Date Archives February 2011

RAD Furniture

chairs and a coffee table

Ryan Anderson, founder of RAD

Although it might as well be short for radical, RAD is actually short for Ryan Anderson Design. That is he in the lower photo. Anderson grew up on the west coast during the ’80s, so rad was probably floating around in his head between gnarly and stellar. Graduating from Architecture School into an abysmal job market, Ryan founded his furniture design studio with fellow classmates Katherine and Ruben. As you might expect from an architect, the furniture exploits material properties. In the case of the Barbara Stool (that I am entirely enamored with) the sleek and structural steel is balanced by the warm character of wood. Furniture can also can come powder-coated in some pretty righteous colors with your choice of wood and size. The prices may seem steep to others, especially young architecture graduates, but as Ryan explains in this video by the Daily Texan, that this is not disposable furniture. You keep these sturdy furniture pieces long enough to pass down to other people, in a longer furniture cycle than most of us are probably used to. Cowabunga.

Alex

10 Questions for Futurist Ray Kurzweil

10 Questions with Ray Kurzweil

10 Questions with Ray Kurzweil

My buddy Ben showed me this video by Time magazine with renowned futurist Ray Kurzweil, a guy who can tell you, reasonably, what the future’s going to look like. It’s not about flying cars and lasers, it’s about taking into account current technologies and the path these technologies have taken to get to where they are. In the vide above he talks about some of the advances we as humans will be making, like the ability to tell our bodies to stop storing fat, which is an age old survival technique that isn’t necessary for most people in most modern cities. I love hearing guys like this speak because it makes me excited about the future, though I’m sure there are a lot of people out there who find this stuff scary. Well, change is scary, but it’s inevitable.

Bobby

Masking Tape Landscapes: Buff Diss

Masking Tape Landscapes: Buff Diss

Masking Tape Landscapes: Buff Diss

Masking Tape Landscapes: Buff Diss

Berlin-based Australian Buff Diss presents his work in the nooks and crannies of the urban landscape, seeking out derelict buildings and abandoned spaces to transform and enliven. However, Buff Diss doesn’t use aerosol paints to create his masterpieces, but masking tape. Engaging with both the tactility and ephemeral nature of tape as a material, his pieces interact with the surrounding architecture by creating pockets of narrative detail that gradually decay. When asked to classify his work, Buff Diss commented, “I’m unsure where my practise sits. All my works are made free hand so I feel the process akin to drawing. A lot of works are installed live, in front of audiences so at times there is a performance aspect as well.”

If you’re keen to see how Buff Diss draws with tape, check out this time-lapse video. The sheer skill and intricate patterns are amazing.

The Desktop Wallpaper Project featuring Jared Chapman

Jared Chapman

When I got today’s wallpaper from Jared Chapman it came with this warning, “Before you open the file, make sure you bear proof your place. Seriously. It’s that life like.” Funny enough, there are zero bears in his wallpaper, but perhaps they’re hiding in a tree or behind a totem pole? I’ve followed Jared on Twitter for a while and I can safely say he’s both funny and talented. He’s got such a bright and fun style it makes me wonder why he doesn’t have his cartoon on Cartoon Network or something. I love his wallpaper as well, I mean, who doesn’t love totem poles? I feel like this is a good way to liven up your desktop if wherever your at is a bit gray. A big thanks to Jared for such a rad wallpaper.

Bobby

Holl’s Watercolors

Although Steven Holl isn’t the only architect that uses watercolors, he does have a unique way of using these paintings in his design process; not as a means of rendering completed design work, but as a way of generating or developing design. It’s probably the most distinguishing characteristic of his process. He makes these watercolors in the morning, when he’s still half asleep. “I start in a half-wakened state” he says,  “It’s a way of dreaming and thinking, of bridging.” Above his drafting desk, you’ll find stacks of uniform 5″x7″ books full of these watercolors that he’s been making for the past thirty years.

There’s a good article about his watercolors here, which has dozens more examples of his watercolors for the interested. The watercolors I pulled above are from other sources: Architype, Holl’s Website and the NAI.

Alex

The Glitched Out Art of Kim Asendorf

Mountain Tour by Kim Asendorf

Mountain Tour by Kim Asendorf

Mountain Tour by Kim Asendorf

Mountain Tour by Kim Asendorf

Described by artist Kim Asendorf as “pixel sorting: a trip to the mountains in my head,” this collection of glitched out mountains easily caught my eye. Kim is like a master of glitch art, taking found images or video and distorting them to his own whims. Some are weird, some are ugly but I’d say they’re always interesting. And that’s why I think these mountain images are so great, because there’s an inherit beauty in something like a scenic mountain photo that still somehow transfers to his glitched versions. You can see the full set of images by clicking here.

While rooting around his website I also came across this video he did for a.d.l.r., who is on the label of my friends at Non Projects. While the images above are really beautiful it’s even more cool to see what he does when the images are moving. The video is “just” a space ship taking off but it’s crazy how much he can abstract the footage and make something new out of it. It’s all about the subtle details in a piece like this. Definitely watch this full screen.

