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Archive for the ‘Creativity’ Category

Trippy Transformations: Makeup Artist Creates Unreal 3D Illusions

26 May

[ By SA Rogers in Art & Drawing & Digital. ]

Makeup artist Mimi Choy slices, disjoints, stretches, blurs and otherwise radically transforms her own face in stunningly realistic optical illusions using nothing but makeup. No templates, prosthetics or Photoshop go into the creation of her surreal photos – she freehand them all, often using standard cosmetics from brands like MakeupForever and Kryolan theater makeup. The Vancouver, Canada-based artist shows off her trippy looks on Instagram alongside her more standard everyday makeup looks.

Mostly using herself as a canvas for her optical illusions, Mimi says, “To be honest, I never thought anybody would be interested in following my bizarre late-night creations a few years ago because it wasn’t ‘on trend.’ But I continued because illusion art is challenging and I like having to push limits each time. Later on, I realized it’s not about creating looks that are ‘popular’ or would guarantee likes/follows, it’s about creating our own trend and breaking barriers.”

Mimi says she rarely even has a specific plan in mind when she starts painting – she just goes for it, and allows the result to come about spontaneously. Check out her Instagram @mimles for lots more wild and intricate makeup creations.

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[ By SA Rogers in Art & Drawing & Digital. ]

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Hidden Stories: 3D-Printed, Architect-Designed Rings Tell Looping Tales

26 May

[ By WebUrbanist in Design & Products & Packaging. ]

Most jewelry tells some kind of a story (about its origin if nothing else) but these pieces are a bit more explicit, featuring tales of structures, characters and actions in miniature built environments.

Architectural designer Artur Dabrowsk produces rings, cuffs, necklaces and bracelets that revolve “around the concept of ‘depth’ in terms of formal language (shadow lines, composition, depth of field) as well as in meaning (details, storytelling).”

Whether he is crafting mysterious staircases to nowhere or endlessly looped brick arches, each piece involves careful attention architectural detail (including theoretical structural load calculations) and is available in brass, bronze or silver.

The brick ring specifically goes back to his days in architecture school — “there is something very tactile and nostalgic that give [bricks] both timeless function and meaning,” says the designer.

“I was raised in a brick clad apartment building in Brooklyn,” he explains, “so I associated the brick wall as a shelter for my introverted childhood. The arch became a metaphoric portal through which I could turn the corner, open up, and express myself while still proud of my introverted self.”

Dabrowsk also has a thing for rabbits, which are something he has sketched idly for a long time and has since started to include as characters in his tiny built environments. “I started drawing them in the margins of my notebooks during grade school and personify them to express thoughts, situations or feelings I was having.”

“I think the imagery of it being personified is playful — the rabbit is cute, hops around, eats, multiplies… and lives naively in this world.” Even here, though, he is conscious of real-life conditions – the suspended rabbit above hands from what would, in reality, be the bare minimum load-support beam across an abyss.

Fans of architectural jewelry should also take a peak at this series of wearable skylines, featuring famous scenes and settings (though in a more two-dimensional format) from around the world.

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Bamboo Architecture: 14 Sustainable and Spectacular Organic Structures

25 May

[ By SA Rogers in Architecture & Public & Institutional. ]

Extraordinarily flexible yet strong, the fast-growing grass known as bamboo serves as a versatile medium for architectural projects with sculptural flair, especially when it’s bent or woven. These examples of artistic bamboo structures show off the material’s potential and hint at how it could play a role in futuristic yet sustainable architecture and infrastructure in the years to come.

5 Incredible Structures at the Bamboo Architecture Biennale

At the first annual Bamboo Architecture Biennale in 2016, which was held in the village of Baoxi, China, 12 architects demonstrated different methods of bamboo construction, including Kengo Kuma, Simon Velez, Anna Heringer and Vo Trong Nghia. Each of the pavilions serves a certain purpose, like Kuma’s ceramics museum and Heringer’s youth hostel. The bamboo bridge (pictured top) by Ge Quantao is especially impressive.

Wuxi Harbor Bridge by Mimesis Architecture Studio

Mimesis Architecture Studio shows how beautifully bamboo can augment structures made from other materials via the Wuxi Harbor Bridge, using it as formwork for the handrails of the deck and to create carbonized bamboo nets along the top of the bridge. These nets are weatherized and strong, not to mention easy and cheap to replace.

Green Ladder: Temporary Pavilion by Vo Trong Nghia

Bamboo poles create a grid-like network supporting planter pots to bring nature back to the city in this pavilion by Vo Trong Nghia. The project aims to raise awareness about the importance of access to nature in cities, especially in vietnam, where green spaces are increasingly rare.

Reconstruction of the Universe: Pavilion by Sun Xun

Bamboo curls up and over an outdoor space to act as a shade-providing roof in this project by Chinese artist Sun Xun and Swiss watchmaker Audemars Piguet for Art Basel. It’s made of 1300 madame timber bamboo poles, facing the ocean.

