Design

Section



Amazing Art Design

Neighboring Communities Playfully Connect Atop Neon Pink Teetertotters Slotted Through the U.S.-Mexico Border Wall

July 30, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello have long worked in activating structures in projects that blur the line between art and architecture. The Oakland-based duo, who self-describe as pursuing “applied architectural research”, also have a longstanding interest in the United States-Mexico border wall. In 2009 Rael wrote Borderwall as Architecture, which features a conceptual drawing of a teetertotter. The concept relocates the classic playground equipment to the border wall as its fulcrum. Ten years later, this cover art came to life in the neighboring communities of Sunland Park, New Mexico and Colonia Anapra, Mexico.

Constructed by Taller Herrería in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, neon pink teetertotters slot through the wall’s narrow gaps, allowing citizens on both sides to playfully engage with their cross-border counterparts. The fundamental design of the teetertotter, while delightful and chuckle-inducing, also functions by each user literally feeling the weight of humanity of the person on the other side. In an Instagram post announcing the project Rael shared, “children and adults were connected in meaningful ways on both sides with the recognition that the actions that take place on one side have a direct consequence on the other side.”

Rael and San Fratello worked in collaboration with Omar Rios to execute “Teetertotter Walls.” Rael is a Professor of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley and San Fratello is an Assistant Professor at San José State University. Dive into an archive of nearly twenty years of the duo’s socially engaged work on their website, and follow along with their latest projects on Instagram.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ronald Rael (@rrael) on

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ronald Rael (@rrael) on

 

 



Design Science

New Green Roof Bus Stops in Utrecht Cater to Commuting Bees

July 23, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Photos: Clear Channel

Commuters in Utrecht may notice a new green tinge to their neighborhood bus stop. Local authorities in the Dutch city have added 316 green-roofed, bee-friendly bus stops to public transit routes. More than 50% of the Netherlands’ 358 bee species are endangered; the green roofs provide safe, consistent habitat for the critically important pollinators, and are planted with low-maintenance sedum. For the resident humans, bamboo benches and LED lighting contribute to the eco-conscious construction. (via My Modern Met, Lonely Planet)

 

 



Design History

The World’s Largest Intact Ancient Mosaic Opens to the Public in Antakya, Turkey

July 19, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

A 9,000 square-foot mosaic is set to open this year after its discovery nine years ago during the construction of a new hotel in Antakya, Turkey. Archaeologists at the site believe the geometric work once decorated the floor of a public building in the previous city of Antioch, one of the most important cities in the Seleucid Empire. Although vast segments of the original mosaic are still intact, others have rippled and disappeared due to a series of earthquakes in 526 and 528 A.D.

Archaeologists have been collaborating with architects to preserve the ancient work during the construction of a surrounding museum-hotel. A platform connected to structural columns now hovers above the mosaic and specified viewing points were constructed as a way to let visitors view the masterwork below. You can learn more about the history of the ancient city and the archaeological find on The History Blog.

 

 



Design

Sanded Down Versions of Mass-Produced Chairs Speak to an Economy in Crisis

July 18, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Dutch designer Frank Tjepkema of Studio Tjep created the Recession Chair in 2011 as a response to the world’s economic crisis. To produce the work, Studio Tjep sanded down a mass-produced IKEA chair to a ragged and skeletal structure. “The resulting object is barely functional as it most likely won’t withstand the weight of the person it is trying to support,” said Tjep in a statement about the chair, “much like a society plagued by recession.”

As an opposing gesture, Tjep cast the work in bronze, adding strength to the chair’s areas of fault. You can see various states of the chair in the images below, including a partially sanded version of the chair in white, and several examples of the piece fully cast in luminous bronze. To view more examples of Tjep’s work with architecture, objects, and interior design, visit their website. (via @designers_need)

 

 



Craft Design

A Father Transformed Data of his Son’s First Year of Sleep into a Knitted Blanket

July 17, 2019

Christopher Jobson

All photos © Seung Lee

Seung Lee tracked the first year of his baby’s sleep schedule with the BabyConnect app, which lets you export data to CSV. Choosing to work with six minute intervals, Lee then converted the CSVs into JSON (using Google Apps Script and Python) which created a reliable pattern for knitting. The frenetic lines at the top of the blanket indicate the baby’s unpredictable sleep schedule right after birth. We can see how the child grew into a more reliable schedule as the lines reach more columnar patterns.

As Lee neared completion of the blanket, he shared, “All the disparate pieces felt really fragile but as I seamed it together, wove in loose ends, and removed stitch markers, it felt more and more sturdy. Something that I’d been handling like a delicate bird egg started to just feel like a blanket.” The Seattle-based comic artist, crafter, and coder shares updates via Twitter and his website. (thnx, Jennifer!)

 

 



Design

Neko Cup Creates Adorable Napping Cat Sand Sculptures

July 16, 2019

Johnny Waldman

If you’re walking along the beach this summer and you see a group of napping cat sand sculptures, there’s a good chance it’s the work of a Neko Cup (neko is the Japanese word for cat). Neko Cup is the latest product from Japanese design brand h-concept. Made from biomass plastic (bamboo and scallop shells) the hollowed out object creates a silhouette of a napping cat.

It can be used on the beach, in your park’s sandbox and, in the winter, with snow. And when it’s not in use, it also functions as ab adorable little sculpture. Designer Yuka Morii says she loves seeing cats sleeping on the sidewalk and she wanted to preserve that warm feeling she gets when she spots one out of the corner of her eye.

If you’re in Japan you can purchase one from the h-concept online shop. They come in white, beige and black and retail for 2,916 yen ($26.95). (Syndicated from Spoon & Tamago)

 

 



Design Illustration

Woodblock-Printed Matchboxes Light up with Canine Personalities

July 11, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

As a follow-up to last year’s wildly successful woodblock-printed matchboxes featuring the questionable decisions of tipsy cats, Ravi Zupa has just released a set of canine designs. Comprised of ten designs, the set includes a Boston Terrier with a high opinion of himself, a loyal hound, and an endearingly self-deprecating pug.

“These are the people in our lives with complicated dispositions and attitudes who never fail to bring
us joy, even when they’re jerks,” Zupa explained in an artist statement. “This new set of matchboxes is an effort to give the overly expressive, stubborn, supportive, unpredictable, confused and self important beings in our lives the recognition they deserve.”

Zupa used oil-based intaglio ink to create the three-color prints, and each one includes a pint-sized certificate of authenticity. The matchboxes can be ordered in the artist’s online shop, along with pre-orders for larger prints of the same designs. You can see more of Zupa’s vintage-inspired and humorous works, ranging from prints to paintings and sculptures, on Instagram.