Like a vision straight out of the pages of a fairy tale, Bath’s Holburne Museum covered its grass with 5,000 flowering lights. Lighting designer Bruce Munro is the only talent capable of this glowing garden of blossoming beauty, which he titled Field of Lights. The bulbs are arranged in patches, all connecting to a central unit which dictates their colors. Each patch is a different color which creates a magical atmosphere!
The light bulbs are made of frosted spheres which are threaded with fiber optic cables, lit by a color projector.
The patches change colors throughout the night to a slow rhythmic beat which enchants holiday visitors.
Munro came up with the idea for this field of lights almost 20 years ago while on a trip to Australia. He was inspired by the way the empty desserts would bloom after rainfall, and hoped to recreate it with lighting.
The free exhibition opened to the public this past Saturday, and will stay lit through the holidays.
(Photography: Getty Images)
While windmills have been an outdoor fixture for centuries, they’ve never really gotten their ‘day in the sun’ so to speak. These poor suckers have been mere wallflowers in the landscape, forced to recede into the background like shrinking violets. Well, now it’s their time to shine with Horst Glasker’s Aero Art instillation. Brightly colored wind turbines shellacked in day-glow yellow and lime green pop on the landscape, appearing as bright sculptural objects to be reckoned with. “These big, colorful generators change attitudes, for they will generate not only power but an ‘emotional mantle’ and an enormously positive acceptance in those who live or work near them.”
Stefan Sagmeister is a veritable jackknife of skills. A renaissance man in his own right, the famed graphic designer and typographer’s design repertoire spans the gamut of branding, graphics, packaging and album covers. The Grammy-nabbing designer is also the author of “Made You Look“ and “Things I have learned in my life so far,” a teacher at the School of Visual Arts in NYC, and of course he runs his design firm, Sagmeister Inc. with work featured in solo shows in Zurich, Vienna, New York, Berlin, Japan, Osaka, Prague, Cologne, and Seoul.
We’re exhausted just thinking about it, which is why it’s no surprise that Sagmeister is currently taking time off for a little R&R in Bali. Knstrct caught up with him during his year-long sabbatical and he was nice enough to share some personal insight – his design heroes, inspirations, all-time favorite font and donning lederhosen, among other things.
Q. What is one essential that you always carry on you?
A. My fathers watch.
Q. The Internet… Has it made design better or worse?
A: Better. The audience is much more interested in design now because almost everybody is a designer themselves, – involved in type-choices and formatting questions etc. This technology driven change has not led to the predicted job losses for designers but to a desire for more sophisticated work from professionals.
Q. The iPad… Do you think print magazines can make a successful transition?
A. No. Right now it looks like consumers are not willing to pay for the kind of digital content most magazine’s have to offer in any meaningful numbers. But I am no expert on that at all.
Q. The art of the album cover… What’s next?
A. I always thought its going to be the cheaply producable, small file size graphic music video, one that looks great on the small screen and can be made by a very small team. I was wrong.
Q. Did you ever wear a lederhosen as a child growing up in Austria?
A. Yes. I even wore leatherhosen to work on my first day at a corporate job in New York. It caused a minor sensation (not in a good way).
Q. How many tubes of Neosporin did you go through after having the details of a talk xacto-ed onto your torso by your intern?
