How Might We Grow Plants In Space?

Plant for NASA

I’ve never stopped to think about how we might grow plants in space. I’ve only really thought about those enormous geodesic domes that you see in sci-fi films like Silent Running, but I’ve never stopped to consider what a practical real-life equivalent of those might be. Obviously being in space brings about all kinds of issues and I can just imagine the problems you might face if you tried to water some soil while floating around in zero-gravity.

Fortunately the guys at NASA have been thinking about exactly these issues. Back in 2011 the experts and astronauts there collaborated with designers Piotr Szpryngwald and Mirko Ihrig in developing a means for astronauts to grow food on long duration space flights in a clean, easy and safe way.

Plant for NASA

Their solution is brilliantly simple. The concept consist of a small pillow which contains the seed and hydroponic media. They also created a special watering device which can both puncture and activate the pillow. The final element is a growing chamber which informs astronauts about the harvesting cycles of their plants. I think the idea is great and I love the look of it.

Plant for NASA

Plant for NASA

Plant for NASA

You can view more images from the project here.

Philip Kennedy

October 15, 2014 / By

Secrets for Drawing the Human Body: Get the Free Guide from Craftsy (Sponsored)

Secrets for Drawing the Human Body: Get the Free Guide from Craftsy (Sponsored)

Learn how to draw the human body with lifelike realism. Improve your drawing skills and create incredible works of art when you unlock the secrets to drawing human anatomy with the free Craftsy guide Drawing the Human Body: A Primer.

With 23 pages of step-by-step tutorials, tips and tricks from experts Paul Heaston and Sandrine Pelissier, you’ll master the art of drawing the human form including hands, the torso, feet and more. Find out how to perfect proportions and get the most out of a life drawing session. Plus, you’ll even discover tips for working with a model. Download the PDF guide instantly and enjoy it forever.

Download the free guide at Craftsy.com.

Bobby Solomon

October 14, 2014 / By

‘The Rise & Fall of Paramount Records’ is the Ultimate Cabinet of Wonder for Vinyl Fanatics

The Rise & Fall of Paramount Records, Volume Two (1928-32)

Earlier this year Rolling Stone described Jack White as “Rock & Roll’s Willy Wonka” and it’s clear to see why. His label, Third Man Records, is undoubtedly a golden ticket for music fans. Its Nashville HQ boasts a record store and a music venue while also releasing some of the most out-there records you’re likely to come across. From a peach-scented LP to records that glow-in-the-dark, White’s label has enough eccentricity to give even Roald Dahl’s imagination a run for its money.

But Third Man Records isn’t just about novel ideas; they’re also passionate about great music. Perhaps that is most apparent in their most recent project; a first of its kind box set that charts the rise and fall of Paramount Records. Spread over two-volumes, the collection is an omnibus of art, words and music… and both volumes look absolutely stunning.

The Rise & Fall of Paramount Records, Volume Two (1928-32)

Volume One was released late last year (take a look here) and covers a period between 1917-1927. I now have a whole host of images showing off the second volume of the collection and it’s a beaut! Consisting of 800 tracks released between 1928-1932, this new collection contains six LPs as well as two books filled with bios, art and articles. Not only that, but it also contains a USB drive filled with music and ads from the era. Everything is housed in a beautiful aluminum and stainless steel cabinet that evokes the high art deco styling of the era.

The Rise & Fall of Paramount Records, Volume Two (1928-32)

Even if you’re not the biggest fan of music I’m sure you’d be impressed by how great this package looks. Taking inspiration from the likes of Walter Dorwin Teague, Norman Bel Geddes and especially John Vassos; the cabinet looks beautiful and the illustrations and design of the books is just superb. Its creators stated that their intention for the project was to create something closer to an interactive museum exhibit than a conventional music collection and I think they’ve definitely pulled that off.

The Rise & Fall of Paramount Records, Volume Two (1928-32)

To say that Paramount was an important record label feels like a bit of an understatement. Its output included releases from jazz legends such as Louis Armstrong and Fats Waller, as well as blues musicians like Charley Patton and Son House. Their contribution to American music is hugely impressive; bringing about the birth of the Mississippi Delta blues while also influencing the style of Robert Crumb and countless other 20th century artists and illustrators through their series of hand-drawn ads in the pages of the Chicago Defender.

The Rise & Fall of Paramount Records, Volume Two (1928-32)

A collection like this is a lot to take in. I’ve spent a small amount of time listening to it and feel like I’ve only just scratched the surface. I love the sound of the era and it’s been a joy to discover some great recordings from that time. Paramount was the first and most comprehensive chronicler of what America sounded like during the 1920s and ’30 so it’s great to see their legacy being preserved in a manner as fitting as this.

The Rise & Fall of Paramount Records, Volume Two (1928-32)

The Rise & Fall Of Paramount Records Volume 2, 1928-1932 is released November 18. Volume 1 can be purchased here.

Philip Kennedy

October 14, 2014 / By

Unique and Intriguing Portraits by James Chororos

James Chororos

Striking out and doing what you truly love is never an easy decision, though it can lead to true happiness. That’s the case with James Chororos, a New York photographer who left his position as an architect with Studio Daniel Libeskind to concentrate on photography full-time. This proved to be a smart move as evidenced by the incredibly rich work that James put online.

