Red Beacon is a recent work by Arne Quinze, a Belgian artist widely known for his chaotic wooden public art installations. Sited within a public park in downtown Shanghai, Red Beacon aims to “lure” passers-by into the park from the city. Quinze believes that “we live in an era where direct social interaction has been almost completely diminished.” His ambition is to create work that sparks public conversations… perhaps conversations under red canopies of aggregated wooden sticks.
The installation is made of 55 tons of wood which seems crazy and wasteful at first. But for every tree cut down for this project, a tree was planted. And when this installation is disassembled, the 55 tons of wood will be distributed to 26 different construction sites.
Can you imagine being a structural engineer assigned to this project?
It was love at first click when I happened upon the portfolio of Swedish artist Nina Lindgren. Overflowing with lovely illustrations and other pieces, Lindgren’s work is inspired by “things inside and surrounding.” From her amazing architectural structures made from cardboard to her imagery of nature, Lindgren’s work has an almost mythical quality that is mediated through the everyday. Addressing her creative approach, Lindgren made the following statement:
I search for sudden glimpses of unreality: preferably unforeseen and unpredictable to make virtual both real and pretend. If I draw a house balancing on one tiny piece of plank it will never fall, unless I want it to. In these own worlds you are the one to decide what reality is and what to be part of another’s consciousness.
In my opinion, the subdued palette and special details utilised to construct her imaginary worlds are just begging for further exploration.
Lindgren also has a rather wonderful blog that I recommend you check out.
Over the years I’ve gotten more accepting of posting foxes on the blog, though it was always a concern of mine that I would end up being the equivalent of a crazy cat lady, only with foxes. But this giant fox mural by Philippe Baudelocque in Paris. The mural is made up of dozens of complex patterns all working together to create an amazing fox jumping through the air. This is such a welle executed idea and I love that he chose to go light on dark instead of the other way around, it really allows your eyes to focus in on the patterns. Philippe also has a great octopus image up as well as a show going on at the Since Gallery which runs till November 6. Thanks to KN reader Haley for the tip.
Probably more widely known for their robot-stacked bricks, Gramazio & Kohler turned their attention to stacking wooden slats last summer for the West Fest Pavilion. All of the wooden pieces of the pavilion were cut and placed by a robot, or at least a robotic arm (see above). Because the length of the wooden pieces doesn’t change, or doesn’t change as much as the curvature of the columns, the slats de-laminate toward the roof, and when lit from within, each of the 16 columns becomes a sort of lantern.
Gramazio & Kohler describe their work as “the direct implementation of material and production logic into the design process, establish[ing] a unique architectural expression and a new aesthetic.” However, their West Fest Pavilion looks (er… looked) more evolutionary than revolutionary; more like the progeny of a gothic arch and the Memphis International Airport. Who knew their baby would look so good?
Exploring the portfolio of Swedish designer Hanna Werning is a real delight for anyone who is enamoured of colour. Her work encompasses just about every tone in the spectrum and is employed in gorgeous patterns on various surfaces. Quite understandably it was her recent interior design and identity for Biograf Ugglan that really caught my eye. Although I have been to my fair share of stunning art deco cinema houses, Werning’s concept for Ugglan (which means owl in Swedish – how perfect!) visually captures the idea of the film medium as a form composed of colour, light and movement. The kinetic wall display and brightly-coloured chairs make up one of the most dynamic uses of cinematic viewing space that I have seen. It’s so good I can imagine that design fans would be waiting for the house lights to come back on after the film so they could take another look at the interior. I would love to visit one day.