Design

Section



Craft Design

An Award-Winning Sand Sculpture by Damon Langlois Captures a Crumbling Abraham Lincoln

May 17, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

All images via Damon Langlois

Since 1997, Texas SandFest has attracted thousands of visitors to Port Aransas on Mustang Island. For the 2019 iteration, the three-day-festival awarded British Columbia-based Master Solo competitor Damon Langlois first place for his illusionistic work Liberty Crumbling. The piece portrays Abraham Lincoln in the likeness of the 1920 marble statue in the Lincoln Memorial. However, this one is cracking at its foundation. With his hand to his face, Lincoln appears exasperated as he sits on his crumbling platform.

Other sculptures in the competition also had messages for the audience, although many were environmental. Todd Pangborn’s Out of Sight Out of Mind featured a giant sea turtle next to a coral reef, and Jeff Strong’s Continental Drip displayed an ice cream cone holding a melting Earth. You can see more winners and competitors from the United States’ largest native-sand sculpture competition on Texas SandFest’s website, and view more of Langlois’s sand works on his website. (via Twisted Sifter)

 

 



Design

Mirrored Ceilings and Criss-Crossed Stairwells Give a Chinese Bookstore the Feeling of an M.C. Escher Woodcut

May 16, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Zhongshuge bookstores, designed by Shangai-based architecture firm X+Living, feature incredible rooms coveted by book and illusion lovers alike. Each location in this chain of Chinese bookstores has uniquely designed spaces with reflective elements that immerse guests in parallel environments. In the Chongqing branch, criss-crossing staircases and a mirrored ceiling double the room for an effect that seems straight out of an M.C. Escher woodcut or an infinite Indian stepwell.

In the Yangzhou location, each book-filled room also features mirrors, but many are found on the floors rather than ceiling. These glassy elements are meant to appear like mirages, a reference to the city’s canals, rivers, and lakes. You can take a quick peek inside the Yangzhou-based location in the video by Great Big Story below. To view more of the Zhongshuge libraries, visit X+Living’s website. (via Design You Trust)

 

 



Design

Air-Mountain: A Translucent Inflatable Structure Blurs the Boundary Between Interior and Exterior Spaces

May 14, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Photographs courtesy of Aether

Visitors to this year’s OCT Phoenix Flower Festival in Shenzhen, China encountered an unusual inflatable pavilion by Aether Architects. The translucent structure, called “air-mountain,” served dual functions as a protective exhibition space and a surface for people to climb up and over. Inflated hemispheres with a range of dimensions and textures were grouped together via a ribbed topography, and included air holes to allow visitors (and plants) room to breathe.

Aether was founded by architect Zelin Huang, who also has a background in fine art. His studio focuses “on the spatial creation of a connection between phenomenology and architecture, try to create a building that is not isolated from nature, but between man-made and natural, connecting man-made with nature.” (via designboom)

 

 



Art Design

Silicone Formations by Seulgi Kwon Translate Fictionalized Microscopic Organisms into Necklaces, Brooches, and Rings

May 14, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

"Sunday Morning," brooch, silicone, pigment, thread, plastic, fabric, 4.7" x 4.3" x 2.9", all images as courtesy of Mobilia Gallery

“Sunday Morning,” brooch, silicone, pigment, thread, plastic, fabric, 4.7″ x 4.3″ x 2.9″, all images courtesy of Mobilia Gallery

Korean jewelry maker Seulgi Kwon forms silicone into thin, translucent objects meant to be worn on the chest or finger. The glass-like shapes are surrounded by colorful thread, pigment, and paper, which imitate the appearance of microscopic organisms. “At each stage of creation, cells change in form through growth, division, and extinction, creating order and harmony within nature,” she explains in her artist statement. “Using silicone, a synthetic material that can change in texture and transparency, I express the organic movement and shape of cells with their mysterious color and constantly changing forms.”

