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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)

 

 



Craft Design

Scenes From Award-Winning Literature Crafted With Hand-Cut Paper by Zim & Zou

April 30, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Paper artists and collaborators Zim & Zou (previously) were invited to create miniature worlds inspired by previous Nobel Prize winners in Literature. The tolerance-themed traveling exhibition Sharing Worlds was organized by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation. The French duo built pieces based on Kristin Lavransdatter written by Sigrid Undset (published in 1920), and One Hundred Years of Solitude written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (published in 1967). Using their own classic style, the pair created colorful scenes packed with geometric details. Their interpretation of Kristin Lavransdatter was created as an ode to 14th-century Norway with a technicolor city set between a pair of deep burgundy mountains. The other work, One Hundred Years of Solitude, features a verdant home nearly hidden from the world by a lush pink and green garden.

The exhibition closed last month, but you can take a virtual tour of it on the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation website. You can follow more of Zim & Zou’s recent work on their Instagram and Behance.

 

 



Design

A Retired Bike-Share Bicycle Upcycled to a Beetle-Shaped Mobile Library

April 24, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Seeking to provide a new use for China’s enormous surplus of bike-share bicycles, LUO Studio recently designed a mobile library in the shape of a winged beetle. The studio’s founder Luo Yujie was inspired to create “Shared Lady Beetle” by a friend who teaches young children and often needs to educational supplies around. In a statement on the studio’s website the Shared Lady Beetle is envisioned as a “beneficial insect walking on the urban leaf.”

To create the mobile library, LUO Studio equipped a standard bicycle with two back wheels and an additional load-bearing wheel to accommodate the extra length of the design. Discarded iron sheets from automobiles form the library’s exterior, and the “wings” open to reveal three partitioned shelves that can accommodate books or other creative materials for kids.

The studio describes their mission as being “committed to creating more durable, friendly and quality space through creative thinking, craftsmanship spirit of devotion and caring for nature.” Luo is also the director at the Sustainable Village Studio of China New Rural Planning and Design Institute. Discover more of LUO Studio’s innovative and sustainable designs on their website, which features project descriptions in both Chinese and English. If you enjoy this project, also check out Weapons of Mass Instruction by Raul Lemesoff and Juan Martinez’s bicycle animals. (via designboom)

 

 



Art Craft

New Three Dimensional Narratives Composed from Discarded Books

April 9, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

UK-based book sculptor Emma Taylor sources old books from charity and antique shops and gives them a second story. Taylor uses simple materials—just glue, paper, and scissors—to sculpt architectural facades, lively animals, and leafy trees from otherwise unused titles. Each scene is inspired by the book’s written content, with a garden scene emerging from An Introduction to Botany and Italian houses built out of The Story of Venice. The artist shares on her website that she has been carving and sculpting books for several years, and has exhibited her creations in Cambridge, London, and Hong Kong. Taylor has recently opened an Etsy shop stocked with a few of her paper-based artworks, and shares updates on new works on Twitter. (via Colossal Submissions)

 

 



Art Illustration

Loneliness and Belonging Explored in a New Children’s Book of Poetry and Mixed-Media Illustrations

March 16, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Images courtesy of Enchanted Lion

Author JonArno Lawson and artist Nahid Kazemi recently collaborated to tell a largely visual story about a young bird contemplating its own existence and trying to find its place in the world after losing its flock. Titled Over the Rooftops, Under the Moon and published by Brooklyn-based Enchanted Lion Books, the children’s book features poetic writing by Lawson which provides the framework for its complex themes. Kazemi’s colorful illustrations—a mix of pencil, colored pencil, chalk pastel, and collage—pull young readers into the colorful and curious world.

After studying painting at Art University in Tehran, Kazemi worked as a graphic designer for literary magazines, published children’s books in Iran, and participated in illustration festivals around the world. Kazemi tells Colossal that the collaboration with JonArno Lawson happened by chance, shortly after a move and career restart in Canada.

While looking through books at a library for publishers and authors, the artist came across one called Sidewalk Flowers. “It made me hopeful that publishers in North America were interested in publishing wordless books,” she said. “I searched for JonArno’s other books in the library and felt that his work was close to my own style. I found him through social media – he really liked my work as well, and after a short while, we started to think together about this project.”

The new book is available now on Amazon. To see more of Kazemi’s mixed media illustrations, follow her on Instagram. (via Brain Pickings)

 

 



Design

A Cascading Metal Rainbow Fills a Bookstore in Suzhou, China with Layers of Transparent Hues

March 9, 2019

Andrew LaSane

All images: Yijie Hu

As a part of a larger project inside of a unique bookstore in Suzhou, China, architectural designers WUtopia Lab framed a reading room with a colorful structure referred to as the “Xanadu of Rainbows.” Made of one-centimenter thick aluminum sheets that have been perforated and cut into swooping shapes, the metal rainbow is created in a gradient that shifts through almost every shade in the ROYGBIV spectrum.

The word Xanadu is used to describe an idyllic space or place, which is what the architects sought to create with the vibrant, flowing design. The curved panels are installed along the ceiling and down the walls of the bookstore’s reading room and sections of the structure drip down like chromatic stalactites. In addition to creating an eye-catching aesthetic, the panels also functionally divide the open space into sections. To see more of WUtopia Lab’s interior and exterior work, check them out on Instagram. (via ArchDaily)

 

 



Art Design

Bubbletecture: A New Book Explores Decades of Soft Architectural Forms and Inflatable Designs

February 25, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Skum, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) (architect), Roskilde, Denmark, 2016. Picture credit: Rasmus Hjortshoj (pages 46-47)

Bubbletecture, a forthcoming book from Phaidon, captures the incredible range of inflatable architecture, fashion, art, and design that has been created over the last several decades. From chair-shaped balloon creations by Seung Jin Yang to a blow-up aubergine concert hall by Arata Isozaki (previously) and Anish Kapoor (previously), the included designs range from aesthetic interpretations of puffy inflatables to pieces that highlight their ease and functionality. The book, which was written by New York City-based architect Sharon Francis, presents more than 200 examples of shape-shifting designs dating back to the 1960s. You can discover more soft architecture forms and air-filled frocks by preordering the book on Amazon. (via Web Urbanist)

Eden Project, Grimshaw Architects (architect), Bodelva, Cornwall, UK, 2000. Picture credit: © Hufton + Crow (page 106)

Ark Nova, Arata Isozaki and Anish Kapoor (architect / artist), Matsushima, Japan (or elsewhere), 2013. Picture credit: The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images (page 88)

Blowing Balloon Collection, Seung Jin Yang (designer), South Korea, 2015. Picture credit: Seungjin Yang (page 266)

Dactiloscopia Rosa, Plastique Fantastique (architect), Madrid, Spain, 2017. Picture credit: courtesy of Penique Productions (page 71)

Shelter, Leopold Banchini with Daniel Zamarbide (architect), Geneva, Switzerland, 2016. Picture credit: Dylan Perrenoud (page 41)

Drift, Snarkitecture (designer), Miami, Florida, USA, 2012. Picture credit: Markus Haugg (page 154)

RedBall Project, Kurt Perschke (artist), various, 2001—ongoing. Picture credit: Kurt Perschke (page 101)

 

 

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