This is a unique, if a little odd, solution to a project on a tight budget. Paraguayan architect Javier Corvalán, inspired by his film director client, designed a house in Asunción whose upper volume—a tilting metal box which houses the kitchen and living room—doubles as a camera obscura inundating the interior with the upturned image of the surrounding landscape through a pinhole. But it isn’t just a nod to the cinema, there are very practical reasons behind Corvalán’s design. With high heat and sunshine the majority of the year in Paraguay, the comfort of shade is very welcome. The tilting feature allows for ventilation and added light as necessary. The budget for the project was a tight 20,000 euros and using materials such as corrugated metal on the top exterior, with concrete and stone sourced from a nearby quarry for the base, and MDF panels on the interior as well as the lack of windows, helped to keep the project on budget. In addition, due to social and economic differences in Paraguay, the crime rate is rather high and security is a serious consideration. The clients’ long absences would have exposed the house to risk of robbery or vandalism but Corvalán’s solution is a virtual hermetic box.
Photographs by Pedro Kok
RISD Industrial Design seniors Henry Freel and Kaitlyn Schoeck, who together form Studio 161, have designed beautiful high quality leather and wool felt Macbook & Macbook Pro cases that go by the name Packatt Case. They are now looking for help in funding the cost of production via their Kickstarter page to keep the price of each case down. For $65 to $70 you can basically preorder one of these lovely cases that snap shut and include a 1/8″ felt lining to protect each computer as well as cleverly doubling as a mouse pad when open.
So, if you’re looking for a new laptop case, or feel like switching to the Packatt Case, or simply want to lend a hand to these young entrepreneurs, head on over to their Kickstarter page and back them!
This is a charming project. Dutch photographer Marloes van Doorn arrived in Kuldiga, Latvia and wanted to connect with its people. Limited by the language barrier and being someone who believes in the universal language of love, van Doorn decided to start hugging the people of Kuldiga. The result is her series of photographs titled I Love Kuldiga and varied reactions by the huggees, which ranged from laughter to deep emotion. Very sweet.
via jeroe napers
This delightfully colorful tape installation designed by Koji Iyama took place in Sendai, Japan, as a promotion for mt masking tape. Iyama and his team set out to show the multiple/alternate uses of the bright and patterned rolls by covering the walls and floors—as well as other objects they came across—of a huge old garage and then hanging thousands of rolls from the ceiling. The visitors could walk through the space and peruse the tape selections on the tables as well. You can see a time-lapse video of the installation process below:
via junkculture via spoon & tamago
Possibly my favorite exhibit (and I’m not one to use that term loosely) in the several art fairs I visited this past weekend was Japanese artist Sohei Nishino’s amazingly intricate and simply spectacular Diorama Maps at Pulse. This ongoing series currently consists of thirteen cities from all over the world that Nishino visited. The artist walks around on foot shooting with film from various locations, taking thousands of photos and cutting up the multitude into small pieces then piecing the enormous mounds together by hand. The Diorama Maps are almost a bird’s eye view of each city, emphasizing key elements that follow the artist’s memory and perception more than a precise map. The results are truly breathtaking. These small images don’t do them justice. Definitely worth clicking on the images for a larger view or looking at the cropped, close-up images. They remind me of David Hockney’s photo collages, yet at a more massive—in their elaboration rather than size— and detailed level, but I did have a similar reaction the first time I saw Hockney’s collages.
It’s been a weekend of wall-to-wall art and design here in NYC with art fairs small and large, from Pulse, to Nada, to Collective, to Frieze and, of course, the opening of Rain Room at MoMA, the interactive and immersive installation by rAndom International that first debuted at the Barbican Centre in London last October. I will be featuring some of the highlights, for me, from these events in the next few days but here, for starters, is the amazing Rain Room.
Rain Room is a large-scale environment (in the case of MoMA, it’s a separate entity outside the museum on 54th Street) with a field of pouring rain whose flow is suspended detecting the presence of bodies, allowing visitors to wander around the room amidst the beautifully highlighted drops, without getting wet. Injection moulded tiles, solenoid valves, pressure regulators, 3D tracking cameras, custom software and steel beams are involved in the production of the installation. Definitely fun and cool, making for some stunning photographs (better ones if you opt for camera over phone) and lots of kids running fast trying (and mostly succeeding) to get wet.
