Ruben's personal timeline, a place to collect and share things from Ruben's life.
Created by ruben on 13/03/2009
Last updated: 24/10/10 at 05:18
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[ By Delana in Architecture & Design, Furniture & Interiors, Graffiti & Drawing. ]
Typography is traditionally a rather flat pursuit: letters on a page, as beautifully designed as they may be, are still just two-dimensional images. But a growing number of artists and designers are bringing typography off of the paper and into the real world. These incredible works of physical typography span fine art, furniture design, public art and even home décor, bringing the intangible nature of languages into a touchable three-dimensional world.
(images via: Marc Ruygrok)
In the area of typographic sculpture, there is probably no designer more prolific than Marc Ruygrok. The Dutch artist has been constructing stunning type-based sculptures and installations since the early 1980s. His sculptures (mostly in Dutch, but some in English) can be found all over the Netherlands, many of them in public spaces.
Information Leak (Part 2) by Richard J. Evans
(images via: Richard J. Evans)
Laser-cut wooden letters spill out of a faucet, overflow a sink basin and make their way toward the floor in this graceful sculpture. Richard J. Evans completed Information Leak as his final major college project in 2009. The designer wanted to convey how easy it is for information to spill out unintentionally in the Internet Age, and how sometimes it almost feels like it’s pooling up all around us.
I Am the River by Jay Quercia
(images via: Jay Quercia)
On white concrete walls, three-dimensional cardboard letters spell out “i am THE RIVER in search of AN OCEAN.” The beautiful complexity of the statement is offset by the simplicity of the brown cardboard words. Jay Quercia’s installation for the University of Connecticut reflects a feeling most of us are familiar with: being constantly in a state of change, always reaching for the next stage of life.
Type & Form 3D Sculpture by PostSpectacular
(images via: Karsten Schmidt)
London design studio PostSpectacular, headed by Karsten Schmidt, was asked to produce a cover for Print Magazine’s August 2008 issue. After using a complex system to digitally “build” the letters, Schmidt then turned his digital model into a physical sculpture with the use of a 3D printer. The result is a block of words that can actually be touched, held and manipulated. Read more about the creative and manufacturing process from PostSpectacular.
Write a Bike by Juri Zaech
(images via: Juri Zaech)
Designer Juri Zaech’s conceptual bikes feature frames that spell out the owners’ names. While maybe not the most practical or performance-driven bike design ever, it is certainly one of the most beautiful. Juri is currently looking for a way to produce a real, physical prototype of the clever bike concept.
Word Mobiles by Ebon Heath
(images via: VisionWidget)
Brooklyn-based artist Ebon Heath feels that we are bombarded by information: visible, audible and intangible words surround us at every moment. His paper mobiles are made from jumbles of words that take letters and phrases off of the page, off of the billboards and storefronts, out of the computer monitor and mobile phone, and turn them into objects that can interact with our three-dimensional world.
Venetian by Andrew Byrom
(images via: Andrew Byrom)
Accomplished designer and professor Andrew Byrom noticed that Venetian blinds, when pulled and shaped just so, could form the basis of an interesting font. Byrom, no stranger to coaxing letters out of unusual objects, tugged and tied eight sets of hanging Venetian blinds into the word “Style.”
Talk by Andy Mangold
(images via: Andy Mangold)
Using a lovely pixel-based font he designed himself, design student Andy Mangold built the word “talk” out of nothing but sections of two-inch wooden dowel.
Typography Kaleidoscopes by Katerina Orlikova
(images via: Katerina Orlikova)
This student project was inspired by the interplay of light and typography. Katerina Orlikova used letters cut from colored transparent material to construct five kaleidoscopes that turned the very familiar shapes of letters into foreign and odd-looking abstract shapes.
Coffee on Typography by Peter Haggard
(images via: Peter Haggard)
This clever table from designer Peter Haggard seeks to join typography and furniture in novel ways: by exploring what a table would look like as a letter, and by featuring clusters of CNC-cut words on top.
“We” Sculpture by Jaume Plensa
(images via: Jaume Plensa)
Sitting in Vancouver (from October 2009 to Summer 2011) is a strange and wonderful man: the We sculpture from artist Jaume Plensa. Designed for the Vancouver Biennale open-air art exhibition, the sculpture is made up of characters from several different alphabets that come together in the shape of a seated human. Visitors can walk inside the sculpture and surround themselves with letters, creating a one-of-a-kind art experience (and fantastic photo opportunity).
Vai Com Deus Façade by R2 Design
(images via: R2 Design)
This stunning building façade, blending typography and architecture, graced the front of a former chapel-turned-gallery in Lisbon, Portugal. Recalling the years of classical art when art was created for religious purposes, R2 decided to put religion into their design…in a way. The three-dimensional phrases jutting out of the wall are familiar sayings like “for the love of God,” “may God be with you,” and “when God closes a door, he always opens a window.”
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Just Your Type: Amazing Kooky Typography and Fonts
A lot can be said with the font that one chooses for a project. These amazing character sets are far from the usual plain black letters we're all so used to.
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Winsome Words: 18 Examples of Typography in Web Design
Web design is 95% typography, and some sites elevate the written word into a form of visual art that's engaging, informative and memorable.
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[ WebUrbanist - By Delana in Architecture & Design, Furniture & Interiors, Graffiti & Drawing. ]
[ By Marc in Gadgets & Geek Art, Games & Gaming. ]
Do you consider yourself an elite gamer? If you show up on Halloween dressed like Lady Gaga, you’re not. The most intense gamers would never think of celebrating Halloween (or their favorite convention) dressed as anything but one of their favorite video game characters, and believe me, they get really into it. Here are some of the coolest video game costumes ever:
(Images via vgblogger, alchemy, halforums, geekologie)
The Legend of Zelda is a classic, and second only to Super Mario Bros in terms of how many people wiled away their priceless youth hacking away at their video game system, trying their best to defeat Ganon in all his incarnations. These costumes are regal with just enough ridiculous to bring a grin to any fan’s face.
(Images via popularmechanics, jostiq)
Star Fox was revolutionary when it premiered as a three dimensional fighter pilot game, and its main protagonist, Fox McCloud quickly became a fan favorite that’s since shown up in several crossover Nintendo franchises, including the popular party game “Super Smash Brothers”
(Images via hilobrow, izismile, welovepokemon)
Pikachu is the undisputed star of the Pokemon video games and television series. With his pipsqueak vocals, intense loyalty, and ability to fling lightning bolts, he’s a little guy you don’t want to mess with. He’s not the fiercest character, but for those who want to dress up as a calmer, gentler, character, he’s a great choice.
(trsrockin, magazine13, wiinintendo, destructoid)
Super Mario Bros was arguably the game of the decade when it originally came out. Much like the Simpsons became an international sensation via the television screen, those plumber brothers hit our culture hard, and nobody has looked at a block of bricks the same way since. Most Super Mario Bros costumes end up being bland Mario and Luigi getups, but there are a lot more characters to choose from, and a lot of ways to mix up the typical outfit.
(Images via gadgetsin, dailynugget, joystiq)
Halo has become a phenomenon to the point that the intense Master Chief costume is no longer as impressive as it used to be. A giant Arbiter costume with an animatronic headpiece will still knock the socks off the most jaded costume aficionados, however. It pays to be creative, and over the top.
(Images via electricpig, gossipgamers, obamapacman)
BioShock is famous for the fearsome Big Daddy’s that roam its dark halls, and the Little Sisters that they try so hard to protect. One would think a character in a huge, bulky diving suit would be difficult to replicate, and that’s definitely true… it doesn’t stop the most diehard fans, however, as you can see above.
(Images via geekologie, kotaku, samuscentral, gamesniped)
Samus, of Metroid fame, blew our minds when it was revealed that there was actually a beautiful woman under all that gear, and since then she’s become a fan favorite. For any girl who wants to bash the Princess Peach stereotype and become as badass as possible, she’s clearly the character to be. Her costume is difficult to create, but when it’s well done, it’s hard to beat.
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The Highest Scoring Video Game Decorations
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13 Geeky Halloween Pumpkins and Costumes
It takes a lot to scare, excite or even impress a geek, however... geeky Halloween pumpkins and costumes don't just have to be good, they've got to be BLOODY great!
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Steph is the steadfast super-writer who will tackle any topic and take it to the extreme, finding the most fascinating sources and strange images to support her articles.
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[ WebUrbanist - By Marc in Gadgets & Geek Art, Games & Gaming. ]
[ By Marc in Architecture & Design, Furniture & Interiors, Gadgets & Geek Art. ]
Star Trek has been an ongoing phenomenon since its debut in 1966. Star Trek consists of 2 series on the USS Enterprise, 3 spin offs, an animated series, and 11 feature films. A franchise this long lasting and successful creates a loyal following that is interested in anything related to the series. Whether it’s Star Trek clothing, home decor, or tattoos, there are a plethora of awesome examples of the fierceness of Star Trek fans. From the fantastic to the ridiculous, here are 10 of the most interesting expressions of Star Trek fanaticism:
(Images via voyageronline, norulesnoshame, mez love, tattoo22)
Star Trek fans explore every means of showing off their passion for the Star Trek universe, and this includes tattoos. A lot of fans pay homage to their favorite characters (or the entire cast) by having portraits placed prominently on themselves, though the more subtle Star Trek fan may simply have a communicator tattooed to their chest.
(Images via trekmovie, walyou)
Even with the advanced technology in Star Trek, exploring the boundaries of space is a dangerous business, and there have been a lot of deaths throughout the series. The funeral rites in the Federation are beautiful and explored in detail. As with all things Star Trek, industrious companies have even learned to capitalize on funeral gear. Futuristic looking urns are available, as well as coffins that look identical to those in the series and films.
(Images via product-reviews, techeblog, gearsandwidgets, reighn)
Everything about the USS Enterprise is graceful and epic, as it is the flagship of the Federation’s fleet, and the pinnacle of human technological achievement. The Star Trek films deserve a fitting viewing space, preferably Star Trek themed. The most common Star Trek home theater design is the bridghe, with its signature sweeping railing and the Captain’s chair.
(Images via neatorama, craziestgadgets, gearlive, geekalerts, geek-tastic, geeky-gadgets)
Life is about the little things, and for the avid Trekkie, this involves USS Enterprise bottle openers, iPhone cases, cakes, pillow cases,
[ By Steph in Architecture & Design, Travel & Places, Urban Images. ]
(images via: tony demarco)
Outdoor advertising is so ubiquitous in almost every urban setting around the world, it’s difficult to walk down a street, take an escalator or sit on a bench without getting slapped in the face with one product or another. But the city of São Paulo, Brazil is like an advertising ghost town: all of its billboards stand oddly blank and empty.
In September of 2007, the world’s fourth-largest metropolis was scrubbed of almost every type of outdoor advertising – even pamphlets. It’s all part of mayor Gilberto Kassab’s quest to eliminate visual clutter, making the city itself the focal point rather than colorful, increasingly desperate marketing campaigns.
(images via: eduardoZ)
“The Clean City Law came from a necessity to combat pollution . . . pollution of water, sound, air, and the visual. We decided that we should start combating pollution with the most conspicuous sector – visual pollution,” said Kassab.
The results are astounding: gone are the 50-foot lingerie ads and oversized neon signs a la Times Square. In their place are strange vacancies, gaping holes… space. Suddenly, the architecture and
[ By Delana in Architecture & Design, Urban Images, Urban Videos. ]
Model cities aren’t just the stuff of kids’ toys. They’re used all over the world for urban planning, architectural proposals and research. But while miniature cities are useful, they’re also a unique kind of art. Older models give us a very real glimpse into what cities looked like in past generations, while new models can help us to visualize what our surroundings will look like in the future. And as an added bonus, tiny cities manage to turn even the most jaded grown-up into a kid again, at least temporarily. Their diminutive size lets us pretend and imagine again, just like we did when we were kids.
(image via: Stuck in Customs)
You’re looking at one of the largest complete miniature cities in the world. At over 1,000 square feet, this massive scale model of Shanghai covers more ground than many apartments. It’s a projection of what the city will look like in the year 2020, with current buildings and planned buildings standing in this dazzling display. The model is currently in the Shanghai Urban Planning Museum.
(images via: mrceri.co.uk)
The story behind this incredible model of Manhattan is almost as amazing as the model itself. It was built over the course of about 2,000 working hours by software engineer Michael Chesko. He wasn’t building the model in a professional capacity; he was simply having fun. He hand-carved each tiny piece from balsa wood using nothing more than an X-Acto knife, a nail file, and a Dremel. The impressive 1:3200 model now rests in New York’s Skyscraper Museum after being hand-delivered by Chesko and his wife; amazingly, neither had ever set foot in the city before that day.
(images via: Queens Museum)
Built as an exhibit for the 1964 World’s Fair, the Panorama of the City of New York remains to this day a revered part of New York history. The huge 9,335 square foot architectural model contains over 895,000 individual structures and required a team of more than 100 workers to bring it to life. The incredible model is a point of pride for the Queens Museum of Art, where it is on permanent display. To provide for the care of the model, the museum has recently started “selling” real estate on it.
(images via: Wired)
The Bay Model is one of America’s most well-known models. It doesn’t depict an entire city; rather, it is a scale reproduction of the San Francisco Bay. It was built in 1957 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to give a better understanding of the water flow patterns in the Bay. The model was used in countless scientific experiments until it was decommissioned as a research tool in 2000. It still remains a popular tourist attraction, and it was even used as a tool on the television show Mythbusters.
(images via: Dornob)
It takes a special kind of dedication to spend more than three decades constructing a painstaking recreation of downtown San Francisco out of more than a million toothpicks. Scott Weaver created this amazing masterpiece over the course of nearly 35 years. It’s a fantastical San Francisco not quite true to the original, but the ping pong ball tracks running through the landscape are a notable improvement over the full-size city.
(images via: Dornob)
This miniature origami city may not have taken half a lifetime to complete, but it’s just as impressive as if it had. Using simply paper, glue, and basic tools, Japanese artist Wataru Itou spent four years on this unique palace. The finished piece includes lights, moving parts, and even cranes and other construction equipment, implying that the city was built by a civilization of tiny people with a mind to keep growing and improving their impressive home.
