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Design

Descend Into the Endlessly Repetitive Loop of 'Jigsaw Jigsaw'

December 9, 2020

Grace Ebert

Image via Darren Cullen

If 2020 were packaged in a box, it would be Darren Cullen’s “Jigsaw Jigsaw.” Just like our repetitive days and seemingly endless fascination with simple pastimes, the 1,000-piece game relies on the Droste effect and features a recursive image that spirals into the same black-and-white puzzle over and over.  Pick up the “Jigsaw Jigsaw” in Cullen’s shop, and follow his satirical projects on Instagram and Twitter. You also might enjoy Micah Lexier’s pair of mirror puzzles that look exactly the same despite being comprised of 16 and 9 pieces.

 

 



Design

Clusters of Candy-Colored Domes Designed for Communal Living Populate Iran's Hormuz Island

December 8, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © ZAV Architects, by Tahmineh Monzavi

Along the beaches of Hormuz Island in the Persian Gulf lies a series of gumdrop-esque abodes. The multipurpose project, titled “Presence in Hormuz,” features earthen structures that dot the sandy landscape in a textured cluster of peaks and bulbs.

To build the candy-colored domes, ZAV Architects utilized the SuperAdobe process of renowned Iranian architect Nader Khalili, which involves stacking coils of wet earth, and trained local craftsman in the technique. “A carpet is woven with granular knots inspired by the particles that make up the ecotone of the island,” the Tehran-based firm says in a conversation with designboom, noting that the area’s topography inspired much of the architecture. “The sandbags that create the spatial particles (aka domes) are filled with the dredging sand of the Hormuz Dock as if the earth has swollen to produce space for accommodation.”

Most of the bulbous structures hold living accommodations with communal dining, laundry, and prayer areas woven throughout. The vibrant venues were designed as part of an initiative to remedy local economic struggles and bring together tourists and the community in a shared cultural space. ZAV expands on the intention of the project:

In a country where the state struggles with political disputes outside its borders, every architectural project becomes a proposal for internal governing alternatives, asking basic questions: What are the limits of architecture and how can it suggest a political alternative for communal life? How can it attain social agency?

“Presence in Hormuz” follows an earthen cultural center ZAV embedded in the island. You can see minimal renderings of the firm’s projects and upcoming plans on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art Craft Design

Quirky Faces and Limber Vases Comprise Madriguera Workshop's Minimal Ceramics

December 7, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Madriguera Workshop

Madriguera Workshop’s eccentric characters might be the quietest guests at your next dinner party. Helmed by Lydia de la Piñera and Luis Llamas, the Galicia-based studio handcrafts a range of anthropomorphized clay pieces that are shaped into playful pots, cups, and serving ware. Tousled chives and spiked succulents become hair for the two-legged planters, while the face collection features a subtle, elegant figure with a long nose and crooked smile.

Madriguera’s face tray just was named a finalist in the 2020 Etsy Design Awards, and a few pieces are still available on Etsy and in the workshop’s store. To follow new releases and stock updates, head to Instagram.

 

 

 



Design

A Flurry of New Notebooks from Field Notes Features 99,999 Unique Snowflake Designs

December 4, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Field Notes, shared with permission

U.K.-based artist Brendan Dawes channels the infinite crystalline shapes of snowflakes in a new collaboration with Field Notes. For its 49th limited-edition series, the Chicago-based notebook manufacturer tasked Dawes with designing an algorithm that mimics the atmospheric process that forms the icy grooves and feathered shoots. After a lengthy development inspired by the work of physicist Kenneth G. Libbrecht, Dawes created 99,999 unique snowflake illustrations to wrap around the deep blue covers. Just like the real crystals, no two are the same.

Support Colossal by picking up a three-pack of Snowy Evening in the Colossal Shop, along with Field Notes’ United States of Letterpress, which features notebooks designed by nine printers across the nation.

 

 

 

 



Art Design

An Oversized Zipper Ship Opens the Sumida River Flowing Through Tokyo

December 3, 2020

Grace Ebert

Japanese artist Yasuhiro Suzuki long has wondered about what lies beneath the surface of Tokyo’s Sumida River, a question he’s symbolically remedied with a sleek vessel that unzips the middle of the waterway. Suzuki’s “Zip-Fastener Ship” mimics the ubiquitous closures as it separates the central river with a wake that splays out just like the teeth-lined tape.

Completed in 2004, the silver vessel grew out of an idea Suzuki had in 2002 after he watched a ship glide down the waterway while flying overhead. “The undertow of the boat, which travels back and forth between Azuma-bashi Bridge and Sakura-bashi Bridge, opened up the water like a zipper to connect the other side of the river,” he says. “(I hoped) that it would change the way we look at the city landscape.”

Suzuki began an annual launch on the Sumida in 2018 and plans to shift his focus to the water’s molecules in a future iteration, which you can follow on Instagram. (via Laughing Squid)

 

 

 



Design

Color Outside the Lines with the Chunky, Squiggly Crayons Designed by Retoolings

December 1, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Retoolings, shared with permission

There’s one question looming over Keetra Dean Dixon’s designs: “To color or to keep?” Based in rural Alaska, Dixon is behind the bespoke crayon manufacturer, Retoolings, which has been melding primary hues, muted tones, and black-and-white waxes into asymmetric chunks and spiraled cylinders that are as much design pieces as they are creative instruments.

In a note to Colossal, Dixson writes that she first thought of the scaled-down objects after creating large sculptures with her partner. “While making the works, we followed the wax’s lead, letting the nature of the material guide the final form. So many beautiful bloopers happened alongside the main sculpture. It was difficult to keep myself from chasing the potential of those moments,” she says. The result is a quirky collection of crayons with distinctly contemporary aesthetics: terrazzo-style pillars, marbled crescents, and the now-ubiquitous squiggle.

All styles currently are out of stock, but Dixon plans to release more—along with a ballpoint pen—at the beginning of 2021. Follow her progress on Instagram.

 

 

 

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