In 2001 NASA physicist Robert Lang quit his job to focus on his one true passion: creating original origami designs. With a deep understanding of mathematics and materials, Lang’s folding designs have been incorporated into everything from spacecraft to airbags. His works aren’t limited to functional objects, he’s also produced a wide range of original artworks that have been exhibited around the world. The Great Big Story recently sat down with Lang for this brief interview. (via Uncrate)
Over the last year, Netherlands-based artist Jeroen van Kesteren has been toiling away at these sculptural airships as part of a series titled Orphanage for Lost Adventures. Made primarily from cardboard, aluminum foil, adhesives, and an assortment of papers used for sails and propellers, the whimsical flying machines have a distinct steampunk feel. The pieces range from 40 to 50 centimeters tall and take about a month to make. Jeroen shares additional images of the airships and several additional sculptures on Pinterest. (via Colossal Submissions)
Produced between 2006 and 2009, Australian designer and illustrator Dan McPharlin's Analogue Miniatures are a marvel of papercraft. The tiny analogue synthesizers and pieces of recording equipment were pieced together with paper, framing mat board, string, rubber bands and cardboard, and appeared in everything from art shows to editorial spreads in magazines like Esquire. McPharlin is widely known for his retro sci-fi illustration work that appears on album covers and in limited edition prints, and he brings this aspect of fiction to these paper models as well. None of the objects are meant as exact replicas or recreations of real-life devices, but are instead speculative objects that draw aesthetic attributes from the audio technology of the 70s and 80s.
Estudio Guardabosques (previously) is a Buenos Aires-based design and illustration studio consisting of Carolina Silvero and Juan Nicolás Elizalde. The duo create a wide range of paper objects for editorial, artistic, and personal experimentation, each infused with geometric flair and a cheeky sense of humor. Seen here are a number of projects from the last year or so including an installation titled Gatos Furiosos featuring a group of ambivalent felines as they destroy an entire city that was built for the Furious Drawing Festival.
Paper engineer Aliaksei Zholner has wowed us before with his miniature V8 engine, and now brings his crafty talents to the musical realm with this working paper organ. The tiny organ has 18 functional keys that create tones with the aid of corresponding reeds, and of course a pipe organ can’t function without a steady air flow, a problem Zholner solves with a large balloon. (via Sploid)
Japanese artist Ayumi Shibata uses traditional methods of Japanese paper cutting to create miniature cities within vessels of glass. Her chosen materials reference the delicate relationship humans have with our environment and natural forces of our world, while also relating to the Japanese translation of “paper.” In Japanese, the word for “paper” is “Kami,” which can also mean “god,” “divinity,” or “spirit.” Kami are omnipresent in the Shinto religion, and reside in the sky, ground, trees, and rocks.
“Kami move freely beyond time, universe and places, appearing during events, as well as in our houses and our bodies,” said Shibata on her website. “These spirits also dwell in paper. In the religion of Shinto, white paper is considered a sacred material.”
Using this charged material, Shibata attempts to construct a sculptural dialogue about how we relate and respond to our natural world. Some of Shibata’s work is included in the three-person exhibition Passion Paper at Galerie Atalier Du Genie in Paris through March 27, 2017. (thnx Laura!)