(images via: English Russia)
This Soviet-era model of Moscow is the largest miniature recreation of the city. Covering more than 400 square feet, the model opened in 1977 and is an incredibly detailed representation of the city at that time. Unfortunately, the museum it was in since the 1970s didn’t think it was worth the considerable electricity costs it generated, and in 2006 it offered the entire model for sale, for a modest price of just $3 million.
(images via: PlanetOddity)
This version of mini Moscow, however, is still very much in use. It’s a city planning model that is meticulously updated whenever a building is built, demolished or significantly altered. The massive model spans over 1540 square feet and was originally built in 1988. The tiny homes and other buildings are surprisingly detailed – so detailed, in fact, that it would probably be almost impossible to resist wanting to stomp through the itty-bitty city like a human Godzilla.
(images via: USC)
From 1938 to 1940, a team of architects and model makers built a huge, detailed model of downtown Los Angeles. The U.S. Works Progress Administration contracted the project; today, the landscape of the area is dramatically different, but a few familiar buildings can still be spotted in the large model.
(images via: Build Your Own Chicago)
Chicago has always been at the forefront of city planning. In 1909, Daniel Burnham’s “The Plan of Chicago” was the first truly organized effort to plan the controlled growth of a city. To celebrate the centennial of the groundbreaking urban plan, the Chicago Architecture Foundation developed this scale model of the city’s downtown area. But this isn’t just any model – all of the buildings were created via stereolithography (3D printing), making it a truly 21st century production.
(image via: MKC Partners)
This wonderfully tiny (1:1000) scale model of Minato-ku, Tokyo was meant to give a better view of potential sites for the 2012 Olympics. Unfortunately, Tokyo lost the bid for the games to London, but this incredible model – which took over 14 months to complete – is an impressive achievement of its own.
(images via: City of Sound and Pipers)
These pictures show two different models of London from the same architectural model-making firm, Pipers. The top model is on permanent display at the New London Architecture building; the bottom was a model commissioned by the City of London Corporation. Both show the City in incredible detail; the top was made with a finely-tuned laser cutter, while the buildings on the bottom are made of hand-carved wood.
(image via: Parks Canada)
Constructed in 1806 by two members of the Corps of Royal Military Surveyors Draftsmen, this model of Quebec City was sent to England in 1810 to make a point: the city’s defensive system needed to be updated. The model was returned to Canada as a gift in 1908, to commemorate the 300th anniversary of Quebec City. Today, the model is a permanent display at the city’s Artillery Park.
(images via: Ahoodie)
This scale model of an unnamed
[ By Angie in Architecture & Design, Furniture & Interiors, Urban Images. ]
Wowsa! Architect, artist, magician, Robert Harvey Oshatz is all of that and so much more. He is the organic architect responsible for this magnificent home up in the canopy; the coolest house in the trees that you will likely ever see. The unique Wilkinson Residence graces the wooded landscape outside of Portland, Oregon. This treehouse would turn even the Swiss Family Robinson green with envy. More than likely you too will have a more than a twinge of desire to live in it.
According to Oshatz, the Wilkinson residence is, “Located on a flag lot, a steep sloping grade provided the opportunity to bring the main level of the house into the tree canopy to evoke the feeling of being in a
[ By Angie in Architecture & Design, Furniture & Interiors, Travel & Places. ]
Many people choose to vacation on white sandy beaches and under hot tropical sunshine. Some people choose cold weather vacations for skiing. For something really different, a person might try a visit to a hotel built of ice and snow in a land of Northern Lights and the Midnight Sun. The ICEHOTEL is located 124 miles north of the Arctic Circle in the small village Jukkasjärvi that has only 1,000 inhabitants. There are 32 artist suites created, so you can choose to stay, to snuggle with your significant other, within the ICEHOTEL. Here is a look at some of those artists and artistic suites for a vacation unlike any other.
(image credit:PHOTO: Ben Nilsson/Big Ben Productions)
The ICEHOTEL never stands still, shifting from frozen solid to a free flowing river, and back, during a year. It begins as crystal clear ice harvested from the Torne River in March. Artists carve these 2 ton ice blocks into sculptures and a hotel. Created with imagination and hard work, the art is temporary, only to melt away under the unforgiving rays of the sun come springtime.
Ice Hotel’s Serving Cups & Projection Room
(image credit:PHOTO: Ben Nilsson/Big Ben Productions)
There are 32 different artist suites to choose from within the unique ICEHOTEL. There is also a famous Icebar as well as several other specific rooms like the projection room on the right. On the left are the famous “glasses” made from ice to hold the drinks served at the Icebar.
(image credit:PHOTO: Ben Nilsson/Big Ben Productions. ARTIST: Linnea Borealis)
Artists from all over the world gather in this small Swedish village north of the Arctic Circle to create an exclusive art exhibition: ICEHOTEL. This is the Ice Church. Couples marry here. The Netherlands artists responsible for the Ice Church are Marjolein Vonk, Cindy Berg, Marinus Vroom, Jan Willem van der Shoot, and Maarten Meijer.
Get Bad Suite
(image credit:PHOTO: Ben Nilsson/Big Ben Productions. ARTIST: Benny Ekman)
This art suite is called “Get Bad.” It is only one of many suites and is described as, “Sneak a peek into this enticing, magical spa, where relaxed bathers enjoy the fruits of each other’s company.” It was created by Benny Ekman of Sweden. “Get Bad” is his fourth ICEHOTEL suite.
(image credit:PHOTO: Ben Nilsson/Big Ben Productions. ARTISTS: Rashid Sagadeev & Charly Walter)
The radiant glow of “Iceplosion” will protect you from the biting arctic cold – bathe yourself and recharge in this rejuvenating shower of warmth and light. Sunglasses are highly recommended. The artists responsible are Rashid Sagadeev of Russia and Charly Walter of Austria. “Iceplosion” is Rashid’s fifth ICEHOTEL suite, Charley’s second.
Ho-Shi To Tsu-Ki Suite
(image credit:PHOTO: Ben Nilsson/Big Ben Productions. ARTIST: Sakai Hiroyoshi)
Leave the Earth behind and ascend into “Ho-Shi To Tsu-Ki,” a suite that pays humble tribute to the splendor of the stars and the majesty of the moon. This is the seventh ICEHOTEL suite created by Hiroyoshi Sakai of Japan.
Dynamic Shelter Suite
(image credit:PHOTO: Ben Nilsson/Big Ben Productions. ARTISTS: Javier Opazo & José Vazquez Toro)
Inhale as you experience the expansive nature of “Dynamic Shelter” and exhale as the focus of the room narrows and draws you to a bed of clarity and warmth. This is the first ICEHOTEL suite for both Chilean artists Javier Opazo and José Vázquez Toro.
Memories of Paradise Suite
(image credit:PHOTO: Ben Nilsson/Big Ben Productions. ARTISTS: Natalia Chistyakova & Karlis Ile)
Experience a chilly version of one of mankind’s most celebrated themes in “Memories of Paradise,” where the ice apples are plenty and ripe for the picking. “Memories of Paradise” is the first ICEHOTEL suite for both artists, Natalia Chistyakova of Russian and Karlis Ile of Latvia.
(image credit:PHOTO: Ben Nilsson/Big Ben Productions. ARTISTS: Charlotte Koster & Michiel van der Boom)
This is the “Peeled Suite” which was created by Charlotte Koster and Michiel van der Boom, both from the Netherlands. Simple, smooth shapes of peeled snow reveal ice that radiates light into the room, casting nuances of brightness across cleanly sculpted surfaces.
Chasing Penguins Suite
(image credit:PHOTO: Ben Nilsson/Big Ben Productions. ARTIST: Mark Armstrong)
This suite is “Chasing Penguins.” As we chase a life of ease – Does every one of us have all we need? Ice of blue and ocean clean – Chase that penguin, submarine. It was created by Mark Armstrong from England. Armstrong has been working with ICEHOTEL for over ten years. He also has contributed to the construction and design of Icebars that are springing up in several locations worldwide.
Queen of Ice Suite
(image credit:PHOTO: Ben Nilsson/Big Ben Productions. ARTISTS: Leo Park & Finn Öhlund)
“The Queen of Ice” surrounds herself with magnificent winter luxury in a palace that captures the beauty of winter. You are respectfully invited to join her. It was created by Natsuki Munakata and Shingo Saito of Japan. “The Queen of Ice” is the fourth ICEHOTEL suite that the dynamic duo has created together.
Here There Suite
(image credit:PHOTO: Ben Nilsson/Big Ben Productions. ARTISTS: Natsuki Munakata & Shingo Saito)
This artist suite is called “Here There.” Inside there is outside here and outside there is inside here. It’s only a night of deep sleep that can put the there and the here in the now. It is the second ICEHOTEL suite designed by Leo Park and Finn Öhlund of Sweden.
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Banksy, the Famously Anonymous Street Artist: Part One in an Eight-Part Banksy Series
Who is Banksy? No one knows for sure but many have speculated about the identity of this mysterious urban street artist.
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7 of the Smallest Hotels and Hotel Rooms in the World: From Pipe Rooms to Capsule Hotels
You can judge for yourself which one is the actual winner of this dubious award after taking a look at this incredible collection of the tiniest hotels in the world!
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WebUrbanist Fanbase Artist Showcase – Part 2
Welcome to part 2 of our fanbase artist showcase featuring urban art sculptures, paintings and photography.
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[ WebUrbanist - By Angie in Architecture & Design, Furniture & Interiors, Travel & Places. ]
[ By Steph in Gadgets & Geek Art, Graffiti & Drawing, Technology & Futurism. ]
Watching an artist turn a piece of paper and some graphite into a realistic, imaginative work of art is amazing enough – but somehow, seeing such illustrations come to life from pixels on a computer screen can seem even more magical. Whether producing imagery for video games or for their own pleasure, these 15 digital illustrators combine modern
[ By Delana in Architecture & Design, Urban Images. ]
There may be no such thing as a free lunch, but a Subway sandwich shop made of shipping containers is helping workers at the World Trade Center building site get their noontime grub on more efficiently. The shop will rise along with the building’s construction to its eventual 108-story height, making it easier for construction workers to grab lunch. They don’t have to descend to ground level to grab a bite, so they can spend their 30-minute lunch breaks actually enjoying lunch.
The unique Subway shop is made up of nine shipping containers. The three-story structure – complete with an eating area and a compost unit to recycle waste – is perched on a hydraulic platform in the middle of the building’s frame. Like all other Subways, this one features fresh, baked-on-site bread. It also features a full menu, but will provide workers with some menu items not available at any other Subway: hot dogs, hamburgers and New York pretzels.
The Freedom Tower, more formally known as One World Trade Center, will be the main building at the former World Trade Center site. The building has been under construction since 2006, but only recently did the construction reach a significant height above ground level. In December of 2009, this Subway restaurant was put together to make lunchtime easier for the builders: when the structure is nearly complete, it will take around 45 minutes to get to the bottom from the top. The on-site eatery gives workers tasty, fresh food without having to spend their entire lunch break traveling to and from a restaurant.
Although the high-rise hoagie shop is great advertising for Subway, the restaurant got the contract because they were willing to take on the project at cost. They’re not making a profit on the food, but they are giving workers a welcome break from cold meatloaf sandwiches. And as for the restaurant itself, it’s one of the most creative uses of shipping container architecture we’ve seen yet.
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[ WebUrbanist - By Delana in Architecture & Design, Urban Images. ]
[ By Angie in Architecture & Design, Gadgets & Geek Art, Technology & Futurism. ]
These creative technological inventions have a streak of steampunk, robots built into a pseudo-Victorian mechanical fantasy.
[ By Steph in Green Technologies, Technology & Futurism, Travel & Places, Urbanism. ]
(image via: Julie_Berlin)
There are certain things that most of us take for granted – like well-lit streets. But leaving street lights blazing at all hours of the night, even in towns that don’t see much foot traffic, doesn’t always make ecological and financial sense. A handful of German towns are trying a rather unconventional solution – a program called Dial4Light, which requires users to activate lights with their mobile phones.
The small town of Morgenröthe-Rautenkranz first decided to turn off the lights altogether as a cost cutting measure, but residents weren’t too happy about having no choice but to stumble down pitch black streets. Enter the
[ By Delana in Architecture & Design, Urban Images, Urbanism. ]
Rooftops have long been popular urban substitutions for yards; city dwellers use their rooftops for sunbathing, grilling a few hamburgers, hanging clothes out to dry, or even a bit of rooftop gardening. But these clever dwellings use sky-high rooftop space as a prime location for living quarters. Rooftop dwellings run the range from shanties to luxury penthouses, but they all bear the benefit of offering the residents a bird’s eye view of their surroundings
Manhattan Rooftop Homes
(images via: Apartment Therapy)
In a city where real estate is precious and scarce, it makes sense to build up. These structures were built on top of existing buildings, and they’re not an entirely unusual sight in New York and other densely populated cities. They are usually built to give the existing owners/occupants more room, or to provide a warm-weather retreat. However, smart building owners could easily rent them out as luxury penthouses, given their unparalleled views of the city.
London Rooftop Home Extension
(image via: Hut Architecture)
When graphic designer Morag Myerscough decided to add on to her Clerkenwell home, she called Hut Architecture to design her very own rooftop retreat. The tiny hut atop her roof looks like it was simply plopped there by a crane, but in fact it was built on site. A stairwell inside the main home leads up to the hut on the roof, emerging inside the tiny addition. The project was featured on BBC3’s Guerrilla Homes, possibly providing inspiration for other city dwellers who don’t feel they have room to expand their homes.
