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Design

Giant Seesaws Transform New York City's Garment District into Light-Filled Urban Playground

January 7, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Alexandre Ayer/Diversity Pictures LLC, shared with permission

New York City’s Garment District recently received a dose of cold-weather fun with Impluse, an interactive installation of 12 oversize seesaws that glow and emit sound when someone hops on one end. Originally shown at the Place Des Festivals in Montreal in 2016 before traveling to cities like Chicago, Boston, Scottsdale, the installation allows users to produce their own light and sound shows that transform the city’s dreary January streets. The seesaws range from 16 to 24 feet and contain LED lights that vary in intensity and speakers that play random musical sequences.

Designed by Lateral Office and CS Design, Impulse encourages people to come together in a “public space all year round, both summer and winter months, by engaging ideas of urban play,” the creators said in a statement. “Inspired by the iconic cover of the Joy Division album ‘Unknown Pleasures,’ as well as Steve Reich’s serial, minimal music, which plays with repetition, rhythm and syncopation, Impulse project explores how architecture can visualize sound.” You can be part of the communal display by visiting the installation, which is on Broadway until January 31, or if you’re not in the city, by checking out the Garment District on Instagram.

 

 



Design Illustration

Multi-Part Graphics Reveal the Inner Workings of Systems in Vintage-Inspired Designs by Raymond Biesinger

October 28, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Raymond Biesinger takes complex systems—economics, feline anatomy, computer programming—and breaks them down into visually captivating designs. Using design elements and color palettes inspired by mid-century aesthetics, Biesinger’s finished works combine the arts of illustration and infographics. Many of his designs were original editorial commissions for articles in publications including The New Yorker, GQ, and Fast Company, but the Canadian illustrator now makes these pieces available as archival prints on Etsy. Keep up with Biesinger’s latest projects on Instagram. (via Colossal Submissions)

 

 



Design Music

The Rhysonic Wheel Bridges Programmed Percussion with Acoustic Guitar for a Captivating One-Man Ensemble

May 10, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Wellington, New Zealand-based musician Pete O’Connell has previously used his Rhysonic Wheel, a self-made instrument that combines power tools with a self-spinning wheel, to create steady, melodic strumming on his acoustic guitar. Recently he has built another iteration of the device that spins several wheels at once, producing harmony between a drum, djembe, and any other percussive or stringed instrument he chooses to place in the path of the machine’s spinning wheels.

The invention was inspired by the rhythm that would rattle from the hockey cards attached to his childhood bicycle. Thinking back on this memory gave him the initial idea to incorporate a wheel into his music, which he has been experimenting with ever since. You can see more of O’Connell’s performances with early versions of the Rhysonic Wheel on his Youtube, Vimeo, and Facebook. (via Colossal Submissions)

 

 

 



Art

SKALAR: Light Art and Sound Combine to Form an Immersive Concert Experience

April 28, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Made in collaboration between light artist Christopher Bauder and musician Kangding Ray, SKALAR is an audio/visual art installation that uses a large built structure and beats to create an immersive live concert. First presented in 2014 inside of the Kraftwerk Berlin industrial venue, the performance enthralls audiences with its pulsing, rhythmic soundtrack and entrancing light show.

Based on a psychoevolutionary theory by American psychologist Robert Plutchik, SKALAR is about human perception and emotion. The physical components of the installation are suspended from the ceiling. When moved up and down into different alignments, the kinetic mirrors interact with the beams of colored light and form floating halos that also bounce alternating hues around the dark room. The more ethereal sections of music are matched with slower moving lights, while quicker beats are paired with rapidly flashing patterns. Because the creators manipulate the variables in real time, no two performances of the piece are exactly alike.

Head to Kangding Ray’s Soundcloud to hear more of the musician’s soundscapes, and check out Christopher Bauder’s Instagram to see more designs and light installations.

 

 



Design

An Audiovisual Feast Showcasing the Complete Production of a Hand-Forged Lock Box

January 2, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Forged and Filed, a transfixing new video by Cambridge, Massachusetts-based filmmaker Jesse Beecher showcases the talents of metalsmith Seth Gould. In the five minute-long documentary short, Beecher not only highlights the technical prowess of Gould’s complex design and construction skills, but he also transforms the percussive sounds of the metal workshop in to a lively soundtrack. The banging of hammers, crumpling of paper, and sizzling of flames amplify the hand-forged nature of metalsmithing. Forged and Filed follows Gould’s progress as he creates an incredibly detailed lock box, shaping every element completely from scratch.

Gould graduated in 2009 from Maine College of Art in Portland, Maine with a degree in metalsmithing and jewelry. Over the last decade he has shown his work widely and shared his knowledge as a visiting artist and lecturer around the country—most recently at the prestigious Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina.You can see more of the metalsmith’s works on his Instagram and website, including these creative interpretations of hammers.

In addition to his personal projects, Beecher works as the Director of Photography for Northern Light Productions, a Boston-based company that creates media for cultural institutions, and has also produced work for PBS, Netflix, and Comedy Central. You can see more of Beecher’s projects on his website.

 

 



Animation

Abstract Claymation Videos by Romane Granger Capture the Small Details of Ocean Life

March 13, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

In a pair of teaser videos for singer Stevanna Jackson, animator Romane Granger (previously) uses carefully modeled clay to suggest the complex ecosystem of life on the ocean’s floor. In Ocean Blues #1 and #2, the coils and folds of clay shift in tune with Jackson’s music as waves, flower-like designs and human characters emerge from the sea. Granger is an animation student at L’École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. You can see more of her work on Vimeo and Instagram.

 

 

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