Design

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Design Food

Gourds Grown in Vessel-Shaped Molds Become Reusable Cups and Flasks

April 27, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © CRÈME, shared with permission

With Jun Aizaki’s latest design, you could be picking up your morning latte poured into a dried gourd rather than a disposable adorned with a green siren. The Brooklyn-based designer, who owns CRÈME, recently launched a project to reduce single-use plastic waste by shaping the flowering fruit into simple drinking vessels. Heading The Gourd Project, Aizaki created both a cup and a flask that can hold hot and cold liquids and are an alternative to traditional products. After three to six uses, the containers can be composted with other food waste.

Aizaki “explored the century-old craft of drying plants to make receptacles, in order to find a way to reduce plastic and contribute to nature through design,” project organizers said. Each biodegradable vessel takes about six weeks to grow from its first planting at a Pennsylvania farm with six harvests each year. Because gourds have tough skin and fibrous insides, they’re shaped easily as they fill out. Each 3D mold is made of plastic right now, although the team hopes to switch to reusable materials once it expands production.

The sustainable project comes amid reports that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is increasing plastic consumption and affecting how, and if, the material is recycled, in addition to companies banning reusable cups and containers to stop the spread of the virus.

Follow the design firm’s waste-conscious products on Instagram, and stay tuned for the project’s upcoming launch on Kickstarter. You also might want to check out this lobster shell upcycle.

 

 



Design

Fringed Orange Apparel Knit Entirely From Rubber Bands by Rie Sakamoto

April 25, 2020

Anna Marks

All images © Rie Sakamoto

At first, the garments look as though they’ve been spun with a traditional mediumwool or yarnbut on closer inspection, it becomes apparent that the thin and springy mesh-like material is composed of thousands of elastic bands that have been knitted together. Made by Japanese designer Rie Sakamoto, the handmade collection includes a jacket and dress, each of which illustrates the diverse functionality of stationery items like rubber bands. 

Sakamoto’s “rubber collection” initially was exhibited at Tama Art University in Toyko as part of a graduate exhibition and the garments, which took Sakamoto half a year to make, reflect on how overlooked materials and objects can have diverse uses in fashion, contemporary design, and art. 

The flexibility of the soft bands allows Sakamoto to stretch the rubber to make different-sized garments that are adaptable to various bodies. Similar to how wool garments are created with needles, Sakamoto makes each garment by knitting the rubber bands together. When closely observed, the materials are a matte, sand-like color, but when thousands are merged together into textiles or fashion pieces, an earthy orange emerges. When Sakamoto’s garments are held up in the light, they become almost iridescent

To keep up with the designer’s inventive apparel, follow her on Instagram. (via designboom)

 

 



Design

Assemble the Jagged Pieces of This Shattered Puzzle and Fix ‘The Accident’

April 24, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Yelldesign

While most shattered glass heads straight to the trash, Yelldesign’s panes actually can be reassembled into a single sheet, turning a groan-inducing mistake into a delightfully tedious activity. Comically titled “The Accident,” the acrylic puzzle is comprised of 215 jagged and cracked pieces resembling a broken window. Yelldesign warns, though, that although you don’t have to worry about getting cut or scratched by the pointed edges, assembly isn’t an easy feat.

An animation studio venturing into design, the company also released two other clear puzzles: “The Fish Tank” surrounds an orange guppy in the form of a single piece, while “The Virus” contains a green contagion at its center. These jigsaws come amid an ongoing boom in puzzle sales as people around the world are looking to occupy themselves in quarantine.

To pick up your own humorous puzzle, head to Yelldesign’s site (a heads up that all prices are in AUD). Follow the company on Instagram and Vimeo, too.

 

 



Design

A Perplexing Sculpture Constructed with LEGO Appears to Defy Gravity

April 23, 2020

Grace Ebert

An astonishing new sculpture by JK Brickworks (previously), a design team of Jason and Kristal Allemann, appears to defy gravity as it hovers in mid-air without assistance. Made of just a base, two rounded posts, and three small chains, the simple piece relies on tensegrity or tensional integrity. The design principle is based on the idea that a structure under compression within a system of constant tension will create a stable shape.