Rooftop Home Addition in Buenos Aires
(images via: Treehugger)
Textile designer Rosa Skific needed to add a workshop on to her small Buenos Aires home, but there were some rather constricting stipulations: it had to be low-budget, of low
[ By Steph in Guerilla Marketing & Ads, Subvertising & Counter-Ads, Urban Images. ]
A bench is a bench – except when it’s also a platform for a surprising, thought-provoking, memorable advertisement that sometimes even functions as
[ By Steph in Architecture & Design, Guerilla Action & Art, Urban & Street Art. ]
The stark contrast of monochromatic, crumbling stone buildings and small, colorful plastic toy blocks is especially jarring in Berlin, where evidence of the horrors of World War II is still visible in cracks and bullet holes. But that’s what makes this setting so poignant for German artist Jan Vormann, who patches damage to old buildings around the world with Legos.
Vormann aims to fill Berlin with new life – even if only temporarily and symbolically – using this sometimes controversial juxtaposition of new and old, and the unity that it brings to onlookers who stop to help.
From young children to the elderly, people crowded around the artist to poke colorful little blocks into fissures in the façade of Kupfergraben/Dorotheenstraße, a building at Humboldt University.
Like all German universities, Humboldt was turned into a Nazi educational institution during the war and stands as a vital, if solemn, reminder of the Third Reich’s influence on Germany.
“Berlin is the city where I live in right now. I thought it would be fun to do it here, considering the historic value of the walls, the imprint of troubled times can still be seen today,” Vormann told HalogenLife.
“Concerning the continuation of the project, I want to “repair” every broken wall in the whole world with Dispatchwork. Why not? I think it is a fun approach towards conceiving the decay that time brings along.”
“Also it leaves a positive imprint in people’s mind. As long as kids play, adults will build walls. And those wall break. Let’s patch them up with colorful plastic pieces. Life is serious, so that makes playing sometimes even more important.”
Fans can keep up with the worldwide Dispatchwork project in countries like Russia, Serbia and Israel on an interactive map at Dispatchwork.info.
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[ WebUrbanist - By Steph in Architecture & Design, Guerilla Action & Art, Urban & Street Art. ]
[ Filed under Technology & Futurism or in the History & Factoids category ]
In war, innovation can mean the difference between a glorious victory and a world shattering defeat. When research and development departments have the funding of a desperate nation behind them, and are faced with a long and brutal campaign, the ideas that are spawned can turn the tide of battle. It’s inevitable that some of the wilder ideas would later seem ridiculous. Here are 10 of the most extreme, and odd, military weapons created in the 20th century:
(Images via sovietempire, bodston, primeportal, wikipedia)
The brutality of war can be reflected by the means with which it’s fought. Anti tank dogs were a soviet creation, and said to have taken down over 300 German tanks during World War II. Dogs were taught to find food under tanks, and then starved before a battle. They would have bombs strapped to their backs, with levers that would trigger as soon as it hit the underside of a tank. When the lever snapped back, the dogs would explode, destroying the tank. The Germans eventually fought this tactic with flamethrowers, and a couple cases of dogs running amok away from battlefields was enough to cut back the program.
(Images via americainfra, panzerguy_01)
Corkscrew tanks didn’t run on the typical caterpillar type treads, instead propelled by giant corkscrews. Just like an electric screwdriver pulls into a piece of wood, so these treads would cruise along the ground, regardless of terrain. Their travel was a bit erratic, and the tanks had to be too lightweight to be useful in combat.
(Images via fastcompany, foothill)
When it comes to urban fighting, every corner can hide a group of enemy soldiers. Even the slightest advantage can win battles, so various weapons were designed to allow soldiers to see around corners, and fire around them behind the protection of a concrete wall.
(Images via nerdcore, autotrader, sobiratelzvezd, strange vehicles)
The Tsar tank was Russian built with two wheels 27 feet in diameter that pulled a much smaller set of wheels behind. Mounted with large and heavy guns, it was one of the few tanks that didn’t have treads, and was designed to overrun any obstacle. The design was bulky and ill conceived for the reality of battle, and was quickly dropped.
(Images via castlekay, annefrankguide, aerostar)
Barrage balloons were strung up by the hundreds over cities during World War II. Like floating mines, they would make it difficult for low flying enemy aircraft to make devastating bombing runs by threatening to bring them down with their taut wires and incendiary devices.
(Images via darkroasted, mondolithic, cim mcgill)
With the scarcity of metal toward the end of World War II, Project Habbakuk was an attempt to create aircraft carriers out of pykrete, a mixture of ice and wood pulp. Thick enough to withstand enemy fire, and easily repaired, pykrete would enable the construction of large ships with the uses of minimal resources. The war was completed before any of these ships became a reality.
(Images via 5348 Franco, tolka rover, brassdragon, bathead)
It’s surprising a prototype of a bat bomb was ever even made, but it was. The idea was simple: place incendiary explosive
[ Filed under Subvertising & Counter-Ads or in the Architecture & Design category ]
Billboards are so ubiquitous in the modern world, many people barely even notice them anymore. So, some advertisers have gotten ultra-creative with their outdoor advertising, relying on eye-catching imagery and unusual proportions to grab the attention of the public. From shocking props like sliced pigeons to a billboard you can eat, these 15 clever advertising campaigns expand outside the box to interact with the world outside.
Pigeons vs. Razor
(image via: MasterCom)
German razor company Martor Solingen “demonstrated” the sharpness of their product with this clever billboard, strewing the ground around it with sliced-up rubber pigeons.
Paint Comes At You Fast
(image via: Ads of the World)
Nationwide insurance turned a fictional paint company’s billboard into a colorful, messy disaster in this unique ad, spilling a massive puddle of yellow paint down the side of a building and into a parking lot, even covering several
There’s an art to packing as many functional elements into a kitchen as possible, yet retaining visual appeal and simplicity. Creatively clean kitchen designs keep every necessary modern component at a cook’s fingertips without too much clutter, particularly when those components fit cleverly into a compact modular or all-in-one system. These contemporary kitchen concepts are sleek and minimalist, yet livable for everyday use.
All-in-One Kitchen & Dining Set
Not everyone needs a vast, open kitchen space populated with the latest and greatest in oversized commercial appliances. Particularly in small homes and apartments, compact all-in-one kitchen sets can contain everything the occasional cook needs for everyday meals: prep space, a cook surface, seating, and storage.
Modern, Eco-Friendly Kitchen
In the Age of Photoshop, few images are surprising anymore – but every now and then, you come across one that makes you do a double take and spend a few moments thinking, “how’d they do that?” Swedish photographer Erik Johansson has a portfolio packed full of such images, blending reality and artificiality together so seamlessly, one
Crowdsourcing doesn’t seem to be losing any steam, and with good reason: asking the public to perform tasks often results in unique, creative and inspired ideas. Sometimes, companies who use crowdsourcing can save a large amount of money by getting a community of workers to contribute to their task. But an interesting new trend in public-sector crowdsourcing seems to be popping up: using the public to shape the city.
The most compelling form of using citizens to shape cities is compiling tourist snapshots to create 3D models of well-photographed places. Searching Flickr for the tag “Rome” returns over two million photographs. Researchers at the University of Washington’s GRAIL lab decided to compile those photographs into a 3D image, and do it all in one day.
They developed software to download all images with a certain tag, then match them up based on common points to create a large three-dimensional picture. The resulting software can process massive amounts of information in a short amount of time; although the pictures themselves aren’t yet perfect, the team is working on developing it to the point that it fills out each picture more completely. Besides Rome, they’ve built models of parts of Venice and Dubrovnik, Croatia.
A less literal, but more tangible, way for crowdsourcing to shape cities is known as “open source urbanism.” This can refer to either opening up software and web applications to individuals who want to make the city an easier and more transparent place to live, or to the low-
Lean, mean and sometimes even green, concept motorcycles often make us want to head out on the highway and look for adventure. These bikes may not be quite ready to tear up the road as we zoom into the wind, but we wish they would move from concept to reality very soon! As we take a look at concept motorcycles, here are 20 of the most bad-ass bikes to hope for in 2010.
Lamborbiker Inspired by Lamborghini
Flavio Adriani took his inspiration from two great names in invention, engineering and design, Nikola Tesla and Ferrucio Lamborghini. Flavio has created some stunning motorcycles from his concept. We want this bad boy to become reality soon!
Nuclear Fusion Motorbike 2050
(image credits:The Design Blog)
Romain Herment has a motorcycle concept that uses nuclear energy as a power source. He calls it “Motorbike 2050 version 2.” This futuristic bike uses two inexhaustible natural elements, deuterium and tritium, allowing a sustainable ride in the days to come. The motorbike consumes 1 liter of water for a 100 km drive.
Mad Max Aitu Motorbike
The Aitu seems to be rough and rowdy, ready for Mad Max to take it for a spin. Designer Renato Gschwend is hoping to attract adventurous souls who want to make heads turn if this bike ever hits the street. It features a powerful V-twin 1800cc engine and non-silent exhausts to ensure you’re heard roaring down the highway.
Electric Motorbike: ZEVS
Three designers Bernhard Ranner, Anders August Kittilsen and Rudolf Stefanich, worked to make ZEVS, “The first electric motorcycle for the “real biker.” It’s designed for “real men” and dusty roads, in the spirit of Harley Davidson, Custom Chopper culture and the good old Route 66 romance.
Carbon Fiber For Fast, Light Cruise
(image credits:The Design Blog)
Designed by Julian Silva, this concept motorcycle is covered in carbon fiber for a fast and light ride. The framework is made of aluminum and wrapped with carbon fiber panels that store the mechanical systems. This motorbike was designed to encapsulate the pilot´s arms, legs and back through the secondary red panels and to keep the driver safe in case of a fall.
We rarely give much thought to the humble toilet paper roll – and why should we? It’s just a piece of cardboard, destined for the recycling bin, a carrier for a necessary but unremarkable household supply. But perhaps it’s the very banality of this material that gives Anastassia Elias’ tiny, delicate sculptures such surprising vitality.
Elias, primarily a painter and illustrator, carves tiny scenes out of the inside of each brown paper roll, leaving the outside intact. The layering of each individual element gives each scene texture and depth that is revealed by the light that shines through, highlighting some figures and leaving others in shadow.
The artist photographs the tubes being slowly turned toward the camera at an angle, so that just one tiny part of the sculpture is revealed at a time. The subjects are engaged in everyday activities like relaxing at home, listening to a lecture or passing through a street market – perhaps a deliberate reference to the domestic nature of the artist’s chosen medium.
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Dollhouses have a long history, beginning in the 17th century. They were originally used to display
To shave or not to shave? With these people there’s no question; the real decision is how to style years worth of facial hair growth into an exotic design that will turn heads and inspire friends to throw away their razors and give a beard or mustache a shot. Some people derive their identity from their facial hair, while others use it as a fashion statement, or groom it for competition. Regardless of the reasoning, unique facial hair designs are rare and interesting. Here are 10 of the most jaw dropping moustache and beard designs.
(Images via neatorama, frunkey, dailymail, cnnas)
The large surface area of a person’s beard allows for intricate and voluminous designs not possible with moustache hair alone. Maintaining a shape requires braiding or heavy duty wax and sprays, but the increasing popularity of the World Beard and Moustache Championships helps motivate hesitant facial hair growers, and helps spur creative new designs.
(Images via brightbytes, outmedia, wadestoneandglassworks)
While facial hair is not socially acceptable on females in Western Society, it’s always been acceptable in the circus. The bearded lady has been a freakshow staple for just as long as the strong man and the sword swallower. Some women push the boundaries of social norms to help broaden societal acceptance of women (and men) who don’t conform to gender stereotypes. Despite changes in public opinion, women with facial hair are still a surprising sight to most.
(Images via adn, toastwife, bitsandpieces)
Moustache sculpting is often difficult because there’s less hair to work with, but mustache wearers are more than willing to tackle adversity and come up with stunning designs. The old fashioned wax moustache has evolved into something much more interesting and varied, as people push the limits of mustache sculpting.
(Images via tawonga, lostateminor, killchrissy, klearlly)
Facial hair envy is a common condition, and people are endlessly creative in hiding their lack of hirsuteness. Fake mustaches aren’t just for Halloween anymore! Slap on some felt or clumps of animal hair, and you can be as cool as the most manly man (or woman). Watch as people stop and stare in wonderment and awe (and envy of their own)!
(Images via zendirtzendust, sodahead, riverfronttimes, dibbledop)
The smooth faced look has become so common, that unique facial hair can become a huge part of one’s identity. There are a slew of famous faces that would be nigh unrecognizable without their iconic styles. From the famous to the infamous, a large bushy beard, or a slim and lengthy moustache can make you memorable long after your time in the limelight.
(Images via sheldon, duenos, theblossoms, mortalonline)
When a moustache doesn’t have enough volume, why not involve your beard as well? It can give your mustache the muscle to really wow the crowd. When letting your beard hang low doesn’t fit with your sophisticated style, it’s time to whip out the styling gel and get shaping!
(Images via listverse, desitwist, watchmojo)
Tiers! If they’re good enough for cakes, they’re good enough for facial hair. Creating an intricate facial hairdo can be managed by careful grooming of the length of your beard and moustache. Fluid curves and curls bring the old fashioned moustache twirl to a whole new level… several levels, actually.
(Images via strangedangers, brisbanetimes)
Few world records require as much perseverance as the title of having the world’s longest beard. Sarwan Singh is the current record holder, with a beard topping out at over 2 meters in length (7 feet). The longest beard ever? It measured over 5 meters in length (17 feet), but its owner is now deceased. If you’d like to tackle this record, I hope you’re patient, as it will take decades to come even close.
(Images via sceneinpa, cchumane)
Recycled shipping containers are known to building designers and architects for their low cost and ease of use. They have been used in the construction of homes, housing developments, offices and commercial space for several years already, but there’s a new segment of architecture coming out of the woodwork to take advantage of this unique material: lodging and education facilities. Both are typically concerned with price and with the ease of installation of any new facilities, and shipping containers meet their requirements. These school, hotel and community center designs all take advantage of the many benefits offered by steel cargo containers. Click the thumbnails below for more images of and information on these amazing designs:
Once soaring symbols of the Industrial Revolution and material progress, smokestacks later became the poster kids of environmental degradation. Today, legions of artists, urban planners and preservationists are seeking to change those carbon chugging chimneys from sooty to beauty.
