Design

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Art Design

A Wooden Artwork Miraculously Unfurls into a Functional Desk Designed by Robert van Embricqs

January 9, 2023

Grace Ebert

An animated gif of the designer unfolding the desk

All images courtesy of Robert van Embricqs

The surge in remote work during the last few years prompted Amsterdam-based designer Robert van Embricqs to rethink how conventional desks would impact a home’s atmosphere. He wanted to invite “the user to fold that desk away when work is over” and created a now-viral piece that seamlessly transforms from office to artwork.

Constructed with warm wood and brass hinges, the “Flow Wall Desk” features flush vertical slats that twist and unfold into a tabletop. The small piece of furniture, which can support about 40 pounds, is minimal in aesthetic and mimics organic movements as it unfurls from sleek relief to functional space.

Find the desk and other modular designs in van Embricqs’ shop, and follow his work on Instagram. (via Hyperallergic)

 

A photo of the unfolded desk with a chair

A photo of the flat desk with a chair

A photo of the unfolded desk with a chair

A photo of the unfolded desk with a chair

A detail photo of the unfolded desk with a coffee cup and book

A photo of the designer sitting at the unfolded desk

 

 

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Art Design

In ‘Lost Tablets,’ Jan van Schaik Constructs Deteriorating Architectural Sculptures with LEGO

January 5, 2023

Grace Ebert

An abstract, architectural tablet-like sculpture made from LEGO.

“Henry Edye.” Images © Jan van Schaik, shared with permission, all photography by Peter Bennetts.

“The first one I made, I made by accident, like a three-dimensional doodle,” says Melbourne-based architect and artist Jan van Schaik about the sculpture that founded his Lost Tablets series. Now encompassing 89 works, the ongoing project continues to reflect this intuitive, imaginative impulse as it scales principles of monumental design into dozens of models that stand about ten inches tall.

Built with secondhand LEGO, each monochromatic construction encapsulates questions of legacy and decay. Remnants like writing, dirt, and divots imprinted in the plastic bricks from rough play are visible in van Schaik’s sculptures, which recreate aspects of “the city caves of Matera, the churches of Borromini, the arches of the Doge’s palace in Venice, the buttresses of Gothic cathedrals, and the blue ceilings of the Shah Mosque of Isfahan” as deteriorating structures. Varied in style and aesthetic, the walls contain gaping, window-like arcs, exposed mechanical gadgets, and uneven bricks that appear on the verge of collapse. Each is named after a ghost ship, or a vessel found at sea with no crew members on board, imbuing the pieces with a sense of mystery about their origins and existence.

A third-generation architect, van Schaik has long been interested in “the ways that cities recombine themselves” and how new constructions often reuse materials, objects, and foundations and embed local history within the contemporary landscape. “Cities are always building themselves on top of themselves,” he tells Colossal, referencing the ancient walls of the acropolis of Athens as an early example. His use of LEGO mimics this tradition and captures the universality of the material and subject matter. “Architecture is for everybody, and everybody is aware of it, whether they intend to be or not, whether they’re conscious of it or not,” the artist shares. “That’s why (the works) have a strange familiarity.”

This year, van Schaik plans to complete the Lost Tablets series, which will total 100 constructions, and publish another book to explore the latter half of the collection. You can see the pieces on view at two spaces in the state of Victoria, Boom Gallery in Newtown and NAP in Mildura, this spring and at The Other Art Fair in Melbourne in March. Until then, find more on the Lost Tablets site and Instagram. (via Yatzer)

 

An abstract, architectural tablet-like sculpture made from LEGO.

“Jian Seng”

An abstract, architectural tablet-like sculpture made from LEGO.

“Alouete I” (installation view)

An abstract, architectural tablet-like sculpture made from LEGO.

“Blenheim”

An abstract, architectural tablet-like sculpture made from LEGO.

“Amelia”

An abstract, architectural tablet-like sculpture made from LEGO.

“Demeter”

An abstract, architectural tablet-like sculpture made from LEGO.

“Runner”

An abstract, architectural tablet-like sculpture made from LEGO.

“Vrouw Maria”

An abstract, architectural tablet-like sculpture made from LEGO.

“Ismailia”

An abstract, architectural tablet-like sculpture made from LEGO.

“Epervier”

An abstract, architectural tablet-like sculpture made from LEGO.

“Jenny”

An abstract, architectural tablet-like sculpture made from LEGO.

“Baychimo”

 

 



Design

The Elegant ‘Library House’ Encases a Vast Book Collection Within a Swedish Forest

January 4, 2023

Grace Ebert

A photo of a person walking in a glass house

All images courtesy of Fria Folket

Nestled in lush woodlands near Stockholm, the “Library House” is a sophisticated dwelling that’s both creatively inspiring and meditative. Glass walls enclose the four-building structure, which was designed by the architecture studio Fria Folket, and shelves of books delineate many of the rooms and hallways. The cozy and airy dwelling features a wood stove in an open kitchen, a connected greenhouse, warm rust-colored tile running throughout the home, and a central courtyard for gathering.

