The Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong was built gradually—building on top of building—over time. Without a single architect, the ungoverned and most densely populated district became a haven for drugs, crime and prostitution until it was demolished in 1993. Photo documentation of the site exists but for the most part much of the inner-workings of the city remained a mystery.
Perhaps due to its proximity, Japan, in particular, developed a keen interest towards Kowloon. Its demolition in 1993 was broadcast on national television. But watching the footage, what most spectators didn’t realize was that up until the night before demolition a team of Japanese researchers were taking precise measurements and documenting the vacated city. Their findings were compiled into a book that, among other things, featured this panoramic cross section of the city depicting what life was like inside. You can read more about the book on Spoon & Tamago, and if you look hard enough, a few rare copies of it are available online. (via deconcrete)
The Yaybahar is a new acoustic instrument designed by Istanbul-based musician Görkem Şen that emits music right out of a retro sci-fi movie, a remarkable feat considering there isn’t a bit of electricity involved. The Yaybahar can be played in a variety of different ways using mallets or with a bow, relying on a combination of two drum-like membranes, long springs, and a tall fretted neck to create music. Like any instrument, it’s capable of producing sounds that run the gamut from “beautiful music” to “noise.” Give it a listen! (via The Creators Project)
Update: Here’s a video (in Turkish) of Şen giving a TEDx talk earlier this year where he plays a similar bow and spring-type instrument. (thnx, JR!)
While studying graphic design in college, German artist Peter Dahmen was given the assignment of creating a 3D object out of paper. He soon realized a small problem. Regardless of what he designed, there was no safe way to transport it to class on his daily train commute. Instead of risking damage to his project, Dahmen devised a way to make his paper sculpture fold flat like a pop-up book, a fateful decision that changed the course of his life. He enjoyed the challenge so much that be became obsessed with creating more elaborate designs, eventually leading to a full-time career as a paper engineer.
British photographer Russell Savory captured this amazing shot earlier this summer of an owl flying directly toward his camera. With its wings pulled back, it looks like a hovering two-eyed spaceship. Though don’t let the perspective fool you, Savory was shooting from a distance with a 600mm telephoto lens.
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CanvasPop is giving one Colossal reader a chance to win a $500 gift certificate to spend on art. Plus, everyone that enters automatically receives a $30 gift voucher. To enter, just visit the contest page and enter your email address before November 10 to be automatically entered.
Leaf Beast is a recent project by freelance illustrator and artist Baku Maeda that seemingly brings dead leaves back to life. Maeda took advantage of the warped shape and veiny structure of dried magnolia leaves and made only minimal cuts to create each piece. See Part I and Part II. (via Laughing Squid, Lustik)
Animator Marty Cooper just released a sequel to his wildly popular Aug(De)Mented Reality video that blends stop motion with hand-illustrated cels that he holds in front of his iPhone while shooting. Whimsical characters interact with both foreground and background elements like clouds, buildings, animals, and even real people. Earlier this summer, Cooper was invited to stop by Adam Savage’s legendary workshop where he discussed his process and animated a short piece incorporating Savage.
Update: Cooper posts many of his animated clips to Instagram.