Design

Section



Craft Design

Geometric Patterns Form DIY Animal Sculptures Designed by Paperwolf

March 7, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images courtesy of Paperwolf, shared with permission

Wolfram Kampffmeyer (previously) crafts vibrant, geometric snakes and jaguars that appear to plunge from the wall. The German designer has spent the better part of a decade prototyping digital renderings of polygon sculptures and taxidermy-style busts that he then translates to DIY kits sold under the Paperwolf brand. Minimal and playfully colored, Kapffmeyer’s menagerie includes a seated koala, multiple birds in flight, and of course, the original majestic wolf. In addition to patterning pieces for his Etsy shop, the designer also works on a variety of commissions and collaborations, which result in large-scale sculptures in steel and wood.

 

 

 



Craft Design

Cats Peek Out from Shirt Pockets in Hiroko Kubota's Clever Embroideries

March 1, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Hiroko Kubota, shared with permission

Cats are known to wedge themselves into tiny spots and generally treat people as human jungle gyms, and artist Hiroko Kubota (previously) translates that lack of spatial awareness into her tiny embroideries. Stitched onto collared shirts, the Nara-based artist’s portraits are cleverly placed to depict furry faces peering over the edge of a pocket and sometimes, attempting to climb out from their garment confines. Since she started the designs about a decade ago, Kubota has embroidered hundreds of characters, each with their distinct personalities and mischievous expressions.

This spring, Kubota is participating in an Osaka cat event with photographers and other handcraft artists and is planning a solo exhibition this fall. She’s paused international commissions for now, but you can stay updated on her work on Instagram.

 

 

 



Design

A Menagerie of Playground Creatures by MONSTRUM Turn Animals into Outdoor Gyms

February 28, 2022

Grace Ebert

Seals. All images © MONSTRUM, shared with permission

Copenhagen-based MONSTRUM (previously) continues to transform playgrounds into imaginative habitats for land and sea creatures. Sometimes towering dozens of feet in the air, the architectural animals rest on stone and painted ground coverings, their bellies and limbs left hollow to fit climbing ropes, tunnels, and slides that scale the length of a tentacle or fin.

Helmed by designers Ole B. Nielsen and Christian Jensen, MONSTRUM has grown to a team of more than 60 designers, engineers, and craftspeople in recent years, allowing the studio to expand the size of its projects, as well. Works like “The Land of River Giants” in Tulsa, Oklahoma, contain multiple creatures, including two monumental herons and a long-nosed paddlefish surrounded by reeds nearby. The piece is just one example of MONSTRUM’s increased focus on accessibility for all ages and abilities, with the fish’s mouth serving as a low, gaping entrance designed for smaller children and a 12-foot high slide descending from the birds for older kids. Additional elements like climbing areas and rushes primed for hide-and-seek surround the massive animals.

MONSTRUM currently has three playgrounds on view at Expo 2020 Dubai and a number of projects in-progress for the coming year. “A snapshot from our workshop at the moment would show that we’ve got everything from helicopters to giant birds and otters under construction,” Nielsen shares. Explore a map of the playgrounds and additional designs on the studio’s site.

 

Seals

The Land of River Giants, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Pipefish, New York

Octopus, EXPO, Dubai

River Giants, Tulsa, Oklahoma

River Giants, Tulsa, Oklahoma

The 5 Halds, Viborg, Denmark

Whale, EXPO, Dubai

Peacock, K11 Musea, Hong Kong

 

 



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.