His finest photos can be found under his portrait section. He’s captured an incredibly diverse range of people in such interesting places, all of which draw you in and make you want to know more. I hope to see James’ work showing up in more places soon.

James Chororos

James Chororos

James Chororos

James Chororos

Bobby Solomon

October 13, 2014 / By

Timo Lenzen’s Black and White Posters Will Really Catch Your Eye

Timo Lenzen

German graphic designer Timo Lenzen really has a gift when it comes to creating eye catching posters. The Frankfurt-native has an impressive portfolio of work and his collection of poster designs really grabbed my attention. Not only has the designer produced an impressive quantity of work but so much of it looks amazing and demonstrates his gift for variety and diversity. I was particularly taken by his restrained use of black-and-white.

Lenzen says he enjoys working in a wide range of media and is excited to explore the possibilities that this allows him. If you take a quick skim through his website you’re bound to spot this wide range of media he’s talking about. He’s worked in everything from animation and illustration to typography and space.

Timo Lenzen

Timo Lenzen

I particularly love his poster “The Noble Experiment”. It was designed for a competition run by the blog Totally Drunk and presents an expression used by president Herbert Hoover during the Prohibition Era. I love his typography and the hazy black-and-white sits perfectly with the look and feel of the era.

Timo Lenzen

You can see more from Timo Lenzen on his website.

Philip Kennedy

October 13, 2014 / By

Artist Luka Fineisen Brings Bubbles To The Gallery With A Beautiful Installation

'Bubbles' by Luka Fineisen

I know what you’re thinking and no, somebody hasn’t been blowing big bubbles in an art gallery! Sure I featured Nicholas Hanna’s incredible bubble devices a couple of weeks ago but these are very different types of bubbles. In fact, they’re not even bubbles at all, they’re beautiful sculptures made from plastic by the talented German artist Luka Fineisen.

'Bubbles' by Luka Fineisen

'Bubbles' by Luka Fineisen

Fineisen’s work is frequently interested in the scientific world, with her ambitious sculptural projects often investigating processes like thermodynamics and other similar instances of transitional found within nature. I love how she takes the ephemeral beauty of a bubble and then captures it to last forever. The results are rather striking and no doubt are even better in real life.

'Bubbles' by Luka Fineisen

'Bubbles' by Luka Fineisen

You can view a PDF of the artist’s work online here. Feel free to also thank me for not making a ‘pop art’ joke throughout this post!

Philip Kennedy

October 10, 2014 / By

Charming Handmade Lettering and Type by Mark van Leeuwen

vanLeeuwen2

I’ll admit I write about hand-lettered type often, it is a love of mine, but it’s also been continually trendy over the last few years. It’s a beautiful, difficult craft that I continue to be delighted by as I scroll through my various feeds. In particular Marco van Luijin, better known as Mark van Leeuwen, has one of the most consistent styles I’ve come across, possessing some great ability to produce familiarity over and over again. He also has a great eye for spacing and flow that can be difficult to achieve by hand.

Van Leeuwen, a Dutch freelance designer out of Northern Italy, specializes in typography, lettering and branding design, and he’s only sixteen-years-old! While he does some client work with logos, most of van Leeuwen’s work is made for fun and personal practice when he isn’t in school. He’s been teaching himself the craft by examining Instagram accounts of other letterers’ and incorporating techniques the techniques he notices. Before long, his style emerged. I especially notice his consistency when he uses sans serifs for supporting words.

vanLeeuwen5

vanLeeuwen6

“I naturally began to develop a style that is slightly different than others’, but it is not a very intentional process,” van Leeuwen said. “Each time I work on something I want to experiment with new styles and techniques, but at the same time I do not want to make my work too much different from my previous creations. Like this I try to keep my style as consistent as possible, but interesting at the same time.”

vanLeeuwen4

A lot of van Leeuwen’s early work involved layering type over photographs, as tends to be a common practice on Instagram, but he has since ceased to do that, instead trying to make type-work that could stand on it’s own. And he’s been quite successful. Van Leeuwen’s very good at getting his type to contain itself in very pleasing, inferred shapes, occasionally using some small illustrations to bring the whole piece together.

MotionShot_vanLeeuwen1

Van Leeuwen recently released the typeface Timber, a thick, hand-lettered slab serif with a very outdoorsy feel that will be perfect for autumn. As van Leeuwen’s first typeface, he really want to create something versatile but that paid homage to his own vintage, handmade style. He intends to make more in the future.

vanLeeuwen3

Carli Krueger

October 10, 2014 / By

The Desktop Wallpaper Project featuring Andy J. Miller

The Desktop Wallpaper Project featuring Andy J. Miller

Andy J. Miller

It’s always fun visiting with old friends. That’s today’s vibe as we feature a new wallpaper from Andy J. Miller, who back in 2008 was one of our very first wallpaper contributors. He’s a beast of illustration and design, combining a charming, folksy aesthetic with crazy shapes and great hand-done type.

This wallpaper is titled I Hate Parties, which is about “that dreadful feeling when for one reason or another, you clam up at a social gathering of some sort, and just sit back and detach yourself from the situation and those around you.” I think we’ve all been that person at a party before so it’s easy to relate to this. Plus this is just a downright beautiful piece of art, I mean, look at all those great characters. Thanks again Andy, glad to have you back on the site.

Bobby Solomon

October 8, 2014 / By

Google+