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Art

An Immersive Inflatable Labyrinth of Light and Color by Architects of Air

June 29, 2019

Andrew LaSane

All images via Architects of Air

Designer and Architects of Air founder Alan Parkinson’s latest architecture maze, Daedalum, is a 153-foot long inflatable structure, recently installed in London as a part of the Greenwich + Docklands International Festival. Light fills the labyrinth’s tunnels through colored panels made of translucent material, bathing the interior in bright and ethereal hues.

Parkinson’s maze is comprised of 19 interconnected egg-shaped domes. Named for the father of Icarus and the designer of the minotaur’s labyrinth from Greek Mythology, Daedalum is one of several traveling luminaria created and installed in over 40 countries since 1992. A highlight of the network of color-soaked roams is the ceiling of its Main Dome, which features a 600-piece pattern inspired by Rome’s Pantheon.

“I design the structures to create a particular encounter with the phenomenon of light,” Parkinson told Dezeen. “I devise an architecture to encourage a sense of wonder.” On his use of inflatables as a medium, the designer said that it is “transient and aspires to be utopian in a way that permanent architecture, with its feet on the ground is often not allowed to be.” He added that as designers he and his team still have to “engage with the parameters that actual architecture engages with–wind-loading, drainage, temperature control and wheelchair accessibility.” (via Dezeen)

 

 



Design Photography

Step Inside the Lavish Architecture of Gaudí’s Casa Vicens

June 27, 2019

Laura Staugaitis


Architectural photographer David Cardelús recently completed an assignment for the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Casa Vicens. In the grand tradition of ornate “cottages” commissioned by society’s upper class, the 1880’s home was designed and built by Antoni Gaudí for a wealthy broker, Manuel Vicens. Though the city of Barcelona has since been built up to surround Casa Vicens, at the time of its construction it was in a village known as Gràcia. The home is considered the first architectural work of note by Gaudí, and one of the pioneering buildings in Europe’s Modernism movement. It features many Islamic and Oriental architectural motifs and vibrant colors from cadmium red exterior trim to cerulean blue ceilings bring personality to every corner of the home.

Cardelús has captured Gaudí’s Casa Batlló, Gaudí Crypt, Palau Güell, and El Capricho in addition to this most recent series, and he shares with Colossal that he hopes to photograph all of the famous Catalan architect’s buildings some day. Cardelús, who was born and raised in Barcelona, studied photography, film, and video and now lectures on architectural photography at Universitat Pompeu Fabra ELISAVA.

You can see more of Cardelús’s photographs on his website and Behance, and learn more about Casa Vicens (which is now a museum) on their website. (via Colossal Submissions)

 

 



Photography

Photographs by Paul Johnson Document a Once-Thriving Farm Community Subsumed by Rising Waters

June 24, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

In the northeast corner of North Dakota lies Devils Lake. It is the largest natural body of water in the state, and yet it holds within it a seemingly unnatural phenomenon. Once-prosperous farming communities used to stand where the lake now is, the reach and depth of the current waters subsuming the abandoned tall silos, stately houses, and squat barns. The lake began rising in 1993 and has risen 35 feet in just over two decades. Due to a lack of outlet for the water and a period of heavy rains in the early 1990’s, the high water simply never subsided, rendering the formerly productive area completely uninhabitable and taking 300 homes with it.

Minnesota-based photographer Paul Johnson (previously) set out during two different seasons, summer (via kayak) and winter, to witness and document the lost community. Large trucks sit embedded up to their wheel wells in thick ice, a silo door is seamlessly mirrored in the water that reaches over its threshold, and barns lean at spectacularly acute angles, seemingly glued in place by the surrounded fresh or frozen water.

“Abandoned places hold a wistful appeal to me and I think to many of us,” Johnson shared in an interview with Passion Passport. “They are the final chapters of unknown stories where we’re left to ponder the details. Their quiet stillness can spur thoughts about the nature of time and the processes of decay and reclamation.” If you are interested in further reading about the history of the area, Modern Farmer has a long-form story from the perspective of a Devils Lake native.

In addition to his still photography, Johnson is continuing to work on animated land art which will be compiled into an upcoming short film. Stay tuned for previews of these pieces on Instagram and Tumblr. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

 

 



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.

 

 

 

A Colossal

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Sailing Ship Kite