But, as with all fun and cool NYC activities, there are long lines. If you’re a museum member the wait is slightly shorter, but even early on the first day, while there were probably many still unaware of the exhibit, the wait was about an hour and a half. So, go prepared and avoid peak hours. There are early morning members-only hours from 9:30 to 10:30am but getting there by 9am is likely to be a good idea.
Photos: Joe Holmes; rAndom International; and collabcubed
Free& Cheap things to do 5/10/13 to 5/12/13
Free & Cheap things to do in NYC this weekend (5/10/13 to 5/12/13). It’s an especially good weekend for fans of art and design…
1. DESIGN/ART: Fri 5/10 & Sat 5/11 – Collective Design Fair at Pier 57 – will present a cohesive, curated selection of contemporary design and historical pieces from galleries around the world. $25 Fri 11am to 9pm; Sat 11am to 5pm. Register in advance.
2. ART: All weekend & through 9/2 – Subliming Vessel: The Drawings of Matthew Barney $15. Also Fri 5/10 Film No Restraint by Barney at 7pm. Morgan Library. FREE Friday Evenings.
3. ART/DESIGN: All weekend – PULSE NY at the Metropolitan Pavilion. 11am to 8pm $20 to $25
4. MUSIC: Fri 5/10 & Sat 5/11 – Downtown Music Festival Full day passes between $25 and $45
5. DESIGN/ARCHITECTURE/TALKS/ART: All weekend & through 5/21 – NYCxDESIGN inaugural citywide event to showcase and promote design of all disciplines. Events will be staged across all five boroughs,from convention facilities and galleries to design schools and public parks. Most events FREE
6. ART: All weekend – NADA NYC: creatively reinventing the experience and presentation of art in a fair enviornment. at Basketball City at Pier 36 on the East River. See hours FREE.
7. FILM/COMEDY: Fri 5/10 –Kevin Geeks Out about Rip-Off Cinema. Comedy-variety show hosted by Kevin Maher. Vintage clips and videos, games and curiosities. 8pm $10
8. DESIGN/ART: All weekend – Brooklyn Designs annual exhibit of local designers work in furnishings, lighting, and accessories made or designed in Brooklyn. Fri open to Trade. Sat 10 to 7pm, Sun 11am to 6pm. $15 to $20.
9. DESIGN CONFERENCE: Sat 5/11 – Counter/Point: the 2013 D-Crit Conference. 12:30 to 7pm. at SVA theater. FREE with Registration
10. ARCHITECTURE WALK/TOUR: Sat 5/11 – AIA Roosevelt Island: 1970s “New Town In Town” to FDR Four Freedoms 11am to 1pm $15 to $25
11. ARCHITECTURE/TALK: Fri 5/10 – Diller Scofidio in conversation with Dimendberg Vidler and Polan about Lincoln Ctr., 6 to 8pm. FREE with RSVP
12. ART/PARTICIPATORY: Sun 5/12 through 7/28 – The very cool installation that doesn’t get you wet: The Rain Room opens at MoMA $25 admission. FREE Friday evenings and first 100 visitors on Tuesdays in May.
Are those brush strokes with some Jackson Pollock style drips here and there? Take a closer look. That’s right. It’s waxed hair. Ew! Gross? Most will probably think so, but Senior Art student Iris Behler at Brown University explores the role of women in society today and the struggles and negative connotations associated with being a “beautiful woman” in her senior show Attach//Detach. The large quantity of waxed hair on the many strips are given the shape of restrictive structures such as a fence or mirror. The concept of becoming a woman idealized by men involves attachment and detachment both physically as in manicures, extensions, implants, and waxing, but also emotionally in their relationship with men and abuse.
On a much more basic level, I’m simply impressed that Behler was able to accumulate so many strips and keep them from all sticking together!
UK-based artist Alexander Berchert creates kinetic sculptures using mass-produced objects and applying basic principles of physics to change them from ordinary household items to something fun and unexpected. Three such works are: Hoover Tubes using a vacuum cleaner, ducting tubes, and halogen lights among other items; Limbo which brings together a BMX tire, motor, and ping pong ball; and Water Wheel with perspex pipes, food coloring, motor, corks and more.