Battersea Power Station, London, UK
(image via: SHIFT)
(images via: Joseph J Walker, V&A, Denis Waugh and Evening Standard)
London’s iconic Battersea Power Station with its quartet of ivory white smokestacks was designed by architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott and was built in 2 stages between 1930 and the mid-1950s. The huge coal-fired station is a classic example of Art Deco design but most know it from its prominent place on the cover of Pink Floyd’s 1977 album, Animals.
(image via: BD)
Battersea ceased operations in 1983 and has been slowly decaying since then, though it remains protected as a Grade II* listed building. Numerous proposals have been floated to rework and reuse the station while retaining its unique 4-stack structure but as yet none have gone beyond artistic impressions.
Chimney Stacks, Bagnolet, France
(images via: Neatorama and Trendhunter)
Call it greenwashing if you like, but the twin 155-meter (510 ft) smokestacks at a suburban Paris heating plant certainly do look cleaner after artist Frederic Gracia gave them the trompe-l’oeil treatment. The largest faux water drops measure 1.1 meters (3.6 feet) in diameter and were painted on by Gracia himself.
Wychwood Barns, Toronto, Canada
(images via: BlogTO and Toronto.ca)
When the City of Toronto decided to renovate and remodel the circa 1913 Wychwood Car Barns into a public housing project, one particular architectural feature loomed over all design considerations: the smokestack. The easiest way to deal with the “problem” was to demolish it but, thankfully, architect Joe Lobko of du Toit Allsop Hillier and Tim Jones of Artscape integrated the towering symbol of industry into the residential development. In contrast to the area’s gritty past as a public transit maintenance yard, the new community uses geothermal heating & cooling, recycled rainwater and high efficiency lighting.
Des Carrières Incinerator, Montreal, Canada
(images via: Francois Rodrigue and Blog Story)
The Des Carrières incinerator was built in the 1970s but has been standing empty and unused since 1993. The “Version Festival of Balloons by Michel” is meant to evoke the previously mentioned Pink Floyd “Animals” album cover but without the ruckus that ensued when Floyd’s pink pig broke away from its moorings and drifted across southern England.
Canada Packers Plant, Edmonton, Canada
(image via: Pentax Forums)
According to a contributor to the Pentax Forums’ Project Urban Decay, “This is the smoke stack of the former Canada Packers Plant in the old side of Edmonton. Most of the building was demolished in 1995 and a local architect who owned the land at the time saved this smoke stack from destruction. Nothing has been done to the land since, while development flourished all around it. Weird!” Indeed – but weirdly beautiful as well. The clash of the modernistic
Craig Tracy is dedicated to creating surreal moments in time. Without the use of digital manipulation or photographic tricks, he creates dazzling body painting compositions that have elevated this particular type of artistic expression into the realm of fine art. He recently opened a gallery in New Orleans: the first gallery in the world dedicated to fine art body painting images.
Although he’s been an artist his whole life, it took Craig Tracy a number of years to truly find his passion. His first professional art job was airbrushing t-shirts in a shopping mall. This experience gave him the foundation that would later lead him to discover that he could – and should – paint on unusual surfaces.
After college, Tracy went on to become an illustrator. Like many artists, he found the work dreary and depressing. With no artistic freedom and no way to imbue the projects with his own style, he felt trapped. After retiring from illustration and declaring his freedom from stuffy commercial work, he discovered that body painting was the only type of art that truly made sense for him. Starting out painting faces, he progressed to painting bodies and eventually began showing and selling prints of his body paintings in his own gallery.
Since then, Craig Tracy’s work has developed into a full-time passion. His body paintings show the strength and aching fragility of human bodies, juxtaposed perfectly with the fluidity and transience of the pigments in which they are covered. In some paintings, the model blends with the background, creating a stunning illusion. In others, the painted model is the focus of the piece. The above piece (bottom right), named “Butterfly” as a reference to the subtle butterfly disguised as a nose, features a woman as the leopard’s nose bridge. Her bottom forms the big cat’s top lips. The artist took 24 hours to paint the model and backdrop, pausing only for a one-hour nap.
Unlike Emma Hack, an artist who uses body paint to melt models into the background of her paintings, Tracy seems to celebrate the human form present in his work. Rather than hiding the model, he allows the curves and shadows of her body to interact with the entire piece, adding a depth, texture and powerful mystery to the paintings.
In doing this, he
Once upon a time, in Germany, the first gingerbread houses were built after bakers were inspired by the Brothers Grimm tale, Hansel and Gretel. Since that time, gingerbread house designs have exploded with popularity. Some gingerbread houses are not houses at all, but some have intricate architectural designs inside and out, more like a home with electricity. Here are some of the best gingerbread houses ever created. We hope you enjoy these 32 astounding architectural designs of gingerbread houses.
Historical Newfoundland Home
(image credits:Rock Recipes)
For some families, constructing a gingerbread house is a family tradition. This house was inspired by the winner of the Newfoundland Historic award. The original house is believed to have been designed by W.F. Butler, famed for designing many grand Queen Ann Revival Style homes. The intricate details on this gingerbread house are astounding.
This Old House
(image credits:This Old House,This Old House,Top Tenz)
The Victorian gingerbread house in the upper left took two months to create and is a replica of the Carson mansion in Eureka, California. The pink Victorian Christmas house was another winner in This Old House gingerbread house contest. Townhouses are another popular gingerbread major undertaking that pleases contest judges. Mansions and Victorian creations are wildly popular undertakings, even when they are blue.
(image credits:OR4N6E )
This is a replica of Winchester Mystery House, a Victorian mansion and architectural marvel in San Jose, California. The real house, unlike most homes of its era, was a 160-room Victorian mansion that had modern heating and sewer systems, gas lights that operated by pressing a button, three working elevators, and 47 fireplaces. From rambling roofs and exquisite hand inlaid parquet floors, to the gold and silver chandeliers and Tiffany art glass windows, you will be impressed by the staggering amount of creativity, energy, and expense poured into each and every detail. The same holds true for the edible version.
Various Shapes and Sizes
(image credits:Cottage in the Making,Top Tenz)
Most gingerbread masterpieces are replicas of actual architecture, made with great patience and an eye for detail. What makes them so sweet is not sugar, honey, or even icing. It is the amount of love that goes into the project, from designing the house, to baking the gingerbread, to putting it all together for hours, weeks, sometimes months.
Unusual Shaped Gingerbread Houses
(image credits:nerdcity online,This Old House, pocket pastry chef)
Not all gingerbread houses resemble a house. The top candy house is gingerbread but not warm and fuzzy with happy cheer. Enchanted lighthouse, complete with gingerbread mermaid and candy sea creatures was among the winners in a contest. The old mill house was another winner. The
If the words “gargle” and “gargoyle” sound similar that’s no coincidence, but from their original function as decorative downspouts gargoyles have evolved into whimsically sculptured, cathedral dwelling creatures who often look evil but whose purpose is to do good.
(images via: Livius, Under the Gargoyle and A.Davey)
Reminiscent of classically inspired lion-headed faucets, the ancient gargoyles above display the openings through which rainwater poured. The purpose of the heads was purely practical at first: keep water that fell onto a building’s roof from coursing down its sides and undermining the foundations. The gargoyles above hail (clockwise from above left) from Ai Khanoum in Afghanistan, ancient Greece and Axum in Ethiopia.
(image via: Corbis)
They may have helped the buildings upon which they were mounted but pity the poor townspeople for whom every rainy day became a walk in the waterpark. The majestic, lion-head gargoyle above once directed rainwater from a corner of an ancient Greek temple’s roof.
Roman Noses (and Mouths)
(images via: Jeff Cook, The Luminous Landscape and Degenerate Press)
In the time of the Roman Empire gargoyles began to be built with lead pipes inside to channel water without eroding the stone. It was an effective innovation, as can be attested to by the many gargoyles still performing their functions atop Roman temples 2,000 years or more after they were built.
(image via: Grows On You)
Like so many innovations pioneered or perfected by the Romans, gargoyles are popularly used today to give a distinctive look to fountains and other water sculptures that don’t need rain to let it shine.
(images via: Krossbow and Skeptic Friends Network)
Sometimes gargoyles take on unusual forms that seem out of place with their usual locations – on places of worship. Take the pair of mooning gargoyles above from Germany (top) and England. Some say that these types of gargoyles were “aimed” at competing buildings or in the case of the German one, a government office across the street.
(images via: Digital Photography School, Jenlyn and Sosaku)
Gargoyle etymology breaks gargoyles down into three occasionally overlapping formats: gargoyles that drain water, “grotesques” that are sculptures, and chimeras which are unusual representations of non-existent creatures. The onigawara figures that appear on the tops of medieval Japanese castles, temples and old houses are in a class of their own, however, and at some locations are covered in gold leaf.
(images via: Wikipedia and Tsubu Gai)
The most famous Japanese gargoyles are shachihoko: gold-plated, tiger-headed carp that were placed in pairs atop the country’s most important castles to protect them from fire. Shachihoko are often quite large and although valuable, would be very difficult to steal. They’re popular tourist attractions on the rare occasions they are taken down for cleaning.
Notre Dame Cathedral’s Gargoyles, Paris, France
(image via: Architecture/About)
(images via: Finazzo, Stonecarver and Raingod)
With Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral, gargoyle sculpture reached its zenith of artistic beauty and laid the basis for centuries of gargoyle legends and lore. Technically “grotesques” and not pure gargoyles, the many mythical creatures crafted to guard over Notre Dame de Paris are favored subjects of photographers as they glare darkly over the City Of Light. Although extensively restored, the building and its trademark gargoyles looks much like it did upon the completion of its initial construction in the year 1345.
The Chrysler Building’s Gargoyles
(images via: Fotothing, XRoads and Alinbdt)
Completed on May 28, 1930 after only two years of construction, New York City’s Chrysler Building stands as a beacon of modernity and a celebration of American capitalism. With that said, the building harkens back to historic cathedrals with its set of amazing gargoyles.
(image via: Curbly)
William Van Alen designed the Chrysler Building and its iconic gargoyles, one of which is shown above. This spectacular Art Deco eagle – modeled after the hood ornaments used on 1929 Chrysler
Photo-realistic art is really on its own level in the art world. While some may ask what the point is when taking a picture is so much easier, to these artists the point is obvious: painstakingly creating a tiny piece of fiction that looks good enough to be fact is a feat of artistic talent. Is it really possible for an artist to recreate reality so perfectly? It is, and it’s the specialty of the artists below. Their skill is so great that sometimes, you just have to double-check to make sure their paintings really aren’t photographs.
Roberto Bernardi is an Italian artist who has been painting since he was a small child. After a stint as an art restorer and some time spent exploring his own personal style, he discovered photo-realism. The style struck a chord with him because of his strong perfectionist tendencies, and photorealism still allows him to express himself artistically while being precise. His biography sums up photo-realism beautifully: he calls it an “intense and spectacular” type of painting.
Also experimental and curious about what she could create, Maria Medina has dabbled in several different types of art, from hat making to sculptural metalwork. Her photo-realistic oil paintings, though, capture a playful beauty that is truly spectacular. She’s able to imbue a sweet personality into even inanimate objects.
Influenced by Sunday comics, Mad Magazine, and BB guns, Doug Bloodworth uses inspiration from his own life to create his photo-realistic paintings. Every painting has a story, which the artist relates on his website. Bloodworth also paints murals on Lynx buses in Central Florida, and they are every bit as impressive as his smaller works.
Denis Minamora came by his photo-realistic style naturally. He was raised in a tradition of storytelling and pictographic art, and he calls upon that tradition to create his unbelievably realistic paintings. He combines watercolors, pen and ink, and chalk pastels to make vivid, intense and strikingly lovely pieces of fine art. Having an additional history as a photographer, Minamora is keenly aware of the subtle difference caused by perspective and lighting when viewing art. He has take that into account and uses those differences to enhance the realism of his paintings.
The undeniable grace captured in Rob Hefferan’s portraits is a testament to his talent. The English artist does commercial work which is stunning, but his bridal portraits and other figure work are absolutely breathtaking. If it’s possible, they seem almost more realistic than photographs, displaying the living warmth of each of the subjects.
American artist D.J. Hall has gone through an incredible metamorphosis as her career has progressed. She has gone from painting smiling blond ladies of luxury to relaxing her subjects a bit more, letting their personalities shine through. She has said of her early work that she was reacting to a difficult childhood and re-enacting happy moments at her grandparents’ poolside, where everyone would smile widely for the camera. Her ultra-realistic paintings are almost heartbreaking in their sense of longing and loss hidden behind a sparkling facade. Hall continues to create, but her more recent paintings are more honest – though many still depict swimming pools, one of her favorite settings.
Paul Roberts grew up in Wales as the child of artists, and he followed in their footsteps to become a talented and well-recognized painter. But when he became a rock star with the band Sniff’n The Tears, he let painting fall to the side for a while. Regardless, his amazingly realistic paintings remain impressive enough to win him continued worldwide acclaim. His paintings have been described as being rather like uncomfortably realistic dreams, but the artist’s intention is simply to capture the energy of life on canvas.
Audrey Flack’s considerable talent can be seen in any of the multiple types of art she produces, but some of the most well-known and memorable is her photorealistic art. She was among the first to use this vivid style in the US in the 1960s, and her work remains today just as impressive as it was then. She continues to influence artists all around the world, and she currently lives in Long
Live penguins, dead alligators, sausage, doughnut glaze and fake blood: these are just a few examples of the bizarre cargo that has been spilled onto America’s highways during accidents involving tractor-trailers. As the following 15 bizarre truck spills show, you truly never know what’s concealed inside that semi truck riding alongside you on the highway.
(images via: Weird Asia News)
Imagine walking along a sidewalk, going about your day, when suddenly you find yourself covered in rotting whale blood and guts. In 2004, residents of the Taiwanese city of Tainan got quite a surprise when a whale carcass, being transported from the beach where it died to a biology laboratory, exploded – sending tons of gory, disgusting whale entrails all over the street. The explosion was blamed on pressure from gases building up as the whale decomposed, and it took 13 hours, three large lifting cranes and 50 workers to get it cleaned up.
