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Design

Evoking Coral, Grass Roots Are Grown into Compostable Garments and Functional Objects

October 9, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Zena Holloway, shared with permission

Fashion is notorious for its astounding impact on the planet. Clothes are discarded within a few months in favor of the latest trend, cheap, synthetic fibers send harmful microplastics into the oceans, and waste from wealthier nations is often shipped to countries without additional resources only to pollute the local environments. As some designers try to steer the industry toward a more ethical, sustainable future, materials are often front of mind, including for Zena Holloway, who recently released a collection of garments and objects grown from grass roots.

Inspired by the sprawling, delicate shape of coral, Holloway creates soft, textured dresses, collars, lamps, and mobiles from wheatgrass seed. The plant sprouts over the course of about two weeks in beeswax molds. As it grows, it produces its intricately woven root structure, which the designer guides into specific spaces or allows to expand into large, sheet-like forms. Entirely compostable, the material is “both reality and metaphor, aiming to expose the beauty and vulnerability of coral and to champion ocean conservation,” and has the potential to be sewn into clothing or shaped into other functional goods.

The project, known as Rootfull, is ongoing, and Holloway shares a glimpse of her process in the video below. Follow her latest designs on Instagram. (via designboom)

 

 

 

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Animation Music

A Whirlwind Timelapse Comprised Entirely of Google Street View Images Circles the Globe

October 6, 2022

Grace Ebert

From the halls of the Museu Nacional de Belas Artes in Rio de Janeiro to the Hamburg Canals and the craggy landscape of Mont Blanc, a short film by Adam Chitayat adventures around the world in a dizzying sequence. The timelapse, which is the official music video for “Out Sailing” by Alex Boman, was initially intended as an antidote to wanderlust during the COVID-19 lockdowns. Using frames captured in sequence through Google Street View, Chitayat explores a multitude of rural and urban settings both indoor and outdoor, producing a whirlwind travelogue that traverses the globe in a matter of minutes. For more from the American-Israeli director, head to Vimeo.

 

 

 



Design Science

The Ocean Cleanup Conceptualizes Its Third Massive Apparatus to Remove Trash from the ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’

September 22, 2022

Grace Ebert

Sadly known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a wide swath of ocean between the U.S. coast and Japan is an enormous vortex of trash. A gyre, or system of currents, surrounds the area and sucks debris and litter into its rotation, trapping hundreds of millions of kilograms of plastic waste within its 20 million square kilometers.

Back in 2018, The Ocean Cleanup engineered a slow-moving apparatus called System 001 designed to wade through the patch to retrieve garbage with a massive net. The nonprofit, which wants to remove 90 percent of floating plastic by 2040, is now conceptualizing its third iteration of the machine that will be the largest and most efficient model to date. “When it comes to cleaning the oceans, size matters,” a statement about the new technology says. “Bigger systems mean fewer support vessels, which are the main cost driver (and the main carbon emitter) in our operations. In short, bigger systems mean a lower cost per kilogram.” System 002 removed more than 100,000 kilograms of plastic as of July 2022.

In a newly produced concept video, The Ocean Cleanup suggests that System 3 will now be comprised of three vessels that rely on drones to identify waste hotspots. The ships will haul a massive 2,500-meter wide and four-meter deep net system that sweeps the targeted areas to gather debris and funnel it to a sizable retention zone. Once collected and hauled from the water, the waste is organized into shipping containers and sent for recycling or repurposing.

The Ocean Cleanup plans to create a fleet of ten System 03 machines in the coming months, which the organization estimates will be powerful enough to restore much of the area. You can follow its progress on Twitter and Instagram, and head to its site for occasional live streams.

 

A rendering of the retention zone

A rendering of the net

A rendering of the net

 

 



Design

A Giant Sharpener Creates Playful Pendant Lights That Mimic Colored Pencil Shavings

September 22, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Nanako Kume, shared with permission

Nanako Kume’s pendant lights would look perfectly at home in an elementary classroom or art studio. The Tokyo-based designer is behind a playful collection of fixtures that layers colored-pencil-style wood shavings into whimsical lampshades.

To create the works, Kume developed a large sharpener operable with a hand-crank. A short film by Yunosuke Ishibashi chronicles her process, which includes whittling a piece of lumber into a hexagon, spray painting its exterior, and soaking the material in water to make it pliable. Once inserted into the sharpener and shaved, the jagged, pigmented edges evocative of a colored pencil emerge and are coiled into suspended shades.

Kume plans to make some of the collection available for purchase, so keep an eye on her Instagram for updates. (via designboom)

 

 

 



Art Documentary History

‘Beyond the Visible,’ a Documentary Illuminating the Life and Work of Hilma af Klint, Is Free to Stream

September 21, 2022

Grace Ebert

Released in 2020, an acclaimed documentary serves as a corrective to the art historical record. Beyond the Visible spotlights the life and work of the pioneering Swedish artist Hilma af Klint (1862–1944), an obscure figure during her lifetime whose colorful abstract works predate those of famed male artists like Vasily Kandinsky and Piet Mondrian. Directed by Halina Dyrschka, the feature-length documentary centers on af Klint’s groundbreaking practice and the spiritual, scientific, and natural phenomena that inspired her work.

Beyond the Visible is currently available to stream for free on Kino Lorber’s YouTube, which is a trove of art history and culture. To learn more about af Klint’s legacy and view her expansive oeuvre, pick up The Complete Catalogue Raisonné: Volumes I-VII. (via Open Culture)

 

 

 



Music Photography

A Dizzying Zoetrope Flashes Scenes of Portugal Through a Train Window

September 20, 2022

Grace Ebert

Irish director and animator Kevin McGloughlin (previously) and his brother Páraic (aka the McGloughlin Brothers) recently collaborated on a new short film that speeds through urban and rural regions of Portugal with an eye toward recurring structures and patterns. The music video for Bonobo’s new single “ATK,” the zoetrope flashes a series of photos at an incredibly fast pace, appearing to capture the scenes from the window of a train. Spliced into a dizzying sequence, the animation reveals a range of cohesive elements from the lines of terracotta roofing and ceramic tiles with colorful motifs to skinny streets that flicker in rapid succession.

Watch more mesmerizing compilations by the McGloughlin Brothers on Vimeo.