Q. What is your favorite part of a sandwich?
A. The cheese.
Q. Did you ever dream of being anything besides a graphic designer?
A. A mountain bike.
Q. Who influences your work?
A. Tibor Kalman was the single most influential person in my designy life and my one and only design hero. 15 years ago, as a student in NYC, I called him every week for half a year and I got to know the M&Co receptionist really well. When he finally agreed to see me it turned out I had a sketch in my portfolio rather similar in concept and execution then an idea M&Co was just working on: He rushed to show me the prototype out of fear I’d say later he stole it out of my portfolio. I was so flattered. When I finally started working there 5 years later I discovered it was, more than anything else, his incredible salesmanship that set his studio apart from all the others. There were probably a number of people around who were as smart as Tibor (and there were certainly a lot who were better at designing), but nobody else could sell these concepts without any changes, get those ideas with almost no alterations out into the hands of the public. Nobody else was as passionate. As a boss he had no qualms about upsetting his clients or his employees (I remember his reaction to a logo I had worked on for weeks and was very proud of: “Stefan, this is TERRIBLE, just terrible, I am so disappointed”). His big heart was shining through nevertheless. He had the guts to risk everything, I witnessed a very large architecture project where he and M&Co had collaborated with a famous architect and had spent a years worth of work: He was willing to walk away on the question of who will present to the client. Tibor had an uncanny knack for giving advice, for dispersing morsels of wisdom, packaged in rough language later known as Tiborisms: “The most difficult thing when running a design company is not to grow” he told me when I opened my own little studio. “Just don’t go and spend the money they pay you or you are going to be the whore of the ad agencies for the rest of your life” was his parting sentence when I moved to Hong Kong to open up a design studio for Leo Burnett. These insights were also the reason why M&Co. got so much press, journalists could just call him and he would supply the entire structure for a story and some fantastic quotes to boot. He was always happy and ready to jump from one field to another, corporate design, products, city planning, music video, documentary movies, children books, magazine editing were all treated under the mantra “you should do everything twice, the first time you don’t know what you’re doing, the second time you do, the third time its boring”. He did good work containing good ideas for good people.
Q. Who is your personal hero?
A. As mentioned, Tibor Kalman, because he had the most guts of any designer I know and understood that spending energy on making sure that a design appears as designed is as important as designing it. Makoto Saito for selling the same photo shoot to different clients. Rick Valincenti for continuously doing ground breaking work. Paula Scher for designing the best project of her career (the type for the New Jersey Performing Art Center), after a 30 year career, last year.
Q. What work are you proudest of?
A. Likely the whole “Things I have learned” series. The individual projects were a pleasure to design and create, lecturing and exhibiting them was a pleasure, I was pleased with how the book came out and even now, 10 years after we started the series, I have a good time talking about it. We also got a lot of positive and steady feedback about it.
Q. Have you seen any of the Twilight saga (be honest here)?
A. No. And I am not quite sure why this question requires particular honesty.
Q. Where did you put your three Grammy awards?
A. Two are on an a book shelf, the third destroyed when my dog sat on it.
Q. What is your guilty pleasure?
A. Including at least one lie when answering interviews.
Q. What does wasted time look like to you?
A. Like a lemon wafer.
Q. What advice would you give up-and-coming graphic designers?
A. Dont take any advice from tried-and-true graphic designers.
Q. What is your all-time favorite font?
A. My own hand writing.
Q. Can you successfully play an ‘Alphorn?’
A. No. But my first design job, when I was 15, was at a magazine called Alphorn.
Q. Ever caught any unsavory shenanigans on the live cam in your office?
A. Only rehearsed ones.
The ‘Atoll’ open plaza at the Mapletree Business City in Singapore needed some sprucing up, and local architecture and design team FARM brought an interesting solution to the table called The Conch. “This particular image keeps playing in our heads : An idyllic stroll along the beach, we chance upon a conch, we hold it to our ears and listen to the sounds of the sea.” The team built a series of outdoor steel sculptures in the plaza pavilion which “presents itself as a highly fluid, wave-like sea of bells – its shape also reminiscent of the trumpet’s elegant sprouting form.” FARM explained. Beyond the soothing and intriguing aesthetics of the sculptures, another cool feature is that The Conch is a poetic wind instrument, enabling one to listen to the ‘sea’, to the slight movement of the air. Each of the ‘Conch’s’ bells comes together to the ground collectively as stalks. They are dotted with funnels where one can put their ears and listen to the wind. Behaving like nature and taking from nature, the Conch is reactive and interacts in its own ways to people.
