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Art Photography

Inception-Style Photos Tilt Russian Cityscapes at Dramatic Angles

June 13, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

All photographs courtesy of Lestnica

The grand plazas, towering monuments, and majestic architecture of Russian cities are seen from a new perspective in warped photographs by Lestnica. The Vladimir-based production studio, which was founded by Artem Prudentov, creates still and moving images for clients. For this project, which Prudentov explains is inspired by the movie Inception, Lestnica started out by planning out the final structure of the future photograph based on the principles of perspective. Each image is anchored by an architectural feature as the focal point, with sidewalks and streets fanning outward at a stomach-churning tilt.

Prudentov shares that the team used a software algorithm for their camera and set it in semi-automatic mode to capture each dramatically swooping landscape. Each image involved about a dozen hours of work, and the experimental process resulted in over a thousand test images as Lestnica honed their process. You can see more images from the series on the Lestnica website. If you enjoy these, also check out the work of Aydın Büyüktaş. (via Jeroen Apers)

 

 



Illustration

Corner Shops and Cathedrals Get Equal Attention in Zhifang Shi’s Travel Watercolors

June 12, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Using a combination of watercolor and ink, Zhifang Shi creates vignettes of the places he encounters in his worldwide travels. The Shanghai-based artist works en plein air, painting atop a portable palette to document storefronts, architectural features, boats, and trolley cars. Washes of color add depth and movement to Shi’s loose, gestural contour lines, and his focus on points of entry and modes of transit invites the viewer into the artist’s world. You can keep up with Shi’s wide-ranging travels and resulting urban sketches on Instagram.

 

 



Animation Music

Hidden Patterns of Infrastructure Revealed in a Hypnotic New Music Video by Páraic Mc Gloughlin

June 6, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Another dizzying video by Páraic Mc Gloughlin (previously) pairs shots of architecture and infrastructure with electronic music. Mc Gloughlin’s latest work is for the band Weval’s track “Someday,” and features the filmmaker’s signature fusion of geometric shapes found in historical domes, skyscraper facades, and farmland irrigation systems. The tightly edited video shows quickly-passing frames that shift in time with the music, visually quaking or smoothly transitioning depending on the percussive and melodic elements of the song. Macro shots of escalator stairs and grates are interspersed with far-away aerial views of landscapes and forests, for a fast-paced tour of the patterns around us, hidden in plain sight. You can see more from Mc Gloughlin on Vimeo and Instagram.

 

 



Photography

Shuttered Windows and Placid Canals Show Venice’s Sleepier Side in Night Photographs by Thibaud Poirier

May 31, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Scenes of contemporary Venice often inevitably include throngs of tourists amongst the centuries-old architecture. But French photographer Thibaud Poirier (previously) took his camera out during the city’s quieter hours. During a weekend trip this past winter, Poirier sought to capture the timelessness of Venice, a task easier done there than in other cities like Paris, Poirier tells Colossal, because of Venice’s lack of cars. Vehicles on city streets tend to simultaneously distract from, and date, photographs of buildings.

In his series Sleeping Venice, the still waters of the canals reflect illuminated docks and the warm-toned weathered facades of the city’s brick and stucco buildings. Poirier explains that he used Google Maps to locate bridge and canal intersections, and then explored the pinpointed areas on foot. Despite the aquatic elements in his image, the photographer shares that he actually took all the shots on land, from bridges, ledges, and dead-end streets. You can see more of Poirier’s work and travels on Instagram and Behance, and find information on purchasing fine art prints on his website.

 

 

 



Design

A Playful Building Kit Incorporates Real-World Physics Concepts With Springs and Magnets

May 21, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Mola Model is a modular tabletop building kit that includes springs, magnets, and cables to create a realistic experience for hobbyist engineers and aspiring architects. The Brazilian company’s kits help users learn about real-world structural concerns like buckling and sway frame structures by incorporating flexibility that demonstrates the impact of environmental influences. Each kit includes rigid and flexible connections, cables and bars of varying length and flexibility, as well as plates and mats to ground each structure.

The idea for the company came during Márcio Sequeira’s days as an architectural student: he was concerned about how well he was learning the real-world factors that he would need to take into account in his future career. Sequeira spent almost ten years working on developing Mola Model, and has funded all three of its editions on Kickstarter over the last five years. The latest edition has currently secured over 150% of its goal—find the Mola Structural Kit 3 on Kickstarter. (via FastCo)

 

 



Design

Mirrored Ceilings and Criss-Crossed Stairwells Give a Chinese Bookstore the Feeling of an M.C. Escher Woodcut

May 16, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Zhongshuge bookstores, designed by Shangai-based architecture firm X+Living, feature incredible rooms coveted by book and illusion lovers alike. Each location in this chain of Chinese bookstores has uniquely designed spaces with reflective elements that immerse guests in parallel environments. In the Chongqing branch, criss-crossing staircases and a mirrored ceiling double the room for an effect that seems straight out of an M.C. Escher woodcut or an infinite Indian stepwell.

In the Yangzhou location, each book-filled room also features mirrors, but many are found on the floors rather than ceiling. These glassy elements are meant to appear like mirages, a reference to the city’s canals, rivers, and lakes. You can take a quick peek inside the Yangzhou-based location in the video by Great Big Story below. To view more of the Zhongshuge libraries, visit X+Living’s website. (via Design You Trust)

 

 



Design

Air-Mountain: A Translucent Inflatable Structure Blurs the Boundary Between Interior and Exterior Spaces

May 14, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Photographs courtesy of Aether

Visitors to this year’s OCT Phoenix Flower Festival in Shenzhen, China encountered an unusual inflatable pavilion by Aether Architects. The translucent structure, called “air-mountain,” served dual functions as a protective exhibition space and a surface for people to climb up and over. Inflated hemispheres with a range of dimensions and textures were grouped together via a ribbed topography, and included air holes to allow visitors (and plants) room to breathe.

Aether was founded by architect Zelin Huang, who also has a background in fine art. His studio focuses “on the spatial creation of a connection between phenomenology and architecture, try to create a building that is not isolated from nature, but between man-made and natural, connecting man-made with nature.” (via designboom)

 

 

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