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Archive for the ‘Creativity’ Category

Greek Gods Graffiti: Classically Styled Street Art by Spanish Duo PichiAvo

14 Sep

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

Greek gods and other figures from antiquity tower over a very different world from the one in which they were born, entwined with contemporary graffiti on building facades and other urban surfaces across the globe. The style of PichiAvo, a Spanish street art duo composed of individuals nicknamed Pichi and Avo, is undeniably distinctive, taking imagery usually associated with static, immobile stone statues and enlivening it with a sense of movement and lots of vivid color.

Sometimes, these figures are playfully interacting with the imagery around them; at other times, they’re translucent against their colorful backdrops, almost like ghosts temporarily visiting our realm and checking out what we’ve done with the place. The duo began working together in 2007, painting their creations all over the streets of Spain. Since then, their work has only become more complex.

They were particularly prolific in 2016, splashing a cherub across a five-story apartment building in Denmark and completing a mural of Prometheus in Murcia, Spain for the Festival Arte Urban Mar Minor. They also painted a pair of Greek figures on the side of an abandoned factory building in Valencia, Spain. For the latter, they tried some new techniques, including using spray paint for the background and mixing it with acrylic paint to create the statues.

The duo recently did an interview with Global Street Art, explaining how their styles work together and why they choose these particular visuals.

“We started our style thinking we should bring everything we know about art together and adding graffiti to help bring classical art back to life. The best way we could think of to do this was by working with classical sculpture, sculptures that today are white but people don’t realise they used to be covered in paint, so our painting the figures with the graffiti is our small tribute to the classical sculptures that have marked many historical recognised artists.”

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For the Love of STEM: 20+ Edible Creations Inspired by Math & Science

14 Sep

[ By SA Rogers in Art & Sculpture & Craft. ]

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics rarely get more delicious than this, illustrated and replicated in the form of solid chocolate, sugar crystals, fondant icing, pancakes and even bagels. Wouldn’t you want to take a bite out of an anatomically correct life-sized human skull, a 3D representation of kinetic movement, a Rubik’s cube, a Hubble Telescope photo or gory veterinary surgery in cake form?

Kinetic Tarts & Geometric Cakes

3D-printed molds allow pastry chef Dinara Kasko to make pies, tarts, cakes and other treats with shapes unlike anything you’ve ever seen in a dessert case before. Her latest is a collaboration with artist Jose Margulis, a series of delicious-looking cakes inspired by kinetic waves. They’re made of ingredients like almond sponge cake, yogurt mousse, mascarpone and streusel. Older works include ‘Triangulation,’ a lime-basil cake for SoGood magazine, and ‘The Bubbles,’ which take their inspiration from cells. For the latter, she explains, “I used such geometric constructing principles as triangulation, the Voronoi diagram and biomimicry.” Intrigued? You can buy silicone cake molds from her website and try to recreate these desserts at home.

Geometric Patterns Inside a Cylinder of Chocolate

Geometric patterns hidden within a solid cylinder of chocolate are slowly revealed by a blade on a mill. Studio Wieki Somers teamed up with chocolatier Rafael Mutter to create this installation for Vitra Design Museum, displayed at Art Basel in 2012 for a retrospective of dutch furniture designer and architect Gerrit Rietveld. The patterns continuously change the deeper into the cylinder you go, more complex at times and simpler at others, but always mathematical in nature.

Gory Veterinary Anatomy Cakes

This one’s for the veterinarians out there. One student at the Nottingham Veterinary School created this semi-realistic model of a canine’s superficial head muscles in cake form as part of a fundraiser; another rendered a dog testicle, while a third portrayed a leg amputation in edible form. There’s also equine surgery, and an ‘ascarid impaction colic,’ a procedure to get rid of a severe worm infestation in horses. Looks tasty, huh?

Rubik’s Cube Pastries

French pastry chef Cedric Grolet offers a unique edible spin on the Rubik’s cube in the form of 27 individual pastries. Though he’s spurned the handheld puzzle’s usual primary colors for muted pastels, the object remains recognizable in form. You can purchase one of these cakes at Le Dali, a restaurant inside the Le Meurice Hotel in Paris.