The results are fun to watch in action; they are kinetic after all (super-short clips):
Other than the one corn maze we visited years ago (which was actually a lot of fun and trickier than we would have imagined to find our way out of) and the occasional movie chase scene that occurs in them—such as in The Shining—mazes are not something that I’m very aware of, but I came across a set of them on flickr that really surprised me, so here they are. Who knew?
These cracked me up. Someone (an anonymous commuter) has definitely found a way to keep themself entertained on their daily commute to work. There’s definitely an art to these, as simple as the concept may be. He/she really have matched position and even tonality on most of these folded newspaper mashups with unsuspecting co-commuter bodies. Nicely done.
Yes, it seems that I’m smitten with Topotek 1’s work (see previous post.) This cotton-candy pink temporary playground was created for the State Garden Show in Wolfsburg, Germany. It’s clear that color and fun are both things that these guys know how to work with well. Twenty-four inflatable objects and fifteen cubes made of foam rubber were strewn across a lawn along with bouncy mats that beckoned to any passer-by. Inspired by grazing horses, young-girls’ romanticism and a Barbie-doll world, this temporary structure is part sculpture part interactive play object.
A more recent garden show installation, in fact going on right now, is in Hamburg and includes wacky Aqua Soccer and Dymaxion Golf. Check it out here.
All photos courtesy the architects and fandisk256’s flickr.
The first thing I thought of when I landed on German landscape architecture studio Topotek 1’s (previously here) projects page and was greeted with all the brightness was “Why don’t real refrigerators come with bright-colored interiors??” So great! Maybe one color for the freezer and another for the fridge? But, they’re not selling refrigerators at Topotek 1. Instead, these are images from their very fun interactive installation titled Cold War at the Venice Architectural Biennale 08. Roughly twenty fridges were lined up and stacked against a wall in the Italian Pavilion each containing funhouse-like effects from sounds, kaleidoscopic viewing machines, to fans, mirrors, peep holes and more. According to principals Martin Rein-Cano and Lorenz Dexler, the installations are a demonstration of the company’s work tactics, offering a glimpse into enchanting worlds.
Photos courtesy of Topotek 1 except image of fan courtesy designboom.
Free & Cheap things to do this weekend in NYC (5/3/13 to 5/5/13)
It’s going to be a perfect Spring weekend so here are plenty of suggestions to keep you out and about with culture and fun. Free & Cheap things to do this weekend in NYC (5/3/13 to 5/5/13) Walks, talks, music, art, Ideas Festival, Pen World Voices Fest, Red Bull Music Fest, Nuit Blanche events, Kentucky Derby, Cinco de Mayo and so much more!
1. THEATER: Fri 5/3 and all weekend – Blondie of Arabia. Monica Hunken’s one-woman show on her odyssey biking through 3 countries in the Middle East weeks before the Arab Spring. A quirky comedy. Monica talks after the Fri 5/3 and 5/10 performances. 8pm. $25.
2. LITERATURE/READINGS: Fri 5/3 – PEN World Voices of International Literature’s Literary Mews. Nestled among the cobblestone streets of NYU’s storied Washington Mews, this day-long “festival within the Festival” will feature writers’ workshops in the morning and readings in the afternoon. FREE
3. ART: Fri 5/3 & all weekend through 6/20 – Holton Rower Focus paintings, Pour Paintings two bodies of work side by side. Diverse results achieved by the artist through his innovative and deceptively simple process of pouring hand-made acrylic paints over wood. Rower will also introduce a new body of work titled “Focus paintings” which are amazingly out of focus! Opening Fri 6 to 9pm. FREE
4. FILM: Fri 5/3 & Sat 5/4 – New York Indian Film Festival $15 See schedule.
5. ART/ARCHITECTURE/URBAN STUDIES/DESIGN/FOOD: Fri 5/3 & Sat 5/4 –Ideas City is a biennial Festival in New York City of conferences, workshops, an innovative StreetFest around the Bowery, and more than one hundred independent projects and public events that are forums for exchanging ideas, proposing solutions, and accelerating creativity. So much to do so check schedule to pick. A few events that caught my eye: Creation 3D; Human Hotel; and Murals on the Bowery. 9am to Midnight. FREE
6. MUSIC: All weekend & through 5/31– Red Bull Music Academy. An amazing amount of music events all around town ranging mostly from FREE to $20. Check events on their site.
