they smash through buildings with delicate pencil strokes. He shares additional process photos and competed illustrations on Tumblr and over on Behance.

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The Heng Balance Lamp Illuminates with a Suspended Magnetic Switch 

Seeking a novel way to redesign a light switch while simultaneously retaining a functional and aesthetically pleasing object was the design challenge for Chinese designer Li Zan Wen. His solution was the Heng Balance Lamp, a fun desktop light that relies on a pair of magnets suspended on strings to pull an internal switch. The design concept won a Red Dot Design Award last year, and Allocacoc DesignNest is now lauching an edition of the lamp through Kickstarter.

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Radiant Sunsets and Landscapes Hidden Inside Forgotten Places by Andrew McIntosh 

Scottish painter Andrew McIntosh (aka Mackie) takes ubiquitous structures often abandoned on rural homesteads like travel campers or sheds and reveals hidden worlds within: radiant sunsets and expansive skies that appear like portals into another place. Drawing inspiration from a childhood spent in the Highlands of Scotland, the London-based painter gives unexpected life to derelict buildings set against the backdrop of mist-filled woods and frozen mountains. From his artist statement:

My paintings are an exercise in attraction. Through them I am constantly searching for new ways of communicating with the viewer. By seducing them with my imagery, I try to create a new visual language with the power to pique their attention and make them stop to ask: why? Desolate landscapes, decrepit houses, and incongruous moments of glory come together to suggest the presence of a narrative that exists as much in the viewer’s mind as in the painting. This is how I aim to use my works: as the space for an imaginary dialogue between strangers.

McIntosh most recently exhibited a new body of work with bo.lee gallery last month titled “Where we Belong” at Pulse Miami. You can see many more recent paintings in his online portfolio. (via The Jealous Curator)

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