Almost 20% of the total area of the Netherlands is water, with many parts of the county reclaimed from the sea through an extensive system of dykes that date back as far as medieval times. For this reason, the Dutch have always had a fairly special relationship with water. You can see this in so many aspects of what they do, from amazing bridges to beautiful public ponds, their unique appreciation for lakes, rivers and the sea has always lead to interesting work.
I recently came across this wonderful recreational island home by 2by4 Architects and quickly feel for its simplistic charms. Completed in 2011, the home offers an ideal rural getaway that boasts large glass walls and a slide-away wall that opens up directly onto the water. It looks like the perfect place for an outdoor retreat.
Found on a man-made island on the Dutch lake of Loosdrechtse Plas, the home is designed to be completely customized depending on the owners needs. On warm days the northern facade opens towards the water, turning the wooden floor of the living room into a jetty. On winter days the home looks just as good, offering a freestanding fire to snuggle up to as you look out over the countryside.
While only 100 meters in size, the home still looks quite spacious and comfortable with a shower, toilet, kitchen, closets, storage and other functions are all integrated into a double wall. It all looks perfect!
Hat tip to Dwell for the discovery. You can see more images of the home on 2by4 Architects’ website.
It’s pretty astonishing that, as of a few hours ago, the European Space Agency was able to land a robot on the surface of a comet. A mission 10 years in the making, the team’s Rosetta spacecraft successfully placed the Philae lander on to the Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, which is moving at 34,400 miles per hour (that’s 45x the speed of sound). The New York Times has an incredible gallery of images (like the one above) which shows the approach of the satellite to 67P which have been blowing my mind.
I also think it’s pretty funny that the comet is shaped like a duck, sorta.
London is getting a new museum and to call it eccentric may just be an understatement. Opening this month The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities is no doubt unlike anything you’ve seen before. “I’m so bored of contemporary museums and their desperate attempt to classify and make sense of everything,” Wynd told The Guardian recently. “The world is one big, glorious mess and we should celebrate that.”
Wynd has been building his collection for the last decade and his new Museum is not his only big release this year. He recently teamed up with the publishers at Prestel to release Viktor Wynd’s Cabinet of Wonders; a book that celebrates his collection and the collections of many more dilettantes, bohemians and artists.
Photographed by Oskar Proctor, these images capture the curiosities and horrors found in the collections of many other eccentrics. From shrunken heads and narwhal tusks to old erotica to occult paintings, the series of images are fascinating and unique.
The book also includes advice on how to start a collection of your own, covering everything from attending auction houses, to finding the right private dealers, flea markets and fairs. If pickled genitals, old skeletons or taxidermy animals are your thing then this book is certainty for you.
You can see a few more images taken by Oskar Proctor on his website. The book, Viktor Wynd’s Cabinet of Wonders, can be ordered here and Wynd’s museum will open hopefully open in Hackney later this month.
Have you ever thought about packing it all in and moving to the countryside? If you live in a city I’m sure that at some point in life you’ve considered leaving the fumes and smog behind and heading out in-search of fresh air and clean living. Who hasn’t reminisced about some green and fertile countryside from a half-remembered youth? Wouldn’t it be nice to return there?
This is certainly a thought that the Spanish photographer Juan Aballe has had. A few years ago he noticed that many of his close friends were moving to the countryside and so Aballe found himself confronted by the thought – what would life be like if he packed it all in and headed out to the country.
What followed was a series of photographs titled Country Fictions. Taken between 2011 and 2013, they were shot in a number scarcely populated areas on the Iberian Peninsula. But did Aballe find the rural utopia he had imagined? Not exactly. Aballe is a photographer who is more than aware of the dreams that can be captured behind a lens. Its title not withstanding, it’s hard to tell that these photographs are in fact a fiction. They’re a vision of Aballe’s imagined utopia. Like all photography, they show a fiction played out as a fact.
“In what could be called a collection of daydreams, Country Fictions reflects on the photographic language itself and how we are influenced by previous representations and preconceived ideas about rural utopias” says Aballe. “The illusion of escaping from contemporary society, the naivety and the hopes built around nature come together with the strangeness and the nostalgic look at a life that is not mine.”
It’s a great collection of images. You can view the full set on Juan Aballe’s website.
Animals inspire love and awe in all of us, but drawing them can be a challenge. With this free illustrated primer from Craftsy, you’ll discover an array of easy-to-use techniques for sketching animals.
Explore detailed, photo-filled tutorials to create proportional outlines, render accurate features and depict textural fur and feathers. You’ll soon be drawing a range of creatures so lifelike, they look as though they could leap off the page.
Download the free guide, “Learn How to Draw Animals” by artist Antonella Avogadro, at Craftsy.com.
The pour over coffee has a kind of mythic quality to it. While it’s not the most labor intensive process it’s still time consuming, meaning a lot of people don’t have the patience to make it themselves or wait for a barista to do their magic. Enter the Poursteady, a machine that seemingly does all the work for you.
Poursteady is an automated pour-over coffee machine that brings unprecedented speed, precision, and reliability to high-end commercial coffee retailers–and better coffee to discerning customers. Combining precision motion-control, elegant design, and beautiful fabrication–our system makes up to five cups of pour-over coffee simultaneously with a single barista at the helm.
I imagine purists will balk at such a blasphemous invention but I think the proof is in the pudding, or in this case, the coffee. You can see in the video below how the machine mimics the swirling motion of the pour over, seemingly giving the same care as a human. Certainly interesting seeing robotics entering the coffee industry in such a unique manner.
For a number of years the Japanese artist and cartographer Sohei Nishino has been mapping the world’s cities. From Rio to London and from New York to Tokyo, his highly detailed maps serve up a unique portrait of some of the world’s most diverse cities. Consisting of thousands of cut-out snapshots of each location, the artist meticulously pieces together these images to form highly complicated collages that include everything from people and animals to buildings and streets.
Nishino takes literally thousands upon thousands of photos before he’s ready to begin his cartographic collage. Piece by piece he edits these images down until he’s selected just the right ones. Despite the editing, his final work can still include up to 4,000 photographs; each of these he hand prints and then cuts and collages them together to create huge compositions that reflect his personal experience of each city. It’s a remarkable process and the results really do speak for themselves.
For those in London, an exhibition of Nishino’s work entitled ‘New Dioramas’ runs at Michael Hoppen Contemporary until 7 January 2015.
Kristin Capps writing for The Atlantic’s CityLab has a theory that Banksy is in fact a woman. Hadn’t really thought about it before, but perhaps Banky’s gender is the best scam that she/he has ever pulled?
During the very first interview that Banksy gave to The Guardian, another figure was present (“Steve,” Banksy’s agent). Another figure is always present, says Canadian media artist Chris Healey, who has maintained since 2010 that Banksy is a team of seven artists led by a woman—potentially the same woman with long blonde hair who appears in scenes depicting Banksy’s alleged studio in Exit Through the Gift Shop. Although Healey won’t identify the direct source for his highly specific claim, it’s at least as believable as the suggestion that Banksy is and always has been a single man.
“Since there is so much misdirection and jamming of societal norms with Banksy’s work, as well as the oft-repeated claim no one notices Banksy, then it makes sense,” Healey tells me. “No one can find Banksy because they are looking for, or rather assuming, a man is Banksy.”
As Capps also points out, much of Banksy’s work heavily features women, which if you compare to other male street artists, is something of a rarity. It’s by no means rock solid evidence, but it’s interesting as an anecdote to the mystery of it all.