Penguins and an Octopus
(image via: Dallas News)
25 penguins, an octopus and some exotic fish were minding their own business in the back of a refrigerated truck while being transported from the Indianapolis Zoo to Moody Gardens in Galveston, Texas when suddenly, they found themselves on the side of the highway. The truck driver had lost control, flipping the truck several times before it ejected its unusual passengers. Sadly, four of the penguins died, but the octopus and
Have you ever heard an odd sound in the dark, a weird whisper of the wind, shiver with unexplained goosebumps, or have the feeling of being watched? Scoff if you like but most people have at some point in their lives. In every culture from ancients to present, there have been documented beliefs in ghostly spirits. Some people are fascinated by claims of ghosts, spirits, and even demons. There are unnerving places on this planet in which paranormal phenomenon is reported almost identically throughout history, such as castles that are centuries old. Some castles are seeped through with myths and legends, scary stories of spooks, and are believed to be haunted places where restless souls linger in the night. Some castles have been investigated by paranormal teams who record and offer “proof” of the hauntings.
These are not the most beautiful castles on the outside, some even in sad disrepair, but on the inside there is supposedly paranormal activity and the darkness bumps back at night. Whether you wish to support your obsession with ghosts and ghouls or just for thrills and chills, here is a tour of 10 of the creepiest, most ghost-infested and haunted castles in the world as well as a video after each for you to draw your own conclusion about the proof of the haunted castles.
Castle Bran – Dracula’s Castle
(images credits:msn,Chodaboy,travelblog,About Romania,Ioja)
Dracula’s Playground can be found in a creepy and remote corner of the Carpathian Mountains in Romania. Bran Castle sits high upon craggy peaks within Transylvania, bringing vampires to mind. But there is no historic proof that Vlad the Impaler resided in Dracula’s Castle during his reign of terror. Dracula impaled thousands at a time, sometimes making their agonizing torture go on for months until death would claim his victims. Castle Bran is renowned for its infamous claim to haunted fame. Tourists are welcomed to find out. The little chapel, or grotto, in the bottom right adds an extra creepy element. As requested in Queen Marie’s will, after her death, her heart was placed in a gold casket and buried in Balcic, later moved to this grotto by Bran Castle.
Scariest Places on Earth visits Dracula’s Castle.
Leap Castle – Ireland’s Most Haunted
(images credits:PBase,Travel Webshots,Weird Places To Visit,Paranormal Videos,Travel Webshots)
Perhaps the most haunted castle in Ireland is Leap Castle. More than 400 years ago, in 1532, brother turned against brother to shed blood. One was a warrior who rushed into the chapel and used his sword to slay the priest who was his brother. The priest fell across the altar and died. The chapel is known as Bloody Chapel since that time. The dungeon in the castle is called an oubliette. Prisoners pushed into the oubliette fell eight feet onto spikes coming up from the floor. Leap Castle is also haunted by an Elemental, a dark evil creature about the size of a sheep and has a human face and black pools for eyes. It smells of rotting flesh. It’s a great place to go for a ghost hunt. See if you agree with the paranormal “proof.”
TAPS, the Ghost Hunters, investigated and here is their reveal.
Newcastle Castle Keep & The Black Gate
(images credits:BBC,Lachlan Main,Newcastle Photos,Newcastle Photos)
About AD 12, the Romans constructed a fort in this location which later became a cemetery. Hundreds of the dead in the graveyard were supposedly moved when in around 1172, this stone castle was built upon that very same land. It’s now Newcastle upon Tyne, England. There is about 75 feet separating the Castle Keep and the Blackgate gatehouse. Many teams of paranormal experts have led investigations here where tragedy is seeped into the ancient ground. Many of those experts claim Castle Keep is very haunted.
Most Haunted roams Castle Keep, searching for paranormal proof of a haunting.
Construction began on Belcourt Castle located in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1891. The entire first floor was an extravagant stable as was requested by the owner. But in 1956, the Tinney Family bought Belcourt Castle. Harold Tinney adored his castle. He is said to roam the grounds and haunt his castle even in his afterlife. If haunted castles are your type of place, you can do more than
Amazingly, none of these beautiful pieces of art are photographs. They were all made with various methods, but all of them are part of the photorealism genre. The movement got its start in the US in the 1960s and 1970s, but since then, it’s taken on new forms. Some artists prefer to work in paints, some with computer graphics, and some use materials that are a little more unusual. Whatever media they use, these 10 artists elevate photorealism to new heights with their monumental talent.
Juan Francisco Casas
Believe it or not, these incredible pictures were all made with ballpoint pens. Juan Francisco Casas‘ ultra-realistic pen drawings have been causing double-takes all over the internet. Casas works on huge canvases, using nothing more than a blue Bic pen to recreate candid photos of playful young people. The Spanish artist has exhibited his remarkable art all over the world.
This particular painting has been surrounded by controversy and disbelief as it’s made its way around the internet. It’s so realistic and so finely detailed that many people had trouble believing it is, in fact, a painting. But Dru Blair, the artist responsible, is a well-known photo-realistic artist. He began the piece for a class, but finished it later on his own. His amazing airbrush art has been featured in hundreds of advertisements, magazines and book covers. Aviation art is a favorite subject for the artist, and his first aviation painting, “Power,” is the highest selling aviation print in the world. If you’re interested in learning this style, Dru Blair runs the Blair School of Art in Blair, South Carolina.
Alyssa Monks describes her work as portraying “simultaneous empathy and detachment,” which seems an accurate assessment. Her incredibly detailed oil paintings usually show unguarded moments, but with a certain amount of distance. Much of her work features water, which she renders perfectly. Monks is currently an instructor at both Montclair State University and and the New York Academy of Art.
After spending 20 years in the advertising industry, Bert Monroy ventured into digital art on his own. He has used pretty much every commercially available digital art program to experiment and create some unbelievably realistic pieces. When asked why he creates photo-realistic images rather than just, say, taking a picture, Monroy points out that the process is what thrills him, not necessarily the final product. Bert Monroy is an accomplished teacher, writer and lecturer, and part of the Photoshop Hall of Fame.
Eric Zener creates worlds of gentle escapism, both for himself and for the viewer. While they do show very deliberate moments in time, they are infused with the temporarily carefree attitude we adopt when swimming, lazing in the sun, or simply resting for a moment. What’s even more incredible is that Zener’s art is created not with a camera, but with paint. The painstaking detail he puts into each and every painting perfectly balances the sweet, airy nature of the subjects.
David Kassan’s life-size paintings set the soft and vulnerable human form against gritty urban backgrounds to create images that are, according to the artist, both real and abstract. Kassan combines a tender look at the subject with a detachment that allows the viewer to make up their own mind about both the subject and the image as a whole. Though he cites many realists as inspiration, Kassan’s work has a singular aching beauty that is all his own.
Is there beauty in a crusty old ketchup bottle? What about a box of donuts or a tired old hot dog stand? Ralph Goings has been finding the beauty in everyday objects for more than 40 years. His unique brand of realism puts mundane objects into an extraordinary light by highlighting their every curve and corner, and examining the way the light plays on their surfaces. When Goings joined the photorealism movement of the 1960s and 1970s, he was pleased to note how much his art seemed to disturb some people who didn’t believe that his exceptionally realistic paintings were really art.
Wayne Forrest, known to the DeviantArt community as GMesh, turns to the internet for inspiration. When he sees an image that catches his eye, he recreates it himself using programs like Illustrator, Photoshop, Premiere, Indesign, and Swift3D. Forrest began working with CG after his retirement from the Canadian military, and he has obviously dedicated himself to learning his art. His digital paintings show the level of work he has put into learning all about computer graphics.
Diego Gravinese’s work is breathtaking, and not only because of its realism. His work displays a gentle understanding of his subjects, an intimacy that is infused with playfulness. The series of three paintings above show the process the Argentinian artist went through to arrive at a spectacular end product. His oil and acrylic paintings are definitely not to be missed; down to every last detail, they portray a level of care and amazing skill that are hard to find in modern painters.
Though he doesn’t work in paint or computer graphics, Adam Beane’s work most definitely deserves a mention. The commercial sculptor uses his talents to create eerily realistic tiny versions of famous people, which are then used to make action figures. Looking at photographs of the unpainted sculptures in Beane’s hand feels like looking at creepy Photoshop jobs with Beane acting as the hand of God. What’s most amazing about his work is that he’s only been sculpting since 2002.
Colorfully Creative Monochromatic Photography
Variety in color can be amazing, but pushing a single color can be even more. Here are some eyeopening monochromatic shots in red, blue, green, purple, orange, and yellow.
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Just as there’s more to food than pizza, there’s more to leaning towers than Pisa. These 13 slanted spires show that staying on the straight & narrow isn’t all it’s cracked up to be; though if gravity has anything to say about it, cracked up is destined to be their ultimate fate.
The Leaning Tower of Niles, Illinois, USA
(images via: Roadside America, City-Data and Jodola)
It may sound like the title of an episode of Frasier but The Leaning Tower Of Niles actually does exist, and has done so since 1934. A half-sized twin to the mother of all leaning towers in Pisa, Italy, the Illinois tribute stands 94 ft tall and leans outward 7 ft, 4 inches. You can’t enter this tower, however, as the exterior is just a facade built to disguise what is essentially just a water tower. It does have some pretty fountains around the base, however.
The Leaning Tower of San Pietro di Castello, Venice, Italy
(images via: Slowtrav)
Venice has it’s share of leaning towers, a consequence of great age and waterlogged soil. One of the most outstanding (if not entirely upstanding) is the Leaning Tower of San Pietro di Castello. Clad in bright but heavy Istrian stone, this charming bell tower has complemented San Martino church on the Venetian island of Burano since 1463.
Tower of the Milices, Rome, Italy
(images via: Virtual Tourist and Filor91)
The Torre delle Milizie was begun in the year 1200 and finished around 1280. Originally having three stories, a great earthquake in 1348 shook the top story to pieces. The main tower, however, has remained firmly standing though it has acquired a pronounced tilt over the past 800 years. Scientists and engineers examining the approximately 150 ft. tall Torre delle Milizie say its current 1.36 degree tilt towards the north-east will increase a further degree over the next 600 years, assuming another great earthquake doesn’t finish the job before then.
The Church of St Mary and All Saints, Chesterfield, UK
(images via: Pictures Of England, Tywkiwdbi and Allposters)
The Church of St Mary and All Saints in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, has acquired many legends over the centuries to try and explain why its spire is so radically twisted. One of the more amusing purports that the spire was shocked to see a virgin getting married at the church and twisted around to get a better look. A more scientific explanation is that a shortage of skilled workers in the mid-1400s when the church was being built resulted in
What if you could create a fairly convincing image montage in mere minutes, using an online tool that automatically does all the work for you? It sounds insane, but five students from Tsinghua University in China and the National University of Singapore have created a program that does just that.
PhotoSketch allows users to create photomontages from basic stick-figure sketches – you don’t even have to have any kind of artistic talent to convey your idea. As explained in the video below, the tool takes a simple sketch of the desired montage elements and pulls photographs that correspond to them from Google, Flickr and Yahoo.
Sketch2Photo: Internet Image Montage from Tao Chen on Vimeo.
The program then decides from a variety of matching results which ones work together the best and merges each disparate image element into a cohesive whole. It even matches them to the scene with the correct color tones and adds shadows as needed. The whole process takes about 15 minutes.
While PhotoSketch is remarkably easy to use, professional graphic designers needn’t worry about it replacing their skills anytime soon. The resulting image montages don’t exactly pass for real photographs, but could actually help designers and digital artists create quick concept images to present to clients, saving a considerable amount of time.
It doesn’t appear that the tool discriminates between copyrighted and Creative Commons images or compensates the creators of the original images in any way, which would create licensing issues unless the problem is addressed before the tool is made available to the public. But, PhotoSketch does open up a whole new world of possibilities for the Photoshop-illiterate and professionals alike.
Even More Urban Light Graffiti
Architectural light graffiti, or projection bombing, falls somewhere curiously in between.
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Emma Hack has made a name for herself as one of the most creative and visionary Australian artists to come along in years. But she doesn’t work on canvas or clay; her medium is the beautiful form of the human body.
Hack began her career as a makeup artist, hairdresser and children’s face painter. But her talents have continued to grow and evolve over the last two decades into the mature and fascinating form she works in today. Her paintings are applied directly to models’ bodies and match up perfectly with their background, acting as a kind of camouflage. But the bodies are not entirely hidden in the patterns; rather, they become part of the pattern and allow the background to flow even more beautifully.
The wallpapers featured are by the legendary designer Florence Broadhurst, licensed specifically for Hack’s use. The intricate designs can sometimes take up to 19 hours to apply. When finished, the model’s body is at once a continuation of the design and a completely unique work of art on its own. The designs accentuate, rather than hide, the fluid beauty and grace of the human form.
The wallpaper paintings began with Emma doing the painting herself and a photographer making the images. However, as she has continued to grow as an artist, Emma has taken over the
Wash this space… for some of the slickest sinks around! Designers have thrown out everything INCLUDING the kitchen sink in order to reinvent one of society’s most utilitarian fixtures. Turning on the creative faucet gives “brain drain” a whole new meaning – as illustrated by these 15 sink-ly spectacular washbasins!
Faucet Meets Fossil
(images via: Doornob and HighTech Design)
From Germany’s HighTech Design comes the Ammonite Washbasin. Composed of formed concrete, this sink is no 97 pound weakling… though it DOES weigh 97 pounds. Taking the Ammonite Washbasin for a “spin” must be a unique experience and, if one isn’t careful, a dizzying one at that!
(images via: HighTech Design)
The Ammonite Washbasin comes integrated with a concrete slab countertop ranging from 900mm (36 inches) to 1190 mm (47.5 inches) and makes an excellent place to wash up after a meal of brontosaurus ribs. Amirite? Ammonite!
In Sink With The Future
(images via: Idea X Idea)
Which came first, the sink or the Starship Enterprise? It’s a chicken & egg conundrum that would even befuddle Scotty – if he wasn’t busy wondering why the warp drive is running hot & cold.
