Date Archives October 2010

Red Beacon by Arne Quinze

Red Beacon is a recent work by Arne Quinze, a Belgian artist widely known for his chaotic wooden public art installations. Sited within a public park in downtown Shanghai, Red Beacon aims to “lure” passers-by into the park from the city. Quinze believes that “we live in an era where direct social interaction has been almost completely diminished.” His ambition is to create work that sparks public conversations… perhaps conversations under red canopies of aggregated wooden sticks.

The installation is made of 55 tons of wood which seems crazy and wasteful at first. But for every tree cut down for this project, a tree was planted. And when this installation is disassembled, the 55 tons of wood will be distributed to 26 different construction sites.

Can you imagine being a structural engineer assigned to this project?


Nina Lindgren

It was love at first click when I happened upon the portfolio of Swedish artist Nina Lindgren. Overflowing with lovely illustrations and other pieces, Lindgren’s work is inspired by “things inside and surrounding.” From her amazing architectural structures made from cardboard to her imagery of nature, Lindgren’s work has an almost mythical quality that is mediated through the everyday. Addressing her creative approach, Lindgren made the following statement:

I search for sudden glimpses of unreality: preferably unforeseen and unpredictable to make virtual both real and pretend. If I draw a house balancing on one tiny piece of plank it will never fall, unless I want it to. In these own worlds you are the one to decide what reality is and what to be part of another’s consciousness.

In my opinion, the subdued palette and special details utilised to construct her imaginary worlds are just begging for further exploration.

Lindgren also has a rather wonderful blog that I recommend you check out.


Philippe Baudelocque

Over the years I’ve gotten more accepting of posting foxes on the blog, though it was always a concern of mine that I would end up being the equivalent of a crazy cat lady, only with foxes. But this giant fox mural by Philippe Baudelocque in Paris. The mural is made up of dozens of complex patterns all working together to create an amazing fox jumping through the air. This is such a welle executed idea and I love that he chose to go light on dark instead of the other way around, it really allows your eyes to focus in on the patterns. Philippe also has a great octopus image up as well as a show going on at the Since Gallery which runs till November 6. Thanks to KN reader Haley for the tip.

Images from Unurth


West Fest Pavilion by Gramazio & Kohler

Probably more widely known for their robot-stacked bricks, Gramazio & Kohler turned their attention to stacking wooden slats last summer for the West Fest Pavilion. All of the wooden pieces of the pavilion were cut and placed by a robot, or at least a robotic arm (see above).  Because the length of the wooden pieces doesn’t change, or doesn’t change as much as the curvature of the columns, the slats de-laminate toward the roof, and when lit from within, each of the 16 columns becomes  a sort of lantern.

Gramazio & Kohler describe their work as “the direct implementation of material and production logic into the design process, establish[ing] a unique architectural expression and a new aesthetic.” However, their West Fest Pavilion looks (er… looked)  more evolutionary than revolutionary; more like the progeny of a gothic arch and the Memphis International Airport. Who knew their baby would look so good?


Hanna Werning’s Interior Design for Biograf Ugglan

Exploring the portfolio of Swedish designer Hanna Werning is a real delight for anyone who is enamoured of colour. Her work encompasses just about every tone in the spectrum and is employed in gorgeous patterns on various surfaces. Quite understandably it was her recent interior design and identity for Biograf Ugglan that really caught my eye. Although I have been to my fair share of stunning art deco cinema houses, Werning’s concept for Ugglan (which means owl in Swedish – how perfect!) visually captures the idea of the film medium as a form composed of colour, light and movement. The kinetic wall display and brightly-coloured chairs make up one of the most dynamic uses of cinematic viewing space that I have seen. It’s so good I can imagine that design fans would be waiting for the house lights to come back on after the film so they could take another look at the interior. I would love to visit one day.


Jenny Odell

My friend and Afterzine creator Hamish pointed out these great images by artist Jenny Odell. Jenny’s medium in these images were actually Google Maps, oddly enough. What look like random shapes or abstract dots are actually manmade structures. The image at top is “Approximately 1,376 Grain Silos, Water Towers, and Other Cylindrical-Industrial Buildings”, the image below that are swimming pools, both a large and small, and the last is “195 Yachts, Cargo Ships, Tankers, Barges, Riverboats, Hospital Ships, Cruise Lines, Ferries, Military Ships, and Motorboats”. it’s amazing how great these random images look when thoughtfully placed together.


Richard Chai + Snarkitecture Pop-Up Shop

Pop-up shops are one of those rare spaces that can be whatever it wants wherever it wants. It’s a temporary place whose goal is to excite and dazzle people for a short amount of time and can then bi whisked away at a moments notice. For example the space above created by Snarkitechture for Richard Chai. The shop, which is nestled underneath the High Line, was made “to create an experience rather than create a store”, a feat I’m quite certain they accomplished. The entire space was carved from a truckload of styrofoam offsite and then brought into the space and fitted and customized as needed. The space personally reminds me of the ice cave from Fight Club, minus the penguin asking you to “Slide!”

Update: Dwell has some more nice looking photos of the outside as well.

Found through Fast Co. Design


Wall Painting by Supakitch and Koralie

The extremely talented Elroy released the amazing video above about a month ago featuring artists Supakitch and Koralie creating one the most beautiful mural I’ve ever seen. I’m not sure how long this took but it’s amazing how much time, effort, sweat and blood these two put into this mural. As I watched I kept wondering when they were going to finish, but they kept adding on more and more, making the mural larger and more complex as they went. Anyone know where this mural is located? It looks like it’s inside somewhere, it would be a shame if it was every painted over, though I’m glad it’s been fully documented at the very least. Yet again a big thanks to Rikke Luna for the suggestion!



Australian artist and tee designer Luke Chiswell, who works under the pseudonym Luuk, is a rather enigmatic character. With very little information available concerning his background and artistic approach, he allows his work to speak for itself. Clean lines, simple black and white and minimalist forms dominate his imagery. With Halloween just around the corner I thought it most appropriate to share his ghost tee (my personal fave) and his mummy tee. Halloween isn’t really celebrated in Australia so I may just have to get myself a tee as a treat. I’ll leave the costume dress-ups to the real kids.


Digital Tea House by GSAAP + UDTA

Just over a month ago, the architecture blogosphere saw an awful lot of Sukkahs thanks to an article in the New York Times. This week, we’ll look at other examples of wooden, ephemeral structures starting with the work of an architecture studio sponsored by Columbia’s GSAPP and UDTA in Tokyo. This past August, the studio designed and built three unusual and distinct tea houses using Grasshopper, an algorithm editor for Rhinoceros. But why? The GSAAP explains the studio as follows:

“The notion of learning via the body parallels the regimented practice of the Japanese Tea Ceremony called Sado. The ceremony or “the path of the tea,” is reflected in the tectonics of the spaces where it is performed, yet the practice of architecture has become digitized, often leaving behind this personal connection one might have to materiality. We seek to use act of constructing to allow the body to be the medium of learning, applying learned physical actions to intelligent digital techniques.”

Not to be nit-picky because I think the pavilions are great, but about the premise: how does using an algorithm editor (scripting) “allow the body to be the medium of learning[?]” Yes, the projects relate to the body, but completely abstracting the physical ritual associated with Sado to a series of mathematical, computer-driven operations doesn’t somehow impart kinesthetic knowledge. But I think it’s just a fancy way of saying ‘we building these for real, y’all!’ And I’m glad they did.


PS: the photos are from one of the studio’s participants, Michael Walch, who documented the progress of the studio on his blog. (personal highlight: model photos)