Everyone can picture a classic No. 2. Usually yellow, metal end capped with soft, pink rubber. It is a versatile symbol of creativity, art, potential, academics, anxiety and seemingly endless rounds of bubbling in tiny circles for answers A, B, C or D. The pencil is incredibly recognizable but I can barely drum up the name of a brand, let alone imagine the packaging from which the pencil came in — fresh and waiting to be sharpened.
Yuma Kano is a young Japanese designer based in Tokyo. In Spring 2012 he set up his own design office called studio yumakano and since then he’s been creating projects that cover everything from interiors, architectural art, installations and product designs.
One of my favourite pieces of his are these terrific display boxes for shoes. Designed for surveyors, plasters, mechanics and other craftsmen, the boxes hold a pair of heavy duty shoes. They also function as a toolbox, letting people carry around other items from the workshop to site.
Danny Cooke has a series of documentaries he’s been working on, and this one about letterpress is my personal favorite. It’s a short film featuring one of the few remaining movable-type printing workshops in the UK, situated at Plymouth University. It features printer Paul Collier as he goes through the motions (but not in a bad way!) of printing out some rather beautiful pieces. Be sure to watch till the end for the credits, which are all letterpressed.
Last week Bobby covered Firewatch, an upcoming indie game backed by a ‘holy trinity’ of game development. It’s sure-to-be-gorgeous-design reminded me of another beautiful up & coming game that I’ve had on my radar: Hyper Light Drifter. Video games are a huge passion of mine, and I’m not quick to gush over a title (especially one that I haven’t had the opportunity to play). Yet, here I am, gushing. In a world of increasingly creative and imaginative indie games, Heart Machine’s Hyper Light Drifter already stands out as one of the shining pillars of gameplay, art direction, and design.
Patatap is a portable animation and sound kit that’s controlled by key commands and touch controls. It combines playful sounds with abstract shapes that aniamte in creative ways, which give visual feedback as you create music. Amazingly enough you can try it out for yourself in the embed below.
What’s interesting is where the motivation to build Patatap came from, which builds off the idea of triggering synesthesia as well as the art of Mondrian and Kandinsky.
The motivation behind Patatap is to introduce the medium of Visual Music to a broad audience. Artists working in this field vary in discipline but many aim to express the broader condition of Synesthesia, in which stimulation of one sensory input leads to automatic experiences in another. Hearing smells or seeing sounds are examples of possible synesthesia. In the case of Patatap, sounds trigger colorful visual animations.
The history behind the aesthetic expression of synesthesia arose from the paintings of Piet Mondrian and Wassily Kandinsky and the early videos of Viking Eggeling and Norman McLaren, to the contemporary animations of Oskar Fischinger and softwares of C.E.B. Reas. Patatap takes elements from all these visionaries and aims to present this concept in a direct way.
The project is a collaboration between Jono Brandel, who has a knack for combining design with computer wizardry, and Lullatone, a musical duo based out of Nagoya, Japan. Together they’ve made abeautiful fusion of technology, design, art, and music that I’ve rarely seen achieved.