Practicing Safe Sinks
(images via: Nippon Style and Pink Tentacle)
When Tetsuya Nakamura of Nippon Style set out to create the ultimate suite of bathroom fixtures, price was no object. He hopes you’ll feel the same way: his Premium Unit sinks are priced at 1.5 million yen ($13,000) each.
(image via: Pink Tentacle)
Nakamura’s Premium Unit tub goes for a cool 3 million yen ($26,000) and, as it’s more about form than function, purchasers are advised they “should enter the tub at their own risk, as the artist and dealer assume no responsibility for injuries or accidents that may occur.”
Sink’s Swan Song
(images via: Amin Design and Trendir)
Amin Design has gone out on a limb – or a wing, at least – with its Swan Vessel sink. Unlike many sinks and washbasins, Bouchti Amin’s Swan Vessels feature custom chromed faucets integrated into the overall design,
(image via: Archzine)
Amin answers the chicken/egg question with the Eggy Sink, though many will remain confused. The Eggy Sink, like the Swan Vessel sink, includes unique polished chrome hardware.
Your Children’s Children’s Sink
(images via: Finest Fixtures and Gran-Selecto)
The Art Ceram Bathroom Sink, Wall Mounted combines the light and airy grace of modern Italian design with the spirit of the Space Age. The Urbinati-designed sink features a transparent basin and an invisible drain. Though eminently practical, it’s hard to imagine washing your socks in this exquisite sink.
Splashing in the Splash Sink
(images via: Disegno Ceramica)
Disegno Ceramica has introduced a line of sinks and bathroom
For every kid who ever took apart his family’s electronics just to see how they worked, David Trautrimas has concocted fantastical worlds full of upended, dismantled household appliances masquerading as apartment buildings and industrial factories. They’re a fascinating cross between steampunk and an alien post-apocalyptic world.
David Trautrimas is a Canadian artist whose ideas about architecture are bigger than zoning laws and the laws of physics will allow. Housing developments and apartment blocks feel bland to him, so he decided to create his own fantastical worlds. His digitally-assembled art features items which most of us will find very familiar.
Trautrimas’ pictures consist of actual photographs of everyday items. Waffle irons, oil cans, vacuums, space heaters – anything that interests him may be disassembled and photographed, then the pieces digitally reassembled to form an unexpected cityscape. The backgrounds are real, as well: he roams his home city, Toronto, looking for interesting settings to piece together with his disassembled household items.
The items which will become the dystopian buildings can be found just about anywhere: Trautrimas scours thrift shops and garage sales looking for treasures. He favors those that are older, with character-adding scratches and dents. He then takes them apart, photographing each piece against a neutral background. Once a building is ready to be erected, he uses the various bits and pieces along with an appropriate background (which is usually a composite of many background shots) to construct dwellings that would not be possible in our own urban environment.
These artistic visions of buildings aren’t confined to apartment buildings. Trautrimas also applied his unique vision to commercial buildings in the 2007 series Industrial Parkland. The factories in this series are made in the same way as the Habitat Machines pieces, but they have a distinctly more industrial feel.
Even more than in the residential series, these factories are fashioned from retro-looking appliances that give the resulting buildings an oddly futuristic, vaguely Monty Python-esque, but wholly charming feel. Old lamps, fans, car parts and other office and industrial items are repurposed to create an industrial landscape that will never be seen anywhere but on Trautrimas’ prints.
It’s always interesting to see the secret lives of everyday items, and Trautrimas gives these items an amazing new life. His compositions are never cutesy or overly serious; rather, they are very matter-of-fact. While they are only a fantasy, it’s not so hard to imagine these factories whirring to life. We can’t wait to see an entire cityscape of Trautrimas’ retro-futuristic
Who didn’t want to live in a house of Lego bricks as a child? James May, host of a new BBC series called James May’s Toy Stories (also a life-long toy enthusiast and the host of Top Gear) had to wait until adulthood, but he’s finally fulfilling that dream. The television personality intends to live in the world’s first life-size Lego house for a few days – “or until it falls down,” according to him. When the building is finished, furniture will be moved in for the temporary resident.
The house is being built at Denbies Wine Estate in Dorking, Surrey. Construction began on August 17th, with many helpers coming out beforehand to construct bricks of Lego pieces. Overall, more than 2000 people have aided in the construction of the plastic house, which is two stories tall and includes working doors, a bedroom, toilet, shower and staircase.
The building project was delayed several times due to health and safety regulations: the crew had to prove that the plastic bricks were suitable building materials. Building a life-size house of Lego bricks is one thing; someone safely living in said house for two or three days is another question entirely. The project was allowed to continue, however, and the roof is scheduled to be installed on September 5-6, 2009.
(images via: GetSurrey and TV 2 Underholdning)
When all is said and done, more than two million Lego pieces will have been used to construct this two-story house. While the construction started out with volunteers clicking the bricks together, a qualified project manager, Victor Andrews, is now in charge of the build. James May has been very involved in the construction, phoning the site often and dropping in to help out with the build while filming scenes for his show. The construction site has become a tourist attraction for toy enthusiasts and curious parties who wonder just how this plastic house will hold up.
We’ve all been there, when that beloved gadget where you could once find the sweet spot has now gotta go; it’s too slow. Geeks want the next best and shiny new toy, the fastest hot new gadget on the market. But that toxic and outdated electronic equipment winds up in landfills to leach poisonous heavy metals into the soil and groundwater. Instead of leaving a technological footprint on the environment, let your inner eco-geek blossom. Here are 25 hardware hacks and magnificent manipulations of e-waste repurposed to functional geeky gadgets.
Circuit Board Clocks
Plenty of printed circuit boards are headed for processing to extract the precious metals before hitting the landfill. Before you throw it out, stop and think how to recycle obsolete parts into a functioning gadget for your favorite geek. These hardware hacks of circuitry and creativity are so slick that it might send you dumpster diving for discarded electronics. The desk clock on the left was repurposed from a 40 GB hard drive control board. The clock on the right was recreated as a blend from a Circa 1990 laptop drive controller and from a 20 MB Seagate low-profile, high-speed, dual mode drive controller card.
This example of blurred boundaries between one person’s trash being another’s treasure should be codenamed COOL. This futuristic motorcycle was crafted from recycled computer and VCR parts. The engine is an electric DC Motor to power a belt for the rear wheel drive, but was turned on for demonstration only. Maybe one eco-geek will soon figure out how to get this bad boy hitting the highway and cruising full speed into adventures.
Eclectic Collection Of Time Keepers
Time rules the world whether we want it to or not. Geeky gadgets around the globe include an eclectic collection of hard drive and floppy cases, RAM, processors, other chips and circuit boards. Some eco-geeks can turn discarded aerospace and military hardware into functioning sculptures and clocks. The top two wall clocks are made from a drive platter and a hard drive case. The pendulum wall clock on the bottom left was once a militarized hard drive shell, while the pendulum has a 4″ wafer with vapor deposition memory chips. On the bottom right, this desk clock was a drive platter with a heat sink stand from a Pentium processor chip.
Hardware Hacks Repurposed To Geeky Gadgets
Reverse-engineering and disassembling technology are the building blocks of eco-geek beauty. The top left desk clock was recycled from a Pentium II processor with support chips. On the top right, this desk clock was repurposed from an office telephone PC board and is sitting on a heat sink from a Pentium processor chip. The bottom left wall clock was salvaged from the geek part graveyard and the injection molded aluminum case came from a 10 MB Maxtor drive with a platter in the center of the clock. On the bottom right, this wall clock had a previous life functioning as a militarized Seagate hard drive frame.
These creative initiatives focus on commissioning clunkers into clocks. On the top left, this deep desk clock was built from a vintage Circa 1950 Civil Defense dosimeter reading device. What was once from a high-performance computer, now has been repurposed into other functions that were not what the chip-makers or manufacturers had in mind. Hardware hacks like the wall clock on the top right once functioned as an ATM firmware board with 28 pin gold sockets. On the bottom left, an 80 GB militarized hard drive board now works as a desk clock. The bottom right desk clock consists of a drive platter, recycled computer cabinets, and DRAM modules from an early IBM PC.
Geeky Gadgetry Doesn’t Always Involves Clocks
(image credits:the Blue Kraken,Debbie Arem Designs,Creative Activities,Debbie Arem Designs,Debbie Arem Designs)
Geeks who jam came up with guitar picks made from circuit boards. But clipboards like circuit boards come in all colors and sizes. A creative eco-geek turned yet other circuit boards into a bird house. On the bottom left, this repurposed circuit board clock also has a recycled 78 RPM vinyl record and a recycled CD. On the bottom right, this rare all black recycled circuit board now functions as a clock with recycled brass. We geeks are everywhere and we hold the power and talent to change the world for the better.
Obsolete Parts Recycled Into Geek Art
(image credits:Brenda Guyton,ArtEco)
Ever wondered what else you could do with all those motherboards, hard drives, circuit boards and ROM that look cool but are headed for the trash? Some outdated or broken miscellaneous computer parts are made into awesome art animals like the 3.5 feet tall jack rabbit on the top left. Jack’s nose is made from a computer monitor coil, his toes from hard disk drives and his ears have copper sheeting. K-9 on the top right is 3 feet tall and repurposed from obsolete electronic guts that would otherwise be headed for the landfill. Yet for functioning art to show your geeky romantic side, why not turn the circuit boards from AT&T phones into a three-panel tea candle? On the bottom left, is a decorative Praying Mantis holding two cray memory chips. The legs can be gently moved.
Scary Or Slick Skull
For a truly inspirational and green way of recycling parts, take a look at this huge skull. This fantastic art is recycled from obsolete and no longer useful computer screens and keyboards, circuit boards, and otherwise broken computer pieces. Such masterpieces mitigate the environmental damage of technology while offering a creative new approach to destroying data on old hard drives.
It’s often said that there are no unique ideas out there – only unique means of executing those ideas. Swiss artist Felice Varini, however, has been executing his incredibly unique ides in a unique way since 1978. His singular style of geometric painting calls into question our ideas about complex art pieces and the interaction between art and viewer.
Upon seeing Varini’s work for the first time, most people react by claiming it’s fake. Indeed, when looking at a photograph of a Varini painting from the vantage point, the painted object does appear to float in mid-air, like it’s been overlaid in Photoshop. But once you see the same painting from outside of the vantage point, it’s clear that the piece was created in real life without the use of computer trickery. He paints shapes and geometric patterns in three-dimensional spaces, so that when the viewer sees the piece from a specific vantage point it makes sense, but when viewed from outside of the vantage point the shape appears skewed and distorted.
Though the technique looks incredibly complicated, Varini insists that “anyone can do it.” He says that his type of painting requires no special talent; rather, it requires thinking and choosing the right spaces. The spaces he tends to choose are wide-open interior spaces, such as museums and hallways, or exterior locations like rooftops or even entire villages. His goal, he says, is to explore aspects of the space that have heretofore been ignored.
Although you can only see the complete, sensical painting from one specific vantage point, Varini insists that the most important aspect of his paintings is what lies outside of the vantage point. The myriad configurations viewable from every other possible aspect are what keep him inspired to continue creating these complex paintings. While the vantage point offers a predictable view, looking at the piece from any other spot creates an entirely new and unpredictable experience.
Thinking and creating much different than most other artists, Varini has indicated that he never considers the viewer when creating his paintings. He doesn’t consider how the pieces may someday be seen because he doesn’t know how or from where the viewer will see them. He simply creates a piece of art and sets it free to have an independent existence. According to Varini, the viewer can see the piece, be part of the piece, or even walk through it without noticing it or being able to identify it.
In the artist’s words, from an interview with Poetic Mind:
“Everyone knows how a circle or a square looks like. My concern is what happens outside the vantage point of view. Where is the painting then? Where is the painter? The painter is obviously out of the work, and so the painting is alone and totally abstract, made of many shapes. The painting exists as a whole, with its complete shape as well as the fragments; it is not born to create specific shapes that need to satisfy the viewer. The paintings are not defined by the understanding of the viewer or what the viewer sees, but rather exist in their own right, and have their own relation to the three-dimensional space in which they were created. I work with the reality itself, with nature.”
Although he creates his paintings on-site and usually on a large scale, Felice Varini does not consider himself an installation artist. He calls himself a painter, because regardless of where or how his art is realized, it is – at its core – a series of complex and beautiful paintings.
When it comes to aesthetics, offices tend to get the short end of the stick. They often seem like an afterthought, filled with drab, purely utilitarian furniture that doesn’t exactly inspire creative thinking. These 12 modern, clever and sometimes wacky office interiors and desk designs are the antithesis of boring corporate cubicles, serving as stimulating backdrops perfect for brainstorming sessions.
Space-Saving Home Office Desk & Storage
When you need plenty of organization but are short on space, a combination desk/shelving system with a small footprint is ideal. Consisting of a single strip of curved wood that serves as a desk, bookshelf and modern art piece, this unusual design by MisoSoup is sleek, multifunctional and perfect for apartments, condos and dorms.
Completely Cardboard Office Interior
Cardboard may not seem like the ideal choice of material with which to build an entire office space, but it has been proven surprisingly strong and aesthetically pleasing at the innovative offices of Amsterdam advertising firm Nothing Agency. From each office nook to the coffee table in the waiting area, nearly every element in the building is constructed from this inexpensive material, which also serves as a canvas upon which to sketch creative ideas.
All-in-One Inverted Cubicle
There are three ways in which we work, relax and interact in an office environment: social/interactive, functional/focused and casual/private. That’s the idea that designers o4i used to create this thoughtful all-in-one desk concept, providing a standing area at which to present ideas and communicate with others, a desk at which to sit and work, and a relaxing lounging space in which to dream up new ideas.
Matte Black Vintage to Modern Office Makeover
This office full of upcycled vintage furniture proves that when in doubt, spray painting a less than beautiful item black can work wonders. Flea market and garage sale finds that would have looked like a jumble of mismatched objects are suddenly modern and unified, especially when juxtaposed with the white of the room’s floors, walls and ceiling.
