On February 1, LEGO launched a new Expert Creator that’s on a mission to explore outer space. Comprised of 864 pieces, the International Space Station set is equipped with a robotic arm for satellite deployment, a miniature dock, and two astronauts ready to traverse the built-in spacewalk. It also has eight movable solar panels, three cargo spacecrafts, and booklet detailing the history of the design. Fully built, the realistic model stands more than 7 inches high, 12 inches long, and 19 inches wide.
Christoph Ruge designed the kit as part of a proposal for the 10th anniversary of the iconic brand’s ideas program, which has released a variety of sets with themes like dinosaur fossils and The Flintstones. Get your own miniature spacecraft on LEGO’s site, and see if you can put it together in the 92 minutes it takes the real model to orbit the earth. (via designboom)
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Sculptor Ted Lott builds wooden artworks based on one of human beings’ most fundamental requirements, exploring the different ways in which we’ve devised shelter as a product of the industrial revolution. Lott examines modern architecture at its core by building tiny scale models without the decorative designs imposed by exterior siding and paint. He then combines these bare yet elegant structures with domestic furniture, fusing the basic necessities of home with the comforts provided from within.
To build his works, Lott uses a bandsaw as a scaled sawmill to generate miniature pieces of wood and other proportioned raw materials. Found and vintage furniture provide the base of his structures which are then lit from within as if someone is home.
“Like us, these structures are regular, nevertheless they strive to be unique, transforming their everyday bones into something beyond the banalities of basic needs,” Lott explains in his artist statement. “To me, this is the reason for making objects, to take the ordinary and make it extraordinary. Through this process we point to the complex interaction of necessity, artistry, economy, function and beauty present in the original objects, while highlighting the possibilities of transformation and growth that are a requirement for the continuation and evolution of life.”
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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.
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Copenhagen-based artist Matthew Simmonds (previously) carves miniature architectural interiors, angular shapes, and tiny windows filled with symbolic objects, trinkets, and animals. His ghostly white sculptural forms are cut from and presented within raw stone, which allows for a striking contrast between his designs and the medium’s natural surface.
Although Simmonds mainly focuses on sacred architecture, particularly from the Medieval era, he is drawn to how cultures overlap and influence each other. His work often references a variety of architectural styles in one piece, and sometimes presents abstract forms. “I get inspired by real architectural spaces, but the works are not reproductions of actual buildings in miniature, with the exception of the Elevation series,” Simmonds tells Colossal.
His sculptures take a minimum of three weeks to complete, however they can span several months depending on the complexity and size. “The longest I’ve ever worked on a single piece of stone was when I made Windows in 2017,” explains Simmonds. “There was around 180 days, or nine months, of carving time with more time spent on research and design.”
This particular piece was one of his most complex to date. Rows of carved openings collectively served as a curio cabinet, with each window filled with a range of creations, from a miniature iguana and array of small fruits to even tinier models of buildings and structures. Here Simmonds showcases the world in miniature, seen through the visual symbols of a variety of cultures. In the piece are also several references to San Francisco, as it was specifically created for a show in the Bay Area. To view more of the artist’s recent stone carvings, visit his website.
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