Design

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Art Design Photography Science

Artful Swirls of Plastic Marine Debris Documented in Images by Photographer Mandy Barker

April 19, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

SOUP – Refused © Mandy Barker. Ingredients; plastic oceanic debris affected by chewing and attempted ingestion by animals. Includes a toothpaste tube. Additives; teeth from goats.

Photographer Mandy Barker creates deceptively eye-catching images to document the pandemic of plastic debris in the world’s waterways. Barker, who is based in Leeds, UK, works closely with scientists to collect trash from our oceans and beaches on the edges of nearly every continent. One research expedition covered the debris field (stretching to Hawaii) that resulted from Japan’s 2011 tsunami and earthquake; she has also explored the Inner Hebrides in Scotland with Greenpeace.

Barker manipulates her findings in Photoshop, mimicking the manner in which ocean water holds these objects in suspension. Swirls of colors and patterns draw in the viewer’s eye, only to realize that these visually appealing compositions consist of garbage that animals have attempted to chew, plastic pellets, tangles of fishing line, and water-logged soccer balls. The artist describes her work in a statement on her website:

The aim of my work is to engage with and stimulate an emotional response in the viewer by combining a contradiction between initial aesthetic attraction along with the subsequent message of awareness. The research process is a vital part of my development as the images I make are based on scientific fact which is essential to the integrity of my work.

Barker is currently a recipient of a 2018 National Geographic Society grant. Her work is on display through April 22nd at Mexico City’s Museum of Modern Art, at Photo London Art Fair in May 2018, at the Triennial of Photography in Hamburg in June, 2018, and at BredaPhoto in The Netherlands in September 2018. The artist’s book, Beyond Drifting: Imperfectly Known Animals, was named one of the ten best books of 2017 by Smithsonian. You can see more of Barker’s photographs on her website as well as on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

EVERY… snowflake is different (detail) © Mandy Barker. Ingredients; white marine plastic debris objects collected in two single visits to a nature reserve on the East Coast of England.

EVERY… snowflake is different © Mandy Barker. Ingredients: white marine plastic debris objects collected in two single visits to a nature reserve on the East Coast of England.

Hong Kong Soup:1826 – Lighter © Mandy Barker. Discarded cigarette lighters make reference to our single-use throw away society. The panda, a national emblem of China represents endangered species and faces away from the group symbolizing mother nature turning its back on man’s inability to take ownership of its waste.

Hong Kong Soup:1826 – Spilt © Mandy Barker. 150 tonnes of pre-production plastic pellets (nurdles) spilt from a cargo container during Typhoon Vincente on 23rd July 2012 adds to Hong Kong’s waste issues in its seas and on its beaches.

PENALTY – Europe © Mandy Barker. 633 marine plastic debris footballs (and pieces of) recovered from 23 countries and islands within Europe, from 104 different beaches, and by 62 members of the public, in just 4 months.

PENALTY – The World © Mandy Barker. 769 marine plastic debris footballs (and pieces of) collected from 41 countries and islands around the world, from 144 different beaches and by 89 members of the public in just 4 months.

PENALTY – 24 Footballs © Mandy Barker.

SHOAL – 30.41N, 157.51E © Mandy Barker.Included in trawl: child’s ball and Japanese character – fridge magnet found on the tsunami shoreline. Fishing buoy found in trawl sample, North pacific Ocean

SHOAL 33.15N, 151.15E © Mandy Barker. Included in trawl: tatami mat from the floor of a Japanese home, fishing related plastics, buoys, nylon rope, buckets, fish trays, polystyrene floats, shampoo bottle, caps, balloon & holder, petrol container.

SOUP – Alphabet © Mandy Barker. Ingredients; plastic debris that includes surface text. Ironic random arrangement of 4 pieces of plastic that suggest a warning; ‘Sea’ ‘AND’ ‘HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES’ ‘FOUL’

SOUP: Bird’s Nest © Mandy Barker. Ingredients; discarded fishing line that has formed nest-like balls due to tidal and oceanic movement. Additives; other debris collected in its path.

SOUP – Ruinous Remembrance © Mandy Barker. Ingredients; plastic flowers, leaves, stems, and fishing line. Additives; bones, skulls, feathers, and fish.

SOUP: Turtle © Mandy Barker.

WHERE © Mandy Barker. Ingredients; marine debris balloons collected from around the world.

WHERE (detail) © Mandy Barker. Ingredients; marine debris balloons collected from around the world.

 

 



Art Design

Banksy Releases New Miniature Walled Off Hotel Souvenir Series

April 17, 2018

Christopher Jobson

Banksy’s year-old project in Bethlehem, The Walled Off Hotel (previously), has just released a new set of souvenirs exclusively available in the hotel shop. The series of works, which are each hand painted by local artists, depict the West Bank barrier in a crumbling state. A hooded figure is featured beside the wall in several of the works—either contributing a fresh piece of graffiti or physically breaking through the wall with mallet in hand. Banksy views these works as anticipatory objects, pieces that might accurately depict the wall’s end.

The hotel also released a new album during last week’s Palestine Music Expo, featuring international musicians such as Brian Eno, The Black Madonna, Trio Joubran, Roisin Murphy, and Akram Abdulfattah. The work was produced by Block9 during a “Creative Retreat” at the hotel this past February, and includes seven collaborative songs inspired by Palestine’s history. The Walled Off Hotel Creative Retreat Album is now available for free on Soundcloud.