In this model, the LEGO pieces are compressed, while the chains are the prestressed tension members that provide the sculpture’s shape. When the top portion is lifted, the plastic links are in pure tension, which makes it resemble a floating object. If they caved in, the whole piece would topple.

To make your own tensegrity sculpture, get the full parts list from the duo’s site. Head to Instagram and YouTube to see more of their inventive models.

 

 



Art Design

Artist-Designed Face Masks by Threadless Give Medical Supplies to Communities in Need

April 22, 2020

Grace Ebert

A recent launch by Threadless is an impressive, multifaceted initiative to combat COVID-19 that’s a win for consumers trying to stay safe, health-care workers on the front lines, and artists and creatives who’ve lost income. The Chicago-based eCommerce company announced this week that it would release artist-designed face masks, with a portion of proceeds going to MedShare, a nonprofit that delivers medical supplies to communities in need. Featuring work from Rob Sheridan, Alex Norris, and Mukta Lata Barua, the cloth face makes comply with CDC guidelines but are not medical grade.

Jake Nickell, the founder and CEO of Threadless, told Colossal that in just six days, the company raised $100,000 and has increased its target to $250,000. “When the CDC released guidelines for wearing cloth masks, we knew our artist community would be clamoring to design them and that we could raise a lot of funding for frontline workers through mask sales,” he said. “Masks are looking to be a part of our culture for the foreseeable future so (we) may as well express ourselves a bit through art and design when wearing them.” The move coincides with Threadless’s decision to give artists 60% of apparel sales from their shops, although the company said many are donating their face mask profits.

Artists and small businesses are encouraged to participate in the initiative by uploading their designs and logos. Purchase your own face covering from Threadless, and follow the company’s progress on Instagram. If you don’t need a mask but still want to help, you can donate on MedShare’s site.

 

 



Design

Bright Tape Promoting Social Distancing Transforms Public Architecture in Singapore

April 21, 2020

Grace Ebert

To help visualize social distancing guidelines, residents in Singapore are using tape to demarcate many outdoor common areas and shopping centers. Large dots designate where to stand when waiting to check out, and benches and steps feature rectangles identifying open seats. An unintended side effect of these safety measures, though, is that the tape itself becomes an architectural element. The account @tape_measures has been compiling photo submissions from the country, showing how geometric additions are altering public spaces with the use of simple X’s and more complex systems of arrows, boxes, and lines. For more of the architectural transformations inspired by social distancing, head to Instagram. (via Kottke)

 

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Design

Sunlight Streams into a Windowless Church Made of Wooden Slats in Japan

April 20, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Taira Nishizawa

The understated inside of a church in Shizuoka, Japan, lacks the traditional iconography and ornate trimmings often found in similar spaces. Designed by Tokyo-based architect Taira Nishizawa, Sunpu Church is a windowless building made mostly of slatted pine. The open roof allows sunlight to fill the space and cast moving shadows depending on the time of day. It also creates a direct view upward to the sky.

Because the modest building is located next to a busy railway, Nishizawa soundproofed the outer walls to ensure a quiet space for worshipers. In an interview with Arch Eyes, he spoke about his conceptualization process.

The Church Sun-Pu required specific spatial qualities. Just thinking functionally about a church, it’s not much different from a classroom. But the space must feel very different, so I needed a strategy to control that environment directly…I manipulated the performance of the external walls and roof to control the light and sound conditions, which are what distinguishes a church from a normal classroom or meeting place.

Despite its singular cross and intricate entrance panel, the red cedar facade is similarly stark and has turned gray since it was built in 2008. Follow what Nishizawa’s up to on Twitter, and check out the book chronicling his wooden projects. (via Jeroen Apers)