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Design

Japanese Monster Figurines Apologize For Their Destruction at Press Conference Podiums

March 15, 2019

Johnny Waldman

The art of the apology – it’s an integral part of Japanese culture that helps maintain balance and harmony in society. Combining that with kaiju figurines is this brilliant little set of toys that feature the likes of Godzilla and Mechagodzilla apologizing at a press conference, head hanging solemnly, for the destruction they’ve caused.

The toys were released back in 2016 as part of a promotion campaign for the Shin-Godzilla movie. They were sold as gachapon and retailed for 300 yen each.

They included Godzilla apologizing for destructive vandalism (破壊行為), Mechagodzilla for imitation and copyright infringement (模倣行為) and King Gidra for aggressive invasion (侵略行為). The toys have since been taken off the primary market but for those willing to pay up, they’re available on the secondary market, albeit at a 500+% markup. (Syndicated from Spoon & Tamago)

 

 



Design Documentary

Rubber Powered Model Airplanes Take Flight in New ‘Float’ Documentary Trailer

March 10, 2019

Andrew LaSane

The full trailer for the documentary Float (previously) introduces the world to a niche indoor sport that involves building and flying self-propelled model airplanes. Directed and edited by Phil Kibbe, the film follows two American pilots, Brett Sanborn and Yuan Kang Lee, as they gear up for the sport’s main event: the F1D World Championships in Romania.

The new trailer showcases the elegant movement of the model planes, and the delicate technique that the pilots use to tightly twist the rubber bands that power them. The movement of the planes appears to be slowed down, but the movement of the pilots and spectators confirms that the footage has not been altered for effect. The world premiere of Float will take place on April 5 at the 43rd Cleveland International Film Festival, in Cleveland, Ohio, with additional screenings throughout the weekend.

 

 



Design

A Cascading Metal Rainbow Fills a Bookstore in Suzhou, China with Layers of Transparent Hues

March 9, 2019

Andrew LaSane

All images: Yijie Hu

As a part of a larger project inside of a unique bookstore in Suzhou, China, architectural designers WUtopia Lab framed a reading room with a colorful structure referred to as the “Xanadu of Rainbows.” Made of one-centimenter thick aluminum sheets that have been perforated and cut into swooping shapes, the metal rainbow is created in a gradient that shifts through almost every shade in the ROYGBIV spectrum.

The word Xanadu is used to describe an idyllic space or place, which is what the architects sought to create with the vibrant, flowing design. The curved panels are installed along the ceiling and down the walls of the bookstore’s reading room and sections of the structure drip down like chromatic stalactites. In addition to creating an eye-catching aesthetic, the panels also functionally divide the open space into sections. To see more of WUtopia Lab’s interior and exterior work, check them out on Instagram. (via ArchDaily)

 

 



Art Design

Antique Ceramic Dinnerware Punctured into Pieces of Wearable Art by Gésine Hackenberg

March 6, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Amsterdam-based jewelry designer Gésine Hackenberg is classically trained as a goldsmith, yet works with objects that are extracted from the everyday. After becoming bored with the traditional ideas of jewelry in her original field, she began to twist the function of common pieces like ceramic dinnerware to create unique designs. For her line of ceramic jewelry, Hackenberg first finds vintage plates and bowls from secondhand shops, which she then punctures to create small circular “pearls.” These are either strung together to create an ornate necklace, or set in silver for a pair of earrings or brooch. Hackenberg studied jewelry design at the Fachhochschule für Gestaltung Pforzheim in Germany and is currently a visiting professor at the MAD School of Arts in Hasselt, Belgium. You can see more of her collections, like this set of copper fruit jewelry, on her website.

 

 



Design

The Highest City in the World Celebrates Its Indigenous Culture with Freddy Mamani’s Neo-Andean Architecture

March 6, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

The city of El Alto isn’t just distinguished by its impressive altitude of over 13,000 feet above sea level or its self-governing status. This Bolivian municipality also sets itself apart with the distinctive architecture of Freddy Mamani Silvestre. The architect, who goes by Freddy Mamani professionally, got his start as a bricklayer and studied civil engineering in college. He completed his first building in this style in 2005 and has since created dozens more designs that incorporate circular windows, sharply angled rooflines and vibrant pink, green, and orange facades.

