Design

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Design

LEGO Releases 864-Piece International Space Station Set That’s Out of This World

February 1, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © LEGO

On February 1, LEGO launched a new Expert Creator that’s on a mission to explore outer space. Comprised of 864 pieces, the International Space Station set is equipped with a robotic arm for satellite deployment, a miniature dock, and two astronauts ready to traverse the built-in spacewalk. It also has eight movable solar panels, three cargo spacecrafts, and booklet detailing the history of the design. Fully built, the realistic model stands more than 7 inches high, 12 inches long, and 19 inches wide.

Christoph Ruge designed the kit as part of a proposal for the 10th anniversary of the iconic brand’s ideas program, which has released a variety of sets with themes like dinosaur fossils and The Flintstones. Get your own miniature spacecraft on LEGO’s site, and see if you can put it together in the 92 minutes it takes the real model to orbit the earth. (via designboom)

 

 



Design

A Mountain Out of a Molehill: This Eraser Turns Small Errors into Mount Fuji

January 29, 2020

Grace Ebert

Equipped with this eraser from Plus Stationary, you won’t be bummed to find mistakes. Each time you get rid of a wrong mark, this office staple gradually will reveal Mount Fuji. The blue and red rectangles—which represent the daytime and sunrise and sunset views of the mountain, respectively—feature a white center that when worn down and shaped into a peak, resemble the famous landmark in Japan. Standing less than 2 inches tall, the Mount Fuji Eraser is an extremely miniature version of the iconic snow-topped mountain, which stands at nearly 12,400 feet about 60 miles southwest of Tokyo.

Made with resin containing porous ceramic powder, the eraser is wrapped in a foil carton that is patterned in six different ways, representing traditional Japanese techniques like checkered and cloisonne. If you’re able to navigate Japanese, buy your own little volcano for less than $2 USD on Plus Stationary’s site. (via My Modern Met)

 

 



Design Photography

Dramatic Views of Worldwide Architecture Captured by Gareth Pon (with a Hidden Twist)

January 27, 2020

Grace Ebert

Ponte, Johannesburg. All images © Gareth Pon, shared with permission

Photographer Gareth Pon (previously) encourages his audience to join in his reinvention of Where’s Waldo. His architectural photography relies on depth, pattern, and symmetry, often framing a small piece of the city he’s visiting, like the water-covered street below Chicago’s “L” or a multi-colored building complex replete with balconies and air conditioners in Hong Kong. But every image has one signature twist: Pon hides a small rocket in each of his structural pieces. On his wildly popular Instagram, the photographer shares that his lifelong dream is space travel, perhaps explaining his use of the flying object. To join Pon’s ongoing game of spot the rocket, check out his Facebook.

Chicago, Illinois

Atlanta, Georgia

Chicago, Illinois

Hong Kong

Atlanta, Georgia

Hong Kong

Chicago, Illinois

 

 



Design

A Floating Hotel with Aurora Views Just Opened on a Frozen River in Sweden

January 26, 2020

Andrew LaSane

Arctic Bath. Photographer: Anders Blomqvist

After 16 months of construction, a spa hotel built on the Lule River in the northern province of Lapland Sweden is now open to travelers. Called Arctic Bath, the 12-room hotel features six elevated land cabins and six cabins that float when the river thaws. In the center is a circular structure with saunas, hot baths around the perimeter, and a large ice bath at its core.

For the buoyant rooms and main structure, architects Bertil Harström and Johan Kauppi took design inspiration from timber floating methods used by loggers to transport felled trees downriver. The land cabins were designed by Ann Kathrin Lundqvist with glass walls that provide guests with unobstructed views of the surrounding Swedish landscape. In addition to experiencing the unique architecture, visitors have access to various spa and wellness treatments, chef-prepared meals, and activities including yoga, dogsledding, bear watching, and cross country skiing.

“The Arctic Bath really is a first—it’s a special spa experience,” Lundqvist said in a statement. “So much thought, engineering and ingenuity have come together to provide visitors with an experience they can’t find anywhere else.” Reservations for the hotel are now open, with rates starting at 9600 Swedish Krona (just more than $1,000 U.S. dollars), and dates available between February 2020 and February 2021.

