Design

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Design

The Fenders of a Vintage Volkwagen Beetle are Reimagined as a Pair of “Volkspod” Scooters

November 13, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Brent Walter is ready to pop a wheelie on old VW Bug fenders. Walter repurposed an original Volkwagen Beetle to form the dramatically curved body of his “Volkspod” and built an engine and chassis to fit below. The just-for-fun project began about a year ago, seemingly from the comfort of Walter’s garage/workshop. He has been documenting his progress on Instagram, where people have caught wind of his invention. No word yet on whether the bespoke creations will be for sale; in the meantime, you can vicariously experience the wild ride of a Volkspod in the action video Walter shared on Instagram. (via designboom)

 

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Design

Islands of Wood Float Amidst Sea of Glass in New ‘Archipelago’ Furniture by Greg Klassen

November 13, 2019

Christopher Jobson

We’ve long marveled at the masterful craftsmanship on display in furniture maker Greg Klassen’s wood and glass creations. The artist’s name has become synonymous with the elegant aesthetic of merged wood and glass that originates from his Pacific Northwest studio, one piece at a time. Since first launching his river table series back in 2014, Klassen has produced nearly 250 tables, desks, and art objects, refusing to grow beyond his one-man studio despite a waiting list that once extended to nearly two years. Lately he’s focused on creating larger bodies of watery glass and the irregular shapes of islands as evidenced in this new archipelago series. He shares with Colossal:

My new Archipelago Series is inspired by islands seen from above. I’ve discovered a growing fascination with the point that the water meets the land and my archipelago pieces really let me highlight this point of inspiration. Whenever I’ve been lucky enough to fly over Seattle’s Puget Sound or the Hawaiian islands, I’m that 38 year-old kid in the window seat, with his face pressed up against the plexiglass looking down with wonder at the islands below. We are so fortunate to live in a time where we get to see our earth from above! Whether it be from a plane, or images capture by a drone, we get to see our earth with a fresh set of eyes.

Five percent of Klassen’s sales are currently being diverted to Charity: Water where he’s is helping to fund a new well for a community that cannot afford one. Several of his pieces most recently appeared at SOFA Chicago, and you can see much more of his recent work on his website, as well as Instagram and Facebook.

 

 



Art Design Illustration

Painting With Code: UI Engineer Diana Smith Creates Baroque-Inspired Portraits with CSS

November 9, 2019

Christopher Jobson

With little more than a text editor—and years of experience as a web developer—UI engineer Diana Adrianne Smith creates Flemish and baroque inspired portraits using HTML and CSS, the two primary presentation markup languages designed to display web pages. The portraits fill thousands of lines of code, and Smith has a stringent rule that leaves this former web developer a little flabbergasted: all elements must be typed out by hand. Meaning that she doesn’t rely on libraries, shortcuts, or some kind of visual editor. These images are instead written in part like an essay, with what I can only image is an unreasonable amount of trial and error.

Troubleshooting the complexities of CSS or HTML problems can stymie even a good developer for hours, let alone forming pearl necklaces, hairdos, facial expressions, and lace collars. Via Twitter Smith says she finished her most recent piece over a period of two weekends. The designs are created for viewing in Google’s Chrome browser, but Firefox seems to do a great job too. Your mileage may vary using anything else. Here’s another work from last year titled Pure CSS Francine.

A portion of the 1,968 lines of CSS code Smith wrote to create the portrait above.

 

 



Design

Not Just For Bookworms: Helsinki’s Oodi Central Library Connects Residents Through Multi-Faceted Cultural Resources

November 8, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Readers, researchers, and other curious residents are encouraged to gather together in a massive new ship-shaped library in Helsinki, Finland. Designed by ALA Architects, Oodi Central Library, the long and narrow structure features a sweeping wooden exterior topped with two stories of glass walls. Oodi Central Library is situated in the heart of Helsinki, nestled in the capital city’s cultural district. About one-third of the space is dedicated to books. A cafe, restaurant, public balcony, movie theater, recording studios, and a maker-space broaden the institution’s ability to connect with, and serve the needs of, a diverse population.

