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Archive for the ‘Creativity’ Category

10 Subterranean Museums Reclaiming Abandoned Mines, Tunnels, Cellars & Docks

18 Jul

[ By SA Rogers in Destinations & Sights & Travel. ]

Disused subterranean spaces like former mines, quarries, tunnels, bunkers and catacombs can offer just the right combination of spaciousness, moodiness, natural drama and a sense of gravity to house museums and other places of learning. Often making use of raw, rocky walls, cavernous proportions and the temperature-regulating insulation of the earth, these underground museums give us opportunities to explore spaces that are typically closed to the public.

TIRPITZ Museum in Denmark by BIG

Tucked into the sandy shorelines of Blåvand, Denmark, TIRPITZ Museum by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) transforms a former German WWII bunker into a cultural complex housing a venue, exhibits and galleries. “The heavy hermetic object is countered by the inviting lightness and openness of the new museum,” say the architects. “The galleries are integrated into the dunes like an open oasis in the sand – a sharp contrast to the nazi fortress’ concrete monolith.”

Salina Turda Salt Mines Turned Museum, Romania

A cavernous salt mine deep beneath Transylvania, built in the 17th century, is now the world’s largest salt mining history museum. The alien-like quality of the unusual timber structures built within it, along with the suspended tube lights, augment the sense of being in an otherworldly place. These structures offer recreational attractions like a mini golf course, bowling lanes and a ferris wheel. The museum is completely free of allergens and most bacteria and maintains 80% humidity naturally.

Centre for International Light in an Old Storage Cellar, Germany

The world’s one and only light art museum resides beneath the German city of Unna in former brewery storage cellars, hosting site-specific exhibitions by artists like Olafur Eliasson, James Turrell and Joseph Kosuth. The Centre for International Light Art is definitely a hidden gem, attracting just 25,000 visitors per year, partially due to the fact that local laws require limited capacity tours for safety reasons in case of the need for evacuation.

Paris Underground: Catacombs, Tunnels and Unofficial Arts Spaces

Perhaps one of the world’s best-known subterranean historical spaces, the Catacombs hold an estimated 6 million bodies from the Cimetieres des Saints-Innocents as well as a vast network of underground tunnels and rooms, most of which are closed to the public. In addition to officially sanctioned attractions (which also include a museum documenting the history of the French sewer system and the ancient ruins beneath Notre Dame) the tunnels and quarries hold countless works of street art and are often used as settings for informal and often illegal events – and as housing. These images were captured by photojornalist Stephen Alvarez for National Geographic.

Messner Mountain Museum Corones by Zaha Hadid, italy

Telescoping out of the summit plateau of Plan de Corones in the Italian Alps, the Messner Mountain Museum by Zaha Hadid Architects celebrates the career of climber Reinhold Messner – the first to make it to the top of Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen — and explores the sport of mountain climbing. Underground gallery spaces contain photographs of the climber’s life and adventures while the three protruding volumes offer views of the alpine landscape. Messner himself designed much of the structure.

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10 Subterranean Museums Reclaiming Abandoned Mines Tunnels Cellars Docks

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[ By SA Rogers in Destinations & Sights & Travel. ]

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Slow-Motion Demolition: Expanding Agent Cracks Concrete from Within

17 Jul

[ By WebUrbanist in Abandoned Places & Architecture. ]

Going forward, buildings may not need to go out with a bang if this “non-explosive cracking agent” takes off. The destructive action is quieter and potentially cleaner way to take out structures, break down old infrastructure or excavate building sites.

Betonamit is boasted to be a non-toxic powder that, when mixed with water and poured in to drilled holes, much like TNT, but instead of exploding, it “hardens and expands, exerting pressures of 12,000 psi. Reinforced concrete, boulders, and ledge are fractured overnight with no noise, vibration, or flyrock.” It’s not the only such stuff, but claims to be the first (other brands include the cleverly-named Crackamite).

Like some kind of anti-concrete, the dry powder is mixed with water — thus activated, it is poured into place. It is advertised for indoor use, as well as bridges, dams, limestone, boulders and concrete slabs. Seems like great stuff for large-scale artwork of some kind, but there don’t appear to be many such applications as yet.

Geoff Manaugh of BldgBlog wonders, though, what happens when something goes wrong. He writes: “I’m imagining a truck full of this stuff overturning on a crack-laden bridge somewhere, just an hour before a rainstorm begins, or a storage yard filled with crates of this stuff being ripped apart in the summer wind; a seemingly innocuous grey powder drifts out across an entire neighborhood for the next few hours, settling down into cracks on brick rooftops and stone facades, in sidewalks and roadbeds. Then the rains begin. The city crumbles. Weaponized demolition powder.”

