Clavel Architects led by Manuel Clavel Rojo, took on the renovation of the Casanueva Pharmacy in Murcia, Spain. (See before and after photos second row from top.) One of the major challenges of the project was that it had to be completed in two months and the store remained open during the first month. Because of this, 95% of the project was prefabricated.
The amazing façade (who wouldn’t want a façade made of type? And one that lights up to boot!) not only spells out the store’s identity but serves as a shading mechanism from the hot afternoon sun. The façade and all the interior furnishings were prefabricated in a workshop, and the slat cladding was also a quick-to-build solution.
I think Duane Reade with all their constant renovations would do well to pick up a pointer or two from Clavel’s cool redesign.
via the archive
Click to enlarge.
Here’s a nice, as well as smart, design from Belgian designer Marcial Ahsayane. It’s a three-in-one piece: each half functions separately, one as a pestle for mixing or grinding, the other as a container for liquids such as oil, that can be mixed in. When screwed together, the whole functions as a rolling pin.
Clever, attractive, and functional!
Click to enlarge.
I got a huge kick out of these masks when I came across them the other day. Originally from Lowell, Massachusetts, where there are many old mill buildings left over from the 1800s, artist Rob Millard-Mendez was fascinated by late-nineteenth century mechanical technology. His art consists mostly of interactive kinetic objects with a combination of mythological, scientific, and historical references as well as an American Folk Art feel. There is a dark humor to his work, blurring the line between the tragic and the laughable.
From the artist’s website:
…The toy-like quality of the pieces is set in ironic counterbalance with a certain amount of dark whimsy. The interactivity ties in with the idea of power. The things we do (and do not do) affect the world, often more deeply than we know. In these works I am trying to make the viewer think about who has the power to influence whom and in what ways...
From top to bottom: Tends to Lash Out (Wood, steel, measuring sticks, reclaimed ivory): Unfertility Mask and detail (Wood, paint, steel, condoms); Unable to See Over the Hegemony (Wood, steel, measuring sticks, reclaimed ivory); Alchemist Mask (Wood, steel, lead, gold leaf); Critical Mas(k); detail of Critical Mas(k) (Wood, measuring sticks); Phaeton Mask; Detail of Phaeton Mask (Wood, steel, tile, oven mitts, matches). All images courtesy of the artist.
Rob Millard-Mendez currently resides in Evansville, Indiana, and teaches at the University of Southern Indiana. You can see the rest of his equally whimsical work on his site.
If you ever have trouble remembering to add water to your flower centerpiece, then the Corey Balloon Vase is definitely the vase for you. Cleverly designed by recent graduate of SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) Corey Green, using a regular latex balloon as the central body that when shriveled indicates a need for refreshing the water supply. The easy-to-assemble acrylic frames mimic a variety of more traditional vase silhouettes and serve as the holder for the balloons which come in an assortment of colors.
These made me chuckle when I saw them at the NYIGF a couple of weeks ago and now I found a place that sells them.
Click to enlarge for detail.
Wendy Stevens has been designing handbags since the 80s but I had never seen bags like hers before last week at the NYIGF. It may be hard to appreciate in these photos, but you’ll have to take my word for it, these bags are very cool. A little out of my price range, but they are clearly top quality. Made of stainless steel (in most cases perforated or engraved with interesting and attractive patterns) with leather components, these bags have a contemporary urban feel to them. They are hand fabricated and apparently very durable. There are clutches, satchels, totes and more. I’m a fan!
Available on Wendy Stevens’ website.
Click to enlarge.
Of Polish Jewish origin, born in Paris, and currently residing in Johannesburg, South Africa, Ronit Judelman (a clinical psychologist and second-generation Holocaust survivor in addition to being an artist) focuses on the paradoxical nature of society and specifically as it pertains to the horrors of war. In her series Weapons of Mass Destruction: Games People Play, Judelman juxtaposes toys with weapons “to highlight the paradox of using war to achieve peace [she] combined children’s toys, which stand for safety, innocence and fun, with adult weapons, which symbolize aggression, deviance and cruelty.” As a result, the works are a bit unsettling and quite powerful.
From top to bottom:
Crayons; Bim Bum Bombs (cast from a mold of a WWII British four-inch mortar bomb); Baby Doll; Ring a Ring a Rosey; Guns
English artist Richard Sweeney concentrated on the hands-on manipulation of paper to create design models in his studies which ultimately developed into sculptural pieces. He now combines hand-craft with computer aided design and CNC manufacturing techniques, maintaining an experimental approach to discovering unique sculptural forms. Pretty amazing.
You can see more here.
Gustav Reyes uses salvaged wood that is then repurposed to create his jewelry designs. He strikes a balance between the contemporary and the ancient through his fine craftsmanship.
Available on his site.
Click to enlarge.