The effort seems to have paid off: in the library’s first month about two-thirds of Helsinki’s residents visited the library, and it has had 3 million visitors so far in 2019, according to Tommi Laitio, Helsinki’s Executive Director for culture and leisure. Laitio explained in a recent conference talk in Washington, D.C. that it is essential in their small country for people to respect and invest in their fellow residents. “Our society is fundamentally dependent on people being able to trust the kindness of strangers.” (via Kottke)

 

 

 

 



Craft Design

It Was Better Tomorrow: Fashion Designer Benjamin Benmoyal Creates Powerful Silhouettes Using Recycled Materials

November 6, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Hulking silhouettes are enlivened with vibrant multi-colored stripes in futuristic garments by fashion student Benjamin Benmoyal. The fabric for the collection, titled “It Was Better Tomorrow”, was woven on a loom using discarded video and cassette tapes intermingled with recycled yarns and Tencel (a wood pulp-derived fiber).

In an interview with Dezeen, the French-Israeli designer explained that he was feeling pessimistic about the world after his compulsory service as an 18 year old in the Israeli army. “After high school I was completely lost in my life, I failed many things and needed to prove to myself I could do something that would push me, physically and mentally, to the limits,” Benmoyal said.

In enrolling at the renowned art school Central Saint Martins and creating this collection, Benmoyal sought to channel optimistic energy and harken back to the utopian outlook of the 1960’s. He also drew color inspiration from international travels and artists he admires, such as James Turrell. The collection was included in the multi-art show Designing in Turbulent Times this autumn. See more from Benmoyal on Instagram. (via Dezeen)

 

 



Craft Design

Lavishly Adorned Chairs by Annie Evelyn Reimagine the Functional Role of Furniture

November 6, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Artist Annie Evelyn’s primary medium: wood. Her primary vessel: the chair. One work, “Cathedral Train Chair”, sports an ocean-blue silk train that fans out from a tufted armchair, emulating the fashion symbol of high social status or a special occasion. Another, “Windsor Flower Chair”, surrounds the sitter with a garden of gently curving vertical wood slats, which burst into synthetic blossoms.

“Evelyn uses furniture’s inherent interactive qualities and relationships to the human body to create new and surprising experiences,” reads a statement on the artist’s website. Her “Static Adornment” series reinvents the role of furniture as physical decoration: wall-mounted structures covered in densely layered beads, copper scales, and red roses fit around a human body not as support but as ornamentation.

Evelyn received her BFA and MFA at Rhode Island School of Design, and is currently a Visiting Professor in the furniture department at California College of the Arts. Her work is also a part of Making a Seat at the Table, a group show of female-identifying woodworkers on view through January 18, 2020 in Philadelphia. Keep up with Evelyn’s latest projects and inspiration on Instagram, and explore more of her portfolio on her website.

 

 



Animation Dance Design Illustration

Innovative Augmented Reality Book Merges Dance, Theater, Literature, and Technology

November 5, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Adrien Mondot and Claire Bardainne, who work together as the Adrien M / Claire B Company (previously), explore the intersection of tangible and augmented reality in their multi-media projects. They recently launched a Kickstarter to support their latest project, Acqua Alta – Crossing the mirror. Acqua Alta turns a seemingly simple pop-up book into an animated black-and-white world. Two figures move through the pages, battling rainstorms and walking through doorways, all seen through the portal of a tablet or smartphone.

The duo tells Colossal that after their 2017 exhibition Mirages & miracles, they wanted to focus their efforts on an affordable medium at an intimate scale that still allowed for constructing volume. “After considering the AR algorithm, it was important to find a solution for the book to be a plane for each of the 10 double pages,” Mondot and Bardainne explain. “The magic happens only when the real space and the AR space are completely synced together.”

The duo was also working with a limited budget and limited professional experience with motion capture. In contrast to more specialized production companies with greater resources and established, Mondot and Bardainne were challenged by looking for smart and creative solutions to achieve the same results.

“It was very exciting to be at the border between many disciplines—theater, dance, but also comic books and animation,” Mondot and Bardainne share. “We are questioning the language: what does this medium allow us to express? Can we use part of the cinematographic language? Can we use some of the symbolic tools of the theater?”

You can support Acqua Alta on Kickstarter, where the book is available for preorder (it also comes with a free app for experiencing the AR). Explore more of Mondot and Bardainne’s interdisciplinary work on their website.