Design

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Design

These Wiggly ‘Nervous Chairs’ by Wilkinson & Rivera Channel Our Collective Anxiety

January 12, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images by Zelie Lockhart, courtesy of Wilkinson & Rivera, shared with permission

If home is a feeling, then the wriggling furniture collection by husband-and-wife Grant Wilkinson and Teresa Rivera are apt representatives of our collective anxieties. The design duo opts for squiggles rather than clean, straight lines in their collection of wooden pieces— the internet dubbed them “nervous chairs” —that appear to quake with uneasiness. Curved legs and arms offer base structure and coiled rungs back support in the ever-growing line of products by their eponymous brand, which is known for putting updated spins on classic pieces. Rivera shares:

Our tastes can be pretty contemporary but we’re fascinated by traditional techniques. We try to incorporate them in each piece: for the Windsor, it’s steam-bending the backrest. For La Silla, we weave the caned seats by hand. For our latest piece, the Welsh Stick Chairs, we included hand-carved barley twists.

Wilkinson and Rivera, who are based in Walthamstow, East London, will launch a few new designs in the next few months, which you can watch for on Instagram, and shop their current collection through The Future Perfect.

 

 

 



Design

Brezhnevka Night Lights and Planters Recreate Soviet-Era Housing as Functional Goods

January 11, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images courtesy of Nikita Anokhin

St. Petersburg-based designer Nikita Anokhin references the industrial, streamlined architecture that populated much of Soviet-era Russia in his functional home goods. Based on the iconic Brezhnevka complexes, Anokhin’s plywood and concrete lamps are comprised of multiple stories of conformist features, including angular balconies and rows of tall windows. Each contains tiny, multi-colored LED lights that illuminate the individual apartments and reveal miniature domestic scenes unfolding within. Similarly bulky and constructivist, the small, concrete planters are based on Khrushchevka and the round buildings on Nezhinskaya Street in Moscow.

Shop available pieces on Anokhin’s Etsy and follow new releases on Instagram.

 

 

 



Design

Typeface Studies by Designer Craig Ward Recreate Fonts and Iconic Logos in LEGO

January 7, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Craig Ward, shared with permission

LEGO are the (literal) building blocks behind an array of creative endeavors—we’ve featured dozens on Colossal over the years from Ekow Nimako’s elaborate world-building series to Jumpei Mitsui’s sculptural recreation of Hokusai’s “The Great Wave off Kanagawa”—and are put to another inventive use in Craig Ward’s ongoing Brik Font project.

While playing with his children last fall, the New York-based designer realized the plastic pieces could be an interesting analog complement to the brand identities he spends his days working on. “I’ve always enjoyed the restrictions of modular type design, and I’m surprised it took me this long to put the two things together,” he tells Colossal. He then began shaping the bricks into ubiquitous typefaces like Helvetica and Garamond and physical renditions of digital relics.

This sparked a full-scale project involving dozens of typographic studies: a scroll through the Brik Font Instagram reveals single letters, throwback video game logos, and references to anti-aliased words like the pixelated “ok” shown above. The project already has led to collaborations with Apple and a knitwear brand, and Ward is in the process of preparing a book on the idea. He’s also released printables on Etsy and prints on Society6. (via Kottke)

 

 

 



Design Documentary

Wander Through a Mountain of 25,000 Mannequins in an Astounding Look at Consumerism and Waste

January 6, 2022

Grace Ebert

In a wooded area of Lincolnshire, it’s not unusual for people to partake in what’s dubbed a “drive through body part heist.” The preposterously named activity involves a trip to Mannakin—a Midlands mannequin distributor frequented by a wide array of clientele like merchandisers, film crews, and Halloween devotees—where visitors spend 15 minutes scouring its meters-high pile of discarded forms for, none other than, body parts. These challenges to fill a car with as many pieces as possible are just one part of the company’s business model, which involves saving the used fiberglass displays from landfills and returning them to the retail ecosystem.

English YouTuber and educator Tom Scott walks through the staggering heap in a recent video and talks with director Roz Edwards, who’s amassed about 25,000 figures from locations all over Europe that are now scattered across the property. The short documentary project dives into the company’s process for revitalizing worn arms, legs, and torsos and confronts the strange, surreal environment created when thousands of lifeless bodies occupy a single space in what’s ultimately a striking visual indictment of consumerism and our collective approach to waste.

You also might find this short documentary set in a mannequin factory interesting.

 

 

 



Design Food Photography

Everyday Objects Are Organized into Perfect Geometric Shapes in Kristen Meyer's Flat Lays

January 4, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Kristen Meyer, shared with permission

Kristen Meyer (previously) pinpoints the unique crossroads of organization and art in her meticulous flat lays. Influenced by interior decorating, prop styling, and floristry, the New Haven-based designer constructs precise geometric shapes and network-esque compositions from humble materials like eggshell shards, office supplies, candy, and disassembled bouquets. At once streamlined in material and rich in depth and texture, the dazzling works use implied outlines and negative space to construct interesting categorizations within squares and perfectly round circles.

Each work is a product of collaboration with Meyer’s husband Colin, who shoots all of the final images. You can explore an archive of her work on Instagram, and browse prints in her shop.

 

 

 



Design

Elaborate Designs by Mitsuru Nikaido Transform Animals and Insects into Complex LEGO Robots

December 28, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Mitsuru Nikaido, shared with permission

Kurashiki-based builder Mitsuru Nikaido reimagines marine life, insects, and land animals as mechanical, robot-like characters built entirely with LEGO. Using his signature palette of gray and white bricks and unique parts, Nikaido creates spring-loaded limbs for walruses, a gecko tail capable of swinging toward its body, and spiders that appear like they could scurry away on hinged legs. The semi-articulate specimens shown here are just a few of the designer’s elaborate mecha sculptures, more of which you can find on Flickr and Instagram. (via Steampunk Tendencies)