 

 



Craft Design

Retro Birdhouse Camper Kit Makes the Perfect Backyard Outpost

April 13, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

In a charming sendup of the current camper van resurgence, Marcus Williams and Sj Stone of the Nashville-based design studio One Man, One Garage have created a set of vintage camper birdhouse kits that are the perfect backyard outpost for a family of birds. The design was inspired by a 1974 Serro Scotty Hilander that once belonged to Williams, complete with decorative window shades and accessories such as flowers, a grill, and a few lawn flamingos. The wooden models each come in a 40-piece set, which are flat-packed for easy construction. You can purchase a painted or customizable kit from the duo’s Etsy shop, and see more of their wood-based designs on their website and Instagram. (via Laughing Squid)

  

 

 



Design Food

Natural Materials Organized into Precise Geometric Shapes by Kristen Meyer

April 12, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Prop stylist and designer Kristen Meyer melds quotidian materials into distinctive outlines in her series of geometric flat lays. The designer, who is based in New Haven, Connecticut, gathers crackers, sticks, spaghetti, herbs, and other common raw materials and arranges them in circles and squares. The finesse comes in her use of negative space, creating implied borders lines that help complete the shape without a full density of “ingredients.” You can see more of Meyer’s work on Instagram. She also offers prints of her images on her website.

 

 



Art Design

Light Leaks: A Shimmering Room Filled with Fifty Disco Balls and Hundreds of Reflected Points of Light

April 10, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Installation at The Music Center LA

Kyle McDonald and Jonas Jongejan filled a darkened room with fifty disco balls and created colored and timed lighting sequences to cast mesmerizing reflections that surround visitors. However, rather than simply relying on scattershot reflections, McDonald and Jongejan used hundreds of structured light scans to capture the volumetric position of every pixel being projected by each of the three projectors. The pair then used SketchUp to predict the reflected pixel positions.

The designers describe Light Leaks as “a curious space that alternates between a meditative state, and an uneasy imbalance. An experiment in combining a found object with computer vision to create a profound and unusual experience.” It has since been installed at La Gaîté Lyrique (Paris, 2014) and Scopitone Festival (Nantes, 2015), and most recently at The Music Center LA (2018).

Based in Los Angeles, McDonald is an artist working with code. He has been an adjunct professor at NYU and an artist in residence at Carnegie Mellon. You can find more of his recent projects on his website and Twitter. Jongejan lives and works in New York City, where he is a creative technologist at Google Creative Lab, and previously worked in theater and television building interactive sets. He shares his work on his website and Twitter. Light Leaks was produced by Juliette Bibasse.

Installation at CLICK Festival 2013, photo by Kyle McDonald

Installation at CLICK Festival 2013, photo by Kyle McDonald

Installation at CLICK Festival 2013, photo by Kyle McDonald

Installation at CLICK Festival 2013, photo by Kyle McDonald

Installation at CLICK Festival 2013, photo by Kyle McDonald

Installation at CLICK Festival 2013, photo by Kyle McDonald

Installation at CLICK Festival 2013, photo by Kyle McDonald

Installing “Light Leaks” at La Gaîté Lyrique for the Capitaine Futur show, photo by Kyle McDonald

Installation at The Music Center LA

 

 



Design

Braille Neue: A Universal Typeface by Kosuke Takahashi That Combines Braille and Visible Characters

April 6, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Japanese designer Kosuke Takahashi has created an ingenious font that merges different typefaces to allow both sighted and blind readers to use the same text. Thinking ahead to Tokyo’s hosting of the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, Takahashi shares on his website that he hopes his font will “create a truly universal space where anyone can access information.”  Braille Neue is comprised of two typesets: Braille Neue Standard, for the English alphabet, and Braille Neue Outline, which accommodates both Japanese and English visible characters and letters. Takahashi’s creation addresses two related problems. In a statement, the designer explains,

Currently, we rarely see braille implemented in the public space since it takes additional space and sighted people consider it not important. Braille Neue addresses this issue by making braille easy to use for sighted people. By spreading this typeset I believe more people will get acquainted with braille… [And] braille tends to be small and invisible, but with Braille Neue it has the possibility to expand spatially into public signages in new ways.

Takahasshi acknowledges that he is not the first to combine braille with visible latin letters, but Braille Neue is the first typeface that also incorporates Japanese characters. Braille Neue has its own website and Twitter handle, and you can see more of the designer’s projects on his website.  (via My Modern Met)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Design

Artificial Island is the First of Nine Proposed Floating Cultural Destinations in Copenhagen Harbor

April 2, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

A tiny, man-made island floats near the center of Copenhagen Harbor. Rooted inside of the wooden platform is a single linden tree, which gives the 215-square-foot pentagon the appearance of a park rather than a stray dock. Australian architect Marshall Blecher teamed up with Magnus Maarbjerg from Danish design studio Fokstrot to build the public gathering place as a prototype for their project Copenhagen Islands.

The project aims to build a series of similar platforms throughout Copenhagen Harbor with a variety of public purposes. Despite its diminutive size, the current island has already hosted a few small events including a lecture series regarding the future of harbor cities like Copenhagen.

The team has proposed nine islands, each of which can connect to form a larger island, or what the architect’s refer to as a “parkipelago.” Currently there are plans for a stage, coffee shop, sauna, diving board, and mussel farm which will all be accessible via boat. With an increase in large-scale apartment buildings filling the area, Maarbjerg and Blecher hope their plan will bring more cultural opportunities to the expanding coast.

“It was developed to ​introduce life and activity to Copenhagen’s rapidly developing harbour and to ​bring back some of the whimsy that has been lost in ​its development,” said Blecher in Dezeen.

This first stage of the project was funded by the Statenskunstfond and Havnekulturpuljen, a local organization that promotes the expansion of cultural and sporting events in the surrounding harbor. The two are working with Statenskunstfond and other not-for profits to help fund their next stage. The island is currently located in Slusen, in Copenhagen’s South Harbor, but will move north to the area of Refshaleøen later this spring. (via Dezeen)