The Flying Martha Ornithopter is a mechanical toy that when wound, flaps its wings through the air just like a real bird. The simple invention is built entirely from bamboo and Mulberry paper, and released just like a paper airplane. The ornithopter was built by Haptic Lab to honor the very last passenger pigeon, Martha, who died while in captivity at the Cincinnati Zoo in 1914.
Haptic Lab believes the invention is symbolic of humanity’s role in a rapidly changing world. “Like our other projects at Haptic Lab, the Flying Martha ornithopter aims to connect people to their physical environment, to one another, and to the planet as a whole,” says the design studio. “The Flying Martha celebrates the spirit of invention and discovery essential to humanity’s survival and to the survival of our planet.”
Each ornithopter is built to reflect the true size of the extinct bird, with a wingspan of 16 inches. The handmade nature of the toy bird allows its user to customize its flight, solving problems to discover the invention’s best flight path. By a slight twist of the tail to the left or right, its flight course is altered, giving the owner full control of how the bird flies.
The project is currently raising funds on Kickstarter. You can see more projects by Haptic Lab on their website, Instagram and Facebook. (via Kottke)
Housed in what was once Cape Town’s tallest building is the newly unveiled Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA), created by London-based architect Thomas Heatherwick. The institution’s 80 gallery spaces were converted from 42 historic grain silos, storage units which were once used to hold and grade maize from all over South Africa.
Heatherwick Studio transformed the tightly packed tubes into open areas of contemplation, carving out various oblong shapes to make room for large social spaces and lots of light from overhead windows. Heatherwick wished to clear out large spaces for the galleries, however he was also careful about not eliminating the tubular structure of the building completely.
“We realised we needed to do something that your eye couldn’t instantly predict,” Heatherwick told Dezeen. “Our role was destructing rather than constructing, but trying to destruct with a confidence and an energy, and not treating the building as a shrine.”
The nearly 20,000 square foot museum is one of many facilities that form the V&A Waterfront, a cultural center dotted with several bars and restaurants on the city’s harbor. (via Dezeen)
All photographs © NAARO
Minima | Maxima is the latest creation from Marc Fornes / THEVERYMANY, known for their innovative fusion of computational design and architecture to build organic self-supporting structures. This new piece was commissioned by World Expo 2017 and now stands as a permanent structure on the grounds in Astana, Kazakhstan. Despite its impressive height of 43′ feet (13.1 meters), the core material used to build Minima | Maxima are 2mm strips of aluminum. From their project statement:
Minima | Maxima evolves the studio’s invention of ‘Structural Stripes’ — a signature material system for building self-supporting curvilinear structures — with a step in a direction that offers even more structural potential: multi-ply composite. Three layers of flat stripes — white and white sandwiching pink — are constructed in tandem, supporting one another as they assume curvature and gain height. One layer never exists independently, but contributes to and benefits from the unified whole as it is built.
The system warrants comparison to fiber technology — such as carbon or glass fiber — yet is unique in that unlike fibers, each individual component does not need to be in tension (a straight line), and/or their processing does not require any mold or temporary scaffolding. Also such a composite system is mechanically bonded, allowing for recomposition and corrections during construction.
You can see how the structure was assembled in the video below, and explore more work by THEVERYMANY on Instagram.
2047 Apologue is a concept performance by Chinese director Zhang Yimou, the director of the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The video is a teaser for the final part of the show titled the Weaving Machine, one of eight acts that combine traditional Chinese craft, music, or dance with modern technology such as lasers, robots, and drones. The combination of ancient and modern technology aims to comment on how much the later has taken over life in the 21st century.
For this particular segment Zhang places an ancient Chinese weaving machine on stage with 640 kinetic LED spheres designed and produced by WHITEvoid. Moving together in an elegant wave, the lights interact with a dancer performing underneath. Throughout the segment the lights change both pattern and color, as a soundtrack matches their increasing energy and movement.
The performance premiered at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing this past June and will tour China throughout 2018. You can see the full teaser video for the Weaving Machine above. (via Prosthetic Knowledge)
The solar system is in constant rotation, a notion that has taken us generations to understand, and just as long to track. This knowledge has impacted our understanding of time, mathematics, science, and religion, yet the universe is still one of our greatest mysteries. SpaceTime Coordinates brings a personalized depiction to the great expanse of space by calculating the exact position of the planets on the day of your birth.
Using NASA data and algorithms, the company computes the positions of the planets and dwarf planets to create custom prints that correspond with your unique position in the universe. No two dates provide the same planetary map.
“On any given date, the Solar System was organized in a singularly unique way – differently than any other day in history,” says founders govy and Martin Vézina. “Our mission is to provide you with the actual snapshot of the Solar System that corresponds to your most special day.”
Previously the company has created 3D-printed mementos cast in metal that display your planetary information. Now, the company has created minimal posters in dark blue, black, and white, and is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter as part of the website’s Projects of Earth series. You can view more samples of SpaceTime Coordinates’ designs on their website.
Designer J.R. Schmidt has a great isometric rendering of New York City as built with LEGO bricks which is available in a number of print sizes. You can see more of his data-driven art, illustration, and motion graphic work over on Behance. (via Kottke)