Tropical Plants Sprout from the Mesh Facade of an Open-Air Factory in Vietnam

November 1, 2022

Grace Ebert

A photo of a building covered in plants

All images by Hiroyuki Oki, courtesy of the architects

In an industrial park 50 kilometers north of Ho Chi Minh City, a 30,000-square-meter building demonstrates the possibilities of a more sustainable future for manufacturing. The Jakob Factory is a project between Rollimarchini Architects and G8A Architects, who designed the tropical oasis amid the largely concrete structures within the commercial area.

Plants cloak the porous three-story facade made of steel and mesh. Building vertically was a key factor in the project as it contrasts the conventional sprawling designs typical in manufacturing that require more land and greater disruptions to the local environment. The living features protect the interior from rain and harsh sunlight, offer natural ventilation, regulate the temperature, and help to purify the air from dust and other particles. Trees and grassy mounds also sit in a central courtyard, with the green structure surrounding the open space.

The sustainability-focused project received the bestarchitects 2023 award and was included in Dezeen’s 2022 shortlist.


A photo of a building covered in plants

A photo of an interior factory with one wall covered in plants

A photo of an interior factory with outside walls covered in plants

A photo of a building covered in plants

A photo of a building covered in plants

An aerial photo of a courtyard in a building

Image by Severin Jakob




Art Design

Vibrant Letters Drift and Twist in Bold Typographic Murals by Pref

October 31, 2022

Kate Mothes

“Shake Hands” in Leige, Belgium. All images © Pref, shared with permission

For British artist Pref, the art of decipherment is as integral to his murals as the expressively layered designs. Known for looping and layering blocky text to give the illusion of floating forms, contrasting letters wriggle, tilt, overlap, and cast bold shadows. His training in graphic design spurred an abiding fascination with typography, and while much that field is oriented toward clear communication, Pref is interested in literally twisting messages. He meticulously arranges each letter to form puzzle-like compositions, encouraging the viewer to work out a word or phrase. “The wording for my pieces are usually autobiographical,” he explains, “like clues and relics from my past or a commentary on current times.”

You can see more of Pref’s work on his website and follow updates on Instagram.


“Put you in a box” in Liège, Belgium

“Nuture, Nature” in Sand City, California

Left: “You are the one.” Right: “Off and on”

“Remarkable” in Jackson, Michigan

“Here we are” in Los Angeles, California

Left: “Blah blah blah.” Right: “Say bye”

“Drifting” in Ostend, Belgium

“Inspire, Expire” in Bayonne, France



Art Design Photography

In Bold Self-Portraits, Fantastical Masks Camouflage Noah Harders in Flora and Fauna

October 27, 2022

Grace Ebert

Artist Noah Harder wearing an elaborate mask of aqua jade flowers.

“First Time, Face to Face” (2021), blue jade flower. All images © Noah Harder, courtesy of Honolulu Museum of Art, shared with permission

Native Hawaiian artist Noah Harders takes a whimsical approach to style in Moemoeā, his first institutional exhibition opening next week at the Honolulu Museum of Art. Translating to dream or fantasy, the show’s title offers a conceptual, political, and aesthetic foundation for Harders’ vast array of works that transform crustacean shells, skeletal remains, lush jade flowers, and other organic matter into sculptural wearables. The fashions are intricately constructed and mask most of the artist’s face as he captures their sprawling forms through bold self-portraiture, which he describes as fostering a connection between himself and the found objects. He explains:

When I put on these masks, I feel like I am embodying the spirit and essence of seemingly ordinary materials that can be found around us…These pieces are a way for us to step out of the harsh reality we are consumed by every day and simply have a moment to dream and feel inspired by what surrounds us on this earth.

Moemoeā runs from November 3, 2022, to July 23, 2023. Dive into Harders’ extensive archive of headdresses on his site and Instagram.


Artist Noah Harder wearing an elaborate mask of plumeria flowers.

“Resilience” (2020), plumeria (frangipani)

Artist Noah Harder wearing an elaborate mask of red torch ginger.

“Lead The Way” (2022), red torch ginger (etlingera elatior)

Artist Noah Harder wearing elaborate masks of koa leaves and lauhala.

Left: “Modern Warrior” (2022), koa leaves (Acacia koa). Right: “Two Worlds Collide” (2022), lauhala (pandanus tectorius) and crinum amabile

Artist Noah Harder wearing an elaborate mask of lobster shells.

“The Depths” (2021), lobster shell

Artist Noah Harder wearing an elaborate masks of spiny lobster shells and fish bones.

Left: “ Looks Can Be Deceiving,” (2022), spiny lobster shells, 22.25 x 28.25 inches. Right: “Life After Death” (2022), fish bones

Artist Noah Harder wearing an elaborate mask of mink protea.

“Malolo” (2022), mink protea

Artist Noah Harder wearing an elaborate mask of white king protea.

“Pecking Order” (2022), white king protea (protea cynaroides)




Get Lost in the Endlessly Marbled Patterns of Nervous System’s New Psychedelic Puzzles

October 26, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Nervous System

Trippy zigzagged patterns grace a new set of infinity puzzles from Nervous System (previously). Part of the Catskills-based studio’s growing line of endlessly tiling designs, this series pieces together rippled lines and spirals produced through a digital simulation of paper marbling by engineer Amanda Ghassaei. There are three sizes, the largest of which is composed of more than 350 laser-cut pieces, and different iterations in warm and cool tones. As with all of Nervous System’s jigsaws, these designs embed a range of whimsy pieces, this time depicting the silhouettes of flora and fauna.

Shop the new collection on the studio’s site, and check out the video below to see the psychedelic tiling experience in action.




Craft Design

Adorable Glass Ghosts by Masanaga Noike Cradle Chopsticks on Their Bellies

October 24, 2022

Kate Mothes

All images © Masanaga Noike

Masanaga Noike, who’s behind the Nagano City-based studio naga-no-glass, has summoned some super cute spirits to the table just in time for the most haunted day of the year. Designed to cradle chopsticks on their pudgy bellies, every ghostly dinner guest is hand-formed and given whimsical expressions, so no two are alike. Noike makes them by coating a white powdered glass over the top of transparent glass, then pulling the hands and tail and denting the stomach where the utensils can be placed.

Explore more of Noike’s work on Instagram. (via Spoon & Tamago)





Portable and Precise, Horizon’s ‘Swiss Army Knife of Sketch Tools’ Combines an Array of Functions into One Ruler

October 24, 2022

Kate Mothes

To render a perfect circle or measure precise angles, designers and artists rely on a slew of tools to compose accurate sketches and diagrams, but with so many different devices, one drawback is portability. Dubbed the “Swiss Army knife of sketch tools” in a new Kickstarter campaign, the team at Horizon has created a new double-sided ruler that combines functions like an imperial and metric compass, protractor, T-square, circle stencils, and four straightedges in inches, centimeters, pixels, and picas—all packed into a laser-cut, stainless steel tool the size of a credit card. They have also incorporated the Helvetica typeface, which rose to popularity in the mid-20th century for its clarity, to make the measurements even easier to read.

You can find more of Horizon’s designs on Instagram.


All images © Horizon