Galaxy Eclairs

Looking like something straight out of NASA’s stunning satellite imagery of space, these cosmic eclairs by Musse Confectionery in Ukraine are truly out of this world. The glaze swirls together hues of blue, purple, pink and white for results so beautiful they’d almost be hard to eat (except that they look delicious.) The chef took inspiration from Hubble Space Telescope photos, offering the eclairs in flavors like raspberry, vanilla, pistachio, salted caramel and chocolate. They’re available in the confectionery’s shop in Kiev.

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For The Love Of Stem 20 Edible Creations Inspired By Math Science

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Moving Performances: 50 Outdoor Mini-Plays Staged for Passing Trains

13 Sep

[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Installation & Sound. ]

Turning the local landscape into an outdoor theater set, hundreds of volunteers in Germany’s Saale Valley staged a series of live performances for the viewing pleasure of train passengers zipping by.

Spanning nearly 20 miles, the Bewegtes Land (or “Moving Land”) project featured a series of fast-moving vignette pieces designed to entertain and amuse, featuring things like a surprise (fake) lake shark and scampering.

Organized by media artists and Bauhaus professors Jörn Hintzer and Jacob Hüfner, the idea was to grab attention for just a few moments at a time (much like we are used to in today’s digital world). The action goes fast indeed, often unfolding in seconds.

Across the rural area in which the performances played out, over 400 residents volunteered their time to take part, turning the enterprise into a community-building experience. It was also a nice way to put the place on the map.

“For one thing, it’s a great weekend, but also people get to notice the beauty of the countryside,” a local mayor reported. “This is not a typical tourist area so maybe this will attract more people.”

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A Toddler Peers Over the US-Mexico Border Fence for JR’s Latest Installation

12 Sep

[ By SA Rogers in Drawing & Digital. ]

Set on scaffolding just across the rust-red fence marking the border between Tecate, California and Mexico, street artist JR’s latest installation is a towering statement on immigration issues in the United States. A one-year-old boy named Kikito peers over to the other side with all the innocence and naiveté of childhood, just days after the current U.S. administration announced its intention to end the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) immigration program.

The site-specific work is precisely angled to create the illusion that the child is grasping the top of the fence, looking out onto the Californian terrain. Like most of JR’s works, the 70-foot-tall image is rendered in black and white; the child is from the local community on the Mexican side of the border. Curated by Pedro Alonzo, the work asks onlookers to consider the fate of the 800,000 ‘Dreamers’ whose parents wished them a better future.

“Some people dream about fantasy worlds, I dream about walls,” JR told The New York Times in a phone interview. “I wonder, is this kid worrying about what will happen? What does he think? At one year old, you don’t see the frontier or which side is better… people will always migrate. When we built walls, people built tunnels. When we closed places, they went by water. The history of humanity is the story of people migrating.”

“For this little kid, there are no walls and borders.”

The installation will remain in place through October 2nd, and you can pinpoint its exact location at JR’s website.

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A Few Steps Higher: 14 Unusually Artistic Modern Staircase Designs

11 Sep

[ By SA Rogers in Design & Fixtures & Interiors. ]

Stairs are inherently utilitarian, but some architects choose to really step up their interiors with highly sculptural designs that make you want to walk up and down a bunch of times. Cantilevered creations, floating stairs, spirals made of stone and zig-zagging graphic designs add both literal and figurative movement to these apartments, museums, offices and shops.

Stone and Wire in London by Groupwork + Amin Taha

During the completion of a renovation on a terraced house in central London dating to the 1950s, Groupwork + Amin Taha created a gorgeous centerpiece with this stone staircase, spiraling around a central cylinder-shaped wire cage, which acts as a balustrade. The load-bearing cantilevered travertine staircase extends from the basement to a skylight in the apartment’s roof.

Atrium Stairs at Moscow’s Dominion Office Building by Zaha Hadid

There’s something very futuristic-looking about the stark, graphic black-and-white stairs zig-zagging through the atrium of Zaha Hadid’s ‘Dominion Office Building.’ Each level is slightly offset from the next, producing a disorienting effect when looking down at the stairs from the edge of any of the balconies.

Mirrored Staircase at Kaleidoscope House by Paul Raff Studio

Sometimes, all it takes is a little creativity to produce a stunning effect, rather than a large space and expensive materials. The staircase ascending through Paul Raff Studio’s Kaleidoscope House features mirrored side panels on the balustrade which continue onto the landings of each level, reflecting each other so you can’t quite tell what’s real and what’s reflection. This piece is the heart of the home’s ‘kaleidoscope effect.’