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No Quarter: Parking Meters Pimped To Perfection

17 Jul

[ By Steve in Culture & History & Travel. ]

It’s time to pay tribute to parking meters, those metal “trees” of the concrete jungle that have collected billions of coins over eight decades of service.

Parking meters have been fixtures of the urban street scene since the first of 150 “Black Maria” meters was installed on the corner of First Street and Robinson Avenue in Oklahoma City exactly 82 years ago today. The so-called “curbstone parking automats” (see photo caption above) were quickly embraced by retailers who watched their sales increase as day-long street parkers vacated choice parking spaces in favor of actual shoppers.

Park Hair

Space reserved for Jayne Mansfield? OK, that was in poor taste but still – Flickr member Lulu Vision thought this “only in S.F. moment” was worth capturing and we must agree. Parking meters have evolved over the decades but they don’t get much respect. Even so, you don’t have to be one of those “that cloud looks like Elvis” types to see the winking blonde plying her trade on the streets of San Francisco.

Wait, so putting wigs on parking meters is a thing now? Flickr member Tofu (tofuart) snapped the black-wigged meter above in September of 2013 while strolling along South of Market, San Francisc… aha, now we get it: wigging out the parking meters is a ‘Frisco thing. Whew!

Don’t Be Carless, Help The Homeless

The turnover from analog to digital parking meters left many municipalities with hundreds of obsolete meters. What to do? Well, if you’re the city of Montreal you re-install those meters with a new purpose: collecting donations to support the homeless.

Dubbed “ParcoDon” and instituted in 2007, the program saw 70 obsolete parking meters dolled-up and decorated by local celebrities and organizations. The artwork helped members of the public discern the difference between an actual parking meter and a ParcoDon meter, with roughly $ 23,000 being collected over the program’s first three years.

Never mind the irony of meters once used to charge drivers to park now helping to support citizens who can’t afford a home, much less a car. Oh hey, looks like the idea’s catching on – the images above hail from Miami, Florida and Pasadena, California, respectively.

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No Quarter Parking Meters Pimped To Perfection

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[ By Steve in Culture & History & Travel. ]

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Buildings as Backdrops: Playful Photography Humanizes Built Environments

16 Jul

[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Photography & Video. ]

People often play a small part in architectural photography and renderings – not so in this series of travel photographs, which would lovely but otherwise unremarkable without clever human inclusions.

Anna Devis and Daniel Rueda are a design-minded couple, one an illustrator and the other an architect. And they have taken their creative sensibilities on the road, filling in the implicit gaps in built environments across Europe.

The settings represent a range of architectural styles, often bold yet minimalist except for that added element of interactivity, sometimes using props or costumes to turn facades into theatrical sets.

In Denmark, Spain, Italy and other countries they visit, Devis and Rueda take that old idea of a person seeming to ‘tip’ the Leaning Tower of Pisa to new heights. Pixelated surface suddenly become other things, like clocks or canvasses, apparently manipulated by the duo.

That critical personal element that animates each scene also serves as a foil for showing off the patterns and colors of each context, subverting but also highlighting design details. In some cases, added manipulations warp their surroundings as well. For more on their work, follow the pair’s journeys via their Instagram accounts.

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A Whole Latte Art: Masterpieces Rendered in Coffee and Milk

15 Jul

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

Most baristas who go the extra mile to make a cute design in the foam on top of your latte or mocha manage to illustrate a heart, a swan, a cat or maybe an owl, not an entire Vincent van Gogh painting. But there’s always an overachiever, isn’t there? South Korean barista Lee Kang-Bin shows off his illustrative prowess by reproducing masterpieces in nothing but foam and food coloring, destined to be destroyed as soon as someone gets thirsty.

???? 3?? 🙂 . . A price guide for 'Creamart' 'Bear' design is ?7,500 if want another design, have to reservation but only Three cup of Creamart a day . . ???reservation is full. So I don't get reservations for a while. 'Bear' design Orders can be anytime. . 403-3, Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu Monday & Tuesday 14:00 – 10:00 Everyday 12:00 – 10:00 . . . #??? #cthrough #????? #?????? #???? #?????? #?????? #??? #????? #??? #????? #????? #???? #???? #????? #today #instagram #dailyart #coffee #barista #latte #latteart #cafelatte #coffeetime #creamart #espresso #artwork #art

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From ‘Starry Night’ and Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream’ to Captain Jack Sparrow and scenes from Disney movies, the artist faithfully recreates iconic imagery so impressive, it would be hard to take that first sip. Customers wait up to 15 extra minutes for one of Lee Kang-Bin’s creations, and it’s not hard to see why.

