Category Archives: Materials

Seat and Book Storage In One. Perfect For Students!

I am loving this little stool by Nju Studios. Inspired by a bunch of students using a stack of the designers magazines to prop open a door the designer was prompted to use the proportions and weight of magazines to create a functional piece of furniture.

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When I saw it, I thought how perfect it would be in a student house. A place full of books, that often requires extra seating. It is ironic that it was students that inadvertently sparked this idea in the first place.

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Having just packed up my student room after the end of another year, I seem to have added another box of books. Not only would this seat be perfect for its primary uses but would also make the books it stores easy to transport, a feature great for students who often live a split life between home and a university house.

Now where can I get my hands on one?

Images via Core77

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Filed under Furniture, Interiors, Materials, New Uses

Incredible Mini Models by David DiMichele

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For longer than a decade the artist David DiMichele has been producing these fantastic miniature installations in his studio. But it is the photographing of  the pieces, only a recent part of his process that has been grabbing peoples attention. His photography has created a whole new portfolio of work, not only recording his installation models but creating beautiful pieces of photographic art in the process.

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The collection of images is called Pseudo Documentation and with the artists careful consideration of composition and lighting the result is spectacular. On my discovery of the pieces I was convinced these were full size installations not scale models! I am completely in awe of his abilities, the models are so clean and and realistic. He is certainly someone I would love to sit down with to pick up of few tricks of the trade from.

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For the source of these images and more information about the artist and his works head of to his website here.

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Filed under Architecture, Interiors, Materials, Models, Photography

Nod To A Blog–Patternity

In a search for something completely different Google in all its random genius led me to patternity.co.uk.

“SEEING PATTERN EVERYWHERE// MUNDANE TO THE MAGNIFICENT// INSPIRE INFORM IMPLEMENT ENJOY” (sites strap line)

In a few short minutes I was hooked. The blog is brilliant in its simplicity. It is a collection of images, some personal, some borrowed each depicting pattern. The subjects featured are vast and varying but each is held up to the same value and each recognised as beautiful.

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So take my advice, if stuck for inspiration, get stuck into this blog. You will be sure to find something to motivate your creative side!

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Filed under Materials, Nod To A Blog, Photography

Vertical Grass

I have been researching ways of getting greenery into cities in unusual ways so have been looking at grass as wall coverings. Below are a couple of the best examples I have come across so far…

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Heather Ackroyd and Dan Harvey have become famous for the work they have been doing with grass over the past decade. Their technique involves spraying a clay mixture over a surface and then individually planting seeds. The seeds are watered and grow for a couple of weeks to form a thick, layer of grass. Unfortunately the affect is only temporary but the result is staggering. The building above is Dilston Grove, a beautiful but now derelict cathedral. The entire inside and outside of the structure was covered by the pair to create this fantastic piece of art.

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This showroom designed by Vector Architects to display green technology has a more permanent grass covering. A grass panel system is used to cover both the walls and the roof of the structure and has a number of benefits including a  high thermal efficiency on top of its great appearance.

I don’t think I have ever seen a grass wall in person but I think they would be a great addition to many cold, grey urban environments in the UK.

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Filed under Architecture, Art, Cities, Landscapes, Materials

Berlin–Split Personality Streetscapes

I went to Berlin over a month ago and I am still finding ways to incorporate my findings into my MA research. I took a lot of images of interesting features on the streets of the city. This mirrored and a similar exercise I did in Manchester and I have to say the results were rather different.

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The above images show some of the more run down elements on the street. Although they have become rather neglected and could do with being cleaned up I still feel they have a huge amount of value. The design of the objects is  interesting, bright and colourful, appropriate to the current trends at the time of their inception, with I slight tweek I can see theses pieces being equally as relevant today. The seating is clever in their separation along a solid base and the angular bike racks are great, if looking a bit dull at the moment.

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These benches show the more modern side of the city. The pieces really reflect the space that they are in. Materiality, form and construction have all been considered to fit their context and create something, beautiful and long lasting. Hopefully these pieces will date as well as their older neighbours above.

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It isn’t just street furniture that has opposing styles throughout the city. From graffiti and posters to something as simple as the materials that cover the ground, within a small space in the city, there can be a number of different urban personalities and clashing styles. This makes the city exciting, you never know what you are going to come across next.

I loved my time in Berlin, I would go back immediately if I could!

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Filed under Cities, Graffiti, Materials, My Travels, Street Furniture

Worms On The Streets Of New York

IdeasForTheNewCity1The Festival of Ideas For The New City is an event due to take place in New York this May. The Festival is a collaborative initiative in the downtown area that taps the large and diverse creative pool present in the city. The project imagines how the city will be shaped in the future. The culmination of the festival is a three day ‘Slate of Symposia’. The event includes a number of guest speakers including the likes of Rem Koolhaus, 8 independent projects and a street festival.

The Streetfest design element of the festival was won by a collaboration between Family and Playlab. The design is a series of tents called “The Worm”. The tents will run along the bowery and into the New Museum during the event. The design is made up of brightly coloured, waterproof nylon elements that fit together in modules.

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The Worms have openings that direct people to specific venues and areas that hold other events. The structures created with their modular nature will be able to be reused and assembled differently to suit future events. The modules have been specifically designed with a number of different efficiencies in mind. The sections can be compacted to aid in transportation costs and simply pull out for ease of assembly.

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This image below shows a number of the possible configurations that mean the Worm will not only create a fascinating event space now but in many orientations in the future as the Worm could slot in to almost any context.IdeasForTheNewCity5

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More Information about the event is available on the festival website. (All images are courtesy of the Family and Playlab websites)

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Filed under Cities, Materials, New Uses, Pop Up, Street Furniture

Grounded Illusions

Creating deceptive art works is nothing new to the graffiti and street artists of the world so when I spotted this rug by Mauricio and Sebastian Lara (Collectively known as Eos Mexico) I wondered if that was where their inspiration had come from.

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The rug titled ‘Sima Pashtun’ brings together both contemporary and ancient design influences. The rug was produced using 3000 year old techniques and yet its design was clearly technologically enabled.

Street artists don’t have the luxury of photoshop when they create their works, just skill, time and effort. So my praise goes out to the geurilla. Below I have featured a few of the best graffiti artworks that use the same deceptive technique. (Images courtesy of Street Art Utopia)

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Filed under Art, Graffiti, Materials