Explore more of Fria Folket’s elegant designs on Instagram. (via Plain Magazine)

 

A photo of a glass house with books and a courtyard

Two photos of the interior of a glass house with books and a baby grand piano

A photo of the interior of a home hallway

A photo of a glass house with a woodstove in the kitchen

Two photos of a glass house facing inside and out

A photo of the interior of a glass house with a stove and bookshelves

A photo of glass house in the woods

 

 



Design

Practice Your Stroke with Alphaputt, a Playful Typographic Mini Golf Course

January 4, 2023

Grace Ebert

An animated gif of the Alphaputt holes

All images courtesy of Sennep Games

Typography meets tee time in Alphaputt, an iOS game with a lot of character. The digital mini golf course is the project of Sennep Games and can be played in two iterations: spell out a word and putt around the individual holes or swing through the entire alphabet from A to Z. From a zippy rollercoaster and sushi restaurant to a turntable and UFO landing site, each letter features a uniquely designed green complete with distractions and attempts to thwart your progress.

Since its release, the game has garnered multiple awards and recognition from industry giants, including the Apple App Store, The FWA, and the Webby Awards. Alphaputt is available for iPhone and iPad, although we found gameplay easier on the larger screen.

 

An animated gif of the Alphaputt rollercoaster hole

An image of the Alphaputt P hole

An animated gif of the Alphaputt holes

An image of the Alphaputt S hole

An image of the Alphaputt B hole

 

 



Craft Design

Mila Textiles Reimagines the Balaclava in Vibrant Beadwork and Embroidered Visages

January 3, 2023

Kate Mothes

An individual wearing a balaclava embellished with beads and embroidery.

All images © Mila Textiles, shared with permission

Masks have long been associated with myriad cultural functions from ceremonial rites and dramatic performances to defense and protection from disease or inclement weather. For London-based designer Kamila, who works under the name Mila Textiles, ski masks—also known as balaclavas—provide a fitting canvas for elaborately embroidered, wearable compositions.

A 19th century military staple, balaclavas saw a sartorial rise in 2021. The practical knitwear item takes its name from the Ukrainian port town of Balaclava, a key battle site during the Crimean War of 1854, and in the 20th century, the garment became a trope in movies and television depicting burglaries and heists. Kamila’s colorful reinterpretation of the mask relaxes these associations. “I want my work to make my audience feel happy, forget about their stresses for a bit, and chill,” she tells Colossal.

Kamila draws inspiration from her local environment, sharing that “living in London means I am constantly surrounded by events, museums, and galleries where I can take pictures of anything that gives me creative ideas.” The vibrant hues and textures of coral and marine life are another influence, especially in the context of cartoons. “I try to include creatures in my designs because this brings comfort to me, almost as cartoons would,” she says. Bright colors are paired with beads and layers of thread to produce playful patterns around the wearer’s eyes.

In addition to balaclavas, Mila Textiles produces meticulously embellished bags and pouches featuring faux fur and patterned fabrics. New items are listed in the shop on her website, and you can follow more of her work on Instagram.

 

An individual wearing a balaclava embellished with beads and embroidery.

An individual wearing a balaclava embellished with beads and embroidery.

Two photos of an individual wearing a balaclava embellished with beads and embroidery.

An individual wearing a balaclava embellished with beads and embroidery.

An individual wearing a balaclava embellished with beads and embroidery.

An individual wearing a balaclava embellished with beads and embroidery.

An individual wearing a balaclava embellished with beads and embroidery.

A detail of beadwork and embroidery.

 

 



Design Science

Boldly Contrasted Maps by Spencer Schien Visualize Population Density Data

January 2, 2023

Kate Mothes

A 3D population density map of Illinois.

All images © Spencer Shien, shared with permission

It’s one thing to know that Chicago is the third largest city in the United States or that the fastest growing metropolitan areas are in the West and the South, but how can we see it? Data technologist Spencer Schien answers that question with an ongoing series of population density maps of states, rivers, and coastlines. In his work with nonprofits and NGOs, he uses R programming language to generate data visualizations that help organizations target where their services are most needed.

To compile the maps, Schien digs into the Kontur Population dataset, a publicly accessible project that layers global population numbers derived from sources like the Global Human Settlement Layer—a tool for assessing the presence of people on the planet—along with Microsoft’s Building Footprints and Facebook. He then translates statistical information about specific regions into highly contrasted maps utilizing Rayshader. The more densely populated an area is, the higher the bars rise. Atlanta, for example, is more than 137 square miles with around 4,200 people per square mile, and the map illustrates this as a mass of red amidst surroundings of more rural areas in green.

Currently based in Milwaukee where he works as the Senior Manager of Data & Analytics for City Forward Collective, Schien focuses on building the maps and other statistical visualizations using open-source tools that help to alleviate financial barriers to information. You can find more of his work on his website.

 

A 3D population density map of Ohio.

A 3D population density map of Kansas.

A 3D population density map of Wisconsin.

A 3D population density map of Virginia.

A detail of a 3D population density map of Virginia.

A 3D population density map of Pennsylvania.   A detail of a 3D population density map of Pennsylvania.

A 3D population density map of Georgia.

A 3D population density map of the Mississippi River.

A detail of a 3D population density map of the Mississippi River.