Date Archives October 2010

Martin de Thurah for the Danish Paviilion

One of my favorite directors Martin de Thurah has released a set of short films for the Danish Pavilion at the Expo 2010 in Shanghai. The videos were meant to reflect the spirit and culture of Denmark by pointing out key parts of their culture. The first video shows the journey of the famous Little Mermaid statue as it’s moved from Copenhagen to Shanghai for the expo (on a sidenote, here’s a photo of the exhibit). The other videos represent families, bicycles and water, which I suppose is the other key elements to being Danish.

The films themselves are tiny masterpieces. de Thurah always has ana amazing eye for details and emotions and I could watch his films nonstop. I think my favorite is the second video which is based around families. The video is like a physical manifestation of children’s imaginations which I think is great. I’d say it’s worth your while to sit back and watch all of these.


Light Lining the IAC by Seeper

Created by Seeper for the Vimeo Festival and Awards, this projection maps and manipulates the appearance of the IAC Building in west Chelsea. I’m a sucker for projections that animate the surface of buildings, and this video is no exception. The ICA building was designed by Frank Gehry, and features a curved, gradated glass exterior that’s unique to this project. The massing may make it seem like a less-than-perfect canvas, but Seeper has developed a way to project their crazy animations on the compound curves, nooks and crannies of complex geometries.

I’m not sure buildings want to move, but designers and architects seem hell-bent on animating traditionally static structures– if not in three dimensions, at least in two. It’s not a new idea, but now the economics of projection media are enabling building-scale animations to pop up all over the place, even as graffiti.


Thom Bradley

Thom Bradley is a recent graphic design graduate from Kingston University in London and in my opinion has a pretty remarkable portfolio coming fresh out of school. When I browsed over his work I was really impressed with his ability to create simple but bold branding that straightforward without feeling boring. As you can see he works in a pretty simple palette, not a whole lot of color, but I think I appreciate his work more for that. He has a sense of style and it feels consistent across everything he does. I’m looking forward to seeing what else he has in store in the coming years.


Charlie Engman for Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitters has been reaching out to some rather talented people lately to shoot their lookbooks and other assorted merchandise, a move that in my opinion is paying off, or at least it’s grabbing my attention. Recently they had Stephen Shore shoot one lookbook, then I was sent a holiday catalog of products being shot next to X-mas trees and now they’ve got Charlie Engman shooting their latest endeavor. I swear I was just looking at his photos on Flickr and now his work is showing up in my inbox promoting the winter collection.

The image at top is my absolute favorite for a few reason. First, I love the tangle of dudes about to fall onto the ground. It’s such an amazingly capture moment that could have easily been lost. Second, the dude hunched over on the left side is in the big ass tangle of dudes as evidenced by his orange beanie and blue tie flying out. It actually took me quite a while to notice that. All of his images are pretty great though and use Photoshop in a subtle but perfect way.


Wet Wings

Darian and Lucy are a musical duo fro Christchurch, New Zealand who make up the band Wet Wings. I’ve been listening to their new album Skin To Soil for the past week or so and it’s definitely been on heavy rotation lately. They have kind of a New Order vibe, but if New Order liked to hang out at the beach a lot and they might have been hippies. I swear, these are compliments. Anyhow, take a listen and enjoy, this music is especially good for rainy days and early mornings.


Chris von Szombathy

I was inspired by Justin Lee Williams paintings that Danica posted about so I thought I’d to the mix. The images above are by a guy named Chris von Szombathy, a Vancouver, Canada based painter and designer who’s work is pretty out there. I picked out a bunch of his paintings to show, which are mostly fast food related. What amazes is me is how realistic he got these things looking, especially that giant hamburger stack. The rest of his work is design/illustration based and are all pretty weird. Lots more food based stuff, oddly sexual things, bears, old men with crazy beards… If that doesn’t get you excited to check out more of his work I don’t know what will.


Justin Lee Williams

This morning, while waiting for the bus, I was absentmindedly flicking through the latest Frankie magazine when I came across the striking image of a mysterious and dashing man sitting in a wild garden. The accompanying print stated that the gentleman in question is Justin Lee Williams and that he is an artist. This, of course, peeked my interest: surely a man this dapper would also produce amazing artworks?

Well, yes…otherwise I wouldn’t be so keen to share them with you. Aiming to capture “moments between time,” the Melbourne-based artist paints scenes that are infused with a haunting sense of ambiguity. There is something about the way he applies paint to canvas that I find really beautiful, especially the drips of bleeding paint and the evocatively smudged details. There is a real tension between light and dark motifs that lends his work a very eerie, and yet engaging, tone. I, for one, could not stop looking at them.


Plug-in City by Peter Cook

After seeing how interiors can change and how buildings can change, we’re going to take the next logical, although meglomanical, step and look a city designed to change: the Plug-In city designed in 1964 by Archigram. The creators of Plug-In City (Peter Cook, Warren Chalk, Dennis Crompton) define it as follows:

“The Plug-in City is set up by applying a large scale network-structure, containing access ways and essential services, to any terrain. Into this network are placed units which cater for all needs. These units are planned for obsolescence. The units are served and manoeuvred by means of cranes operating from a railway at the apex of the structure.”

Who wouldn’t want to imagine a city that so visibly updates and reshapes itself… but cities are already constantly evolving, just not at the revolutionary rate Archigram would have preferred in 1964. That doesn’t mean the drawings (part of the exhaustive and impressive Archigram Archive Project) and the ideas that informed them are any less fantastic. The idea of prying the grid of a city off of the terrain and shaping this infrastructure into a complex, branching megamatrix is thrilling.

I’m not sure why many futuristic visions have us living away from the ground. Heights are fun, but the ground is where we grow food and where we find the resources that fuel cities. Away from these constraints is the Plug-In City.


Prediction: Youngsters in the Plug-In City will personalize their room units with posters of the ground, a place they have never seen.