Design

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Design

A Minimal Window-Laden Facade in Paris Sprouts a Luxuriant Vertical Garden

May 10, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Yann Monel and Michael Denancé, courtesy of Triptyque Architecture

Hidden under a lush canopy of vegetation on Paris’s Left Bank is a minimal, mesh-like structure housing a healthcare center, restaurant, and hotel. The project of the French-Brazilian Triptyque Architecture in collaboration with the Coloco landscaping studio, “Villa M” is a mixed-used building cloaked in a vertical garden that ascends from the sidewalk to the rooftop bar. Foliage and vines trail down from the hotel room balconies and sprout from planters embedded in the facade, establishing a verdant environment spanning 8,000 square meters in the middle of the busy Montparnasse.

In addition to the urban ecosystem, dozens of windows allow for natural lighting throughout the space. “We have explored all of the available surfaces to potentialise the greenery and to avoid energy and carbon waste,” architect Guillaume Sibaud told Plain Magazine. “Villa M” was also named the Building of the Year 2022 by ArchDaily.

For more of Triptyque’s environmentally conscious designs, visit its site and Instagram.

 

 

 



Art Design

A Mammoth Three-Volume Book Collection Presents Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel in Stunning 1:1 Detail

April 26, 2022

Kate Mothes

All images courtesy of Callaway Arts and Entertainment and Scripta Maneant

Millions of tourists stream through the hallowed halls of Vatican City to see one of Western art history’s most treasured artworks: Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel. Gazing up 44 feet from the floor, visitors witness dramatic biblical scenes unfold throughout the monumental painting as it sprawls across the expansive architecture. The only drawback of looking up at such a height is that it’s difficult to discern smaller features and subtleties. The Sistine Chapel, a massive three-volume tome published by Callaway Arts and Entertainment and Italy’s Scripta Maneant, is dedicated to the details and presents up-close 1:1 scale images of the artist’s seminal painting in a limited-edition book.

Reminiscent of the way Michelangelo erected scaffolding to paint the scenes over 500 years ago, over the course of 65 nights, two photographers ascended a 33-foot scaffolding to access close views of the ceiling. The structure was assembled and disassembled every evening to allow tourists to visit during the day. Approximately 270,000 high-resolution images captured the incredible characteristics of movement, contrast, and expression that cannot be seen from ground level.

Printed in Italian and English and limited to 1999 copies by the Vatican—which also stipulated there will be no reprints—only a few English language copies remain, although the price tag is an eye-watering $22,000. The 20-pound set includes additional masterpieces by Michelangelo, Botticelli, and other Renaissance artists. (via Kottke)

 

 

 



Art Design

Fire Erupts From a Gigantic Fantastical Dragon-Horse Designed and Operated by La Machine

April 20, 2022

Grace Ebert

Photo © Emmanuel Bourgeau. All images courtesy of La Machine, shared with permission

The street theater group known as La Machine revived one of its legendary beasts for an ongoing show in Toulouse. “Long Ma,” an enormous dragon-horse hybrid weighing 45 tons and standing 11 meters tall, was originally unleashed in Beijing in 2014 and now joins a minotaur and gigantic spider for an ongoing exhibition at La Halle in the French city. Each day through May 8, a team of artists animates the mechanical creature, which can be seen trotting, galloping, and rearing upward through the streets while she greets her similarly massive companions.

Capable of spitting smoke and water, the fire-breathing “Long Ma” is made from a combination of steel, wood, leather, blown glass, golden leaves, horsehair, and textiles. She also cradles a Chinese temple inspired by the Forbidden City on her back, which is big enough for 35 people to join her on her daily adventures.

Tickets to encounter the explosive character are available on the exhibition site, and you can see more of La Machine’s puppet-like creations in action on Instagram.

 

Photo © Emmanuel Bourgeau

Photo © Jordi Bover

 

 



Amazing Design

A Stunning New Mastercard Ad Uses Accessible Marketing to Center People Who Are Visually Impaired

April 19, 2022

Grace Ebert

A brilliantly designed commercial for Mastercard is intended to be as accessible as the product it’s promoting. The project of filmmaker Fredrik Bond in collaboration with branding agency McCann, the advertisement opens with an audio description produced for people who are blind or partially sighted, a feature that overlays the remainder of the work.

The ensuing narrative, which is used as an essential storytelling device rather than optional addition, follows the protagonist, Marjorie—played by actress and activist Marilee Talkington—as she leaves her apartment to grab a coffee. A roving spotlight illuminates friends and passersby, who produce sound-generating activities that she parses as she walks down the sidewalk with a cane. Once at the cafe, Marjorie uses Mastercard’s new Touch Cards, which are notched in different shapes to help people who are visually impaired distinguish credit from debit from prepaid.

At its close, “Spotlight” amends the company’s long-running slogan with a pitch for more inclusivity and accessibility that mirrors the approach introduced by the commercial: “Because a world designed for all of us is priceless.”

 

 

 

 



Design

A Vintage Rug Covers the Interior of a Mercedes in Opulent Patterns

April 18, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Mikael Kennedy, shared with permission

After spending a few years hauling and selling antique rugs from its trunk, a vintage Mercedes underwent a lavish makeover with one of the plush textiles. A project of photographer and designer Mikael Kennedy, the luxury model is lined with pieces of a Farahan rug that covers its floorboards, trunk and subwoofer, and rear deck, adding colorful, ornate patterns to the otherwise streamlined interior.

The retro revamp was part of Kennedy’s decade-plus repair of the vehicle and a collaboration with a professional upholsterer, who aligned the motifs under the dash and centered the main design in the trunk. “He also told me he had broken three pairs of $100 scissors in the process. Persian rugs are clearly built to last, just like a diesel Mercedes,” Kennedy wrote in Wm Brown Magazine. “All cars of any value should be sculptures, works of art that carry the spirit of their owners.”

In addition to running his Los Angeles-based shop King Kennedy Rugs, Kennedy is working on a similar customization for a Porsche 911. He’s also been transforming the carpets into garments and shoes, which you can see on Instagram.

 

 

 



Design

Thin Lines, Dots, and Geometric Shapes Merge into a Minimal Typographic Collection

April 15, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Adam G., shared with permission

Designer Adam G. is known for utilizing his signature black and red to define the minimal illustrations coming out of the Santa Monica-based studio TRÜF Creative (previously). He describes his style as messymod, or messy modernism, an aesthetic that manifests as an eclectic array of shapes rendered in a tight color palette. Curved components and thin lines leading to perfectly round dots form his interpretation of the 36 Days of Type project, an ongoing endeavor that asks creatives to imagine their own renditions of the alphabet and numeral system.

Emphasizing balance and flow, the collection incorporates some of the designer’s favorite elements from different styles, whether swashes and serifs or western and classic. “I then try to link it all together by using solid shapes, curvy and straight lines, and positive and negative space. I suppose you could say I really love to see how I can make opposing forces work in concert and still make some kind of sense—or at least communicate the letter that it’s supposed to be,” he shares.

Prints of Adam G.’s illustrative designs are available in the messymod shop, where he also plans to release a few pieces from this collection in the coming months. You can follow his work on Instagram.