#???? ? ?? ???? ? ???? ????? ?? ?????? 🙂 . ????? ?? ????? ?? ???? ???? ??? ??? ???? ?? ?? ???? ?? ?? ?? ????^^ ???? ? ?? ????? ??? ?? ????? 🙂 . . . . . #??? #cthrough #????? #?????? #???? #?????? #?????? #??? #????? #??? #????? #????? #???? #???? #????? #latteartporn #dailyart #coffee #barista #baristalife #latte #latteart #baristadaily #cafelatte #coffeetime #creamart #espresso #artwork

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The 26-year old owns Cafe C-THROUGH in Seoul, so there’s nobody to tell him he can’t spend his time on the clock any way he wants, and customers line up to temporarily ‘own’ one of his paintings, anyway. The self-taught artist honed his skills over ten years on the job, and calls his work ‘creamarts.’

Make to 'The Starry Night' . . . . . #??? #cthrough #????? #?????? #???? #?????? #?????? #??? #????? #??? #????? #????? #???? #???? #????? #latteartporn #dailyart #coffee #barista #baristalife #latte #latteart #cafelatte #coffeetime #creamart #espresso #artwork

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To see more videos of Lee Kang-Bin in action, check out his Instagram, @leekangbin91.

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

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Mattest & Flattest: Blackest Paint You Can Buy Turns Solids into Voids

13 Jul

[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Drawing & Digital. ]

In a weird ongoing war over the blackest black and pinkest pink in the world, a new contender has hit the market — and unlike Vantablack, anyone can purchase some to make really dark artwork (great for black holes!).

Stuart Semple’s blackest salvo to date in this pigment war is Black 2.0, which can create mesmerizing effects in real life that also translate to images and videos. In them, painted objects appear flat, or like voids rather than solids.

According to its creators, “its the most pigmented, flattest, mattest, black acrylic paint in the world,” a claim backed up by a lot of black-coated objects juxtaposed with lighter and brighter surroundings.

This pigment “was created in close collaboration with color chemists, specialists from the cosmetics industry and architectural coatings experts. It’s foundation is Stuart’s ‘Super-Base’ which enables this paint to hold more pigment than any other whilst drying to an anti-reflective, super flat finish.”

An implicit stab at the Vantablack exclusivity arrangement: “It has been developed in close collaboration with thousands of artists from all over the world. Their amazing insight, support and inspiration has formed this unique super-black paint for the benefit of all artists.”

Semple admits it’s not truly the blackest paint when compared to Vantablack, clarifying that it is just the blackest acrylic and blackest paint available to all artists, not just one who secured exclusive rights — note: this black is available to everyone but that artist (via MyModernMet).

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Palaces of Self-Discovery: Photos Document the World’s Most Beautiful Libraries

13 Jul

[ By SA Rogers in Art & Photography & Video. ]

Symmetrical photographs reveal the elegant geometries present in the architecture of some of the world’s most beautiful libraries, captured by Thibaud Poirier. The Paris-based photographer has traveled throughout Europe, visiting places like the Bibliotheque de la Sorbonne, the modern white Stadtbibliothek in Stuttgart, Dublin’s Trinity College Library and the church-like Biblioteca Angelica in Rome to highlight their classical beauty and make us all wish we were roaming around gazing at those rows of books right now.

“Like fingerprints, each architect crafted his vision for a new space for this sacred self-exploration,” says Poirier. “These seemingly minute details are everywhere, from the balance of natural and artificial light to optimize reading yet preserve ancient texts to the selective use of studying tables to either foster community or encourage lonely reflection. The selection of these libraries that span space, time, style and cultures were carefully selected for each one’s unique ambiance and architectural contribution.”

The photographer calls this library series ‘Palaces of Self-Discovery,’ noting that they provide the same kind of worship space and community interaction as a church, even while the act of reading is typically a solitary one. Within each of these buildings is countless opportunities to lose oneself in another place or time, take on another person’s identity and temporarily forget about all of our cares and worries.

The photos also offer something we couldn’t get from these libraries in real life: the chance to see them empty of people. Poirier seems to have gained permission to enter each library before or after opening hours to get his shots, further emphasizing the sense of solitary exploration. See the whole series at Thibaud Poirier’s website.

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Bold Boats: 15 Wild, Fantastical & Futuristic Nautical Designs

12 Jul

[ By SA Rogers in Conceptual & Futuristic & Technology. ]

File these awesome boat and watercraft designs under ‘things you’ll wish you had access to this summer.’ Who wouldn’t want their very own personal submarine, or a house boat shaped like a UFO? Some of these wild-sounding creations are concepts – like automated, self-piloted cargo ships and yachts shaped like giant illuminated swans – but others are available to rent or purchase right now.

