Date Archives September 2012

When Your Dorm Is A Shipping Container: Student Housing Designed by Cattani Architects

Who doesn’t love a nice stack of shipping containers? As you might guess, the stack of containers above is no ordinary stack, but a stack that has been plumbed, electrified, and finished into college dormitories somewhere in France.  The project’s architect, Cattani (I tried to find her website but only found this article about an incompetent plastic surgeon) says that she actually avoided the stacking effect to make the individual living units feel more open and independent. To that end, the containers are supported on a frame that separates them ever so slightly from each other and allows the boxes to stagger in plan. Inside the rooms, windows at both ends of the container flood the interior with natural light.  I’m not sure what your college dorm look(s/ed) like, but these are much better than the sad and crowded stack of bricks I stumbled toward after a long day of classes.

Great illustrations by Kali Ciesemier

Kali Ciesemier 'Philly Mag'

Kali Ciesemier 'Pyramid Scheme'

Kali Ciesemier is a talented illustrator! I love her great use of color and she has a fantastic style when it comes to drawing figures. As a freelance illustrator she has worked for a number of impressive clients including The New Yorker, Harper Collins, and The LA Times. On top of that she also works as an adjunct faculty member at the illustration department at The Maryland Institute College of Art. It’s clear to see that anyone studying there right now is in safe hands!

Reading about how she works on Ape on the Moon I was surprised to discover that all her work is drawn digitally. Her lines have such a natural ‘hand drawn’ quality to them that it seems amazing to me that it was all done in Photoshop with a Wacom Tablet. It’s terrific work and I wish I could make my digital drawings look this organic! You can see more of Kali’s work online by visiting her website.

3 great projects by Henning Larsen, the new Praemium Imperiale Laureate

Late last week, Danish architect Henning Larsen was named a Laureate of the Praemium Imperiale Prize in the field of Architecture. Past laureates include Rem Koolhaas, Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, and a host of other architectural luminaries at the public forefront of the profession. Henning Larsen may be less well known out side of the profession. I learned about Henning Larsen’s work when I was living and working in Copenhagen, at an architecture firm across the street from his offices (which, if I remember correctly, were directly above Føtex- a bustling grocery store along Vesterbrogade.) The three projects below are by no means representative of Larsen’s entire body of work, which spans decades. Instead, the three projects have all beeen completed in the past couple of years and hint at the diversity of his larger body of work.

Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre in Reykjavik by Henning Larsen

This is the Harpa- Reykjavik Concert Hall. The most prominent feature of the project (at least from the outside) is the façade, which was designed in collaboration with artist Olafur Eliasson. Bobby actually posted about the concert hall back in 2011 when it first opened; here’s what he said: “The facade is made up of hundreds of irregularly shaped pieces of glass, which definitely look like Elliason’s handiwork, and give the structure it’s signature style. Inside though, it’s equally as beautiful. The deep red of the concert hall is stunning and it looks like a beautiful place to see a performance.”

Scandinavian Golf Club by Henning Larsen

This is the Scandinavian Country Club.  It’s kind of a hilarious project to me because the idea of a country club doesn’t seem Scandinavian at all– it seems American or British. Even the architects describe the project as an attempt “to bridge the gap between the traditional American golf club and the functional architecture of Scandinavia.” In this case, the three gabled roofs are built using warm, natural wood but constructed in a way that playfully manipulates traditional Scandinavian forms. Still, the wooden underbelly of the roofs is cleanly detailed and protects a rationally planned interior.

Vestjyllands Kunstpavillion by Henning Larsen

Finally we have the smalest project, the Art Pavilion in Videbæk. It’s a tidy project with a pretty clear idea driving the design. It’s an idea about animating the project’s structural system. There are still some surprises thanks to the pavilion’s location on the water’s edge. Like when light reflects off of the surface of the lake and hits the ceiling of the pavilion. It’s a nice effect. The project looks equally stunning at night, with electric light reflecting out of the pavilion and across the lake into the surrounding park. This interplay of daylight and electric light is no accident, as Larsen talks about the importance of light in his laureate video.

