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.

 

 



Illustration

Anonymous Protagonists Navigate Imagined Worlds in Multi-Layered Illustrations by Felicia Chiao

November 12, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Illustrator Felicia Chiao balances out her work as an industrial designer at IDEO with imaginative drawings rendered in copic marker and gel ink pens. Chiao’s fanciful worlds are populated with a repeating humanoid protagonist, as well as spirit-like black figures reminiscent of the symbolic creatures in Hayao Miyazaki films. The artist balances her charming aesthetic—cheerful details like daisies and friendly worms—with more evocative emotional themes. “Illustration has always been a way for me to destress and work through whatever emotions I’m feeling,” says Chiao.

However, despite the visual representation of complex narratives, “I cannot stress how little I think about what goes into my drawings. I draw because I love doing it and most of the themes people have seen emerge have largely been subconscious,” Chiao tells Colossal. She explains that “there was never really an intention for my drawings to get this much attention. It’s flattering and alarming at the same time, but I’m glad that so many people can relate to work that I have made so selfishly for myself.”

Illustration remains a side project for Chiao, a counterpoint to her professional life that she began in earnest while in college for industrial design. “It’s great having both because I find that design work is about solving problems for others while illustration can be completely selfish and about me. It creates a good balance.”

Chiao makes her illustrations available as prints on Society6, and recently released a limited edition of “Rooms” (shown above) with Static Medium. You can follow along with her illustrated adventures on Instagram.

 

 



Art Photography

Large-Scale Photographic Installations by Olivier Lovey Blur Distinctions Between Two and Three Dimensions

November 12, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Anachronie”, all images © Olivier Lovey and shared with permission of the artist

Olivier Lovey creates large-scale tricks of the eye by installing photographs in-line with their surroundings. The series, Miroirs aux alouettes, “confuses the real and its double. I question the limits of image and representation,” Lovey explains. “I revisit the notion of perspective, trompe l’oeil and mise en abyme“. Lovey creates his illusions both in gallery settings as well as outdoors. “Anachronie” turns a roadside billboard into a reflection of the surrounding mountains, while “Pasteboard” turns a building into a hollow facade of itself. See more of the Swiss artist’s multi-media work on his website and Instagram. If you enjoy Lovey’s work, also check out Chris Engman’s immersive photograph installations. (via Colossal Submissions)

“Pasteboard”

“The Lost Dimension”

“The Beyond”

“The Error”

 

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“The Mirror”

“While Waiting for the Beach”

“Ordinary Madness”

 

 



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.

 

 



Art History Illustration

Salvador Dalí’s Surreal Tarot Card Designs from the 1970’s to be Released as a Complete Deck

November 8, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

The surrealist master Salvador Dalí often dabbled in modes of mainstream culture, whether designing wine guides, appearing on game shows, or—in this instance—designing a deck of tarot cards for a James Bond film. Dalí undertook the project in the early 1970’s for Live and Let Die, starring Roger Moore and Jane Seymour. The deck didn’t end up appearing in the film, apparently due to Dalí’s high fees, but the artist continued to work on the cards for a decade and completed them in 1984. Art book publisher Taschen is releasing the deck, along with an instructional book that Dalí made to accompany it. Dalí.Tarot will be published on November 15, 2019, and is available for preorder on the Taschen website. (via Hyperallergic)

 

 

 



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)

 

 

 

 

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