UFO Houseboat by Jet Capsule

This UFO-shaped fiberglass floating object features a main living area with kitchen, bathroom an storage in its above-water level, while the submerged level contains a bedroom and second bathroom. Or, you could commission one to hold a floating restaurant, gym or hotel reception area. They’re powered by electric engines that push them along at a speed of about nine knots, and their batteries are charged by solar panels, wind turbines and water turbines. The manufacturer, Jet Capsule, will reportedly be ready to start shipping these out via helicopter in 2018.

Quadrofoil: Electric Hydrofoiling Personal Watercraft

This thing looks like a mechanical animal galloping through the water. It also looks really fun to ride in. The Quadrofoil gets a top speed of 21 knots and features an electric engine that can be fully charged in under two hours. They’re available for order now at the company’s website, in three models.

U-Boat Worx C-Explorer 3

This ‘luxury personal submersible’ boat by U-Boat features a 360-degree acrylic pressure hull capable of containing a pilot and two passengers, zooming around underwater for up to 16 hours at a time at a maximum depth of 3,300 feet. Plus, it’s air-conditioned. That’s pretty incredible! While it’s primarily geared toward scientists and researchers rather than the general public, it looks like anyone can order one, provided you have the cash.

Hydrohouse by Max Zhivov

A houseboat, dock, garage and water parking for a hydroplane all come together in a single nautical creation called the HH Hydrohouse, with all parts made from prefab modules so it can be transported by truck. It contains a kitchen, master bedroom and two guest bedrooms and a bathroom, and its upper canopy is one big solar panel array.

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Bold Boats 15 Wild Fantastical Futuristic Nautical Designs

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Flat-Pack Mobile Architecture: This Building Will Self-Construct in 8 Minutes

11 Jul

[ By WebUrbanist in Architecture & Offices & Commercial. ]

Requiring a single tool and very little power, these self-deploying structures are ready for use in minutes, expanding themselves to multiple times their compact travel size.

Based in the United Kingdom, Ten Fold Engineering’s structures can be packed onto ordinary trucks, conforming to road-worthy dimensions for maximum flexibility.

The company boasts myriad possible uses, from medical clinics and mobile hotels to on-demand offices and private retreats — the sale pitch in the video above is a bit blandly corporate, but the mechanics of the thing unfolding are gorgeous.

Their custom pin-jointed linkages help them open and close easily with minimal energy requirements and using just a single (presumably sonic) screwdriver. They are modular and can be customized with various arrangements of floors, doors, windows and dividers — they can even be shipped with furniture inside.

The company is also experimenting with designs for multi-story structures as well as stackable variants, opening up a whole world of possibilities.

Even the designs show an appealing variety of aesthetic possibilities, including dynamic modern looks and spacious expanding ceilings that go a step beyond typical prefab home possibilities.

Thanks to their variable footings, the units can be put up on uneven or sloped ground, stabilizing to sit flat from the perspective of the occupant.

The buildings can go off the grid but also feature optional attachments for solar panels and batteries, presenting an array of potential power possibilities.

At around 700 square feet and $ 130,000 the base models aren’t cheap, but for someone with the urge to roam they make a pretty stylish and comfortable option for a semi-mobile home.

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The Apprehension Engine: Machine Makes Disturbing Horror Movie Music

11 Jul

[ By SA Rogers in Design & Products & Packaging. ]

Is this the most terrifying musical instrument ever made? If you just take a quick glance at it, you’ll likely say no – it’s an unassuming (albeit rather strange) jumble of strings, rods, reverbs and metal rulers attached to a boxy wooden base. But just you wait until composer Mark Coven, whose work includes the stunning score for the 2016 horror film The Witch, sits down at it and starts to play. The sounds that emerge from the ‘Apprehension Engine’ are designed to give you the creeps, and they’re quite effective.

Korven, who has scored a number of feature films over the years, was sick of using the same old digital samples to get the signature scraping, creaking, squealing and rumbling sounds that help provide a hair-raising atmosphere. The world of creating analog sound effects in audio post-production is pretty fascinating, and foley artists use all sorts of weird objects to create many of the sounds you hear in an average movie or TV show.

But Korven wanted something very specific, all together in a single instrument, so he turned to his friend Tony Duggan-Smith, a guitar maker, to help him craft it. In this video, Korven demonstrates to Great Big Story how the Apprehension Engine works as he plucks, wiggles, flicks, thumps and runs a bow across the various objects connected to the instrument.

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