Scientific illustrator and artist Noel Badges Pugh has an incredible knack for drawing flora and fauna. He recently illustrated an entire field guide about bees and keeps a regular Tumblr, Art in Progress & Completion, where he posts these tantalizing drawings of buds and blooms. Maybe it’s because this is the coldest winter in 30 years, but I’m spending the rest of my day looking at these. (via Gaks)
Using dismembered plastic parts from old dolls and other toys, artist Freya Jobbins assembles these exceedingly strange portraits of people and pop culture icons. Chances are when viewing these you fall firmly into one of two camps: the highly amused or the highly disturbed. Regardless, it’s hard to deny the incredible amount of labor that goes into each piece, from the exploration of form and the use of color to make each anatomical amalgamation.
Born in Johannesburg, South Africa and raised in West Sydney, Jobbins is influenced in part by Guiseppe Archimboldo’s fruit and vegetable paintings as well as Ron Mueck’s oversized humans. I first encountered Jobbins’ work close-up at the Toy Cycle exhibition in Tel Aviv back in December courtesy of Kinetis, and despite the mild case of heebie-jeebies it was impossible to look away as I tried to figure out how each piece came together.
Created by Dutch bedding designers Snurk, this set of duvet covers and pillowcases turns your place of sleeping into a place of swimming by making your bed look like a photorealistic sun-filled lap pool. Available here. (via Swissmiss, The Awesomer)
A’ Design Awards is a premier annual juried design competition that honors the best designers, architects, engineers, design studios and design oriented companies worldwide to provide them publicity, fame and recognition. A’ Design Award and Competitions are organized and awarded annually and internationally in a wide range of categories.
Every year, projects that focus on innovation, technology, design and creativity are awarded with the A’ Award. Award Benefits include an exhibition of selected projects, newsletter announcement, extensive PR campaign, award trophy and certificate, gala-night invitation, invitation to Prime Clubs, and the option to sell winning designs. Entries will be judged by an international jury panel of scholars, professionals and media members. Current and previous judges can be found at adesignaward.com/jury.
The deadline for submission is February 28, please register here.
For the past several years researchers have been trying to crack a Viking rune alphabet known as Jötunvillur, a perplexing code dating back to the 11th or 12th century that’s been found in some 80 inscriptions including the scratched piece of wood found above. Recently runologist (!) Jonas Nordby from the University of Oslo managed to crack the code and discovered the secret message etched into this particular 900-year-old object reads “Kiss me.” Via Medievalists.net:
For the jötunvillur code, one would replace the original runic character with the last sound of the rune name. For example, the rune for ‘f’, pronounced fe, would be turned into an ‘e’, while the rune for ‘k’, pronounced kaun, became ‘n’.
“It’s like solving a puzzle,” said Nordby to the Norwegian website forskning.no. “Gradually I began to see a pattern in what was apparently meaningless combinations of runes.”
However, those thinking that the coded runes will reveal deep secrets of the Norse will be disappointed. The messages found so far seem to be either used in learning or have a playful tone. In one case the message was ‘Kiss me’. Nordby explains “We have little reason to believe that rune codes should hide sensitive messages, people often wrote short everyday messages.”
The act of coding secret messages appears to have been a leisure activity amongst the Vikings, as some of the other translated inscriptions turned out to be playful taunts at the person doing the decoding. The story was originally reported on forskning.no. (via Erik Kwakkel, Neatorama)
Update: Ida Kvittingen wrote to clarify several aspects of this piece that appears to have been lost in translation from the original article in Forskning.no. Specifically:
The inscription “kiss me” is NOT written using the jötunvillur code. This is a well-known code called cipher runes. Nordby did not crack this code, it was deciphered by others years ago. In my article, it is used as an example of how people often used codes in everyday messages. [...] Only 9 of the 80 or so runic writings that Nordby investigated are written using the jötunvillur code.
For further information you can see more the article in an English version on ScienceNordic.
Like the design of functional objects such as chairs or tables, it would seem new ideas for the humble door would be completely exhausted, and then along comes Austrian artist Klemens Torggler. This 4-panel entryway called the Evolution Door opens and closes in a surprisingly elegant way at the slightest touch, folding in on itself like pieces of paper. Torggler calls this system a “flip panel door” (Drehplattentür), and it’s almost more of a kinetic sculpture than functional door, but I would be happy to have one in every room of my house. And for those of you who envision a crushed finger or hands, he’s already solved that problem.
Currently the door is meant as a prototype, an extension of his artistic practice where Vienna-based Torggler has been creating similar kinetic doors for many years, several of which are available through Artelier Contemporary. (via hajohinta, nsfw)
Montreal artist Roadsworth (previously) continues to make his mark on the streets of Montreal by introducing elements of wildlife and humor onto an asphalt canvas. In his latest pieces we see flocks of geese swooping down tree-lined streets and schools of sardines move with the flow of pedestrian traffic (or end up wedged inside a tin can), unexpected symbols against an urban backdrop.
This year marks a decade since Roadsworth was charged with 53 counts of public mischief, after which he received considerable public support and was let go with a slap on the wrist. Since then the artist has created artwork for municipalities, exhibitions, and arts festivals around the world. You can see much more on his website, and he also has a book.