Plywood Puzzle Stairs in London House by Tsuruta Architects

This staircase in a London Home renovated by Tsuruta Architects consists of nearly 2,000 plywood pieces slotted together like a puzzle. Replacing a larger staircase with a more compact design, this new creation connects all four stories without visually obstructing the transitional spaces between them, allowing light to filter through.

Smooth Staircase at Singapore Apple Store by Foster + Partners

It’s not unusual for Apple stores in larger cities to function as showcases for architecture nearly as much as they do for electronics. In this case, internationally renowned firm Foster + Partners augmented “the greenest Apple space yet” with two hand-carved spiraling staircases made of Italian Castagna Stone. The architects describe them as “warm and beautifully sculpted bookends” in an “homage to craftsmanship and materiality.”

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A Few Steps Higher 14 Unusually Artistic Modern Staircase Designs

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Book Box Bonanza : 12 Freaky Little Free Libraries

11 Sep

[ By Steve in Architecture & Public & Institutional. ]

Since 2009 over 50,000 Little Free Library book exchange boxes have sprung up on lawns worldwide, though some are worthy of a surprised second glance.

You’ve probably passed a Little Free Library during a recent walk, ride or drive though your neighborhood. Odds are you passed it off as a personal project of some local do-gooder or over-achieving parent but the so-called “Little Free Library Movement” is bigger, broader and more organized than anyone could guess.

The first Little Free Library was created by Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin as a tribute to his mother, a former schoolteacher and lifelong book-lover. Bol’s pioneering concept was meant to look like a miniature one-room schoolhouse but that design isn’t mandated, even for those who register with the non-profit Little Free Library Ltd. website and receive an official sign they can affix to their box. Size isn’t de rigeur either though the above Tardis library box is larger than most… especially on the inside. Flickr member ap^ snapped the example above from Bloomington, MN on April 27th of 2013.

Bustsellers

If you’re calling your Little Free Library “Headless Books“, it follows that your book box be decorated to display that fact. Crafted from a disused bREADbox and topped by a headless (and topless, at the risk of being redundant) mannequin torso scrounged from a local garage sale, The Headless Library can be found in NE Minneapolis.

Since September of 2012 the torso-topped library shared yard space with Penny’s Childrens Library – another ex-breadbox topped with a plastic lawn-ornament penguin because why not? Sadly, this library was trashed and the penguin stolen by unknown assailants during a spring blizzard in April of 2013… at press time the penguin was still missing. We suggest looking for it on top of a British woman’s TV set.

Book To The Future

Dubbed the Little Free Library 3D X, this futuristic little library comes to us courtesy of designer and Flickr member Robert Sekula (ethno folk funk architects) in cooperation with Andrej Poliak. Never thought you’d see the words “futuristic” and “library” in the same sentence, did you?

Morel Of The Stories

What is it about Minnesota and odd Little Free Libraries? Flickr member Marie Janssen (jamuraa) snapped the above “Little Tree Free Library” in New Brighton, MN, on August 11th of 2012. Another source states it’s modeled on a mushroom of the morel family.

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Book Box Bonanza 12 Freaky Little Free Libraries

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Mobile Micro-Lending: 17th-Century Book-Shaped Library Hides 50 Tiny Books

10 Sep

[ By WebUrbanist in Technology & Vintage & Retro. ]

Back in the 1600s, long before science fiction authors dreamed up digital e-readers, this Jacobean traveling library was making the rounds, housing dozens of small books in a larger book-shaped case. Bound in leather like a large folio volume, it is thought to be one of the first of its kind.

The handcrafted wooden shell was purpose-built to house a collection of littler volumes that could in theory be swapped out for different journeys, much like loading up a modern device with novels (or torrents).

Located at the University of Leeds Library, this case is presumed to have been commissioned by a lawyer and politician named William Hakewell in 1617 as a holiday gift (as the recipient’s and giver’s coats of arms are both found on the case). The case is quite compelling — it looks a lot like a book upon casual inspection — while the contents are neatly arranged in similar-looking bindings.