(Images Provided By FARM Architects)
D-Sturbed is a gang of artists who came together back in 2006 to share ideas and exchange different points of view on art. Under the D-Sturbed umbrella is artist Matthieu Jacobs, who has created the Paper Skull Sculpture – an origami-like approach to constructing an angular skull out of onyx paper. The Skull comes finely packaged in a DIY kit, leaving the construction up to the builder. If you are artistically challenged, fear not, the construction of the skull is designed to be entirely user-friendly. A few bends, folds, and voilá! You have a metallic black cranium.
(Imagery Provided By D-Sturbed)
Sweden’s OpenArt Biennale recently kicked off in the town of Orebro. The organization brought in Florentijn Hofman, a design firm best known for their larger than life sculptures and clever statues, to create an enormous yellow bunny in the middle of the town square. The bunny provides a new focal point to the public space, which once was the Statue of Engelbrekt (currently standing behind the rabbit). The sculpture provides a new experience to people who regularly use this space for shopping, restaurants, and church; Florentijn Hofman is encouraging Orebro visitors to examine the space both with the bunny, and then again after its removal.
The 43 foot high rabbit is hand constructed with Florentijn Hofman’s team and 20 volunteers. The sculpture is made on site, of all local materials, wood, some metal, wood shingles, and paint. Each wood shingle was screwed on, one by one! It’s only when you are up close that you can understand the detail and precision that went into its making.
Florentijn Hofman is also the team responsible for these other amazing larger than life sculptures that have been seen in different places around the world!
(Image Credits: Florentijn Hofman)
Famed Pop-Art Designer, Kii Arens, who has always had a proclivity for Rock-N-Roll aesthetics has now released limited edition pop-styled silk pillows! If you think you’re unfamiliar with the works of Arens we assure you, you’re not! He has been heading up pop art in the music scene since the 70?s, designing album covers, t-shirts, posters, and artwork for music greats like Cheap Trick, Sheryl Crow, R.E.M., Helmet, Liz Phair, Soundgarden, Seal, Van Halen (with Sammy… boo-hoo), Marilyn Manson, Everclear, and more. Arens’ artwork is featured in museums around the globe and is now coming to a living room near you! You can snag these limited edition Pop Pillows here, but they’re only on sale for three more days!
(Images Provided By: FAB)
The Federal Republic Of Germany’s House Of History is shining a spotlight on what it’s like to be a young German through their latest exhibition by Atelier Markgraph. The exhibition titled “17: Being Young In Germany”, examines how it feels to be young, and to find and shape your personality. The designer used roughly 800 exhibits, interactive media instillation, and music, to present growth from the 1950′s to the present. Whether it is sexual rebellion, religion, or education, each section of the instillation is designed with it’s own mood or feel reflecting the topic.
(Photographs Provided By Atelier Markgraph)
Parisian designers Léa Padovani & Sébastien Kieffer are the dynamic duo behind Pool, a firm producing thought provoking furniture and designs such as their cheeky S.T.Q.T.V.M chair! A typical poolside chair carved into a skull face! The two founded the firm based on mutual principals: “outside the box thinking, with a goal to explore associations between objects, architecture and images. Beyond the obvious presence of an object.” The chair is constructed out of fiberglass and is said to represent the emblematic monobloc chair reinterpreted as an expression of vanity.
At 62 rue Saint-Antoine sits The Hôtel de Sully, a gorgeous, private mansion, in the Louis XIII style, located in the Le Marais, IV arondissement, Paris. Although the opulent hotel was erected in the 1620’s, the historic relic now boasts a uniquely modern instillation titled, Dance of Bees, or ‘La Danse des Abeilles.’ French designers Vaulot&Dyèvre constructed the electric blue, hive-like structure of woven beech wood, evoking the feeling of a cage, and the boundary between man and bee. The designers elaborate further, “The understanding of reciprocity that is at work in nature drives man to define new territories, to leave room for nature and to create space.” The poetic piece pays homage to the ornamental nature of the beehive, the nucleus from which life springs forth. We’re not the least bit surprised that the instillation has set the design world abuzz.
