Design

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Design

Carved Gemstones Embed Intricate Patterns from Ancient Symbols, Architecture, and Nature

September 28, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images by Jeff Mason, © Bryan D. Drummond, shared with permission

Fractals, grids, religious symbols, and ancient architecture are among the eclectic patterns translated into elaborately engraved gemstones by Bryan D. Drummond. The Las Vegas-based artist carves naturally occurring motifs and geometric designs into jewels like blue topaz, citrine, and tourmaline, adding depth to the glimmering surfaces.

Whether displaying the hexagonal configuration of honeycomb or imagery referencing the sun’s rays and stars, most of Drummond’s patterns are produced with custom equipment—he modified a 16th-century-style woodworking machine designed to carve rosettes and epicycloids so that it handles the precious materials, for example. The artist shares that the surface area and color help to determine the motif, which once carved, embeds the light-catching jewel with additional layers of shadow.

Currently, Drummond is cutting Californian amethyst and sunstone from Oregon that he mined himself. See more of his designs in his shop and check out his process on Instagram.

 

 

 



Design Science

The Ocean Cleanup Conceptualizes Its Third Massive Apparatus to Remove Trash from the ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’

September 22, 2022

Grace Ebert

Sadly known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a wide swath of ocean between the U.S. coast and Japan is an enormous vortex of trash. A gyre, or system of currents, surrounds the area and sucks debris and litter into its rotation, trapping hundreds of millions of kilograms of plastic waste within its 20 million square kilometers.

Back in 2018, The Ocean Cleanup engineered a slow-moving apparatus called System 001 designed to wade through the patch to retrieve garbage with a massive net. The nonprofit, which wants to remove 90 percent of floating plastic by 2040, is now conceptualizing its third iteration of the machine that will be the largest and most efficient model to date. “When it comes to cleaning the oceans, size matters,” a statement about the new technology says. “Bigger systems mean fewer support vessels, which are the main cost driver (and the main carbon emitter) in our operations. In short, bigger systems mean a lower cost per kilogram.” System 002 removed more than 100,000 kilograms of plastic as of July 2022.

In a newly produced concept video, The Ocean Cleanup suggests that System 3 will now be comprised of three vessels that rely on drones to identify waste hotspots. The ships will haul a massive 2,500-meter wide and four-meter deep net system that sweeps the targeted areas to gather debris and funnel it to a sizable retention zone. Once collected and hauled from the water, the waste is organized into shipping containers and sent for recycling or repurposing.

The Ocean Cleanup plans to create a fleet of ten System 03 machines in the coming months, which the organization estimates will be powerful enough to restore much of the area. You can follow its progress on Twitter and Instagram, and head to its site for occasional live streams.

 

A rendering of the retention zone

A rendering of the net

A rendering of the net

 

 



Design

A Giant Sharpener Creates Playful Pendant Lights That Mimic Colored Pencil Shavings

September 22, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Nanako Kume, shared with permission

Nanako Kume’s pendant lights would look perfectly at home in an elementary classroom or art studio. The Tokyo-based designer is behind a playful collection of fixtures that layers colored-pencil-style wood shavings into whimsical lampshades.

To create the works, Kume developed a large sharpener operable with a hand-crank. A short film by Yunosuke Ishibashi chronicles her process, which includes whittling a piece of lumber into a hexagon, spray painting its exterior, and soaking the material in water to make it pliable. Once inserted into the sharpener and shaved, the jagged, pigmented edges evocative of a colored pencil emerge and are coiled into suspended shades.

Kume plans to make some of the collection available for purchase, so keep an eye on her Instagram for updates. (via designboom)

 

 

 



Design History Photography

Photos by Noritaka Minami Document the Famed Nakagin Capsule Tower Prior to Demolition

September 21, 2022

Grace Ebert

“B1004” (2011). All images © Noritaka Minami, shared with permission

An icon of Japanese Metabolism, the Nakagin Capsule Tower stood in the Ginza neighborhood of Tokyo from 1972 until it was demolished earlier this year. Conceived by the famed designer Kisho Kurokawa, the building featured two central concrete towers, with 140 individual pods slotted into the main structures. A circular window allowed light into the small modules, which were created with the intention that they could be removed and replaced as needed.

This flexibility was an essential component of Metabolist architecture, which fused the concept of megastructures with organic growth, meaning many of the designs of the period embraced prefabrication for its ability to “regenerate” every few decades. Unfortunately for the Nakagain Capsule Tower, though, structural issues prevented the pods from being easily swapped, and the building fell quickly into a state of disrepair.

 

“Facade” (2010)

Until it was disassembled back in April, the complex served as a beacon of the pre-war movement that began in the 1960s and was one of the few remaining structures of its kind—Kurokawa’s similarly futuristic Capsule Hosue K is still in use in Nagano woods. Today, some of the tower’s capsules are being shipped to museums and institutions or converted into single accommodations, and one company is also working to digitally preserve the building.

Artist Noritaka Minami documented the complex prior to demolition, and his photographs of the facade and residential units are on view this week as part of 1972/Accumulations at MAS Context Reading Room in Chicago. Framing the living quarters from the same angle, the images compare the structural similarities and personal effects of each space. The photos, most of which Minami took between 2010 and 2021, capture a certain intimacy within the austere uniformity and preserve what once was an architectural innovation.

1972/Accumulations runs from September 22 to December 8. See more of the series on Minami’s site.

 

“A503” (2017)

“Artificial Land” (2021)

“A703” (2017)

“B605” (2021)

“B807” (2021)

“B702” (2012)

“A905” (2018)

 

 



Design Food

Le Puzz Taps Into Playful Nostalgia with Its Retro-Style Jigsaws

September 16, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images courtesy of Le Puzz

Kids of the ’90s will recognize the playful retro designs of Le Puzz’s jigsaws. From close-ups of a big salad to a sweet flat lay of peach rings and hotdog gummies, the puzzles capture a certain vintage style sure to bring back child-like joy and nostalgia. Designs range from 500 to 1,000 pieces, all of which are cut at random for a chaotic and quirky tiling experience. Le Puzz is helmed by Alistair Matthews and Michael Hunter and features collaborations with artists like Maisie Broome and Clay Hickson. Shop available jigsaws on the company’s site.

 

 

 



Design

Measure Twice, Cut Once: These Playfully Designed Scissors Nestle Three Functions into Geometric Shapes

September 14, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images courtesy of Zencix

Part tool and part quirky design object, a trio of scissors by the Japanese manufacturer Zencix package multiple uses into one unusually efficient and playful form. Three geometric models comprise the company’s collection known as Trisqucle, a mishmash of triangle, square, and circle. In addition to their typical cutting capabilities, the steel scissors also have a ruled edge and spherical drawing guides for three-in-one functionality.

Vintage editions dating back to the 80s are floating around online, and you can pick up the modern version from Present&Correct. (via Core77)