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Bamboo Architecture 14 Sustainable And Spectacular Organic Structures

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[ By SA Rogers in Architecture & Public & Institutional. ]

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Amsterdam Airbnb in a Metro Station Mocks Misleading & Harmful Hotels

25 May

[ By SA Rogers in Boutique & Art Hotels & Travel. ]

Anyplace can be an Airbnb – including vans, sheds, housing that should rightfully be for rent to the city’s residents, and cozy rooms ‘by the metro’ that turn out to actually be in the metro station. In fact, the latter example is on display in the metro station Wibautstraat in Amsterdam’s city center right now, walled off with glass to put guests on full display of commuters in a commentary on how misleading and harmful listings on the travel accommodations website can be.

Created by Dutch artist Boudewijn Rückert, the installation could be read in a variety of ways without context. If you didn’t know the artist’s intentions, you might think this was an advertisement, or an unconventional room made available by Airbnb as a promotional stunt. But lean in and take a close look at the placard accompanying the exhibition.

The text reads, “This unique location is an ideal base for your Amsterdam exploring. Spacious room with artificial lighting. It is really cosy and comfortable. Very close to the city center, ideal for conference goers. Very safe environment. Open and big windows. Public transport is very nearby.”

As Rücker notes on his website, roughly 15,000 homes are currently offered “as a permanent holiday” in the city, excluding them from housing and contributing to gentrification. Plus, the way these accommodations are typically styled makes them exceedingly generic in the sterile Silicon Valley aesthetic increasingly referred to as ‘Airspace.’

The artist outfitted the room in furniture and decor you could find in any city around the world thanks to Ikea, along with “a butt-ugly vase with plastic flowers,” with nothing but a photo of an Amsterdam ferry on the wall to hint at the room’s geographic location.

While he’s aware that the installation is bound to press the buttons of Airbnb fans and perhaps the company itself, he hopes it will stimulate conversation around how renting out all these rooms is affecting the lives of people who live in the host cities – a controversy that’s definitely not limited to the city of Amsterdam.

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[ By SA Rogers in Boutique & Art Hotels & Travel. ]

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Pillars of Green: 85,000 Plants on World’s Largest Vertical Garden Facade

23 May

[ By WebUrbanist in Architecture & Houses & Residential. ]

An extensive living facade system in Bogota, Columbia, represents growth in the right direction, away from unrealistic tree-covered skyscrapers toward more sustainable and useful vertical greenery.

The Santalaia building has plants spanning over 30,000 square meters of its surface area, able to produce oxygen for over 3,000 people annually (and filter tons of heavy metals, harmful gases and other airborne particulates). Paisajismo Urbano installed this specific system, developed by Ignacio Solano.

The recent trend (in renderings and to some extent reality) of putting trees onto tall towers is problematic from engineering and ecological standpoints. “Intensive” greenery requires thicker layers of soil and more complex systems for watering, maintenance and structural support. “Extensive” greenery, by contrast, provides many of the same benefits with lower cost and less wasted energy.

Many architects are naturally tempted to place trees on buildings, which do have a few functional advantages (like providing shade and making for nice-looking renderings). Still, building residents as well as the public would be better served in most cases by systems like this one. Even then, it is important to determine in advance what the goals and intended benefits are, since any green installation is complex and requires ongoing support.

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Seoul Skygarden: Elevated Park on an Abandoned Highway Officially Opens

23 May

[ By SA Rogers in Drawing & Digital. ]

A formerly abandoned 1970s highway in South Korea’s capital city now hosts 24,000 plants as the Seoullo Skygarden, an elevated public park open to all citizens 24 hours a day. That’s a big deal in a city where so much architecture and infrastructure tends to be corporate-sponsored, with special perks for paying customers of companies like Hyundai. Mayor Park Won-soon, a former human rights and anti-corruption activist, wanted to balance all those logos with public spaces that are more accessible to all.

Dutch architecture firm MVRDV was tasked with designing the park back in 2015, and in just two years, they’ve created a successful public space revitalizing and connecting public spaces near the main railway station that were previously fragmented by roads and rail tracks. Its base, a 1970 motorway flyover, sat empty for a long time after being deemed unsafe for its original purpose.

The Skygarden is packed with 645 potted trees and around 228 species and sub-species of plants, adding a significant amount of greenery to a highly paved area of the city – not to mention encouraging foot traffic, recreation, interaction and physical activity. The route is set up to create a network of hotels, shops, gardens and other attractions, enlivening the center of the city. It’s not just a walkway – it’s an educational experience.