7. WALK/ARCHITECTURE: Sat 5/4 – The Great Saunter. A 32 mile walk around Manhattan’s Shoreline.7am to 7pm $20
8. ART/VIDEO/LIGHT: Sat 5/4 – Nuit Blanche presents Change of State. Site-specific projection on the facade of the New Museum. And Mulberry Street Night Fest where the street is converted into a series of cool light, projection-mapping, and video installations. 8pm to midnight. FREE
9. ART/PARTICIPATORY/FUN: Sat 5/4 & Sun 5/5 – The Institute for Psychogeographic Adventure: Experiment 17 - DUMBO Individuals (or pairs) sign up for a personalized journey that remixes history, memory, the everyday and the spectacular. A multitude of performers will be scattered through the neighborhood to lead you through a series of unexpected and fabulous DUMBO encounters. Noon to 5pm $10.
10. ARCHITECTURE/WALK/TOUR: Sat 5/4 – Made in LIC: A Jane Jacobs Walking Tour of Long Island City 12pm at The Clock Tower. FREE
11. MUSIC: Sat 5/4 – Brooklyn Flea Record Fair at Smorgasburg 11am to 6pm. FREE
12. ARCHITECTURE/WALKING TOUR: Sat 5/4 – Hudson Yards: Design(in) The New Heart of NY. OHNY. Exhibit and architect-led tours. 10am to 3pm. Register. FREE.
13. MUSIC/ART/FUN: Sat 5/4 – Earth Day Rockaway: Free activities, live music by Il Collectivo, art-related booths, kite-making, recycling olympics and much more. 12 to 4pm. FREE
14. FUN/SPECTATOR: Sat 5/4 – Kentucky Derby watch sites
15. THEATER: All weekend & through 3/19 – The Pulitzer Prize winning play ‘Night, Mother by Marsha Norman. General Admission $18
16. MUSIC/DANCE/PARTY: Sun 5/5 – Cinco de Mayo with Body Language. Dance Party at Glasslands Gallery. 8:30pm. $10 to $12
17. MUSIC/ART/INSANITY: Sun 5/5 – The National perform their song “Sorrow” for 6 hours straight as part of Ragnar Kjartansson’ A Lot of Sorrow at PS1 in the VW Dome $15 Tkts
18. FOOD/DRINK/FIESTA: Sun 5/5 – Roberta’s Cinco de Mayo Celebration. Tacos, Cervezas. Tequila, music, pinatas! 2pm to 10pm
Get outside and enjoy!
Currently studying at the Slade School of Fine Art in London, Singaporean artist Danielle Tay works in a variety of mediums though up until recently they seem to mostly be limited to walls. Her most recent work appears to be a bit of a departure, stepping into immersive installation art with her work PODS showcased at the Garage Center for Contemporary Culture in Moscow this past January in their very appropriate Art Experiment 2013 show. Each pod had a different interior, some were crawled into, others acted more like canopies, but all of them seem to have offered a very cool environment to its visitor.
This is fabulous! Em sent me the link to this incredibly clever and fun Clip Bag designed by Peter Bristol in Seattle who, it appears from his site, designed the also fun Training Dresser that made the rounds a couple of years ago.
Made with wool felt and aluminum tubing, this gigantic binder clip is both fun (did I say ‘fun’ enough?) and at the same time rather elegant. A surprising, but delightful, combination. Bristol is looking for potential manufacturing/distribution partners so I imagine this will be a reality soon enough.
You can tell right away from her artist statement (or lack thereof) that English artist Linda Hubbard is not one to sugarcoat things: “INTERESTS ….PROPAGANDA. No artist statement from me……..Bullshit stinks……” And with that, she instantly gained my respect.
Working in mostly sculpture and painting, Hubbard relays her strong beliefs and opinions on corporate greed, religion, income inequality, the food & drug industries and plenty more with humor that packs a punch. She has a whole dark series devoted exclusively to Pfizer titled Pfizerland.
You can see much more of Hubbard’s work on her site.