DIY Modular Custom Offices
If you buy a home without the necessary space to house an office, adding a custom modular extension can be the perfect solution – especially when it’s easy enough to DIY. This outdoor ‘office shed’, designed by Stephen Meir, consists of a modular system of parts that can be configured to create a modern office space in a variety of shapes according to your needs.
Liquid-Cooled Computer & Desk Combo
For the tech geek that loves to disassemble electronics just to gaze lovingly at their inner workings, this combined computer-and-desk designed and built by Popular Mechanics might just be the ultimate in office furniture. Each part is illuminated by LED lights and surrounded by clear laser-cut acrylic, cooled by fans and liquid.
Creative Custom Steampunk Office
Colorful and undeniably unique, this custom steampunk-inspired office space created for Three Rings certainly doesn’t skimp on intricate artistic details but was surprisingly inexpensive to bring to life. Equipped with the requisite gears and cephalopods, this office even has a video game area with a gigantic squid-shaped couch boasting 20-foot-long tentacles.
Ultramodern Desk Chair Design Set
When designers set out to create ultra-minimalist furniture, they must come up with creative ways in which to balance form and function. This Omega desk-and-chair set by Atomare is carefully engineered for comfort, visual appeal and ease of use, with convenient storage space below the desk’s surface that eliminates the need for drawers.
Cars Converted to Luxurious Desks
While the usefulness of working headlights, hazard lights and a horn is debatable, these custom car desks created from Mini Coopers are a car enthusiast’s dream. Buyers can choose between leather, wood, metal or colored vinyl for the desktop and even the car itself can be painted to match the space it’s intended for. And, while they aren’t cheap, these made-on-demand desks have a smaller price tag than one would expect, clocking in under $5,000.
Disney Store’s Playful Headquarters
With giant honeycombs that act as storage and room dividers and a meeting space with a building-block wall that can be disassembled and turned into seating, this is a fun and colorful office space fit for a children’s toy company. Designed by Clive Wilkinson, the former warehouse now acts as the vast, playful headquarters of the Disney Store.
Modern Portable Rolltop Desk
Steel and pale-colored wood combine to give the rolltop desk a modern makeover, with a compact curvilinear shape and wheels for portability. Designed by Mebelux, this lightweight desk is perfect for small office spaces with a modern aesthetic, closing to hide clutter and easily rolling into the corner when necessary.
Sleek Organizing Desk for the Perpetually Messy
Can you get away with being messy, yet somehow organized at the same time? This clever desk design allows a sort of controlled chaos with nooks and crannies in which to store items that would otherwise be scattered across the desktop or shoved into drawers.
Advertising is one of the most powerful forces shaping our lives. From the day we are born to the day we die, for every waking hour, we are bombarded with exhortations to buy. Advertising is the enabler of the consumer society, keeping factories open and people employed, and giving everyone a reason to get out of bed in the morning so they can work ever harder for more and more things that they don’t really need. Of course people have always advertised their wares and services on a personal level but it only became the giant, remorseless machine that it is now during the 20th century. For me the ‘golden’ age of advertising was probably the 1950s in America. A coincidence of booming post-war prosperity and the advent of television as an advertising medium created the perfect environment for the huge advertising companies to develop. They’ve never looked back since.
The Birth of Television
(image via: plan59)
Television was reaching the masses of America during the 1950s (the first color sets hit the market in 1951) and it allowed the hard-sell to be thrust right into the country’s living rooms. Suddenly there was a fascinating array of must-have products that people had never realized before they needed. Whole programs were devised not for any artistic reasons but simply as a vehicle for selling. One of the best examples was the ’soap opera’. These were ongoing, episodic works of dramatic fiction presented in serial format, originally on radio but transferred during the 1950s with great effect to television. The name “soap opera” stems from the original serials sponsored by soap manufacturers like Colgate-Palmolive and Lever Brothers. They were aimed at, and consumed by, a predominantly female audience and typically had weekday daytime slots when mostly housewives would be available to listen.
The Age of Instant Gratification
(image via: plan59)
With so much product to shift the advertising men of the 1950s couldn’t afford to encourage the old-fashioned values of thrift and prudence. The idea that you should only buy what you could afford, or save until you could afford it, simply wasn’t going to cut it any more. So people were encouraged to buy on credit. After all, if you could have that shiny new car or washing-machine right now why wait until you actually had the money for it ? Instant gratification became the accepted way of life for Americans. Its no surprise therefore that the credit card system was introduced into America in 1950 to allow debt to be acquired in the fastest and easiest possible way.
(image via: plan59)
Speaking of cars, there is possibly nothing that symbolizes America in the 1950s as perfectly as its cars. It was a time long before the global dominance of foreign car-makers and bland corporate design, when you would buy a car made in the USA and choose from a huge range of genuinely different models. American cars of the 1950s dripped with chrome and had swooping tail-fins. They were extravagent, futuristic, and glowed in the bright pastels and primary colors of an optimistic age. Car advertizing in the 1950s was as unrestrained as the product itself, stressing the car as an essential part of the ‘American Dream’.
Land of Milk and Honey
(image via: plan59)
America came out of the great depression of the 1930s straight into the hardships of the second world war and it took until the 1950s for people to feel secure and comfortable about the future. By then the average household income was nearly $3000 and almost 60% of Americans owned their own homes. It was the land of plenty and nothing was more plentiful than the food. A still war-damaged Europe could only look enviously at the magazine advertisements it saw of plates piled high for smiling , milk-fed Americans with perfect white teeth. Of course in reality poverty and hunger was rife in large parts of urban and rural America but you would never have guessed it from the food adverts.
Shiny New Gadgets
(image via: plan59)
By the end of the fifties most American households owned their own car and washing machine and approximately 90% of them owned at least one television set. According to the advertising men you had to have a brand-new washing machine to keep all those new clothes clean and the latest, gigantic fridge so all the food they’d persuaded you to buy wouldn’t go bad. There was no end to the shiny new gadgets you needed if you were to keep up with the Joneses. Faced with this, people felt that they had to work ever harder so they could afford the labor-saving devices that would free up their time so they could work even harder to buy more labor saying devices. The virtuous circle of consumerism was perfected in the 1950s and has continued to grow in strength ever since.
(image via: plan59
Working extra hard to buy so many new things, and the constant worry about ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ that advertising strove to engender, inevitably took their toll. Fortunately the ad-men were right there to tell you about the health-giving benefits of smoking and how a little Pepto-Bismol could cure the indigestion caused by stuffing yourself with that over-abundance of food from your super-sized new refrigerator. People discovered through the medium of 1950s advertising that they suffered from complaints they didn’t even know they had and some that were, indeed, unknown to medical science. Dress an actor up in a white lab coat and hang a stethoscope around his neck and even the most bizarre claims became credible.
Clothes Maketh the Man
(image via: plan59)
There was no point in having all of the brand new shiny gadgets and the dream car and a super-size fridge full of food if you dressed like one of the Beverley Hillbillies so clothes figured large in advertizing. As with so much else the ad-men were selling a dream, that all it would take is a new Arrow sport-shirt or a new Dacron suit and you would get that promotion, you would be popular, you would be a hit with the ladies. For generations people had got by with only their work clothes and a ’sunday-go-to-meeting’ suit that lasted for years but now they were introduced to the concept of ‘leisure-wear’ for the new-found leisure they had so little of because they were working so hard to buy all the new ’stuff’ they were told they needed.
(image via: plan59)
Never one to miss a trick, the ad-wizards of the 1950s relied heavily on ‘cute kids’ to promote everything from food to toys to .. well just about anything. Generally speaking the pitch was to guilt-trip the parent and imply .. “if only you buy these cornflakes or this soda or this toy then your child will be happier and healthier than it is now and if you don’t you can’t possibly love them.” Parents naturally found this line of argument irresistible. Personally, I find that a lot of the kids used in 1950s ads look positively demonic. They were more ‘perky’ and with bigger, toothier grins than anything outside of a Disney animatronic show had a right to be. But maybe that’s just seeing them from a 21st century perspective.
Selling Family Values
(image via: plan59)
One of the most interesting things about advertising from the 1950s, or any other time for that matter, is what it tells us about the society it was aimed at. Old ads often provide unwitting social commentary. In the case of this ad (for shirts) you can see that the basic premise is the nuclear family. Dad, Mom and the two kids all live happily together in the suburbs. Dad goes out to work and Mom stays at home to look after the children. That was the publically accepted norm in the 1950s and you wouldn’t find any ads pitched at single mothers or divorced dads. It was a different world then and the ads reflect that very clearly.
Let the Good Times Roll
(image via: plan59)
This old ad from the Ethyl corporation captures the exuberance of the 1950s and the advertising that flourished then. After the dark post-war years it seemed as if the clouds had finally blown away from America and the sun was shining again. Everything was bright and colorful and exciting and, however young or old, you were entitled to have a good time. In some ways the picture the ads painted of mid-century America was accurate in capturing the spirit of optimism and aspiration. In other ways, of course, this picture was a gross misrepresentation and ignored the darker side of 1950s America, the poverty, apartheid, rigid conformity, intolerance, corruption, and the vile McCarthy communist witch-hunts. The ads of the 1950s were how America wanted to see itself though and, even if untrue, it wasn’t a bad vision.
We’ve seen what our towns and cities look like when people move out and nature moves in - but why does abandonment happen? What factors turn towns into ghost-towns, city centres into wastelands and treasured homes into piles of crumbling debris? Here’s a look at eight modern urban settlements that are either in danger of or in the process of losing their inhabitants - places that might gives clues about how to keep our cities alive.
(Image via: Shane Gorski)
Symbolized by the gloriously atmospheric ruin of the Michigan Central Station, Detroit is a city fighting decline. A 20th century marvel of car production, the area has suffered decades of industrial loss (for example, between 1970 and 1980, Detroit shed 208,000 jobs) as the motor industry has waned - the city locked into a downward trajectory due to an apparent over-dependence on automobile manufacture.
(Images via: tronics and Shane Gorski and lhoon)
But the U.S.’s 11th most populous city seems set to endure - thanks to decentralization. While the old core remains an urban problem, the newer suburbs are attracting new investment. Whether it will be enough to eventually reverse the inner-city decline and lure back a healthy commercial sector remains to be seen.
(Image via: Shane Gorski)
St. Louis, Missouri
(Images via: joguldi, Shane Gorski and Ecology of Absence)
At the centre of the Greater St. Louis metropolitan area, this impressively historical city (founded 1763) was hit hard by the decline in local industries. Since 1950, it has lost 59% of its population - the fastest rate of population loss of any American city.
(Images via: Ecology of Absence)
However, while the underlying factors causing this shrinking city appear to be broadly similar as with Detroit, the response is markedly different. Between 1999 and 2005, $3.3 billion has been invested in Downtown St.Louis, the core of the city - and with a recent slight rise in the population, the signs are encouraging.
(Image via: Wikimedia Commons)
Defined by an impressive architectural style - as evidenced by the Rathaus building, above - Wittenberge is an East German town that has prospered for eight centuries, only to be dealt what may be a death-blow by German reunification in 1990. Of the 1.4 million Germans leaving for the West, 14,000 came from Wittenberge - reducing its population to a scant 24,000 today.
(Images via: Spiegel Online and Christhard Lapple)
With the rapid depopulation, large abandoned spaces have opened up in the historic town centre, leaving some streets completely empty. Where redevelopment is taking place, it does little to accomodate itself to Wittenberge’s architectural heritage.
Ivanovo, Russian Federation
(Images via: Shrinking Cities and Wikipedia)
Tied closely to the Soviet manufacturing machine, the town of Ivanovo (population 450,000) finds itself in the unenviable position of having to reboot its entire economy to serve a hugely inflated population - in 1920, the town had just 52,000 residents. With the closing down of the town’s major employer, a USSR-financed textile factory, Ivanovo has been hit with drastic losses of townwide production, infrastructure decline (including the loss of the citywide tram, pictured), falling birthrates, abandonment of the workforce and “unprecedented social polarisation and segregation“.
(Image via: taylorandayumi)
For thousands of years, Kashgar has acted as an oasis city for trade and commerce is far western China, an important part of the famous “Silk Road”. The oldest part of this modern city of 350,000 people is the Old City - or rather, was, because the Chinese authorities are currently destroying it. Deemed to be a safety hazard and eyesore, the old quarter has been forcibly evacuated of the bulk of the resident 13,000 families - and approximately 85% of it is being torn down, despite its inestimable cultural and archaeological value. In its place, a new Old City - but who will return, and will old Kashgar still remain in any shape or form?
(Image via: ShrinkingCities)
The largest city in the Saxony area of eastern Germany, Leipzig can boast a population of some 500,000 people - which is 100,000 less than its heyday before German unification. In the early ’90s, the city’s economy was severely run-down, sending investors and workers elsewhere.
(Image via: Slache and ShrinkingCities and New Geography)
As with Detroit and St. Louis, the suburbs of Leipzig have prospered as the inner city has declined - around half of the businesses in the suburbs have relocated from the city centre. Yet thanks to its prestigious Trade Fair and ongoing redevelopment investment, the prognosis for the city’s economy is good.
(Images via: royalreview and stu spivack and Flint News)
Once it housed 180,000 - now it has less than half that number. But faced with a familiar story of industrial decline dragging down the commercial and the residential alike, Youngstown has looked afresh at the challenge of downsizing - and decided to embrace it. Under the name “Youngstown 2010“, the city is actively seeking a smaller, more sustainable urban footprint with a higher standard of living.
(Image via: lpiepiora)
And finally, the most famous declining city of them all. Once an independent nation and a major European maritime power, Venice is indisputably one of the loveliest cities in the world - all the more so because it’s disappearing under the waves, a little more every year.
(Images via: Dimitry B and Dan Kitwood )
The locals move upstairs: the politicians resort to experimental engineering - but even the most innovative efforts don’t promise to stay Venice’s inevitable abandonment for more than a century. Despite our best efforts, some places cannot be saved - and that makes them all the more precious while we still have them.
