Design

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Design

Ceramic Artist Lalese Stamps Creates 100 Wildly Varying Mug Handles in 100 Days

June 4, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Lalese Stamps

While some of Lalese Stamps’s mugs might be safe to grab before you’re fully caffeinated, exercise caution with others. Last year, the Columbus-based ceramicist, of Lolly Lolly Ceramics, embarked on a 100 Day Project, her personal challenge to design dozens of new handles for her monochromatic mugs. A graphic designer by day, Stamps recently completely the impressive undertaking, and the result is an incredible array of knobs, spikes, and circular grips. See the full collection, in addition to videos diving into her process, on Instagram. (via Jessica Hische)

 

 

 



Art Design History

Prominent Figures of the Harlem Renaissance Featured on New USPS Stamps

June 3, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © USPS

For those who aren’t keen on emblazoning their rent checks or letters with an American flag, the United States Postal Service recently released a stamp collection dedicated to one of the most influential periods in the nation’s history. The new set features pastel renderings of four prominent figures of the Harlem Renaissance, a profound artistic and intellectual movement that spanned the 1920s. This year marks a century since the period began and became a turning point for Black culture.

Nella Larsen is recognized most often for her two novels Quicksand (1928) and Passing (1929), which explore race relations at the intersection of gender, sexuality, and class; Educator, poet, and avid gardener Anne Spencer exemplified the far-reaching effects of the Harlem Renaissance by hosting artists and intellectuals at her home in Virginia; Arturo Alfonso Schomburg was an Afro-Latinx historian dedicated to furthering recognition of Black artists, writers, and intellectuals. His collections now are housed at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City; and writer, philosopher, and educator Alain Locke is one of the most prominent thinkers of the period. He also edited and contributed to the foundational text, The New Negro.

Designed by art director Greg Breeding with art by Gary Kelley, the 55-cent forever stamps are available for purchase in sheets of 20 from USPS. (via Hyperallergic)

 

 

 



Design

Six Students Design Solar-Powered Lamps From Collagen, Black Beans, and Agave Plants

June 1, 2020

Grace Ebert

Six lamps designed by Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey students

A 2019 study notes that 1.8 million residents of Mexico live without electricity, while some sources say an additional five million have limited access. In an effort to provide affordable, sustainable solar power, six students from the Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey have designed lamps that can be constructed easily with materials commonly found throughout Mexico’s rural areas. Using wicker, agave plants, coconut bark, adobe, collagen, and black beans, the designers have created hand-held vessels powered by reusable solar cells and LED lights.

Inspired by artist Olafur Eliasson’s (previously) similarly sustainable Little Sun, Moisés Hernández, who led the project,  told Dezeen that students were tasked with creating lamps with easily reproducible exteriors. “With these new material ideas that came from different sites across Mexico, where the weather and context are so different, the students visualized new scenarios where these type of technological objects can be assembled and distributed to local people,” Hernández said. When the lamps need to be replaced, users simply can remove the solar and LED components and position them in new vessels.

 

Black bean lamp by Oscar Andrés Méndez Hernández

Adobe, recycled paper, and cactus slime lamp by Luis Fernando Sánchez Barrios

Coconut lamp by Rafael Sánchez Brizuela

Lamp of wicker made by craftsmen in Tequisquiapan, Queretaro, designed by Aniela Mayte Guerrero Hernández

A lamp of collagen spread over a coconut shell form by Naoto Ricardo Kobayashi Utsumoto

Agave-plant waste lamp by Viridiana Palma Dominguez

Coconut lamp by Rafael Sánchez Brizuela

 

 



Design

Four Adorable Prairie Dogs Peek Out of Kinetic Sculpture Constructed with LEGO

June 1, 2020

Grace Ebert

Designers Jason and Kristal Allemann, of JK Brickworks (previously), understand that prairie dogs have a tendency to scramble into their burrows at first sight of a threat, so the two LEGO enthusiasts have designed a kinetic sculpture that captures the rodents’ most endearing actions while above ground. The articulate animals are shown popping out of their holes, checking for predators in the distance, and wagging their black-tipped tails on a grassy platform constructed with the iconic building blocks.

