Design

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Design

Human Backbones and Lotus Leaves Inspire Structural Furniture by Mán-Mán Studio

March 13, 2020

Grace Ebert

“33 Step Tail Chair” (2016), brass, 31.5 x 25.6 x 32.7 inches. All images © Mán-Mán Studio

Designers Daishi Luo and Zhipeng Tan of Mán-Mán Studio have ensured the stability of otherwise impermanent objects, like delicate lotuses and the human spine. Manipulating copper and brass, the pair conceives of tall spinal chairs with pelvis seats and other stools and tables mimicking the tops of lotus pads. The duo told China Design Centre that their frequent use of copper is in part “because of the charm of the material. Copper is alive, its plasticity is very high, and it is not what we always see.”

Because Luo and Tan release limited editions of each structural piece, their projects work counter to larger productions. “This is an introspection behavior in the process of industry. After industrial mass production meets most of the needs of life, handicraft often represents the products of nature and culture. People begin to pursue the appeal of inner spirit instead of fast consumption,” they said.

To see more of the duo’s anatomical projects, head to Daishi’s and Zhipeng’s Instagram pages.

“The 33 Step Chair 0.1” (2015), copper, 21.6 x 23.6 x 43.3 inches, 40 kilograms

Left: “Lotus Stool” (2015), copper, 19.6 x 21.6 x 23.6 inches, 40 kilograms. Middle: “Lotus High Side Table” (2015), copper, 17.7 x 21. 6 x 47.2 inches, 40 kilograms. Right: “Lotus Console Table” (2016), brass, 78.7 x 27.5 x 31.5 inches, 100 kilograms

“Lotus Stool” (2015), copper, 19.6 x 21.6 x 23.6 inches, 40 kilograms

“33 Step Tail Chair” (2016), brass, 31.5 x 25.6 x 32.7 inches

“The 33 Step Chair 0.1” (2015), copper, 21.6 x 23.6 x 43.3 inches, 40 kilograms

Lotus Console Table” (2016), brass, 78.7 x 27.5 x 31.5 inches, 100 kilograms

 

 



Design

A Gear System Helps Visualize the Magnitude of One Googol, or 1 Followed by 100 Zeros

March 10, 2020

Grace Ebert

To celebrate spending one billion seconds on Earth, Daniel de Bruin created a gear system that represents the number googol (that’s the digit 1 with 100 zeros behind it). Every time the first wheel completes 1,000 rotations, which happens in about an hour, the second gear turns 100 notches and the third 10. Each following wheel is reduced by 10, meaning in order to turn the last and 100th one, the system would need a googol of energy, which the Netherlands-based designer says is “a number that’s bigger than the atoms in the known universe.” He tells Colossal that when working perfectly, each gear is perpetually in motion. “Visible to the human eye, I could only see ten gears moving in my lifetime,” he says. For more of de Bruin’s mind-boggling projects—like his totally analog 3D printer and pneumatic pinball machine and can opener—head to his Instagram or YouTube.

 

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Craft Design

Assemblages of Found Florals Imprinted on Ceramic Mugs and Plates by Hessa Al Ajmani

March 9, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Hessa Al Ajmani

Artist Hessa Al Ajmani often gathers small flowers and fronds from her mother’s garden. She brings the floral arrangements to her home studio, where she presses the groupings onto her earthenware and stoneware pieces, leaving simple and realistic imprints. Based in Ajman in the United Arab Emirates, the artist uses some plaster molds and stamps she creates herself, although each piece is hand-built, preventing any two from being exactly alike. Before firing, she peels off the greenery and petals, revealing the small grooves and divots that she later paints.

Because Al Aljmani doesn’t use a wheel, her pieces typically take hours, or even days, to finish. “I’ve been playing with all sorts of clay (air-drying, polymer, earthenware) since I was a child. I learned how to work with it professionally in university, but didn’t pick up the practice until about a year ago,” she said on her site. “I had to re-teach myself all the basics and do endless tests with clay consistency, form, texture, firings, etc.”

Shaping each ceramic piece and layering the found florals is therapeutic, the artist says, because it requires patience and has fostered an acceptance of and appreciation for imperfection. “My ceramic work speaks of my memories of home and the process of self-healing. Through imprints of flower, leaves, and patterns, it invokes a sense of nostalgia and the idea of home as a space of free thought and personal growth,” she said.

In addition to her own practice, the artist founded the Clay Corner Studio in 2019, which offers ceramics and painting classes. To watch Al Ajmani’s process, check out her Instagram and see which pieces she has available for purchase in her shop.

 

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Design

Inexpensive Toys Fashioned into Unique Action Figures by Artist Tomohiro Yasui

March 8, 2020

Andrew LaSane

All images © Tomohiro Yasui

Tomohiro Yasui is best known as the creator of the paper robot wrestlers called kami-robo, but that’s not the only medium his imagination has conquered. Using wire and cheap rubber duckies, squirting frogs, and plastic hammers, the Japanese artist builds posable action figures that deserve their own Saturday morning cartoons and comic books.

