Design

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Design

An Enormous 3D Calico Cat Greets Passersby at Tokyo’s Shinjuku Station

July 9, 2021

Grace Ebert

It’s not uncommon to run into a friendly cat on the streets of Tokyo, but one particular calico is making an outsized impression on passersby. A billboard ad for Cross Shinjuku Vision that was created in partnership with MicroAd and Unica, the hyperrealistic 3D feline lives outside the bustling Shinjuku Station, where it meows, wiggles its ears and tail, and stretches in its perch. As expected of any cat, the calico makes brief appearances throughout the day and is typically active between 7 a.m. and 1 a.m. when it retreats for a short nap. Get a sneak peek at the giant creature above before it officially launches on July 12. (via Laughing Squid)

 

 

 



Design

Earthrise: A Striking New Collection by Iris Van Herpen Recycles Plastic Waste into Sculptural Garments

July 6, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Iris Van Herpen, shared with permission

Iris Van Herpen (previously) continues to blend fashion and science in her latest collection of dizzying garments that explore the fragility of marine ecosystems. Earthrise, which debuted at Paris Haute Couture Week on July 5, is comprised of 19 gowns teeming with the Dutch designer’s signature layers and structural flourishes. Exquisite and elaborately constructed, the garments seamlessly merge aquatic motifs and colors into a dynamic collection focused on preserving the environment in both aesthetic and material.

Five of the designs, including the hand-cut gradient dress shown below, are made entirely of recycled plastics sourced from Parley for the Oceans (previously), which is working to protect the planet’s bodies of water from pollution and further degradation. Other pieces in the collection are the product of collaborations with artists like Rogan Brown (previously), who brought his laser-cut reliefs resembling coral reefs and microbial structures to the lace-like gowns, while Casey Curran (previously) produced kinetic stripes that ripple across one dress in a mesmerizing blue-to-white gradient. Artist James Merry (previously) is responsible for the futuristic metal jewelry, while Eichi Matsunaga created the long, bulbous nails designs.

Van Herpen shares more of the meteorological and biology-based designs on her Instagram, and you also might enjoy Phillip Lim and Charlotte McCurdy’s algae sequins.

 

 

 



Design

A Morphing Fractal Vise Pivots to Grasp Irregular Shapes for Engraving

July 1, 2021

Grace Ebert

Nebraska-based artist Steve Lindsay is equally interested in engraving metals and other surfaces as he is in the tools needed to etch with exacting precision. He’s spent the last six years toying with this vise design, which in its latest iteration, has jaws that pivot to hug whatever object is placed between them. Based on a 1900s milling machine, the fractal components create a tight grip on irregular shapes like wrenches and scissors.

Lindsay currently is taking pre-orders for the 16- and 8-finger versions on his site, and check out his YouTube for a deeper dive into his engraving processes. (via Core77)

 

 

 



Design Food

Spoon Archaeology: A Color-Coded Exhibition Casts Plastic Cutlery as Artifacts of Another Era

June 28, 2021

Grace Ebert

Images via the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, shared with permission

Coinciding with the European Union’s ban on plastic cutlery slated for July 3, two industrial designers decided to combine their collections for a broad study of the ubiquitous utensil. The ongoing project of Peter Eckart and Kai Linke, Spoon Archaeology is an expansive display of approximately 1,400 pieces of disposable flatware that the pair amassed throughout two decades. Containing typical cutlery and more niche tools like ice cream tasters and cocktail forks, the archive is arranged by color, shape, and purpose in glass cases reminiscent of anthropological studies, relegating the once-commonplace objects to the realm of outdated curiosity.

At once a playful rainbow display of unique design objects and critical indictment of consumerism, Spoon Archaeology, which closed this weekend at the London Design Biennale, is a testament to the pervasiveness of plastics in contemporary society. The designers hope the scope of the collection prompts questions about the impact of single-use items on the environment. “As disposable products, they are mass-produced, cheap, easy to transport, and can be disposed of just as easily as they have been used. Ultimately, they are a symbol of our globalized logistics and throwaway culture,” Eckart told It’s Nice That, noting that the exhibition also marks a larger change in “significant factors in our table and dining culture as well as in the history of technology.”

To make the archive more accessible, Eckart and Linke started an Instagram account dedicated to Spoon Archaeology, where they plan to share more images from the collection in addition to news about where it’s headed next. They also created a color-coded print shown below that lays out a portion of their lot, which you can purchase via email or download for free here. (via Core 77)

 

 

 



Art Design

Using Long Continuous Strokes, Thomas Yang's New Print is a Zen Meditation on Cycling

June 28, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Thomas Yang, shared with permission

In his new print “Journey to Zen,” artist Thomas Yang (previously) focuses on the mental benefits of his favorite pastime. The Singapore-based artist is behind 100 Copies, an ongoing print project in which he releases limited-edition works centered around his love of cycling—previous iterations include architectural renderings inked with bike tires and a competitive peloton of riders.

“Journey to Zen” renders a lone cyclist in a manner similar to a Japanese sand garden, using long, uninterrupted strokes of black ink. “To simulate that particular style with continuous lines or samon (砂紋) in the gravel, I had decided to use a rake paintbrush as part of the tool. To familiarise (myself) with the brush, it took me quite a while to practice on the strokes and shades, especially for those curvy ones,” the artist shares. Once complete, Yang digitally enhanced the brushtrokes and printed the piece on textured paper to deepen the stone-like effect.

Born out of a period of uncertainty, the fluid and composed lines represent the meditative qualities of the sport and its ability to serve as an outlet for stress and anxiety. “Sometimes, taking our bike out for a ride brings us on an inward journey,” Yang says. “Almost like a form of Zen meditation, the noise fades, our mind clears, and all we are focused on is the path before us. The longer and farther we go, the more we learn about ourselves and the nature of our mind.”

There are still a few “Journey to Zen” prints available on 100 Copies, where you can find more of Yang’s available works.

 

 

 



Design Science

A Gleaming Series of USPS Stamps Features a Decade of the Sun's Phenomena

June 25, 2021

Grace Ebert

NASA and the USPS have teamed up to release a glimmering series of stamps that celebrates some of the sun’s most alluring phenomena. Printed with a foil treatment, the ten designs are derived from a decade’s worth of images captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory, which launched in February of 2010 as a way to monitor the star’s activity in a geosynchronous orbit above Earth. NASA colorized the phenomena, which are otherwise imperceptible to the human eye, for the collection to create saturated, colorful renditions that accentuate the unique qualities of coronal holes, solar flares, and plasma blasts.

Watch the video below to dive into the colorizing process and read more about the science behind each stamp on NASA’s site. Sheets of 20 are available from USPS.