The massive buildings seem to tower above their architectural neighbors, but they aren’t private mansions. Many of Mamani’s constructions are multi-use structures, filled with ground-floor rental stalls for vendors, a second floor party venue, and apartments on top. His buildings are nicknamed cholets, a portmaneau of chalet (a Swiss mountain house) and cholo (derogatory slang for indigenous person).

Though many westerners draw comparisons to Las Vegas, Mamani clarifies that the shapes, colors, and patterns he uses are drawn from Bolivia’s pre-Columbian history. In particular, the aguayo, a bright woven cloth of the Aymara, an indigenous group that Mamani is a part of, inspires the architect’s designs. Mamani shared in an interview with The Guardian, “My designs are a modern expression of our culture,” he adds. “Since Evo Morales [the country’s first indigenous president] became president, things have changed a lot. We feel proud of being Aymaran.”

Last fall, Mamani built a ballroom in Paris as the opening work in the Cartier Foundation‘s exhibition on Latin American art and architecture. You can get to know the architect in the Great Big Story video below. Photographer Peter Granser also published a book in 2016 about Mamani’s builds, which is available on the Edition Taube website. (via Quartz)

 

 



Design

Custom-Built Coffee Tables Constructed from Original Components of the Golden Gate Bridge

February 27, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

All photographs © Danielle Hankinson

Each rope that suspended San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge from 1935 to the 1970s was made of 229 individual strands arranged in a unique “lay” created at John A. Roeblin’s Sons Company in Trenton, New Jersey. Though these suspender ropes were retired about fifty years ago, the history and strength imbued in them lives on. Strands of History, a Tahoe City, California-based company founded in 2016, focuses on building functional items using the bridge’s original ropes, including a spectacular wood and steel coffee table.

Mary Zimmerman of the Strands of History team explains to Colossal that the company was able to verify the rope’s authenticity by reviewing the original schematics from the Roebling’s company. Every suspension bridge has ropes with a unique lay, which create a sort of finger print for the bridge’s materials.

Once a sufficient supply was in the hands of Strands of History, the company got to work determining a way to showcase the strength, beauty, and history of their chosen material. The incredibly strong rope weighs one pound per inch, and is so dense that only five cuts can be made before a fresh 14-inch abrasive blade is required. Strands of History brought in experts from Bushey Ironworks and Roundwood Furniture to help design the coffee table and wrangle the finicky raw materials. Bushey weighed in with forge welding techniques to stabilize the ropes, and Roundwood suggested a deeply striated Claro walnut wood that is about 80 years old.

In creating something new out of such storied materials, Zimmerman explains, “All of us that work on these projects are committed to the preservation of this historic steel. This required exploring various techniques to maintain [the rope’s] structural integrity, as well as to preserve the unique lay of the wire and its inherent beauty and attraction.”

You can take a look inside Strands of History’s workshop on Instagram, and learn more about their projects with the Golden Gate Bridge suspender ropes on the company’s website. (via My Modern Met)

 

 



Art Design

Bicyclists Formed from Sweeping Strokes in the Tradition of Chinese Ink Painting

February 26, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Thomas Yang (previously) creates poster editions through his 100 Copies project that use bicycles as both muse and tool. Previous works have created famous architectural structures through inked bike tires, while his most recent design uses a more traditional approach. “Breakaway” uses various widths of flat brushes to create a peloton of riders with one breaking away from the racing pack. Swirling semi-circles compose the helmets, tires, and arched backs of the group, which have been created by offset lithographic printing using one Pantone spot color. The poster is printed on recycled 220gsm Maple White paper and, like the title of Yang’s project, is created in an edition of 100 copies. You can purchase the print and browse more of his designs on his website.