Design

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Design History

Evolution of the Alphabet: Nearly 3,800 Years of Letters Explored Through a Color-Coded Flowchart

January 29, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Matt Baker of Useful Charts creates helpful visual guides that condense hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of years of history into streamlined flowcharts. His poster Evolution of the Alphabet looks at nearly 3,800 years of the alphabet’s evolution, tracing it from Egyptian hieroglyphs (c. 1750 BCE) through Phoenician, early Greek and Latin, and finally to the present forms we use today. The limited edition print shows that some letters have appeared relatively the same for millennia, while others, like U, V, and W, developed much closer to our own time period from a single character.

The design was created in association with his Writing Systems of the World chart which takes a look at 51 different writing systems from around the world. Baker has each of these prints for sale on his website and Etsy. You can listen to his explain these systems, and their evolution in greater detail in his video “History of the Alphabet” below and view more timelines of historical developments on his website, Youtube, and Instagram. (via Kottke)

 

 



Design

Birds and Faces Emerge From Dizzying Multi-Layered Gowns by Iris Van Herpen

January 29, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Photos: Filippo Fior

Dutch fashion designer Iris Van Herpen (previously) blends cutting-edge technology and classic motifs in her thought-provoking garments. Van Herpen’s most recent collection, Shift Souls, was showcased at Paris Fashion Week, and featured dresses that play with structure and color to blur the boundaries between fashion, technology, and art.

In a statement on the brand’s website about the collection, Van Herpen explains that she was inspired by the fluidity of identity change in myths, particularly from Japan. The stories “gave me the inspiration to explore the deeper meaning of identity and how immaterial and mutable it can become within the current coalescence of our digital bodies.”

Many of the pieces in Shift Souls were created using laser cut fabric pieces to form abstracted birds and human faces, emphasizing the designer’s interest in the mutability of the human figure. Van Herpen also collaborated with artist Kim Keever to design fabric patterns based on his liquid color cloud photographs, as shown in the blue dresses below.

You can see more of the designer’s collections on Instagram, and watch a video of Shift Souls on the runway here. (via designboom)

 

 



Animation Design

Graphically Designed Ceramic Vessels Form Zoetrope Animations When Spun on a Pottery Wheel

January 18, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

After years of work as a ceramic artist, Kenny Sing of Turn Studio has created a series of shallow vessels which double as zoetrope animations when spun. His project, Trepō, transfers digital patterns onto the one-of-a-kind curves of his ceramic platters. The patterns are then either precisely cut from or glazed onto their surface. These elements act as static designs until they are activated by a pottery wheel. As the wheel turns, the patterns come to life: cubes, triangles, and rectangles appear to tumble into the center of the vessel. You can view the process for creating one of the ceramic vessels in the video below, and view more works on Turn Studio’s website, Instagram, and Vimeo. (via Colossal Submissions)

 

 



Art Design History

Contemporary Cartographic Explorations Fuse with Historic Maps in Digital Works by Scott Reinhard

January 14, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Yellowstone National Park, all images courtesy of Scott Reinhard

Yellowstone National Park, all images courtesy of Scott Reinhard

Scott Reinhard combines contemporary land elevations with historic maps to create three-dimensional environments of a specific region, city, or state. To produce the digital maps, he pulls elevation data from the United States Geological Survey, which he then embeds with location information and merges with the original design of the old maps.

Producing these hybrids allows the Brooklyn-based graphic designer to gain a better sense of the topography found in large areas without aerial photography, while also developing a story from the cartographic information. He often selects locations he has personally visited or is generally curious about for his digitally produced works. “I am from Indiana, which always felt so flat and boring,” he explains to Colossal. “When I began rendering the elevation data for the state, the story of the land emerged. The glaciers that receded across the northern half of the state after the last ice age scraped and gouged and shaped the land in a way that is spectacularly clear.”

By visualizing the history that shaped a location’s composition at a large scale, Reinhard is able to notice trends in the environment in a more localized way. These forces affect how we traverse our daily environments, but are hard to comprehend without taking the time to zoom out, or look at from above. “As a visual person, I was most intrigued by the ability to visually harness data and create images that helped me gain insight into locations,” he continues. “I felt empowered by the ability to collect and process the vast amounts of information freely available, and create beautiful images.”

