Tag Archives: wood

A Contemporary Art Center in Prague Builds 138-Foot Rooftop Airship as a Home for Public Events 

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(AP Photo/Petr David Josek) All images licensed for use on Colossal.

An enormous object resembling a zeppelin has just been built atop the Dox Center for Contemporary Art in Prague. The 138-foot structure (42-meter) won’t be taking to the sky anytime soon, but will instead be utilized as a public gathering space for readings, performances, and debates about literature. The wooden airship-like building is situated atop a cascade of steps on the Dox center’s roof and should accommodate up to 120 seated visitors.

The alternative meeting space was designed as part of a collaboration between the center’s founder and director, Leos Valka, and architect Martin Rajnis who won the 2014 Global Award for Sustainable Architecture. “Our aim for the world of contemporary art is to spread and get partially interconnected with the world of literature,” Valka shared with the AP at a preview event this week. “It’s a world of pure imagination, a children’s world.” Rajnis recently gave a Creative Mornings talk in Prague titled Embrace the Weird.

The airship has officially been named Gulliver, after the fictional protagonist and narrator of Jonathan Swift’s famous Gulliver’s Travels. You can see more process photos on Pinterest, Google Photos, and on Facebook.

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(AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

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(AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

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(AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

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(AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

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Photo courtesy HAMR Huť architektury Martin Rajniš.

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Photo courtesy HAMR Huť architektury Martin Rajniš.

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Photo courtesy HAMR Huť architektury Martin Rajniš.

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Photo courtesy HAMR Huť architektury Martin Rajniš.

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Photo by Matej Slávik / HN

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Hybrid Kinetic Insects Carved from Wood by Dedy Shofianto 

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Mechanical Horn Centaur Beetle, 2015. 100 x 100 x 150 cm. Jati Wood, Pine Wood, Electric Dynamo.

Indonesian artist Dedy Shofianto creates unusual kinetic sculptures of insect-like creatures by carving almost every component from wood. Though powered by hidden electronics it’s the exquisitely detailed mandibles, wings, antennae, and gears of these hybrid creatures crafted from locally sourced jati (teak) wood that take center stage. It would seem that a lifetime of wood craftsmanship would have been brought to bear on each piece, all the more impressive considering Shofianto created these pieces when he was only 24 years old while still in school—he graduated from the Art Institute of Indonesia just last year. You can see more of his kinetic works at Redbase Contemporary Art.

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Evolution, 2015. 120 x 100 x 144 cm. Jati Wood, Pine Wood, Electric Dynamo, Ultrasound System.

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Nyanyian Kumbang Tanduk, 2015. 100 x 80 x 150 cm. Jati Wood, Electric Motor, Ultrasonic Sensor.

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Seeking Identity, 2015. 70 x 50 x 125 cm. Jati Wood, Gamelina Wood.

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Photo © Tirana House.

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Photo © Tirana House.

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This Incredible Wooden Book Is a Series of Puzzles That Have to Be Solved to Continue Reading 

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Merging two of the ultimate pastimes—books and puzzles—the Codex Silenda has to be physically solved in order to read it. And no, these aren’t simple word games and math problems, but rather deviously complicated mechanical puzzles crafted from laser-cut wood that are embedded within each part of this 5-page book. The solution to each puzzle physically unlocks the next page. As the reader moves through the book a short story is also revealed, etched on pages opposite the puzzles.

The Codex Silenda was created by industrial designer Brady Whitney who is currently funding the it as project on Kickstarter. At the moment it looks like all funding tiers involving the book have filled, quadrupling their funding goals, but maybe they’ll add additional levels soon. (via Gizmodo)

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Minimalist Sliced Firewood Lamps by Split Grain 

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Harnessing the beauty of foraged firewood found in California’s forests without setting flame to the wood, LA-based designer Paul Foeckler produces lamps made from gathering trips for his appropriately named online shop Split Grain (previously). Utilizing precise slices, Foeckler transforms the cuts of wood into minimalist light sources, having each emit an inner glow from the wood’s form. The modern objects are either standalone or placed on an equally minimal base, allowing one to bring the beautiful shape and grain of the California woods indoors without sacrificing it to a fireplace. You can see more of Foeckler’s lighting designs in his Etsy shop or website. (via My Modern Met)

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New Laser-Cut Wood Relief Sculptures by Gabriel Schama 

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Oakland-based artist Gabriel Schama (previously) continues to produce intricate relief sculptures by layering pieces of laser-cut mahogany plywood. Some of his most impressive new works see mandala-like shapes contained within the silhouettes of people’s faces, a striking idea that imbues each portrait with an unusual sense of motion and personality. Other pieces seem to utilize religious iconography or patterns from nature like reptile scales or leaves. Schama is soon to release a new collection of work for sale and you can learn more via his website.

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An Antique Piano Cut in Half, Connected Only by a Wishbone 

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We’ve long marveled at artist Maskull Lasserre's masterful ability to carve anatomical details into everyday objects. One of his recent sculptures, titled Improbable Worlds, is no exception. For this piece the Canadian artist split an old upright piano in two, slicing through every last component leaving only a single point of connection: a tiny wishbone carved from the wooden piano back. The visual tension created by the piece is astounding, let alone the head-scratching question of how he technically accomplished it, knowing that if the weight of the piano shifted just slightly the piece would snap in half.

You can see more of Lasserre’s recent artworks in his portfolio.

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