Craft Design

A 546-Piece Puzzle Slots into a Hulking Simian with Moveable Limbs

June 27, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Mat Random

A follow-up to his wooden geometric figures, Mat Random designed a similarly stocky simian with a DIY twist. The architect and craftsman, who’s currently based in Lisbon, recently released a three-dimensional puzzle that once slotted together, forms a moveable ape-like creature. Made from 546 pieces that are laser cut from cardboard, the buildable figure has flexible joints and can be posed in various stances. “The Simian” is available as a limited edition in Random’s shop, and be sure to check out his Behance for more of his playful creations.

 

 

 



Art Design

For the Birds: 33 Artists and Designers Reimagine Avian Architecture at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

June 27, 2022

Grace Ebert

Olalekan Jeyifous’s “Birdega,” wool and metal, 16 x 16 x 16 inches. All images by Liz Ligon, © Brooklyn Botanic Garden, shared with permission

A bright blue bodega, clustered wooden complexes, and a classic design emblazoned with a Swiss flag occupy the lush landscape of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden this summer. Eclectic in style, concept, and technique, the collection establishes dozens of tiny homes for avians across the 52-acre site as part of For the Birds, a group exhibition exploring the disastrous effects of the climate crisis on the feathered creatures—researchers estimate that North American populations have been reduced by 29 percent, or 3 billion birds, since 1970.

Balancing practical needs with aesthetics, the show tasked 33 artists, designers, and collectives with creating site-specific dwellings for specific species. “Woven” by Sourabh Gupta, for example, features spherical, apartment-style spaces for wildly social sparrows, while Studio Barnes evoked the art deco architecture found throughout southern Florida with “Fly South.” The color palette for that work is derived from the vibrant, red feathers of cardinals.

For the Birds is on view through October 23, and you can see all of the designs on the garden’s site. (via Dezeen)

 

Sourabh Gupta, “Woven,” burlap, husk, plaster, and water-based sealer, 30 × 24 × 18 inches

Roman and Williams Buildings and Interiors: Stephen Alesch & Robin Standefer, “100 Martin Inn,” natural untreated red cedar, 3 feet × 3 feet × 3 feet 8 inches

Shun Kinoshita and Charlap Hyman & Herrero, “Birdhouse,” silver nitrate, resin, plaster, paper, 15 x 15 x 18 inches

SO-IL, Dalma Földesi, Jung In Seo, Eventscape, “A Palace for Eastern Bluebird,” ceramic and 3D-printed clay, 20 x 20 x 55 inches

Steven Holl & Raphael Mostel, “Four Birds,” maple hardwood, 30 x 14 inches

Studio Barnes, “Fly South,” wood and paint, 24 x 24 x 24 inches

Bureau Spectacular and Kyle May, Architect, “A Flock Without a Murder,” timber and hardwood, 30 x 30 x 12 feet

 

 



Art

Radiant Installations and Projections Illuminate Sydney’s Architecture for an Annual Light Festival

June 27, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Vivid Sydney, shared with permission

Following a two-year hiatus, Vivid Sydney (previously) returned this May with a spectacular display of light and color. The annual month-long festival brings an array of installations, sculptures, and projections to the Australian city, and this year’s iteration included Lighting the Sails, a vibrant series of works by Aboriginal Martu artists that illuminated the Sydney Opera House with kaleidoscopic patterns, and a color-blocked animation on Customs House by Ken Donne. In 2023, Vivid Sydney will run from May 26 to June 17, and you can follow updates on that event on Instagram.

 

 

 



Photography

Minimal Portraits by Luke Stephenson Frame the Elegant Plumage of Show Birds

June 24, 2022

Grace Ebert

Spereo Starling (2019). All images © Luke Stephenson, shared with permission

For the better part of a decade, U.K.-born, Stockholm-based photographer Luke Stephenson has been fascinated by show birds, their impeccably groomed feathers, and undeniably unique personalities. Whether centering on a white-eyed Zosterop or confrontational Spereo Starling, his portraits are minimal with monochromatic backdrops that accentuate the distinct colors and patterns of each plume.