We’ve all had something hanging over our head at some point. Well, Ball-Nogues Studio has taken the term to new heights… literally. If you happen to be walking the streets of Santa Monica, you just may see Cradle, a new art instillation that features an aggregate of mirror-polished, stainless steel spheres functioning structurally as an enormous Newton’s Cradle.
Cables originating from the same point on the exterior wall of a parking structure suspend all of the balls simultaneously. The team at Ball-Nogues Studio explains, “Aside from the Newton’s Cradle reference, we wanted the overall shape to elicit things that we thought might be slightly provocative when inserted into the glitzy Santa Monica urban landscape.
On one hand, the installation resembles a big banana hammock (the type worn by unashamed men at the beach) and on the other it suggests the female reproductive system.” the team goes on to state that “Cradle is as much a sculpture as it is an approach to making experimental structure in the post-digital era. We were interested in exploring ways of producing large scaled self-organizing structures.”
James Jones, the lead fabricator on the projects explained that their fabrication process was a bit like the process of slip casting ceramics except instead of pouring ceramic slip into a mold they ‘poured’ hundreds of spheres. To their knowledge, this was the first time this technique has been used.
The next time you’re ambling through the streets of Santa Monica, keep your head up, design is in the air.
(Photographs Credited To Monica Nouwens)
The tulips have bloomed, the trees are green, and the sun is blazing! Yes New Yorkers, summer is here! And this summer, The Public Art Fund has turned our beloved City Hall Park into an outdoor museum exhibit featuring one of the world’s greatest modern artists, the late Sol LeWitt. The park is storing a collection of LeWitt’s 27 most famous pieces of art throughout his career. It is the first outdoor exhibit detailing his extraordinary career.
LeWitt was a leader in the Minimalism and Conceptualism movements, with specialized mediums ranging from photography, to works on paper to wall drawings, and 3-dimensional structures that explore different geometric forms such as pyramids and cubes. The selected pieces have been featured in museums around the world including London’s Tate Modern, Amsterdam’s Musée National d’Art Moderne, and Paris’ Centre Georges Pompidou. The Public Art Fund makes navigating the exhibition fun and easy with a free iPhone application that will walk you through the pieces and their meanings. In addition to the application, guests can call a phone number that provides an audio tour. If you’re itching for a walk in the park, now’s the time.
Splotch 15, 2005, Acrylic on Fiberglass: “The organic form and bright color of Splotch 15 create a remarkable contrast to Sol LeWitt’s iconic white modular structures. Nevertheless, the form and color distribution were generated through a typically LeWittian system of projections from a two-dimensional base. First, the artist drew a highly irregular, eccentric outline as the footprint of the structure. He then devised one segmented plan within that outline for color and a second plan for height. Using three-dimensional computer modeling software, his Brooklyn fabricator constructed the work. The resulting exuberant form is the surprising result of the marriage of these two systems of color and height.” -Public Art Fund
Complex Forms, 1987, Painted Aluminum: “Sol LeWitt became interested in making irregular structures in the mid-1980s. For the Complex Forms, the artist drafted a two-dimensional polygon and placed dots at various locations within it. As the form is projected into three dimensions, those interior points are elevated into space at different heights. The elevated points dictate the seams of the object’s multi-faceted surface. The Complex Forms introduce irregularity into LeWitt’s structural vocabulary – an idea that is further explored, for example, in Splotch 15, 2005, in this exhibition.” -Public Art Fund
Three x Four x Three, 1984, Painted Aluminum: “The large-scale open cubes of Three x Four x Three perform a simple numerical operation – the addition and subtraction of one element – while simultaneously altering their configuration. Three cubes connected on a horizontal axis and three cubes connected on a vertical axis frame four cubes each connected on two sides. This stepped, triangular form is further elaborated by Pyramid (Münster), 1987, in this exhibition.” -Public Art Fund