Bobby

Pork and Jeans, A Collection of Type Specimens by Brad Simon

Pork and Jeans by Brad Simon

Pork and Jeans by Brad Simon

I got an email from a fella’ named Brad Simon yesterday letting me know about this great little side project he has called Pork and Jeans. During the day Brad is busy “designing ads and drawing weird people” so in his spare time he likes to create funny little type specimens like what you see above. In the first one you’ve got this funky bent neon style type which I thought was totally funny, especially the message he chose to write out. And in the second piece I thought it was great that he has three different cultures represented in one piece. You’ve got “Primo” in a sort of Italian feeling script, “Meat” in a German style black letter and “best taste” in a cheesy, Japanese food style type with a nod to kanji in the T’s. I think Brad needs to start making these into typefaces and selling them, don’t you?

Bobby

Irina Werning’s “Back To The Future”

Irina Werning's Back to the Future

Irina Werning's Back to the Future

Within the past few years or so, it was a “thing” on the internet to post photos of yourself as a child recreated as an adult. It was funny and fascinating and started from Ze Frank, who made the “Young Me, Now Me” thing that it is today. Now, when you Google Image Search “Young Me, Now Me” and similar items, you get more than what stemmed from this little photographic project: you get numerous people from around the globe posting similar photos they had and recreated in the same vein as Frank.

Entering this conversation is Irina Werning, an Argentine photographer who has done something remarkable with the concept: turned a common internet happening into art with her “Back To the Future” project. Werning has taken photos of friends and family members modeled–to an OCD, polished and cleaned extent–to be exactly as they were as a child. The critique with “Young Me, Now Me” is that a lot of the photos don’t really match up: they aren’t in the same geographic location in the adult photo, the clothing isn’t quite right, and it just feels cheap.

Irina Werning's Back to the Future

Irina Werning's Back to the Future

Werning takes her obsession with imitating the past to a new level: she brings the same exact style, clothes, situations, feelings, and makes them very “now.” The then photos still stand as cute and a portrait of time, but the now photos rethink them as almost fashionable: they are richer and a story is imbued upon them. What has happened in this person’s life between photos? What has happened to the place? Were these photos hard to recreate? She nor I have any of those answers, but that is part of the fun of these perfectly executed photos.

As Werning says of the project, “most of us are fascinated by [old photos’] retro look but to me, it’s imagining how people would feel and look like if they were to reenact them today.” The result is magnificent and, thankfully, the project is ongoing. Be sure to check back in with her to see who and what else steps before her lens. (I pray a dog.)

KYLE

Steven Holl: A Few Details

bent handrail detail

lighting aligned with seams in the ceiling

Mostly to follow up on yesterdays post, I thought I’d share some snapshots I’ve taken in buildings designed by Holl. Specifically, I thought I’d share some pics of details that, I think, reveal Holl at a smaller scale. I haven’t visited many Holl buildings; still, at each of the three I have visited, I’ve been surprised by something. The great handrail detail above is from the Cranbrook Science Center, as is the lighting aligned with seams in the ceiling. There are also pictures from the Kiasma Art Museum (not a picture of the bathroom details, sorry) and Hybrid Building in Seaside, Florida (triangular balconies)  Below is a gallery of design details that I’ve liked; if you’ve visited a project by Steven Holl, what was your favorite detail?

Alex

Radiohead Surprises Fans With Release of a New Album, ‘The King of Limbs’

The King Of Limbs by Radiohead

The King Of Limbs - Thank You For Waiting

Click images to enlarge

Earlier this morning Radiohead dropped a bomb of an announcement, that they’ll be releasing a brand new album on February 19th titled The King of Limbs. That’s this Saturday! Honestly when I started to read more about it I didn’t think any of it was real. The artistic direction of the album looks really off to me, mostly the font choice. I’m not sure why Stanley Donwood went with this late 90’s rap-rock vibe for this album and not use the standard Radiohead font in white. I wasn’t even sure if it was Donwood but when I looked at the image larger (click the cover above to see a super large version) I realized it was him, which makes sense anyhow. The real reason I believed it was real was that Radiohead.com links to the site.

The album comes in two primary versions. The first is a deluxe Newspaper album which features all kinds of amazing sounding goodies. It seems like they’re going all out to make this a multi-faceted experience, here’s the details:

• Two clear 10″ vinyl records in a purpose-built record sleeve.
• A compact disc.
• Many large sheets of artwork, 625 tiny pieces of artwork and a full-colour piece of oxo-degradeable plastic to hold it all together.
• The Newspaper Album comes with a digital download that is compatible with all good digital media players.
• The Newspaper Album will be shipped on Monday 9th May 2011 you can, however, enjoy the download on Saturday 19th February 2011.
• Shipping is included in the prices shown.
• One lucky owner of the digital version of The King Of Limbs, purchased from this website, will receive a signed 2 track 12″ vinyl.

625 tiny pieces of artwork? Yes, please. I’m curious to see what they do with the clear vinyl, I’m guessing it won’t be as simple as it sounds. If the deluxe version sounds like too much of a commitment you can also download a digital copy in MP3 or WAV form.

It still impresses me how they’re able to do these creative endeavors because they have so many fans. If you think about it, they didn’t do any advertising, they only posted the second image up there on their site which linked to the new site. That’s it. If you’ve heard about this album it will be based on a blog post. Anyhow, I’m excited for the new album, can’t wait to hear it. Maybe I’ll have to throw together a new Radiohead wallpaper?

Bobby