Reinhard was introduced to the methods he uses in his digital maps through Daniel Huffman’s website Something About Maps. You can see more of Reinhard’s digital works on Instagram and buy select high-quality prints, on his website. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

Teton Range

Teton Range

Yosemite

Yosemite

State of California

State of California

Southern California

Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville, North Carolina

Glacier

Glacier

Mount St. Helens

Mount St. Helens

Acadia

Acadia

 

 



Art Design

Landscapes of Glistening Digital Rectangles Formed and Subdivided by Algorithms

January 11, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Dimitris Ladopoulos (previously) creates random geometric patterns based on four-sided-forms by implementing an algorithm in the 3D animation program Houdini. The resulting designs look like intricate circuitboards or miniature architectural models, and include networks of gilded elements that glisten despite their digital composition. To create the works, the algorithm splits a rectangle vertically and then horizontally. “The number of splits is randomly selected from a given max,” he explains. “The outcome is fed to the loop, again and again, depending on the number of user defined iterations. A seed value and slight alterations of the algorithm produce a variety of results.”

The Athens-based motion graphics and visual designer has used a similar algorithm to divide artworks by color, constructing what appear to be three-dimensional color palettes from old paintings. You can see more of the designer’s work on his website and Behance.

    

 

 



Art Design

Destination Art: A New Guide Looks at 500 Permanent Art Installations to Visit Around the World

January 8, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Agnes Denes, Tree Mountain—A Living Time Capsule—11,000 Trees, 11,000 People, 400 Years, 1992–96, Pinsiönkankaantie 10, 39150 Pinsiö. © Agnes Denes. (project 70, page 86) All images courtesy of Phaidon.

Agnes Denes, Tree Mountain—A Living Time Capsule—11,000 Trees, 11,000 People, 400 Years, 1992–96, Pinsiönkankaantie 10, 39150 Pinsiö. © Agnes Denes. (project 70, page 86) All images courtesy of Phaidon.

When traveling, it is a given that I will visit at least one museum dedicated to art. Most often it is someplace new—either an institution that has previously escaped my radar, or one that belongs to a city I have not yet explored. Although I enjoy viewing institutional collections, I am perhaps most drawn to works installed outdoors, especially if they require a bit of extra effort to reach. Phaidon has taken the burden out of researching secluded works and well-known urban installations by compiling some of the best into a new compendium titled Destination Art.

The book is a follow-up to their publication Destination Architecture (2017), and includes 500 artworks installed around the globe in 60 countries and 300 cities. The guide is a great resource for planning your next art pilgrimage to a far off corner of the Earth, or simply narrowing down a piece or two that have been hiding in your own backyard. The global guide is focused on site-specific modern and contemporary works from 340 artists ranging from Yayoi Kusama’s city-based collaboration with Coca-Cola in Matsumoto, Nagano in Japan to Louise Bourgeois’s “Crouching Spider” (2003) situated on a reflective pool outside the Château La Coste in Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade, France. You can buy the book, which includes a wide range of murals, sculptures, sound installations, land art, and more, on Amazon and Phaidon.

A spread from Destination Art: 500 Artworks Worth the Trip, published by Phaidon.

A spread from Destination Art: 500 Artworks Worth the Trip, published by Phaidon.

Yayoi Kusama, Dots Obsession, 2012, Matsumoto City Museum of Art, 4-2-22 Chuo, Matsumoto, Nagano 390-0811, Japan. © Yayoi Kusama (project 45, page 60)

Yayoi Kusama, Dots Obsession, 2012, Matsumoto City Museum of Art, 4-2-22 Chuo, Matsumoto, Nagano 390-0811, Japan. © Yayoi Kusama (project 45, page 60)

Nathan Coley, There Will Be No Miracles Here, 2006, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, 75 Belford Road, Edinburgh EH4 3DR, Scotland. Collection of the National Galleries of Scotland. © Studio Nathan Coley (project 81, page 98)

Nathan Coley, There Will Be No Miracles Here, 2006, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, 75 Belford Road, Edinburgh EH4 3DR, Scotland. Collection of the National Galleries of Scotland. © Studio Nathan Coley (project 81, page 98)

A spread from Destination Art: 500 Artworks Worth the Trip, published by Phaidon.