Michael Jantzen, an artist and designer based in California, uses architecture as an art form. By combining art, architecture, technology and sustainability, he proposes new ways of living and considers himself an inventor and problem-solver.
Jantzen has a particular interest in exploring public gathering centers using sun and wind as energy sources and in turn sharing that energy with the community where the center is built.
From top to bottom, and left to right:
M-house (recently sold to an art collector in Korea); M-2; First M-velope; Contemplation Pavilion; Garage Door Pavilion; North Slope Ski Hotel; Wind Shade Roof; Eco-Tower; Wind-shaped Pavilion.
You can see many more of Michael Jantzen’s designs here.
When we were in Istanbul a couple of weeks ago, we happened upon the Arter gallery showing an exhibit of Patricia Piccinini’s work. Patricia Piccinini – in addition to having a great name (I think it’s the extra “ni” that makes it especially delightful) – is an Australian artist who works in several styles and mediums. One of these is a Vespa-inspired series of sculptures.
These wide-eyed and appealing deer-like creatures are molded by an automotive modeler using ABS plastic, automotive paint, stainless steel, leather, and rubber tires, of course. They represent Piccinini’s thoughts on machines behaving as animals; taking on a personality. We as humans are sometimes scared by their autonomy and our lack of control over them.
From top to bottom and left to right:
Thicker than Water; The Stags (x2); Thicker than Water; The Lovers; The Nest (x3).
Tabletto is a stencil and/or game that allows you to design letterforms (or anything else for that matter) from ten existing shapes.
Developed by Mark A. and licensed by Thomas Dahm Graphic Design in the Netherlands, Tabletto is available as a stencil or box.
via Thomas Dahm Graphic Design and Visual Research
Ever wish that your Joy dishwashing detergent bottle, or your Lysol disinfectant bottle could be used as a vase? No, me neither. But I have to admit that when I saw Middle Kingdom Porcelain’s new line of colorful porcelain cleaning product bottles at the NYIGF this weekend, I loved them. They have a matte finish that I like but may give some, more sensitive people, chills to the touch. They’re fun and funny and instantly made me think of Claudio Bravo’s still lifes.
They’re not on Middle Kingdom’s website just yet, but I’m sure they’ll have info on them soon.
Click to enlarge
The Dutch design trio that form the collective We Make Carpets are Marcia Nolte, Stijn van der Vleuten and Bob Waardenburg. Together, they have made a series of contemporary interpretations of the centuries-old medium. Their most recent carpets are presently hanging at the Graphic Design Museum in Breda, the Netherlands, made up of over 30,000 clothespins (see top four photos.) Previously, We Make Carpets have used everyday objects such as paperclips, pasta, bandaids, plastic forks, toy soldiers, and bricks, just to name a few, to make carpets of mostly large-scale dimensions.
If you’re in the Netherlands, the exhibit in Breda will be up through August 28th. If, like me, you’re nowhere near there, there’s always their site.
Lately, there’s been a lot of ring purchasing and wearing by the youngest member of our collabcubed. The bigger the better. The more the merrier the fingers. So, it’s not surprising that I would have focused more than usual when I came across Cinnamon Lee’s website.
An Australian artist who makes contemporary jewelry and lighting, Cinnamon Lee combines 3D computer modeling techniques with more traditional gold and silversmithing techniques to create subtle interactions between machine and handmade, as well as functional and emotional, and exterior vs. interior.
Graphic design student Jack Curry, currently at Cal State University, found that he needed bookends and set out to design typographic ones. Using the classic off-the-shelf black metal bookends as a guide, Jack began calculating how each letter of the alphabet could be cut out, finding open ended letters such as A, H, and K to be the easiest and closed bottoms a bit trickier. He had a test batch cut from stainless steel and powder-coated in orange, spelling out “READ”.
Read more on Jack Curry’s site.
In the case of Aissa Logerot’s Spoon Plus, one spoon = two chopsticks + soy sauce dish.
Maybe it’s because I was recently given a bike by my lovely daughters, but I’ve been more aware of bicycle design as well as the accessories lately. Or maybe I would have noticed anyway, the way I tend to notice design that I like.
In any case, I liked these bike racks. When grouped together, they look like grass or a flower bed. I don’t have any info on the designer or where they can be purchased, or anything else for that matter, but I just thought they were smart and nice-looking.
Click to enlarge
PostlerFerguson, a multidisciplinary design consultancy studio in London, explores issues of technology, culture and economics through design strategies.
Brotzeit is a concept that PostlerFerguson came up with in rethinking Economy Class airline food. Their solution incorporates beautiful, clean design with interesting tastes, textures and smells, making the whole journey a memorable one based on the food experience. Brotzeit is aimed to inspire airline industries to rethink their approach to meals and combine the eating experience with the brand itself.
I know I would enjoy this, though I can imagine that some might take issue with the proposed portion sizes…
Read more about it on PostlerFerguson’s site.