Photographer: Johan Jansson

Photographer: Anders Blomqvist

Photographer: Daniel Holmgren

Photographer: Anders Blomqvist

Photographer: Daniel Holmgren

Photographer: Daniel Holmgren

Photographer: Daniel Holmgren

Photographer: Daniel Holmgren

Photographer: Daniel Holmgren

 

 



Art Design

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Posters Feature a Wildly Diverse Blend of Artistic Styles

January 21, 2020

Grace Ebert

Lacking the traditional sport and tournament themes of previous years, the official posters for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games are taking a different approach to championing the celebrated contests. Organizers gathered work from Japanese and international artists with a range of styles and methods, from calligraphy to photography and manga to cubism, saying the posters are “regarded as the icons of their age.” Some pieces gesture toward the renowned competition more explicitly—“Olympic Cloud” by graphic designer Taku Satoh features rings in red, blue, yellow, green, and black that mimic those in the olympic logo—while others, like Tomoko Konoike’s “Wild Things – Hachilympic,” considers human subjectivity in an evolving world with a multicolor portrait that fills nearly the entire work.

If you’re in Tokyo, head to the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo before February 16 to view all 20 posters. You might also want to check out the cherry-blossom inspired torch that will mark the beginning of the 2020 games. (via Kottke)

 

 



Design Photography

Nairobi’s Motor Taxi Drivers Sport Extravagant Costumes in ‘Boda Boda Madness’

January 16, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Machete Rider.” All images © Jan Hoek, shared with permission

Captivated by the motor taxis occupying the streets of Nairobi, Dutch artist Jan Hoek collaborated with Ugandan-Kenyan fashion designer Bobbin Case to document how the drivers elaborately design their bikes to attract customers. The resulting series, titled Boda Boda Madness—the motorists are referred to as boda boda in the Kenyan city—captures this advertising strategy with a little bit of added flair: each driver dons an extravagant ensemble developed by the designer that matches their rides. The lavishly outfitted bike operators are photographed by Hoek against the Nairobi landscape in stances of their own choosing, resembling real-life action figures.

“Because of their new outfits their income went up, so they really kept on using their costumes. Maybe if you by chance visit Nairobi one of them will be your taxi guy,” Hoek says of the series. You can see the eccentric project throughout 2020 at the Circulation(s) festival in Paris and as part of a group exhibition at Now Look Here in Amsterdam. Keep up with both Hoek‘s and Case‘s latest work on Instagram. You might also want to check out these Japanese work trucks. (via designboom)

“Vybes Rider”

“Ghost Rider”

“Lion Rider”

“Mad Max Rider”

“Rasta Rider”

“Red Devil Rider”

Hoek and Case stand with the riders

 

 



Design

Up To 29 Porcelain Layers Molded into Elegant Tableware by Yuting Chang

January 16, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Yuting Chang

Chicago-based designer Yuting Chang has conceived of a way to build the traditional blue and white pigments often found on porcelain into the very structure of her ceramics. Through slip casting, a process in which the artist can switch between colors within the mold, Chang is able to incorporate up to 29 alternately pigmented layers that are visible on cut surfaces. Rather than use a glaze to add different shades once the basic shape of her mugs and saucers are complete, Chang’s pieces only show their colors on the rims and edges, revealing the interior. The artist crafts each handle and saucer feet through slip-casting, before attaching them by hand to the main portion of the ceramic piece. She appropriately named her work Plycelain, a reference to how plywood is constructed with layers of compressed wood.

“Blue-and-white ware is the most classical and influential type of Chinese porcelain but these days it is largely slip-cast, with the decorative motifs applied by transfer-printing,” the artist told Dezeen. “I wanted to utilize this mass production technique, meant to create large quantities of standardized products, while keeping the authenticity and individuality of the craftsmanship spirit.” For more of Chang’s inventive designs, head to her Instagram.