Having spent the past 35 years designing paper robots and plastic toys, Yasui is an expert when it comes to humanoid anatomy in dynamic poses. Multiples of the same donor toys were used to create the chiseled physiques, which means that all of the pieces match in texture and color and did not have to be repainted. If the fantasy figures were packaged and displayed on a shelf in the toy section, no one would be able to guess that they were cut, reconfigured, and assembled by hand.

To see more of these unlikely heroes come to life, follow Yasui on Twitter.

 

 



Art Design

Geometric Doorways and Angular Turrets Form Sand Fortresses by Calvin Seibert

March 6, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Calvin Seibert, shared with permission

Like many kids with a love for digging in sandboxes, Calvin Seibert (previously) grew up creating grand castles and towers from piles of the sediment. But for Seibert, the practice wasn’t just a childhood pastime. “In hindsight I see that much of what I made was more like sculpture. It really was all about the object and its resonant meanings rather than interiors and spatial flow,” he says.

After studying at the School of Visual Arts, the Colorado-born artist began sculpting modernist buildings featuring sharp angles, clean edges, and various geometric shapes that resemble brutalist architecture rather than something from a children’s story. “While not all of my structures have quite the rugged fortress-like presence of a Kenzo Tange or a Paul Rudolph building, it is something I aim for,” he writes. “Certainly I see my sandcastles in opposition to those frivolous turreted fantasies that Cinderella would feel at home in.”

To create his works, Seibert begins by mixing water and sand to create layers, before packing and smoothing the rest by hand. He cleans the edges with various trowels and knives that he’s made himself. Plus, he never works without a five-gallon pail because it’s “indispensable for digging and fetching water, as well as carrying stuff to the beach.”

I always start at the top and work down, taking great care to keep the horizontals level. I pretty much make things up as I go along, allowing surprises and engineering difficulties to shape the castles. Robert Venturi’s prescription of ‘complexity and contradiction’ is always in the back of my mind, while mash-ups of gameshow sets and artillery bunkers are soon added to the mix.

Seibert tells Colossal that he’s moved to Colorado since making the works featured here, which limits his time on the beach, although he dreams of transforming a pile of sand at the Venice Biennale or as part of Casa Wabi in Mexico. Follow what he’s up to, and perhaps get a glimpse of his next visit to a sandy landscape, on Instagram.

 

 



Craft Design

Step-by-Step Instructions on Making the Paper Airplane that Broke World Records

March 5, 2020

Grace Ebert

John Collins, aka The Paper Airplane Guy, is a master at shattering world records with a single sheet of paper. The aircraft designer now has collaborated with Great Big Story on a new video that not only teaches the Susanne, the model that secured his spot in the Guinness Book of World Records in 2012, but also two others that swoop through the air. As its name suggests, the Tube resembles a hollow cylinder designed to be tossed like a football, while the Boomerang is the most complex of the trio, requiring more complicated folds and angles in order to craft a model that returns to whoever throws it. You can find more instructional videos on Collins’s YouTube channel or in his book that comes with 16 tear-out model planes.

 

 



Animation Design

A 3D Artist Imagines the Realistic Fossilized Skulls of Endearing Cartoon Characters

March 4, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Canis Goofus – USA, 1932.” All images © Filip Hodas

A Prague-based artist is memorializing some of his favorite cartoons with a series of convincing fossils that provide an unconventional look at the skeletons of animated characters. Filip Hodas’s Cartoon Fossils series features preserved skulls of Spongebob, Tweety Bird, and other familiar characters, accompanied by the years they first were spotted on television and their zoological names like Anas Scroogius, Homo Popoculis, and Mus Minnius.

The artist’s surreal compositions mimic the fossils and assemblages displayed in history museums, although Hodas said in a statement he wanted to add to their playfulness with bright, solid backgrounds. He also embellishes his characters with hats, glasses, and even stacks of coins to amplify their fictional roles.

Initially, I wanted to make them stylized as dinosaur fossils set up in a museum environment, but later decided against it, as the skulls didn’t look very recognizable on their own—especially with parts broken or missing. That’s why I opted for (a) less damaged look and also added some assets to each of the characters.

To create each piece, Hodas used a combination of programs including Cinema 4D, Zbrush, 3D Coat, Substance Painter, and Substance Designer. Find more of the artist’s work that intertwines history, science, and pop culture on Instagram and Behance.

“Mus Minnius – USA, 1928”

“Anas Scroogius – USA, 1947”

“Anas Scroogius – USA, 1947”

“Spongia Bobæ – USA, 1999”

“Homo Popoculis – USA, 1929”

“Homo Popoculis – USA, 1929”

“Canaria Tweetea – USA, 1941”

“Canaria Tweetea – USA, 1941”