The ongoing series, titled An Incomplete Dictionary of Show Birds, originated with Stephenson wanting to photograph budgies but was intrigued by other species when he met some of his future subjects and their owners. He then designed a portable, avian-sized studio with lighting and a slot for swapping backdrops. Most of his subjects gravitate toward the wooden perch, he says, where they land and show off their distinct personalities.

Stephen’s portraits are included in a book published by Hoxton Mini Press that’s devoted to the feathered creatures, and he also recently released a volume about Britain’s largest fish. You can follow his latest photos and projects on Instagram.

 

Zosterop (2012)

Black Earred Wheateater (2018)

Left: Senegal Zosterop (2015). Right: European pied Flycatcher (2016)

Forbes Parrot Finch (2012)

Left: Redpoll x Bullfinch (2017). Right: Stonechat (2016)

Lazuli Bunting (2016)

Red Legged Honeycreeper (2016)

 

 



Craft Design History

An Astonishing Array of Ceramic Mosaic Tiles Comprise a Japanese Museum’s Historical Collection

June 24, 2022

Kate Mothes

Image © Ryota Murase. All images courtesy of the Mosaic Tile Museum, shared with permission

In the Gifu Prefecture of Japan, a nucleus of creativity blossomed in Kasahara Town, Tajimi City, more than a millennium ago. Known for its history of ceramic production, the region celebrates its distinctive heritage with a spring and autumn festival, a ceramics-themed park, and pottery shops that teach visitors the tradition. Among its newest attractions, set in a rolling green, the Mosaic Tile Museum Tajimi focuses on a more recent aspect of the ceramics industry.

Following World War II, reconstruction efforts required building materials, and tiles were suddenly in high demand. In its heyday in the mid-1900s, Kasahara Town had more than 100 tile factories, and the delicate pieces were still being used for the construction of high-rise buildings in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Soon, international competition and new materials hampered local manufacturing and the ornate tiles fell out of fashion, discarded when new buildings replaced earlier ones. Around that time, a group of locals who understood the historical significance of these tiles began to salvage as many as they could from structures scheduled for demolition. “The volunteers fondly recall how their requests were initially met with bewilderment, but their activities have resulted in the preservation of the extremely rare materials forming our enormous collection today,” says a statement on the museum’s website.

Housed in an architecturally exuberant expression of the relationship between ceramic and the earth, the building was designed by architect and historian Terunobu Fujimori to nestle sympathetically in the surrounding landscape. Today, the museum’s collection holds more than 10,000 individual tiles, sample books or boards portraying tile products, tools and utensils, and objects such as wash basins, bathtubs, and export goods.

You can find more information on the museum’s website.

 

Image © Akitsugu Kojima

Image © Akitsugu Kojima

Image © Katsuhiko Kodera

Images © Katsuhiko Kodera (left) and Akitsugu Kojima (right)

Image © Akitsugu Kojima

Image © Akitsugu Kojima

 

 



Design Music

Extravagant Sound Installations by Love Hultén Use Custom Synthesizers and Visualizers to Create Elaborate Audiovisual Mashups

June 23, 2022

Grace Ebert

Swedish audiovisual artist and woodworker Love Hultén is known for his extravagant and unconventional sound installations that fall at the intersection of music, art, and design. Whether an homage to Nintendo, Pacman, or Simone Giertz’s chattering mouths, the custom synthesizers are elaborate electronic instruments with broad audio capabilities and often, a unique MIDI visualizer that responds in real-time: play the keyboard of “NES-SY37,” for example, and a rendering evocative of a vintage video game will appear on a tiny LCD screen. In the case of “The Doodlestation,” a chord might prompt a cartoon-like figure to vomit an endless pastel rainbow.

Visually elegant and structurally complex, Hultén’s designs take about ten weeks to complete. He tells Colossal that he is currently working on a few commissions, which you can follow on YouTube and Instagram. (via Core77)

 

“NES-SY37”

“Moonray”

“The Doodlestation”

“TE-LAB”

Detail of “Moonray”

 

 

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