A spread from Destination Art: 500 Artworks Worth the Trip, published by Phaidon.

Grayson Perry and FAT Architecture For Living Architecture, A House for Essex, 2015, Black Boy Lane, Manningtree, Essex CO11 2TP, England. Photo: Jack Hobhouse (project 100, page 117)

Grayson Perry and FAT Architecture For Living Architecture, A House for Essex, 2015, Black Boy Lane, Manningtree, Essex CO11 2TP, England. Photo: Jack Hobhouse (project 100, page 117)

Gianni Motti, Success Failure, 2014, Domaine du Muy, 83 chemin des Leonards, 83490 Le Muy, France. Courtesy Ardeis Genève et Domaine du Muy. © Gianni Motti. Photo: JC Lett (project 172, page 192)

Gianni Motti, Success Failure, 2014, Domaine du Muy, 83 chemin des Leonards, 83490 Le Muy, France. Courtesy Ardeis Genève et Domaine du Muy. © Gianni Motti. Photo: JC Lett (project 172, page 192)

Louise Bourgeois, Crouching Spider, 2003, Château La Coste, 2750 route de la Cride, 13610 Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade, France. Courtesy Château la Coste. © The Easton Foundation/DACS, London/VAFA, NY 2018 (project 173, page 193)

Louise Bourgeois, Crouching Spider, 2003, Château La Coste, 2750 route de la Cride, 13610 Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade, France. Courtesy Château la Coste. © The Easton Foundation/DACS, London/VAFA, NY 2018 (project 173, page 193)

A spread from Destination Art: 500 Artworks Worth the Trip, published by Phaidon.

A spread from Destination Art: 500 Artworks Worth the Trip, published by Phaidon.

Cildo Meireles, Inmensa [Immense], 1982–2002, Instituto de Arte Contemporânea e Jardim Botânico Inhotim, Rua B 20, Brumadinho, Brazil. Courtesy the artist and Galeria Luisa Strina, São Paulo. Photo: Tiberio França (project 492, page 535)

Cildo Meireles, Inmensa [Immense], 1982–2002, Instituto de Arte Contemporânea e Jardim Botânico Inhotim, Rua B 20, Brumadinho, Brazil. Courtesy the artist and Galeria Luisa Strina, São Paulo. Photo: Tiberio França (project 492, page 535)

Janet Echelman, Her Secret is Patience, 2009, Civic Space Park, 424 North Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85004, United States. Photo: Christina O’Haver (project 428, page 468)

Janet Echelman, Her Secret is Patience, 2009, Civic Space Park, 424 North Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85004, United States. Photo: Christina O’Haver (project 428, page 468)

A spread from Destination Art: 500 Artworks Worth the Trip, published by Phaidon.

A spread from Destination Art: 500 Artworks Worth the Trip, published by Phaidon.

 

 



Design

Little Tree Library: A Clever Twist on the Donation-Based Community Library Gives New Life to a Big Old Stump

January 7, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Thanks to the nonprofit Little Free Library, chances are you have encountered a small house-like structure on a public thoroughfare, with a front door that opens to allow passersby to give or take a free book. The program exists in 88 countries, with over 75,000 registered Little Free Libraries. In addition to the goodwill-fueled, donation-based libraries, one of the charms is that each one is customized. Many sport unique paint jobs or even entirely off-the-wall architecture, like the Swedish flag-bedecked Library in the shape of a water tower, which pays homage to the real structure, a beloved fixture in the Andersonville neighborhood of Chicago.

One family in Idaho took their Library design to the next level with a “Little Tree Library,” carved out of a 110-year-old cottonwood tree stump on their property. Sharalee Armitage Howard, you’ll not be surprised to learn, works as a librarian and previously studied bookbinding, according to her Facebook profile. She spearheaded the complex installation on her front lawn, including dentils that, upon closer inspection, are actually miniature books complete with titles. The Library also features interior and exterior lighting, to give the space an extra-homey glow, as well as a “roof” over the top of the stump to help prevent its weathering away.

KREM, the local news station in Coeur d’Alene made a video (below) to give those outside the small town a closer look at the Howard’s new addition. You can find a Little Free Library near you on the organization’s website, which also offers premade kits if you don’t have any large stumps on hand.

 

 

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Sailing Ship Kite