snow

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Art

A Frozen Installation by Azuma Makoto Preserves a Vibrant Floral Arrangement in Ice

January 4, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Shiinoki/AMKK, shared with permission

Japanese artist Azuma Makoto (previously) is known for shifting the contexts in which we typically view florals—think encasing bouquets in blocks of ice or suspending them in the stratosphere—through installations and designs that blur the boundaries between art and botany. Shown here is a 2018 project titled “Frozen Flowers” from Makoto’s In Bloom series. The undertaking brought the artist to Notsuke Peninsula in Hokkaido where he doused open blossoms and greenery in water. Positioned against the stark, snowy landscape, the resulting arrangement is frozen in its original splendor, allowing the vibrancy of the flowers to peek through the icicles.

“The place where this installation was held in Hokkaido is also called the end of the world since blighted pine trees are usually spread out there and that place freezes over in winter,” says Makoto’s studio. “It was the series of how Azuma pursued unknown possibilities of flowers and how flowers express themselves under this condition.”

More images and a short video of Makoto’s process are available on his site, and you can follow his latest works on Instagram. (via The Jealous Curator)

 

 

 



Design

Carry Around a Tiny Snowman in This Sleek Leather Bag

December 21, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Tsuchiya Kaban, shared with permission

Preserve your frigid companions while en route to your next holiday party with this elegant new bag from Tsuchiya Kaban. The Snowman Carrier is complete with a carrot pocket and a removable tray, which keeps the frozen figure secure during transport and allows for easy removal upon arrival. Conceived by Yuko Matsuzawa, this waterproof bag follows the company’s watermelon tote and is the latest iteration in The Fun of Carrying, a line that tasks designers with creating playful side projects. Check out the video below to see how Matsuzawa constructed the waterproof carrier and watch her reveal the tiny snowman.

 

 

 



Design

A Flurry of New Notebooks from Field Notes Features 99,999 Unique Snowflake Designs

December 4, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Field Notes, shared with permission

U.K.-based artist Brendan Dawes channels the infinite crystalline shapes of snowflakes in a new collaboration with Field Notes. For its 49th limited-edition series, the Chicago-based notebook manufacturer tasked Dawes with designing an algorithm that mimics the atmospheric process that forms the icy grooves and feathered shoots. After a lengthy development inspired by the work of physicist Kenneth G. Libbrecht, Dawes created 99,999 unique snowflake illustrations to wrap around the deep blue covers. Just like the real crystals, no two are the same.

Support Colossal by picking up a three-pack of Snowy Evening in the Colossal Shop, along with Field Notes’ United States of Letterpress, which features notebooks designed by nine printers across the nation.

 

 

 

 



Photography

An Ultra High-Resolution 'Snowflake Camera' Captures the Extraordinary Details of Snow Crystals

November 19, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Nathan Myhrvold, shared with permission

It’s easy to forget that the mounds of snow lining sidewalks each winter actually are comprised of billions of tiny crystals with individual grooves and feathered offshoots. A trio of photographs taken by Nathan Myhrvold, though, serves as a stunning reminder of that fact as they expose the intricacies hidden within each molecule.

To capture such crisp images, the Seattle-born photographer traveled to Fairbanks, Alaska, and Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada, where temperatures plunged to –20 °F. “Water, an incredibly familiar thing to all of us, is quite unfamiliar when you see it in this different view. The intricate beauty of snowflakes is derived from their crystal structure, which is a direct reflection of the microscopic aspects of the water molecule,” he says.

Formally trained in physics, Myhrvold spent 18 months building a custom camera with a cooled-stage microscope to ensure that the flakes remained frozen as he shot. Short-pulse, high-speed LED lights reduce the heat the instrument emits, and at a minimum, its shutter speed clocks in at 500 microseconds. Myhrvold says it’s the highest-resolution snowflake camera in existence.

You also might enjoy this profile of Wilson A. Bentley, who’s billed as the pioneer of snowflake photography. (PetaPixel)

 

 

 



Design

Check Out Copenhill, the Snow-Free Ski Hill and Climbing Wall Atop a Copenhagen Power Plant

November 2, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Hufton + Crow, shared with permission

A year since its opening, the snow-free ski hill and entertainment hub that sits above a waste-to-energy power plant in Copenhagen is fully open to outdoor enthusiasts. New aerial photographs from Hufton+Crow capture the rooftop complex Copenhill (previously) through a blanket of fog, revealing the now lush landscaping that lines hiking trails and visitors as they peer out over the surrounding water. The multi-use site, which is located at the Amager Resource Centre, even has the world’s tallest climbing wall, an 80-meter-high rock structure that scales the entirety of the building.

Copenhill is the project of Danish architectural firm BIG and is the highest outlook in the capital city. The new complex also boasts multi-faceted energy reuse, with the indoor plant converting waste into heat for residents’ homes, while the biodiverse hill outside absorbs heat, filters the air, and minimizes water runoff.

 

 

 



History Photography

A Colorized Snowball Fight from 1896 Shows Not Much Has Changed in the Art of Winter Warfare

October 8, 2020

Grace Ebert

A short clip, originally captured by Louis Lumière in 1896, documents a rowdy snowball fight on the streets of Lyon, France. Thanks to Saint-Petersburg, Russia-based Dmitriy Badin, who used a combination of the open-source software DeOldify and his own specially-designed algorithms to upscale and colorize the historic footage, the video of the winter pastime is incredibly clear, revealing facial features and details on garments.

Badin applied a similar method—which involves a lengthy process of removing duplicate frames, adjusting brightness and contrast, and manually correcting color—to clips from cities around the world, many of which you can find on YouTube. You also might enjoy this flying train ride through a German village in 1902. (via Twisted Sifter)

Update: A previous version of this article incorrectly cited Barcelona-based Joaquim Campa as the creator of the colorized footage.