The duo shares full parts lists and instructions for how to create the animals and their burrow on YouTube. Keep up with their dynamic projects on Instagram.

 

 

 



Design

Barbie and Ken Get Relatable Quarantine Makeovers in Humorous Miniature Sets

May 29, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Tonya Ruiz

Barbies have garnered attention for years because of their unrealistic proportions, lack of diversity, and gendered activities. Despite some noteworthy changes, Tonya Ruiz, a former model turned toy designer, thought the usual selection of lavishly dressed and accessorized dolls could use another update that’s a little more timely. “When the quarantine started and I saw a couple of funny pandemic Barbies, I thought that I should make a Barbie that everyone could relate to. I created the quarantine starter pack: curvy doll in stretchy pants,” Ruiz says about the self-inspired doll that spurred the makeovers in a recent video.

Known as Grandma Gets Real, Ruiz has been creating parodic sets that highlight some of the most relatable quarantine activities. There’s a quarreling couple that has a plethora of cleaning products, a cast-iron of eggs, and a just-out-of-reach guide detailing how to divvy up chores. A scrubs-wearing nurse is complete with a miniature lab coat, X-rays, and thermometer, while bread-baking Barbie is covered in a white dusting of flour.

Ruiz shares updates of her toy spoofs on Instagram, in addition to close-ups of her miniature essentials, snacks, and quarantine activities. You also might enjoy these fake toys deposited on store shelves by Obvious Plant. (via designboom)

 

 

 



Design

This Japanese Zoo is Using Stuffed Capybaras to Visualize Social Distancing

May 22, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images by @chacha0rca

Take a seat for lunch at Izu Shabonten Zoo in Shizuoka, Japan, and meet your plush dining partners. To help restaurant patrons visualize social distancing guidelines, the zoo has occupied chairs with stuffed capybaras. The soft toys encourage diners to space out among the tables and maintain an appropriate distance.

With only a few other cuddly creatures in the mix, the institution’s main choice is a nod to its decades-long fascination with the giant rodent. Izu Zoo boasts a plethora of capybara-themed programming and souvenirs and also is credited with creating open-air hot baths in 1982 that offer the animals, which are native to South America, a place to bathe, relax, and warm up during cold winters.

Although many of us won’t be visiting the wild creatures in the near future, you can get a glimpse at their steamy retreats below. For similarly visual social distancing, check out Singapore’s tape demarcations. (via Spoon & Tamago)

 

 

 



Design Science

A New Hydroponic Planter Imprints Houseplants with Tessellating Root Systems

May 21, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Terraplanter

Bringing a design-based approach to indoor gardening, Terraplanter ensures that even those lacking green thumbs will be left with a beautiful, minimalist vessel if their plant-care skills aren’t quite adequate. When it’s in use, roots grip the lattice-like outside, which imprints their dense entanglements with a geometric pattern. The vegetation reveals its tessellating design when it’s removed.

The soil-free growing system has four planting methods: rubbing spores onto the surface, germinating seeds in the grooves, wrapping an already blooming vine around the pillar, or propagating a rooted plant by attaching it to the side. Water stored in the center of the vessel then diffuses through the porous material, hydrating the roots and ensuring they require little maintenance.

Because of its unique design, Terraplanter exposes root growth as it occurs, while securing it on the exterior. “We believe in nature-inspired-technology, we love plants, and we see things differently. Bound together with a passion for natural material, plants, and ecological products, we combined our knowledge and experience to create a user-friendly product and an optimal solution for plants to thrive indoors,” the New York-based company said in a statement.

Terraplanter already has raised more than $2,800,000 on Kickstarter, and there are a few rewards still available. To see more examples of the hydroponic propagation, check out Instagram, Facebook, and the video below, which was directed and animated by Kobi Vogman.