“The linear park was designed as a collection of small gardens, each one with its very own composition, perfume, color and identity,” says MVRDV. “The landscape will change according to the seasons: the bright colors of leaves in autumn of the Aceraceae family (maples), the blossom of cherry trees and rhododendron in spring, the evergreen conifer trees ink inter and shrubs and trees bearing fruit in summer.”

“In the future, the overpass will evolve with new plants and new activators so as to become an ‘urban nursery,’ rearing trees for the surrounding districts. Additional structures of stairs, lifts and escalators as well as new ‘satellite’ gardens can connect to the Skygarden, sprouting like branches from the existing structural piers. These extensions can inspire further additions to the area’s greenery and public spaces, and will connect the Skygarden to its surroundings both physicallyl and visually through plant species related to each of the neighborhoods.”

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Murals with a Message: 23 Works of Statement-Making Street Art

22 May

[ By SA Rogers in Art & Street Art & Graffiti. ]

Banksy may be the most famous street artist addressing topics like capitalism, war, the refugee crisis and environmental degradation, but he’s far from the only one. These political works by a wide range of international artists call attention to the ravages of the palm oil industry, police brutality, climate change, rapid industrialization and human trafficking with powerful visuals in public places.

Ernest Zacharevic, Isaac Cordal & Strok: Splash and Burn

In western Indonesia, on the island of Sumatra, the palm oil industry is ravaging the forests, cruelly killing and displacing species like the orangutan. The ‘Splash and Burn’ project, curated by Ernest Zacharevic, aims to call attention to these issues through art installations by international creatives. Ernest’s own contribution is a gut-wrenching mural of the forest on fire as an orangutan tries to escape, while Strok’s shows how workers attempt to rescue orangutans clinging to life in mostly-destroyed forests. Isaac Cordal, who’s known for his street installations of miniature figures, shows recovery efforts in action, along with a striking representation of those who get rich on the industry.

Sophia Dawson: Police Brutality

Brooklyn artist Sophia Dawson has painted many hard-hitting murals in her own city, including the two shown here, which say “We Want an Immediate End to Police Brutality and Murder of Black People’ and educate the public on their rights. “I endeavor to create a narrative art that addresses human and political struggle,” says Dawson. “In doing so my aim is to convey the true stories and experiences of oppressed people from political movements in ways that more broadly form, shade and convey the individual and collective injustices they face.”

NeverCrew: Environmental Tragedies

The Swiss street artist duo known as NeverCrew (Christian Rebecchi and Pablo Togni) created a series of public murals addressing climate change, women asylum seekers and other issues throughout 2016. Of ‘Black Machine,’ the image of the polar bear covered in oil, the artists say “Playing with the line of sight of the forced point of view from the sidewalk and inspiring us to the theater (on whose wall was made the painting,) we decided to work on the idea of representation intended in a broad sense as portrayal, as performance and as a figuration of reality. We used direct references to the theatrical context to define a ‘real’ proportion and a starting point, but we wanted to move the attention on global warming related to human habits. We have then developed these issues trying to evoke the position (and responsibility) of man in a delicate balance, into the ecosystem, and so the choice points of view, of real awareness and the idea of a passive condition in a system.”

Sr. X: Capitalism Critiques

Spanish artist Sr. X completed this rooftop mural on an old billboard platform on London’s Great Eastern Street, with a pointed critique that requires no further explanation.

Pejac: The World Going Down the Drain

The world threatens to melt through a storm drain into the sewer below in this Santander, Spain street piece by Spanish artist Sylvestre Santiago, better known as Pejac.

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Murals With A Message 23 Works Of Statement Making Street Art

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Ferrari Designer Launches World’s Most Luxurious Sleeper Train in Japan

22 May

[ By WebUrbanist in Technology & Vehicles & Mods. ]

Public transit meets luxury transport in this elegant and open train design with rich interiors as well as copious windows for viewing the passing landscape.

The champagne-colored Shiki-Shima sleeper boasts aesthetics by Ken Kiyoyuki Okuyama, the automotive designer behind the Ferrari Enzo as well as Maserati Quattroporte. Inside, branching window frames are meant to conjure images of tree-lined forests.

Window geometries on the exterior reflect the different needs of interior spaces, from lovely common rooms and fancy dinner cars to split-level sleeping compartments.

The design is also distinctly Japanese, featuring traditional wood, paper and lacquer interiors with tatami mats and artistic techniques developed over centuries of history.

and brings the elegant physique of a supercar to public transport. with dome cars, large geometric windows and a plush sofas, a trip on the rain suite shiki-shima is comparable to a luxury cruise.

“Okuyama nods to japanese artisanal crafts with his use of bentwood—made by curving wood with steam—to frame the sofas and seating. Meanwhile, oriental carpet mills takes car of the design under foot, using their signature ornate carpets that can already be found in the Vatican palace and Kyoto state guest house. The train consists of 17 rooms in total, with two large suite rooms and 15 smaller ones. JR east, the rail operator behind the luxury masterpiece, seeks to provide ‘a high-grade space’ that is currently unseen in existing railway journeys.”

