Design

Section



Colossal Design

Piece Together the Geography of the Earth and Moon in Infinite Combinations with Nervous System's Jigsaw Puzzles

May 7, 2021

Colossal

Earth Infinity Puzzle. All images © Nervous System, shared with permission

Longtime Colossal readers are likely familiar with Nervous System’s unmistakable jigsaws, two of which we just added to the Colossal Shop. Both Earth and Moon designs are infinity puzzles, meaning you can start exploring their expansive geographies from any spot—there’s no fixed shape, and they can be completed in thousands of arrangements. Each jigsaw also comes with whimsy pieces and is made from laser-cut birch plywood in the team’s studio in the Catskills.

Pick up the nature-inspired puzzles in the Colossal Shop, where we also have three other Nervous System designs, including a spiraling ammonite fossil, an infinite galaxy, and a unique mesmerizing geode (no two are the same!). If you’re a Colossal Member, everything is 10% off. Just use the discount code in your account.

 

Earth Infinity Puzzle

Moon Infinity Puzzle

Moon Infinity Puzzle

Earth Infinity Puzzle

Moon Infinity Puzzle

 

 



Design

A Mirrored Ceiling and Gleaming Tile Floor Turn This Chinese Bookstore into an Immersive M.C. Escher-Style Illusion

May 4, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images via X+Living

X+Living is known for its deceptively designed Zhongshuge bookstores that mimic M.C. Escher woodcuts and trippy infinite spaces. The latest iteration is this dreamy location in Chengdu featuring bold archways, a reflective tile floor that makes the display tables appear like floating boats, and a mirror embedded in the ceiling to create a seemingly endless loop of stairways and shelving. Completed in 2020, Dujiangyan Zhongshuge has a cafe on the first floor, along with a children’s area occupied by a bamboo forest and pandas climbing the bookcases. In the rest of the two-story space, the uppermost shelves lining the winding walkways are covered in a decorative print, adding to the illusion of countless volumes and ensuring all 80,000 available titles are within a customer’s reach.

See more of the Zhongshuge locations, in addition to the Shanghai-based studio’s cinemas, family parks, and retail spaces, on its site.

 

 

 

 



Art Design Illustration

Shantell Martin Designs Two Decks of Playing Cards with Her Signature Black-and-White Drawings

May 4, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images via Theory11

The Whitney Museum and luxury playing-card company Theory11 are teaming up on a series of artist-designed decks, and their first edition deals in British artist Shantell Martin (previously). Titled “LINE,” the same combination of Martin’s signature patchwork drawings and affirmational messages inscribe the dual deck, which is available in both a black and a white version. The line drawings are mostly monochromatic with the exception of bursts of color on the joker and face cards, which feature mirrored characters encircled by words like “wisdom” and “joy.”

Each deck is printed on FSC-certified paper with vegetable inks and starch laminates, and the cards are canvas textured and blind embossed. Both the black and white versions launched yesterday and are available from Theory11 and the Whitney Shop. You also might enjoy UNO’s sold-out collaboration with Nina Chanel Abney and this revolutionary deck from Studio LO. (via Artnet)

 

 

 



Design

The World's Longest Pedestrian Suspension Bridge Stretches Across the Paiva River Gorge in Portugal

April 30, 2021

Grace Ebert

Don’t look down! A new pedestrian bridge suspended 175-feet above the rocky gorge cradling the Paiva River opened in Portugal this week, and it’s now the longest of its kind. At 1,700 feet, Arouca 516 eclipses the former record-holder, the 1,621-foot Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge in the Swiss Alps, as it stretches across the UNESCO-recognized Arouca Geopark. The steel construction is located in a five-mile stretch of the gorge known for its wooden walkways, adding another option for intrepid explorers to experience the lush scenery.

Update: The Baglung Parbat Footbridge in Nepal also claims the “world’s longest footbridge” title at a length of 1,860 feet.

 

All images via Ponte 516 Arouca

 

 



Design History

A Rare Toshiba Typewriter from the 1950s Operates with a Trilingual Index of Thousands of Characters

April 29, 2021

Grace Ebert

In the 1940s, Toshiba began producing index typewriters with massive, horizontal cylinders containing thousands of symbols. One edition, the BW-2112—watch the demonstration by the New Orleans-based Typewriter Collector above to see how the redesign utilizes manual rotation and a metal pointer to print the characters—was a particularly advanced model with keys in three languages: Japanese, Chinese, and English.

The trilingual device ordered the characters in a manner similar to what you’d find in a Japanese dictionary, which is explained on the Typewriter Collector’s page as follows:

They’re arranged phonetically by most common “on-yomi” (or kun-yomi in some cases) according to the kana syllabary (many homophones, of course)… Red characters help parse the readings. Last character to left of equal sign can be pronounced “kin” (exert) and the first character in next row “gin” (silver), then “ku” (suffer) in red followed by “kuu” (sky, empty), “kuma” (bear), “kun” (teachings, meaning [also the kun in kun-yomi]), “gun” (group), then “kei” (system) in red followed many, homophones of “kei”.

Unfortunately, Toshiba stopped producing the model when it switched to a Western-style keyboard in the mid-1950s that instead had 48 Japanese Kana characters, making devices like this one exceedingly rare. (via Twisted Sifter)

 

 

 



Art Design History

Download and 3D-Print 18,000 Artifacts from Art History through Scan the World

April 28, 2021

Grace Ebert

Scan the World might be one of the only institutions where visitors are encouraged to handle the most-valued sculptures and artifacts from art history. The open-source museum hosts an impressive archive of 18,000 digital scans—the eclectic collection spans artworks like the “Bust of Nefertiti,” the “Fourth Gate of Vaubam Fortress,” Rodin’s “The Thinker,” and Michelangelo’s “David” in addition to other items like chimpanzee skulls—that are available for download and 3D printing in a matter of hours.

Searchable by collection, artist, and location, Scan the World recently teamed up with Google Arts and Culture, which partners with more than 2,000 institutions, to add thousands of additional pieces to the platform. Each page shares information about an artifact’s history and location, in addition to technical details like dimensions, complexity, and time to print—scroll down on to view images of finished pieces uploaded by the community, too. While much of the collection focuses on Western art, it’s currently bolstering two sections that explore works from India and China.

Scan the World is part of My Mini Factory, which is the largest platform for 3D-printed objects. If you’re new to the process, check out the site’s wide range of tutorials, including tips for beginnershow to scan with your phone, and techniques for using drones to capture hard-to-reach works. (via Open Culture)

 

Left: “Mars and Venus.” Right: “Marble Head from a Herm