Pyramid (Münster), 1987, Concrete Blocks: “In 1982, Sol LeWitt began to work with concrete blocks. As a common, readily available building material, it appealed to him as a modular component with which to build large-scale outdoor structures. Pyramid (Münster) was originally installed in a botanical garden for the Skulptur Projekte Münster, an important decennial exhibition in Germany. The artist first discussed this kind of form – horizontal steps of progressively decreasing width – in a 1966 article entitled “Ziggurats.” Different perspectives reveal the structure as a stepped pyramid or half-cube, suggesting the convergence of architecture and sculpture in LeWitt’s work.” -Public Art Fund
Shopping on the famed 5th Avenue can be a zoo at times, and this month is no exception. Louis Vuitton is giving people the bird, and not in the standard NYC fashion. Larger than life ostriches and eggs are gracing the windows, displaying Vuitton’s spring and summer shoe and accessory collection. London based creative agency Chameleon Visual produced the stunning display. It’s just one expertise in their repertoire of skills that include design, production and installation of visual concepts. The prehistoric animal was hand crafted by the team who meticulously sculpted the faces and painted the legs a gilded gold. The cheeky ostriches are playful and yet surreal, their long necks traveling through window displays, and dipping into the ground only to come up again in a different location. Their over sized eggs are vertically lined in front of tufted pink velvet walls, hatching the season’s latest accessories! Chameleon’s display for Louis Vuitton translates into the concept of rebirth, which essentially is what the season of spring is all about.
(Images Provided By Julia Chesky)
For their 350th year anniversary, The University of the Arts Bremen created a striking paper instillation over their library staircase. The thought processes behind the sculpture made of folded paper shows the connection of the traditional storage medium with the digital information world. The constant stream of inquiries passes on this vertical axis, the four levels of the building. The random sequence of incoming search terms triggers associative text and imagery. In effort, the library at Bremen is trying to evoke an interactive element between students and the library by using visual stimuli to peak interests.
A beautiful encounter between the traditional world and contemporary art. The streets of Vercorin, a small ski town in Switzerland, were painted by design legends Lang Baumann. Vercorin was hosting a fair in the town and wanted to bring in a design team to create something outrageous. They called on Sabina Lang and Daniel Baumann, the creative duo that make up the Lang Baumann to transform their streets. The painted streets were intended to be a powerful juxtaposition against the old world feel of the charming town, and the design team succeeded at that!
(Photographs provided by Lang Baumann)
Studio Xag is a London based design firm which specializes in exhibitions, window displays, instillation, and sets. The team put their creative juices together with the University of Arts London for this exhibition called Hands On. The exhibition is a “shoebox” house, a life size scale model, with items in it that are designed to mimic small scale elements such as a matchbox or matchstick.
Lang Baumann is a Switzerland based architectural firm who experiments with everyday things like walls, floors, tubes, and corners, and through design, twists the common conception to allow people to view it in a whole new way. Their most impressive subject has been stairs. Today, the firm has had six successful stair twisting projects located throughout the world. The stairs are usually twisting in some form, white, and made of only wood and paint. A commonality between each project is that Sabina Lang and Daniel Baumann (The founders and creative directors) choose to leave out the railing, giving each stair an element of fantasy and suspense.
(2011 Fundacion Proa, Buenos Aires AR, “Of Bridges and Borders”)
(2010 Schloss Trautenfels A, “Regionale. Fabricators of the World. Scenarios of Self-will.”)
(2009 Le Confort Moderne, Poitiers F, “Le Bel Accident. Vincent Ganivet, Lang/Baumann”)
(2010 Schloss Trautenfels A, “Regionale. Fabricators of the World. Scenarios of Self-will.”)
(2009 Biel-Bienne CH, “Utopics. 11. Schweizerische Plastikausstellung”)
(Photographs Provided By Lang Baumann)
What you are really seeing when you look at this pixel-like installation by of Stephane Malka are thousands of different size cardboard boxes glued together, then painted a pristine pale grey to sweet perfection. Malka designed the space for Moscow’s International Biennale For Young Art.