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Fading To Black: 13 Abandoned TV Repair Shops

22 May

[ By Steve in Abandoned Places & Architecture. ]

TV repair shops, once fixtures of our tuned-in society, have faded away as televisions became more reliable and the broadcast medium itself lost its relevance.

Take Milbee Radio & TV, a tiny TV repair shop supposedly operating out of Elizabethtown, PA. We say “supposedly” because neither Flickr user Katie Burkey (StarPhotographs) nor Wendyvee of RoadsideWonders have been able to find anyone actually working there – “I think this shop might be abandoned, but I never knew for sure,” stated Burkey in March of 2011.

Aside from the minuscule size of the shop (and its queasy two-tone green paint job), the gloriously retro sign tells a story all on its own. Does anyone remember brand names like Admiral, Zenith, Philco and Quasar? How long since the word “RADIO” on a sign attracted customers? Last but not least, “COLOR” television was once a feature worthy of note.

Don’t Give A Hoot

The latest entry in the Anti-Zombie Fortress sweepstakes is the former Hoots TV Service on Highway 80 West, Fort Worth, Texas. According to Joan Carroll, the glass block-enhanced blockhouse dates from 1964 and was the third (and final) location of Hoots TV.

Screen Thy Last Screen

This Japanese TV and monitor repair, assembly and distribution center seems to have soldiered on until 2008, according to calendars found within by Florian and friends from the Abandoned Kansai urbex blog.

Like many Japanese abandonments, the business appears to have been closed in a hurry with much equipment and stock left in place and on shelves. Towards the end, the business serviced Sega arcade machines and monochrome computer monitors but couldn’t afford to retool when ponderous CRT screens gave way to flat-screen LCD and TFT-LCD displays.

Bad Dreams

Odd that microwave ovens were once categorized as electronic devices instead of kitchen appliances but hey, those were the days! Dream Lovers T.V. Shop (why the periods between T and V?) once sold and serviced televisions – and presumably microwaves – from this gritty shop in Nottingham, UK. Flickr user Rust Never Sleeps captured the shop’s well-aged storefront in late July of 2014.

Rough In The Dimond

This ultra-rustic TV Sales & Service shop languishes unlamented in the cold heart of East Oakland’s Dimond (pronounced “diamond”) district. Flickr user Billy (misterbigidea) snapped the shop’s weary weathered facade in late January of 2014.

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Fading To Black 13 Abandoned Tv Repair Shops

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Helping Hands: “Support” Sculpture Braces Venetian Architecture From Below

21 May

[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Installation & Sound. ]

Historic architecture meets modern art on the canals of Venice, where a pair of gigantic hands emerge from the depths to lend support above the waterline.

Designed by Lorenzo Quinn, “Support” was put into place a month in advance of the 57th International Art Biennale but is already drawing massive crowds ahead of its official debut.

It was prefabricated and shipped into positioned down the Grand Canal, then assembled and positioned so that it appears to support the Sagredo Hotel, a structure dating back to the 14th century.

Like many historic buildings in the city, this one rises straight up from the water — also like others, it is threatened by the prospect of higher sea levels as well as sinking and settling of the ground below.

“I wanted to sculpt what is considered the hardest and most technically challenging part of the human body. the hand holds so much power – the power to love, to hate, to create, to destroy” says the artist.

“Venice is a floating art city that has inspired cultures for centuries, but to continue to do so it needs the support of our generation and future ones, because it is threatened by climate change and time decay.”

"Cose" interessanti. #biennaledivenezia #venezia #lorenzoquinn #biennalearte2017 #manigrandi #solocosebelle #ENERGIA??????

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Le mani sono strumenti che possono tanto distruggere il mondo quanto salvarlo e trasmettono un istintivo sentimento di nobiltà e grandezza in grado anche di generare inquietudine poiché il gesto generoso di sostenere l'edificio ne evidenzia la fragilità. #venezia#venice#casagredohotel#mani#scultura#arte#support#lorenzoquinn#igersvenezia#igersveneto#loves_united_venice#loves_venezia#loves_veneto#veneziaunica#veneto_best_pics#veneto_in#loves_united_veneto#venetissimo#ig_venice#veniceinlove#loves_united_italy#loves_united_team#loves_united_details#volgoitalia#labellavenezia#volgoveneto#loves_veneto#venezia??

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Stunning #venezia #venice #fondacodeitedeschi #rooftoop #canalgrande #biennalearte2017 #lorenzoquinn

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“Reflecting on the two sides of human nature, the creative and the destructive, as well as the capacity for humans to act and make an impact on history and the environment, Quinn addresses the ability for humans to make a change and re-balance the world around them—environmentally, economically, socially,” writes the Halycon Gallery, which represents Quinn.

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