Design Science

Upcycled Lobster Shells are Transformed into Functional Planters and Packages

February 22, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Four designers from the Royal College of Art and Imperial College have found a second life for the lobster tail you might’ve splurged on for Valentine’s Day. The project team, dubbed Shellworks, created a bioplastic by combining vinegar with chitin, a fibrous substance that is the main component of crustacean’s shells, as well as fungi cell walls. Though there is currently a commercially available version of chitin, called chitosan, it is extremely expensive.

The Shellworks team created five of their own machines, named Shelly, Sheety, Vaccy, Dippy and Drippy, to manipulate the chitin-based materials with varying stiffness, flexibility, thickness, and translucence. The resulting range of potential products includes self-fertilizing planters, pill blister packs, and food containers, which can be recycled or composted. By making this process more accessible and affordable, Shellworks hopes that their innovations might allow for larger-scale replacement of the plastic we use every day. You can learn more about the project in the video below, and on the Shellworks website and Instagram. (via dezeen)

A range of material properties that can be created from chitin without any additives

 

 



Design

Everyday Consumer Goods Are De-Produced Into Rectangular Prisms of Raw Materials

February 22, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Volkswagen Beetle. Photograph by Ronald Smits

Dutch design team Studio Drift (previously) codifies the complex mix of materials that are used to create modern consumer goods in their newest series, Materialism. The collection reduces down recognizable items ranging from light bulbs and pencils to bicycles and even a Volkswagen Beetle. Raw materials like graphite, copper, rubber, polyurethane, and aluminum are shown as perfectly sliced blocks, emphasizing the original substance rather than the abstracted functional shape (like a rubber bicycle tube or graphite pencil core).

In a statement about the collection, Studio Drift describes the lofty goals of Materialism: “To make the essential nature of the world visible. If humankind could somehow perceive this connection to materials, to our collective consumption and the earth it impoverishes, it would be a leap in our social evolution, in building an awareness that we must somehow become better stewards of our future.”

Materialism was recently displayed with Pace Gallery at the Frieze Art Fair in Los Angeles, California. You can see more from Studio Drift on Facebook and Instagram. (via dezeen)

De-produced bicycle. Photograph by Gert Jan van Rooij

De-produced pencil. Photograph by Ronald Smits

De-produced light bulb. Photograph by Ronald Smits

 

 



Art

Glass Lilac, Daffodil, and Magnolia Blossoms Thrive Underground at New York City’s 28th Street Subway Station

February 21, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

A new mosaic mural breathes life into the recently reopened 28th Street Station in New York City thanks to a cheerful design of blossoming glass flowers by artist Nancy BlumROAMING UNDERFOOT depicts plants that were chosen from the Madison Square Park Conservancy’s Perennial Collection because of their ability to withstand climate change, such as Red Buds, Magnolias, Hellebores, Witch Hazel, Daffodils, and Camellia. “Blum’s intent was to capture some of the magic of the nearby park, regarded as an urban sanctuary, and to enhance the station environment for transit riders,” explains the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in a statement about the new work. If you live in NYC, take the Lexington Ave Line to visit the newly sprouted station, and check out more of Blum’s floral drawings and public art on her website. (via Gothamist)

 

 



Art Illustration

Hybrid Graphite Drawings by Mateo Pizarro Merge Animals and Humans with Unexpected Obstacles

February 21, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Colombian artist Mateo Pizarro (previously) is inspired by contradictions. His graphite drawings combine animals with elements of human creation, merging nature with technological advancements or conflicting scenes. A four-winged goose resembles an airplane propeller while an ostrich walks around with a lightbulb as a replacement for its small head and beak.  “Drawing these fantastical animals I have come to realize that the beasts that do exist are just as surreal [as those imagined]: a giraffe or an armadillo is just as improbable as any winged horse,” Pizarro tells Colossal.

His work is included in a group exhibition of works on paper titled Lenguajes en Papel which runs through March 7, 2019 at El Museo Gallery in Bogotá, and his solo exhibition An Anthology of Catastrophes at Heart Ego Contemporary Art in Monterrey runs through April, 2019. You can see more of Pizarro’s drawings on Instagram and Behance.

  

 

 



Art Craft

Colorful Quilts by Bisa Butler use African Fabrics to Form Nuanced Portraits

February 21, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Three Kings”, detail

Artist Bisa Butler draws from an array of vibrant patterned fabrics to create portraits of everyday people. She eschews representational colors, favoring layered jewel-toned hues to form the skin of her Black subjects, and often groups figures together into strong silhouettes.

“I have always been drawn to portraits,” Butler explains in a statement on her gallery’s website. “I was the little girl who would sit next to my grandmother and ask her to go through her old family photo albums. I was the one who wanted to hear the story behind every picture. This inquisitiveness has stayed with me to this day. I often start my pieces with a black and white photo and allow myself to tell the story.”

Butler studied fine art at Howard University. In a video interview by BRIC TV, the artist explains that she began using fabric in her paintings in college, and then converted to quilting as a way to continue her dedicated art practice while protecting her young daughter from toxic materials and fumes.

The artist was born in Orange, New Jersey, and now lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She is represented by Claire Oliver Gallery. You can see more from Butler on Instagram. (via #WOMENSART)

“Three Kings” (2018), quilted and appliquéd cotton, wool and chiffon, 95 x 72 in / 241.3 x 182.9 cm

“The Mighty Gents” (2018), quilted and appliquéd cotton, wool and chiffon, 67 x 78 in / 170.2 x 198.1 cm

“The Mighty Gents”, detail

“The Mighty Gents”, detail

“Anaya with Oranges”

“The Safety Patrol” (2018), quilted and appliquéd cotton, wool and chiffon, 90 x 82 in / 228.6 x 208.3 cm

“The Safety Patrol”, detail

L: “The Unconquerable Lyric” R: “I Want To Smell The Flowers”

“Black Star Family, first class tickets to Liberia” (2018), cotton, silk chiffon, satin, silk and lace, 79 x 85 in / 200.7 x 215.9 cm

 

 



Design

‘The Weaving Project’ Invites Visitors to Climb Inside a Massive Installation Formed From Nearly 10,000 Feet of Rope

February 20, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

For this year’s London Fashion Week, British fashion designer Anya Hindmarch collaborated with design collective Numen/For Use (previously) to create an installation that would excavate the playgrounds and play sets of visitors’ distant memories. The Tube, a bright blue structure created from nearly 10,000 feet of rope, was a part of a temporary pop-up in a Soho warehouse called The Weave Project which also included a cafe and store. The structure invited guests to revisit their childhood by climbing within the gigantic meandering structure. This is not the first time Hindmarch has used London Fashion Week as an excuse to create an installation dedicated to play— last fall the designer recalled another child-like object by producing a massive beanbag that filled the main room of London’s Banqueting House. If you like this work, check out Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam as well. (via Dezeen)

 

 



Art

Crocheted Skeletal Figures Preserved Behind Glass by Caitlin McCormack

February 20, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Caitlin McCormack (previously here and here) integrates mediums such as cotton string, vintage fabric, beaded objects, and other found materials into small crocheted skeletons. The textile works are presented as preserved objects like one might find in a curio cabinet. McCormack draws a connection between her skeletal subject matter and the viewer’s interiority, using fitted glass boxes and wooden frames as protection from the exterior world. Her fourth solo exhibition at Paradigm Gallery in Philadelphia, See You All in Thereopens on February 22 and runs through April 13, 2019. You can see more of the artist’s work on her website and Instagram.

 

 

A Colossal

Highlight

Advanced Yoga Joes