One-hundred five hourglasses dangle from the entranceway ceiling at cSPACE King Edward in Calgary. Every day at both noon and midnight, the sand-filled vessels flip in tandem and reset. They’re part of a 2018 project called “Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow,” a site-specific installation created by artists Lane Shordee, Caitlind r.c. Brown, and Wayne Garrett (previously), that visualizes the intricacies of how we experience collective moments, individual memories, and history.
Each hourglass has a unique correlation to time–half document how hours slip by like a clock, while others reflect more personal relationships to the passing seconds in a series of notes submitted by the public. “Ranging from ‘the time it takes to call mom’ to ‘the time it takes to realize it was just a dream and you are no longer lying next to me,’ you can read the brass tags attached to various hourglasses to understand the increment of time being measured in sand,” the artists tell Colossal.
Every vessel, though, represents a year of the King Edward building, from its construction in 1912 to its transformation to the cSPACE area in 2017. “‘Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow’ uses the hourglass as a symbol of non-linear time–both mortal and immortal–drawing a relationship between the sandstone school’s past, transitional present, and the uncertain future yet to come,” they said. Visualizing the otherwise abstract concept, the suspended project invites people to consider how all moments are interwoven.
For the project, the creative trio ground the sandstone bricks from the original building. They then sifted and measured the substance into the hand-blown glasses that measure zero seconds to four hours. Motors, sensors, microcomputers, and an internal clock using GPS ensures that each vessel flips on time even if there’s a power outage.
To keep up with Shordee, Brown, and cSPACE King Edward, head to Instagram. You also might like Brown and Garrett’s interactive lightbulb sculpture and Carbon Copy, their installation that flipped a car on its front bumper
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Made of translucent glass, Laura Hart’s brilliant orchids appear to be the paragon of delicacy: the fleshy petals and neon-illuminated columns are in full bloom, representing a fleeting stage of life that’s modeled with an easily breakable substance. The Suffolk-based artist, though, is more concerned with the floral family’s historical resilience and aptitude for survival.
There are 28,000 known species of orchids, which 100-million-year-old fossil records prove were the first to bloom. “Representing a quarter of the world’s flowering plants, there are four times as many orchid species as there are mammals and twice as many birds,” Hart says. In her newest series, Orchis Exotica—which debuted earlier this year as part of Collect 2020 with Vessel Gallery—the central neon light is a nod to orchids’ efforts to attract necessary pollinators to ensure their survival. These successful strategies prove their adaptability, Hart says, a move she connects to Charles Darwin’s evolutionary theories.
Manacled by religious dogma of his time, he risked a charge of heresy had he cited another organism equally successful in achieving global population through adaptability. Though there is very little anecdotal record of his personal resolve that humans were the ultimate example of his revelatory theory, there can be no doubt he believed it to be so…The bi-coloured neon centres illuminate the uncanny resemblance between orchid and human reproductive organs; a parallel unlikely missed by the great man himself.
Orchis Exotica is an extension of Hart’s previous flowers that had similarly perfect symmetry but lacked the glowing portions. Despite LED lights being simpler to use, Hart tells Colossal she prefers the traditional mechanisms. “Why neon? Well, I am a lover of the light/art form; very much a rarity in itself these days with the advent of LED neon tube usurping traditional glass,” she writes. Constructed with a combination of 3D design software and traditional technique, each piece is hand fused and slumped to create the half-meter-wide flowers. They undergo multiple firings.
Of course, unlike living orchids, Hart’s sculptures prove their durability by their failure to wilt. Head to Instagram and Facebook to follow her vibrant works, and see which are available for purchase from Vessel Gallery.
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In Tianshui, China, a clear dome casts sunlight onto 483 polychromatic glass panels lining a kindergarten’s windows, railings, and doorways. It gives the spacious building a kaleidoscopic effect, refracting varying hues onto the white walls and minimalist wood furnishings. “Color shades can grow and shrink as colors overlap and become different colors, or move from a vertical plane to a horizontal plane and back again,” architect Keiichiro Sako wrote on Instagram. “I hope that spending childhood in this beautiful light will foster the creativity of the children.”
Centered on the open atrium, the playful glass pieces and doorways are rounded, which is a nod to the school’s location in the Loess Plateau. They even border the outdoor recreation area, giving the kids a colorful and translucent view of the surrounding city. (via Trendland, thnx Laura!)
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The design team at Nendo knew they’d need a way to connect the three generations—and eight cats—living inside a newly constructed home in the Shinjuku area of Tokyo, so they created an enormous staircase. Spanning from the outdoor garden to the third floor, the steel-and-concrete structure isn’t designed for climbing between floors but does serve as a multi-level garden area and space for the cats to lounge. It also conceals bathrooms and the staircase residents actually will use, while the white-paneled walls hold additional storage.
Aptly named Stairway House, the interruptive project juxtaposes connection and separation within one home, the design studio said in a statement.
A stairway and greenery gently connected the upper and lower floors along a diagonal line, creating a space where all three generations could take comfort in each other’s subtle presence. Not only does the stairway connect the interior to the yard, or bond one household to another, this structure aims to expand further out to join the environs and the city —connecting the road that extends southward on the ground level, and out into skylight through the toplight.
While a white facade masks the front of the house, the back is covered in windows that face the mature persimmon tree preserved on the property. For more of Nendo’s disruptive architecture, head to Instagram. (via Dezeen)
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Phoenix-based artist Lesley Green (previously), of Bespoke Glass, merges natural pigments and geometric shapes in her stained-glass pieces. Some of her recent work includes a trio of translucent birds that mimic paper cranes and circular pieces patterned with multi-hued rounds. Green’s yellow honeycomb drops, though, were one of her first completely hand-cut designs and are created in single hexagons and groupings of two, three, and four.
The artist said on Etsy that her light-refracting projects are the result of “considering (the) ways stained glass could be reimagined to be flexible, customizable and portable,” rather than a permanent feature fixed in a house or building. To see the delicate formations Green has available, check out Etsy or Instagram.
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In the developing city of Gwanggyo located about 25 kilometers south of Seoul, a high-end Korean department store stands out amongst gray office buildings and other concrete structures. Designed by OMA/Chris van Duijn, the Galleria shopping center features a mosaic facade of neutral-toned stones cut into exact triangles. A series of geometric, opal windows offer those passing through the dome-like hallways a look at the burgeoning city’s activities.
OMA said in a release that the building is inspired in part by the nearby Suwon Gwanggyo Lake Park, an urban green space that surrounds a small body of water. Complete with a rooftop garden, the structure has designated space for consumers to shop and for cultural activities that are open to the public.
The international firm also is leading the redesign for the New Museum in New York City, a project that will replace the current building with a 60,000-square-foot structure made of laminated glass and metal mesh. Its work on nhow Amsterdam RAI Hotel even garnered a recent nomination for Golden Amsterdam Architectural Prize 2020, which is bestowed annually by the Amsterdam Centre for Architecture. To follow OMA’s upcoming projects, head to Instagram. (via designboom)
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