On one side of the room is a wall made of mirror, which endlessly reflects the boxes. There is no rhyme or reason to the box positions, there is no pattern, but the instillation as a whole creates a world of texture and depth.
As creatives, we find it hard to forget the designers before us. There are artists out there who have built environments that are cemented into our brains and remain there for inspiration in future designs. This week Knstrct.com is spotlighting Belgian artist, Carsten Holler. Over the last three decades Holler’s work has reached international fame, being curated and featured in museums all over the world.
It is unexpected to learn that Holler holds doctorate in biology, specializing in the area of insect communication strategies. His in depth research in insects may be a direct link to his obsession with human interaction. In Höller’s work he thrives to create situations which question familiar forms of perception and allow exhibition visitors to experiment on themselves.
Throughout his history as an artist, Holler often invites the public’s active participation in his exhibitions. In their form, Höller’s works are occasionally reminiscent of scientific laboratory arrangements, allowing the viewer to become the subject of an experiment. It is apparent that Carsten uses his training as a scientist in his work as an artist.
The Snow Show, 2006
Sestriere-Turin -I (with Williams Tsien)
2007 pink bi-resin, horn, blue glass eyes
||Light Wall, 2007
MDFpanels, incandescent bulbs, frequency generator, pulse generator, loudspeaker.
Amusement Park (Baja), 2006
Re-engineered amusement park rides
Lignano Ski Lab, 2007
Test Site, 2006.
Installation view ‘Unilever Series : Carsten Höller’, Turbine Hall, Tate Modern, London 2006.
Pablo Reinoso has been on our radar for quite some time now (since we fell in love with his Trash & Soul jewelry collection). Now, the artist of many mediums has created a sculptural seating instillation called the Huge Sudeley Bench made entirely of steel, centered in the middle of manicured gardens.
(Photographs Courtesy of Pablo Reinoso)
HUSH, a New York City based creative team was approached by Hearst Media to do a massive installation project for the Classic Car Show in Pebble Beach, California, for Infiniti. Hearst wanted Hush to create a space which was technology-focused interactive media in order to promote Infiniti’s command of new technology and forward thinking. We were told that this instillation became one of the most talked about parts of the entire show. The larger than life display is dynamic and interactive in design which kept people coming back for more. Smart move Infiniti, it looks like having some creative genius in your corner really does works.
(Photographs courtesy of HUSH)
Lucas Mongiello, an artist best known for his experimentation with luchadero sweatshirts, has created a series of wacky figurines comfortable toppled on top of one another called 20/20. The real interest comes in the choice of figurines, and the positions Mongiello has posed them in, the composition is quarky, fun, and leaves you with a smile.
On December 30th 2010, Qatar will open the Muthaf Arab Museum of Modern Art in the states capital, Doha. The building is an existing 5,500 sqm venue that has been dramatically redesigned by Jean-Francois Bodin, especially at the facade where modern architectural features have been added. The museum will feature over 6,000 pieces of Arab artwork dating from the 1840′s to the present.
Lori Nix has created these post human images of the aftermath of the world as we know it. Nix built the diorama of each scene, then photographed them. The collection, called The City, will be on display at ClampArt Gallery in New York City.
“I am fascinated, maybe even a little obsessed, with the idea of the apocalypse. In addition to my childhood experiences with natural disasters, I also grew up watching 1970s films known as “disaster flicks”. I remember watching Towering Inferno, Earthquake, Planet of Apes and sitting in awe in the dark. Here was the same type of dangers I had experienced day to day being magnified and played out on the big screen in a typical Hollywood way. Each of these experiences has greatly influenced my photographic work. The series Accidentally Kansas explored my personal experience with the natural disasters of my childhood. The City postulates what it would be like to live in a city that is post man-kind, where man has left his mark by the architecture, but mother nature is taking back these spaces. Flora, fauna and insects mix with the detris of high and low culture.” -Lori Nix