The Black Mesa Project – Half Life Redone

The Black Mesa Project - Half Life Redone

When Half-Life came out in 1998, few could have expected what was to follow. The first-person shooter seemed innocent enough, not much different from any other game of its genre. You played as Gordon Freeman, a theoretical physicist at a research facility in New Mexico. But the typical linear storytelling didn’t follow that pattern, and it’s deep, sprawling story and beautiful graphics made it unlike anything at that time. In some circles it is the greatest game of all time, in others, the most influential.

The Black Mesa Project has existed for years but only this past week came into fruition. Utilizing the Source Engine (developed for Half-Life 2), Half-Life has been recreated using the full strength of modern art detail, mapping, soundtrack, voice acting, and textures. It’s not Half-Life ported into today – it’s Half-Life polished for 2012. All you need is the (free) Source Engine to enjoy this remake of this legendary game.

Jenny Sabin’s ‘My Thread Pavilion’ – A molecular take on Nike Flyknit’s technology

Jenny Sabin's My Thread Pavilion – Nike Flyknit Collective

Jenny Sabin's My Thread Pavilion – Nike Flyknit Collective

Jenny Sabin's My Thread Pavilion – Nike Flyknit Collective

On Saturday, I attended the opening of Jenny Sabin’s My Thread Pavilion for Nike’s Flyknit Collective. Sabin’s work focuses on the intersection of art, architecture, design and science, often starting at a molecular level and building into works of a much grander scale. Employing this process, Sabin started by gathering data from the Nike FuelBands of a select group of New Yorkers. After analyzing and mapping the information gathered, she created a visual structure by weaving together threads into cylindrical segments, which were stitched together to form the Pavilion.

The result is a large, hive-like dome. Upon first look, I immediately found myself getting lost in the maze of intricately woven threads and small tunnels. But after ducking through one of the 2 openings into the pavilion I found myself in a spacious cavern with cellular-looking walls.

Jenny Sabin's My Thread Pavilion – Nike Flyknit Collective

The Pavilion was constructed using two different types of thread, one that is solar active and the other reflective photo luminescent. Every five minutes the lighting in the Pavilion changes, representing the light in the early morning, afternoon, twilight and midnight—the most common times people run. As the lighting changes, the Pavilion undergoes a transformation from stark white into a glowing green, to a beautiful intense blue (my personal favorite) and ending with an amazing red/orange. These changes in lighting give the piece drastically different feels.

My Thread Pavilion was created as part of Nike’s Flyknit Collective—a group of six artists from around the world commissioned to create works of art based on Nike’s new Flyknit technology. Flyknit debuted in the London Games and employs the use of simple threads woven together into complex patterns to create shoes that are formfitting, lightweight, sustainable and, most importantly, performance-enhancing. My Thread Pavilion will be on display for the next six weeks at Nike’s Bowery Stadium.

Jenny Sabin's My Thread Pavilion – Nike Flyknit Collective

Jenny Sabin's My Thread Pavilion – Nike Flyknit Collective

Jenny Sabin's My Thread Pavilion – Nike Flyknit Collective

A photo a day by Corey Holms

A photo a day by Corey Holms

A photo a day by Corey Holms

Describing Corey Holms as a jack-of-all-trades would probably be a fair assessment. He designs logos, movie posters, fonts (Ne10 being one of my favorites), and he even has a daily photo series of inspiring images from his daily life. Looking through his Flickr, where the photo series live, you get a feeling like Corey might be living in some beautifully mundane world where masterfully set-up photo opportunities await him around every corner. Definitely take a stroll through his images, though it might be difficult to stop clicking the next button.

Crazy & Beautiful Animated Video from Her Ghost Friend

Whenever we post music-videos on The Fox Is Black we tend to include a few images alongside it to give you an impression of what it’s like but to tell you the truth the images above can’t really prepare you for this strange, childish and utterly brilliant music-video by director Saigo No Sundan.

Animated with a fantastically crude DIY aesthetic, the video prances along at a fanatic pace and it bursts onto the screen with the kind of joyous manic energy you can only get from Japan. It’s an utter joy to watch and it manages to be both surreal and beautiful all at once. The track itself is by the electro-pop unit Her Ghost Friend and its title loosely translates into “After-school Thesaurus”. Watching it is a wonderful way to start the week!