The gift included classics by Ovid, Virgil and Cicero among others, spanning a range of philosophical and theological subjects. Hakewell commissioned several similar cases over the years, which would also have facilitated trades across collections of friends if they were so inclined. Each case also contained a list of original books that came with the commission, which in turn have numbers corresponding to the list

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Lego’s Largest and Most Expensive Kit Ever is an $800 Millennium Falcon

08 Sep

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

You don’t get a sense of just how large and complex Lego’s latest kit really is until you see it someone’s arms, or taking up the entire table surface in front of them. A gift for true enthusiasts of both the toy brick company and Star Wars, the Ultimate Collectors Series Millennium Falcon is the single largest and most expensive Lego kit ever sold, presented in a huge box full of 7,541 pieces. In fact, the box is so heavy that Lego teased on Twitter that they’d have to add wheels and a handle so customers can get it out the door.

An update on the last Ultimate Collector’s Millennium Falcon, which was released in July 2007, this new set expands it by over 2,000 pieces, adding a stunning range of details that will delight discerning fans. You can even swap out the deflector dishes to either look as they did in the original Star Wars trilogy or in The Force Awakens.

It comes with 10 minifigures, including Leia, C-3P0, Han and Chewbacca from the trilogy and Finn, Rey, BB-8, ‘Old Han’ and two porgs from The Force Awakens. You can even spin the original Han and Leia’s heads around to reveal optional faces outfitted with air respirators.

Fans who missed out on the 2007 model still pay up to $ 3,000 in the rare occasion that one pops up on eBay, and Lego expects the new set to sell out, so if all of this news has you swiping everything off your dining table in anticipation, you’d better run out and get one as soon as it goes on sale October 1st.

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Mobile Urbanism: Wheeled Benches & Planters Let Public Reconfigure Square

08 Sep

[ By WebUrbanist in Design & Furniture & Decor. ]

A former parking has become a Green Oasis in front of Poznan, Poland’s city hall, but beyond providing seating and greenery the redesign adds another key element: effectively endless flexibility.

Custom-created benches and planters (filled with an array of taller trees and shorter flora) create a system of mobile street furniture that can be configured in an infinite variety of ways.

Normally, independent islands allow small groups to gather. As needed, though, the benches can be matched up for anything from public speeches to in-the-round performances — the modular geometry of the 14 benches and 20 planters allows them to befit together like pieces of a puzzle.

Developed by Atelier Starzak Strebicki, this modular courtyard serves as a gathering space, open-air amphitheater or auditorium — the street furniture elements can also be moved out of the way entirely if the entire square is needed.

The seats are also doubled-up, allowing people to sit on a higher or lower tier (or both simultaneously for crowded events). At the same time, the furnishings are sufficiently heavy that no one need worry about someone walking (or rolling) away with them at the end of the evening.

These fairly simple but robust steel-and-wood designs provide a nice industrial-style contrast with their historic surroundings, and suggest another way of thinking about public furniture, one which allows it to serve different functions on demand.

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You’ll Never Want to Leave This All-in-One Bed Full of Gadgets & Storage

07 Sep

[ By SA Rogers in Design & Furniture & Decor. ]

Blow-up dolls and boyfriend-shaped body pillows may make you feel a little less lonely, but they can’t give you a massage – unlike this multifunctional bed that performs so many functions, you half-expect it to cook you breakfast in the morning. Sold by a variety of Asian retailers for roughly $ 600 USD, including SG Shop and English TaoBao, this slightly bonkers piece of furniture incorporates virtually everything you can imagine (reasonably) wanting to be built right into your bed, from USB chargers, speakers, power outlets and a pop-out laptop table to an actual built-in massage chair with multiple settings.

Lift up the mattress to find plenty of storage underneath for extra bedding and ubiquitous pillows. There’s also hidden storage in the bench at the foot of the bed, and shelves all along both sides. Optional features include leather upholstery instead of the default fabric, which comes in a multitude of colors, and even a freaking safe to hold your valuables.

If there’s one glaringly obvious feature this bed doesn’t have to offer, it’s a mattress long enough for the average American. The small size measures just 4’11” while the large size adds a foot. So if you’re larger of stature, this bed might not be for you – at least, not to sleep in. It would still make a pretty cool living room lounger. If you were designing your own all-in-one dream bed, what would you add? A mini fridge? A built-in coffee maker?

h/t My Modern Met

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