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Animation Colossal Design

Interview: Production Designer Liz Toonkel Describes Creating the Adorable Universe of ‘Marcel the Shell with Shoes On’

August 16, 2022

Christopher Jobson

A tiny mollusk with a big personality, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is famous for quirky antics and endlessly entertaining use of human-sized objects. In a new interview supported by Colossal Members, production designer Liz Toonkel discusses building the universe the adorable character occupies in the feature-length mockumentary released this summer from A24.

All of those little details that you wouldn’t think about, when you watch it they give it an inherent truth because everything feels like it does in our real world. Same thing with the garden. Those are real plants. That’s so rare in stop motion that you have real organic materials. It’s pretty much impossible to stop-motion animate with them because they decompose. There was a lot of thought put into how to bring organic, real life to the things around Marcel.

Colossal editor-in-chief Christopher Jobson recently sat down with Toonkel to discuss building a realistic micro world within a macro setting, the challenges of blending live-action with stop-motion animation, and why the tennis ball scenes are as impressive as the internet thinks. Read the full interview here.

 

 

 



Design

Filled with Light, An A-Frame House Designed by Naturvillan Functions Entirely Off the Grid

August 15, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images by Marcus Eliasson, courtesy of Naturvillan

Mimicking the peaks of the surrounding conifers, an A-frame house in Sikhall, Vänersborg, Sweden is designed for entirely self-sufficient living. The largely wood and glass construction is the project of Naturvillan, a Swedish architecture firm focusing on building homes with minimal impacts on the environment.

The triangular model shown here is “Atri,” a light-filled house with a wood-burning stove and solar panels attached to its slanted roof. Intended for energy production in both winter and summer, the two sources are robust enough to heat the water and provide electricity. For added assurance, the home contains another power source in case of extreme weather.

An on-site well also pumps drinking water, with any waste directed to the flower beds for filtering. These raised gardens line the perimeter of the first floor and are large enough to grow fruits and vegetables.

See more of the sustainable design and other models on Naturvillan’s site. (via designboom)

 

 

 



Art Design History

Balloons Inflate Around Copper Forms in a Playful Reinterpretation of the Enigmatic Venus Figures

August 9, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Reddish Studio, shared with permission

Although research suggests the ancient Venus figurines were created as totems of survival amid a changing climate, the enigmatic forms continue to puzzle historians, their exact cultural context and relevance unknown. The mysterious statues, with exaggerated physical features like large, distended bellies and generally plump appendages, recently inspired a playful project by Naama Steinbock and Idan Friedman, the designers behind Reddish Studio based in Tel Aviv-Jaffa.

Titled “Venus of Jaffa,” the series interprets the prehistoric sculptures as lighthearted, impermanent forms. Each figure is structured with a thin, copper frame designed to hold a balloon. Once inflated, the latex—the studio used neutral tones to evoke both flesh and the original earthenware—puffs around the armature to form the supple curves of a female body. In a statement, the studio describes the works, which were originally shown at Jerusalem Design Week 2022:

This project is meant to spark curiosity while referencing both the archeological finds and the way they take part in our current culture with their bespoke museum displays… While the archeological Venus statuettes have survived tens of thousands of years, the new addition to their dynasty is only ephemeral and has the lifespan of a party decoration.

For more from Reddish Studio, visit its site. (via designboom)

 

 

 



Art Design

Olafur Eliasson Designs a Conical Structure with 832 Vibrant Glass Panels That Reflect Sonoma’s Weather

August 2, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Vertical Panorama Pavilion at the Donum Estate (2022), Studio Other Spaces, Olafur Eliasson and Sebastian Behmann, by Adam Potts, shared with permission

A bold, conical structure stands on The Donum Estate in Sonoma Valley, casting a vibrant kaleidoscope of 24 colors underneath its canopy. The work of Studio Other Spaces—artist Olafur Eliasson (previously) and architect Sebastian Behmann co-founded the Berlin-based project in 2014— “Vertical Panorama Pavilion” is “inspired by the history of circular calendars,” containing 832 glass pieces arranged around an oculus opening to the north.

Drawing on the microclimate of the vineyard, the studio constructed the mosaic of translucent and transparent panels using meteorological measurements of solar radiance, wind intensity, temperature, and humidity. A winding gravel path leads to the outdoor seating area, and as the sun passes over the area, it drenches the brick construction in a full spectrum of color, a contrast to the Northern California landscape.

Find production photos of the pavilion and explore more projects from Studio Other Spaces on its site and Instagram. (via designboom)

 

 

 



Art Design

A Bold, Architectural Installation Recreates an Ancient Roman Gatehouse with Messages of Belonging

July 28, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images courtesy of English Heritage, shared with permission

Temporarily occupying the site of the ancient Housesteads Roman Gatehouse at Hadrian’s Wall, a vibrant installation by British artist Morag Myerscough recreates the structure that once stood on the bucolic landscape in northern England. “The Future Belongs To What Was As Much As What Is” is a bright, architectural reinterpretation of the 2nd-century building, reaching the same 8.5 meters high and 12.5 meters wide as the original construction.  A staircase tucked inside the scaffolding allows visitors to climb to an upper outpost and look over the landscape, offering a view that’s been unavailable for the last 1,600 years.

To create the patchwork, typographic facade, Myerscough collaborated with community members and poet Ellen Moran. Each panel is bright and geometric, and while some reference artifacts found on the site, many contain messages relating to borders, connecting the historic landmark that once defined the edge of the Roman empire to contemporary immigration issues. “We hope that placing such a bold contemporary art installation in this ancient landscape will not only capture people’s imagination but maybe also challenge their ideas of what the wall was for. Not just a means to keep people out, but a frontier that people could— and did—cross,” says Kate Mavor, the chief executive of English Heritage.

The installation opens on July 30 to coincide with the wall’s 1,900th anniversary and will be up through October 30. (via Dezeen)

 

 

 



Craft Design

An Elaborately Designed Book on Weaving Opens to Reveal a Fully Functional Loom

July 20, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Cai Wei Qun, shared with permission

The swish of a shuttle moving from left to right as it carries threads through the warp might be described as a “xui” sound. A Taiwanese onomatopoeia, the auditory word is also the title of Cai Wei Qun’s elaborately constructed book on the craft, which opens to reveal a trove of history, techniques and tricks, and an entire loom tucked between its covers.

The clever design is fully functional and able to produce tiny tapestries based on the patterns and practices described, making the book an immersive and accessible manual. “Traditional weaving tools are large and have complicated processes,” Wei Qun tells Colossal. “It is commonly difficult to experience. So we hope, by experiencing simple weaving processes, one can initiate ‘interest’ during the process (and) thoroughly understand the culture of weaving.”

Wei Qun was recently awarded a Red Dot Design Award for the conceptual project, and you can find much more on the designer’s website and Instagram. (via Yanko Design)

 

 

 

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