Kwon is part of an upcoming group exhibition that will explore non-traditional materials in contemporary jewelry titled Material Revolution. The show opens May 15 and runs through June 2, 2019 at at Pistachios in Chicago. You can see more iterations of her wearable silicone sculptures on Instagram. (via Colossal Submissions)

"An Old Dancer" (2017), Silicone, pigment, thread, plastic, feather, 7.3” x 4” x 3.5”

“An Old Dancer” (2017), Silicone, pigment, thread, plastic, feather, 7.3” x 4” x 3.5”

"Two of pentacles" (2017), brooch, silicone, pigment, thread, plastic, fabric, 7.5” x 4.5” x 2.75”

“Two of pentacles” (2017), brooch, silicone, pigment, thread, plastic, fabric, 7.5” x 4.5” x 2.75”

"On your side" (2015), brooch, silicone, pigment, thread, plastic 5.5” x 3.5” x 2”

“On your side” (2015), brooch, silicone, pigment, thread, plastic 5.5” x 3.5” x 2”

"A Slow Walker," brooch, silicone, pigment, thread, plastic, paper, plastic bead, 6.6" x 8.1" x 1.5" (L) "Swing of the Night," brooch, silicone, pigment, thread, plastic, feather, 9.8" x 6.2" x 3.1" (R)

“A Slow Walker,” brooch, silicone, pigment, thread, plastic, paper, plastic bead, 6.6″ x 8.1″ x 1.5″ (L) “Swing of the Night,” brooch, silicone, pigment, thread, plastic, feather, 9.8″ x 6.2″ x 3.1″ (R)

"Forest of memory," (2017) brooch, silicone, pigment, thread, feather, 9” x 5” x 3.5”

“Forest of memory,” (2017) brooch, silicone, pigment, thread, feather, 9” x 5” x 3.5”

"The Day After," brooch, silicone, pigment, thread, plastic, fabric, 5.9" x 5.5" x 2.7"

“The Day After,” brooch, silicone, pigment, thread, plastic, fabric, 5.9″ x 5.5″ x 2.7″

 

 



Design Music

The Rhysonic Wheel Bridges Programmed Percussion with Acoustic Guitar for a Captivating One-Man Ensemble

May 10, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Wellington, New Zealand-based musician Pete O’Connell has previously used his Rhysonic Wheel, a self-made instrument that combines power tools with a self-spinning wheel, to create steady, melodic strumming on his acoustic guitar. Recently he has built another iteration of the device that spins several wheels at once, producing harmony between a drum, djembe, and any other percussive or stringed instrument he chooses to place in the path of the machine’s spinning wheels.

The invention was inspired by the rhythm that would rattle from the hockey cards attached to his childhood bicycle. Thinking back on this memory gave him the initial idea to incorporate a wheel into his music, which he has been experimenting with ever since. You can see more of O’Connell’s performances with early versions of the Rhysonic Wheel on his Youtube, Vimeo, and Facebook. (via Colossal Submissions)

 

 

 



Design

Explore Mathematical Concepts Hands-On With a Paper Folding Kit by Kelli Anderson

May 9, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Brooklyn-based designer Kelli Anderson (previously) continues to wow us with her inventive and interactive paper creations. Anderson’s Folding Paper DIY Kit builds on mathematical concepts to provide a hands-on way to learn about the shape-shifting possibilities of this everyday material. Each kit includes eight sheets of auxetic folding patterns along with instructions for each design: the Miura-ori fold, Ron Resch’s Square Twist, a modified version of the classic Waterbomb pattern, and an experimental Sequent fold. Fun fact: this kit was inspired by a workshop Anderson designed as part of Colossal’s exhibition Inflatable at the Exploratorium! You can find the Folding Paper DIY Kit in The Colossal Shop.

 

 



Design

Minimalist Modular Systems Turn Walls Into Feline Playgrounds

May 8, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Mike Wilson and Megan Hanneman, founders of CatastrophiCreations, design modular wall-mounted systems to keep cats active. Parents of humans and pets alike (myself included) are all too familiar with the trip hazard of toys scattered on the floor. Wilson and Hanneman move the activity zone to the wall with vertical playgrounds that allow cats to climb, jump, scratch, and even tip-toe across swinging bridges. Eschewing bright colors and plastic materials, the designers use solid wood, hidden brackets, and canvas to create more subtle and sustainable products. You can learn more about the the Grand Rapids, Michigan-based business in an interview and factory tour on Etsy’s blog. Check out their range of products, from the Thunderdome to the Temple Complex, in their online store.