Design

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Art Design

Painted Ants Crawl Across Vintage Porcelain Dinnerware by Evelyn Bracklow

February 18, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Evelyn Bracklow, shared with permission

Trimmed with gold and minuscule insects, Evelyn Bracklow’s porcelain dinnerware is equal parts pristine opulence and repulsion. The German artist (previously) hand-paints vintage pieces with tiny black ants that congregate over an imaginary morsel left on a plate and crawl along the mouth of a pitcher, transforming the ceramic vessels into distasteful displays.

Bracklow began adding the detailed creatures to found platters, teapots, and plates approximately 10 years ago and has made hundreds of the works since—shop the few pieces she has available on Etsy. “(Painting the ants) totally made sense to me on an aesthetical level. It was and still is a physical experience to paint or watch the ants move across objects,” she says. “It`s this feeling of the supposed movements, of the slight shuddering that always gives way to admiration for the animal and its ever new formations.”

Currently, Bracklow is working on a few large-scale projects, including a multi-faceted initiative called Antology, and she recently completed a collection of ant-laden figurines and other sculptural objects, which you can explore on her site.

 

 

 



Art Design

A Kinetic Wall Sculpture by Felipe Pantone Spins in a Hypnotic Reel of Endless Color

February 14, 2022

Grace Ebert

Argentinian-Spanish artist Felipe Pantone (previously) boasts an incredible archive of sculptures and murals that are founded on the principles of color theory. His works range from large-scale glitches and bold pixelations to tabletop prisms that shift with human touch. His most recent project, “Subtractive Variability Compact,” falls in the latter category as it visualizes the full range of the CMY spectrum through stacked, spinning wheels.

The kaleidoscopic kinetic sculpture layers small acrylic rounds coated in gradients of UV paint in within a wall-mounted frame. As the individual modules in cyan, magenta, and yellow rotate, light is subtracted in various combinations, producing an endlessly evolving reel of color.

A limited edition of 200 sculptures will be available on February 15 from Configurable, and you can find more of Pantone’s interactive prismatic works on Instagram.

 

 

 



Design Documentary History

A Massive Chainmail Shelter Prevents a Renowned Scottish Mansion from Dissolving in the Rain

February 7, 2022

Grace Ebert

The coastal town of Helensburgh is located in one of the wettest regions of Scotland, averaging more than 190 days and 63 inches of rainfall each year, and it’s also the site of an architectural masterpiece by famed designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Built in 1904, “Hill House” is a modern construction with a focus on light and texture, and its facade is made of gray Portland cement rather than a more traditional and hardier substance like lime.

While the material was innovative at the time, it hasn’t endured the wet conditions of its surroundings and has started to deteriorate and crumble as it soaks up moisture from the air and ground—the National Trust of Scotland, which manages the home, describes it as “dissolving like an aspirin in a glass of water.” To dry out the facade and hopefully preserve it for generations to come, the trust commissioned a giant, greenhouse-like box to sit over top.

English YouTuber and educator Tom Scott visits the porous covering, which at 32.4 million steel rings is the largest sheet of chainmail in the world, in a short documentary that reveals how the uniquely designed mesh structure has become a landmark of sustainability and innovative conservation in its own right. He discusses the unusual reasons for a permeable wall, the ways the chainmail offers the proper amount of ventilation without sacrificing protection, and how the multi-story walkways allow for otherwise impossible views of the “Hill House” roof and upper floors. Join Scott on his tour above to see the enclosure up-close, and in case you missed it, make sure to watch his trip to this mountain of mannequins.

 

 

 



Craft Design Food

Tools, Snacks, and Other Household Goods Become Clever Wearables by Nicole McLaughlin

February 2, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Nicole McLaughlin, shared with permission

Peek into Nicole McLaughlin’s closet—or scroll through her Instagram—and you’ll find (literally) toasty winter hats, plush, pocketed work boots, and sandals that double as snacks. The New York-based designer is known for her playful edible apparel and brand-based conversions that turn household objects, logos, and individual servings of food into amusing and functional goods. Her latest creations include toothpaste tube slip-ons, LEGO shorts, and a vest designed with scent in mind. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

 

 

 

 



Art Design

SpaceWalk: A Spectacular Rollercoaster-Esque Staircase Loops Through a South Korean Park

January 27, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Heike Mutter and Ulrich Genth

Towering 70-meters above ground at its highest point, “SpaceWalk” is the latest undulating sculpture by Hamburg-based artists Heike Mutter and Ulrich Genth. The monumental staircase winds in loops and elevations similar to that of a rollercoaster throughout Hwanho Park in Pohang, South Korea, and is almost entirely accessible for pedestrians except for the innermost circuit. It’s the largest contemporary public sculpture ever installed in the country.

A follow-up to the pair’s 2011 project “Tiger & Turtle – Magic Mountain” in Duisburg, Germany, “SpaceWalk” is built of galvanized and stainless steels atop a cement foundation and embedded rows of LED lights. “At night in particular, the brightly-illuminated walkway appears like a sigil drawn in the sky, appearing to represent different things depending on where one is standing,” Mutter and Genth say. “Thus, the sculpture also references local mythology and a tradition of sky-gazing and also makes playful use of relativity.”

Pedestrians enter the work at a central staircase, which breaks into two paths: one gently sloped walkway leads to a view of Yeongil Bay and the surrounding city, while the other is a steeper climb through a helix. Both are designed to mimic an otherworldly experience. “The title ‘SpaceWalk’ is taken from the terminology of outer space missions. It describes the act of exiting the space vehicle in the weightlessness of outer space. More literally, ‘SpaceWalk’ can be understood to mean ‘a walk through space,'” they say.

For more of the duo’s architectural projects, head to their site. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

 

 

 



Design

Tiny Holes Drilled into Bricks Provide Miniature Homes for Solitary Bees

January 24, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Green&Blue, shared with permission

An innovative creation of Cornwall-based Green&Blue, Bee Bricks are designed to establish homes within homes. The architectural building blocks can be layered with more typical materials and feature holes of various sizes that allow the fuzzy, winged insects a space for nesting. These multi-purpose bricks are especially crucial as bee populations dwindle due to habitat loss and a changing climate.

Burrowing inches into the blocks made of reclaimed concrete, the narrow openings are targeted at red masons, leafcutters, and other cavity-nesters that live outside of colonies. It’s estimated that the U.K. alone boasts 250 solitary species, which tend to be better pollinators than their social counterparts because they gather the sticky substance from multiple sources, which improves biodiversity.

Bee Bricks have made headlines in recent days after the city of Brighton and Hove announced that all new buildings more than five-meters-tall have to include some form of housing for the solitary creatures. The council’s move follows similar policies in Dorset and Cornwall, in addition to guidelines that establish homes for swifts in new buildings, as well.

Watch the video below to see the bricks, which are available in multiple colors, in use. You also might enjoy these portraits captured inside a home for solitary bees.

 

 

 

A Colossal

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