Vinyl records in a host of sizes, speeds, even shapes, were THE way to listen to music in the decades before CDs, MP3s and online storage made them virtually obsolete - for music, at least. Now artists, hobbyists and environmentalists are making vinyl “sing” in a whole new way. Here are a dozen groovy examples.
(image via: Etsy)
Vinyl’s characteristic ability to become malleable when heated and then “lock in” the desired shape when cooled make it ideal for craft projects. A prime example are the beautiful bowls, mandalas, clocks and wrist cuffs upcycled by Christine Claringbold of Eye Pop Art. Don’t believe your bowl was once an LP? Flip it over - the original record label is there, sealed for posterity with a glossy clear finish.
(images via: Keetsa and Etsy)
Completely food safe, Claringbold’s hand-painted vinyl revivals are a wonderful way to re-use records which have long since played their swan songs.
Hanging’s Too Good
(images via: Gearfuse and VLING)
One 33rpm vinyl record can be transformed into a host of small pendants, earrings and other jewelry items if you’ve got a laser cutter on hand. The folks at VLING do and they use it to perform disco demolition on dozens of vinyl records, day after day. Their Dead Disco pendant seems to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. As for their other designs, what are the odds of buying earrings made from a Golden Earring LP?
(images via: Coolest Gadgets and Etsy)
When CDs came along in the med-1980s it was all downhill for vinyl, which might just rub those records the wrong way if they could think and feel. Give them their revenge with these cool custom CD cases made from not just vinyl records but their cardboard sleeves as well.
Rock Around The Clock
(images via: 50 Wishes, Gift Rap, Eco-Artware and Spinning Hat)
There are a surprising variety of recycled record clocks out there but the Fab Four above are noteworthy for including the little yellow thingy that adapts 45-rpm records for use on most turntables. Anyone remember what the thingy was called? Hint: it’s not “thingy”. Give up? Those of you who guessed spiders, fratzogs or Triskelions are wrong. Officially they’re known as… 45-rpm adapters.
“At Number Five, The Coasters!”
(images via: Recycled LP Records, Kaboodle and Delight)
Record vinyl extends from the edge to the hole, and that include the central label. Though more difficult to recycle, record labels just happen to be the perfect size for drink coasters and a wide variety are available from a number of retailers. Cool conversation starters that also keep your table top free from those annoying rings.
(images via: The Daily Green, Cool Green Gadgets and Applelinks)
Just as a caterpillar dreams of becoming a butterfly, a vinyl record aspires to rebirth in the hippest medium of some future time - in this case, an iPod. Well, an iPod cover to be exact. The felt-lined cases have a signature feature - the regulation center hole of a 45-rpm vinyl record just happens to be the same diameter as an iPod’s click wheel. Coincidence, or just mighty convenient?
Vinyl Artist Gets His Groove Back
(images via: Tree Hugging Family and Vinylart)
Daniel Edlen creates vinyl art portraits of your favorite musicians, on their records, using both original vinyl LPs and cardboard sleeves. Priced at $175 each, these artworks aren’t cheap but they ARE undoubtedly art and thus command the big bucks. Choose from classic rockers like Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page, golden oldies like Elvis Presley and even modern rapper Eminem just for starters.
Love Is In The Aires
(images via: Haute Nature and Aeroplastics)
Carlos Aires is another artist who uses recycled vinyl as his medium. Aires’ cut vinyl record silhouettes are one-of-a-kind, as in each one being hand-cut and therefore unique. Though he works in a wide variety of media, Aires may be best known for his vinyl cutouts which he often assembles in large numbers for exhibitions.
(images via: Seed and Sew and Wrecords By Monkey)
Wrecords by Monkey processes used vinyl to a greater degree, forming it into fashionable arm cuffs, pendants and earrings sporting intricate, complex and bold patterns. Once again, record vinyl shows its user-friendly side.
New Wave Records
(images via: Gearfuse and NY Times)
Each new wave of technology washes away what came before… that’s the concept artist Jean Shin explores with her massive Sound Wave piece that helped open New York’s Museum of Arts and Design in the fall of 2008. Measuring 5.2 ft high by 12 ft wide by 12 ft deep, Shin’s wave of records is big enough to surf on.
King Of Pop Art
(image via: Etsy)
The recycled vinyl bowl above has few if any distinguishing features but it does have one very strong selling point: it’s crafted from Michael Jackson’s “Bad” LP. Indeed, the item sold out from the seller’s website on June 25, 2009, just 2 days after news broke that the entertainment superstar had died.
For Non-Musical Notes
(images via: Cool Material and Holycool)
Putting your money where your music is, Black Crow Vinyl Record Wallets use recycled vinyl records to create some of the hippest wallets to grace your hip. The Beatles, The Clash, The Doors and many other greats of rock & roll’s golden age lend their labels, sleeves and groovy black vinyl to the effort.
Millions - perhaps billions - of vinyl records were made since the dawn of music recording. Individual favorite LPs and singles were played hundreds, even thousands of times. The numbers are staggering but let’s not crunch them; let’s re-use, recycle and upcycle them into new products that manage to still carry a little of the magic within them. Vinyl? Divinyl!
Ever think computer company product planning sessions consist of throwing one wacky concept after another against the wall to see what sticks? Not much does and sure enough, the ash heap of tech history is littered with flubs, flops and FUBAR fiascos designed to fly high but destined to fail. Every so often, though, a diamond emerges from the dung heap and everything changes - the cliched “paradigm shift”. Here are 15 of the coolest, craziest computer concepts you’ll see today; diamonds in the rough perhaps but easy on the eye fer shure!
SheevaPlug Shrinks Like A Frightened Turtle
(images via: Marvell, Yersys and Techshout)
The tiny SheevaPlug is a marvel to behold - and it’s only natural that it’s made by Marvell. Looking more like an oversized electrical plug than a computer, the so-called Wall Wart is designed to deliver “high-performance, always on, always connected, and environmentally friendly computing.” You
won’t find an optical drive or the usual accoutrements of home computers on the SheevaPlug, however - peripherals including storage connect to an embedded 1.2GHz ARM CPU through an integrated USB 2.0 port. Good things DO come in small packages, it seems!
Apple’s Open & Shut Case
(images via: VHXN and Gizmodo)
The MacBook Touch is awesome enough as it is but that isn’t stopping Jobs’ jobbers from making a good thing better. Witness this concept MacBook that employs one of Apple’s more interesting patents: a transparent, multitouch display that acts as a control surface on both sides! Today we have to open our laptops/notebooks/netbooks if we want to get down to business. Tomorrow, maybe not - and that would be very good business indeed.
VAIO Zoom! Biff Bang Pow!
(images via: Geekologie and Yanko Design)
Thin is in, to the point where you can barely see the screen from the side. This SONY VAIO Zoom notebook concept by Eno Setiawan takes things one step further: you can barely see the screen from the front - at least, when the power’s off. The secret lies in holographic technology that even extends to the mouse buttons. So, is a transparent laptop screen a good idea? Oh yeah… just keep it away from Kramer.
Toshiba’s Desktop Deathstar
(image via: Ubergizmo)
Lord Vader, your server is ready. This Deathstar-like desktop media server crystallizes Toshiba’s vision of how TV and cellphones will interact in a seamless multimedia future.
(image via: Ubergizmo)
Everything’s automatic: once the cellphone is in range, the server prompts it to download its media files to the server which in turn “beams” the files to a wireless HD 1080p TV - and then destroys Alderan.
O Good, A Dell Concept!
(image via: Tuvie)
Owners demand a lot from their computers, but do they want sustainability? Dell thinks so, and they’ve rolled out the well-rounded O Project PC to prove it. Luis Luna’s organic design features an integrated living plant pod that absorbs CO2 during the course of its daily life. When the PC’s life has ended, the cornstarch & bamboo polymer-based case can either be recycled or used as a non-computing plant pot to add a dash of tech savvy to your home decor scheme.
Russian To The Future With KOOB+
(images via: Lee Design Show and Industrial Design Served)
Slim, lightweight, compact, modular… all of the above apply to Artem Sazonov’s KOOB+” concept computer. Sazonov has taken the idea of modularity to the max - one or more KOOB+ component can be taken elsewhere and plugged into a different machine as needed. If you like plug & play functionality, you’ll love the KOOB+.
iMac Stays Ahead Of The Curve
(images via: Techfresh and Yanko Design)
Nuno Teixeira really knows his way a round computers, making him a natural choice to design the iView iMac concept. The intriguing iView is curved to complement the human eye and features a second screen on the back - presumably for those with eyes in back of their heads. Twin webcams pay tribute to the persistence of memory as this somewhat surrealistic concept computer owes much to Dali’s famed fluid forms.
Less Is More… More Or Less
(images via: Unplggd and Yanko Design)
I’d like to say HP’s minimalist LiM concept desktop computer was designed by Les Moore but that would be too perfect - it’s actually the brainchild of Jeffrey S. Engelhardt, a guy who believes desktop computers have a future in an increasingly mobile, server-oriented world. Even so, by offering “Less Is More” to tomorrow’s tech-savvy savants HP hopes to retain a lucrative slice of the retail pie. Though the LIM is a stand-alone CPU, HP foresees offering some cool matching peripherals like a transparent 19″ OLED touchscreen, a wireless keyboard and a virtual trackpad to replace the mouse.
Microsoft’s Mystery Machine
(image via: IFOCOS)
Not much info’s out there on the above ultra-wrapped screen but supposedly it’s a concept computer from Microsoft. Considering the thickness of the screen we’ll assume the computer-y bits are housed inside.
(image via: Geeksugar)
There are already curved screens out there, notably by Alienware (above), but this one both out-curves and out-cools it by a long shot. Let’s hope this screen-comp-combo surfaces soon… and, has as little relationship as possible with Microsoft Surface.
Cario Up The Highway
(images via: Elite Choice and Tuvie)
What’s the worst place to mount a notebook computer screen? If you guessed “smack dab in the middle of your steering wheel”, you get two points and a full body cast. Even when connected in HUD mode this seems like a poorly thought out idea. The Cario itself, on the other hand, is exceedingly well thought out. Designed for use in cars and trucks, the Cario allows you to adjust vehicle settings like climate control and music besides any other standard computing. If it can be made to work safely, you win, if not, Darwin does.
The BMW Of Computers
(images via: BoingBoing Gadgets and Core77)
Coming from an outfit named BMW Group Designworks USA, you’d expect the dials to be turned to 11 when it came to designing a true gamer’s gaming computer. And so it is - the “Level 10″ PC tower concept for Thermaltake.
(image via: BMW DesignWorks)
A massive vertical heatsink, individually enclosed components and not a stray wire to be seen… one wonders why they didn’t call it the “Level 11″.
The Power Flower Tower
(image via: ECOfriend)
A minimalist computer powered by a fuel cell? We’ve got one for you - or rather, somebody would if this concept goes into production. One of the top five finalists in the Design ReGeneration competition, the Power Flower features a miniature fuel cell hidden atop a clear water reservoir, giving the design a light, aesthetically pleasing look that doesn’t resemble any computer you’ve seen before.
The New Mac Mini?
(image via: Tech2Reviews)
This inorganic Apple concept computer was designed by Sait Alanyali, who seems to have fallen in love with his straight edge. Alanyali’s put a lot of thought into the design, which provides functionality in a variety of positions. Temperature is, as with any smaller computer, a paramount concern. In Alanyali’s words, “Cool air to the sides, hot air from the legs.” Always a safe policy in any circumstance.
Cookbook Meets Computer
(images via: SparkingTech and The Kitchn)
Niche markets will be the focus of specialized computers as tech components get cheaper and the public acclimatizes itself to anything and everything being somehow computerized. Example: the Kitchen Sync computer concept.
(images via: SparkingTech and The Kitchn)
Designed by Noah Balmer and winner of an International Housewares Association award, the Kitchen Sync seamlessly combines the functions of a comp and a cookbook. Those who’ve accidentally spilled chicken stock all over their pricey laptop will lap this right up!
The Poop On The E-Ball
(images via: Elite Choice and Device Daily)
It’s not often a concept design leaves me speechless but this is one of those times. I give you… the E-Ball! Somewhat reminiscent of a roly-poly R2D2, the E-Ball is undeniably impressive: how about a laser keyboard that beams out like ol’ R2 relaying a message from Obi-wan? Plus, who needs a monitor when you can project images onto either a nearby wall or a sheet of paper.
(images via: Elite Choice and Device Daily)
All very cool and futuristic… and then the whole presentation is overshadowed by spelling “sheet” with an “i” instead of the two e’s. Aw, crap.
As a geek version of Ferris Bueller might say, “Technology moves pretty fast. You don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Thankfully, computer engineers won’t stop offering up their visions of future computing and for that, we may be thankful!
Imagine having a stroke, a severe brain injury or a tumor and suddenly waking up one day to find you’ve developed artistic talents to rival Picasso. It sounds impossible, but the brain is a mysterious organ, and sometimes, damage causes it to rewire itself in ways that reveal new talents even in people who could barely doodle a stick figure. From the engineer on disability who became a sought-after digital artist after a stroke to a woman whose dementia spurred remarkable creative output, these 10 artists were all transformed by neurological trauma or disorders.
(images via: The Daily Mail)
Ken Walters was hardly the artistic type before suffering a stroke in 2005. The former engineer had been severely injured in a car accident and was left wheelchair-bound and dependent on benefits to get by. But the cerebral hemorrhage that could have made Walters’ life much more difficult came with an unexpected gift in the form of newfound artistic ability and creative drive. Walters began developing digital art, which led to starting his own software company and a lucrative job with EA games at the age of 51.
(images via: Sparks of Creativity)
In 1998, Jim Chambliss suffered a traumatic brain injury that caused temporolimbic epilepsy (TLE), migraines and temporary cognitive damage. Unable to continue practicing law because of these new challenges, Chambliss became a substitute teacher and one day, while playing with a block of styrofoam, carved a salamander that earned him praise from students and faculty at the high school. Chambliss, who never displayed artistic talents before, discovered that he suddenly had a knack for three dimensional art and went on to earn a Masters in Visual Art from the University of Louisville. He now studies the connections between art, epilepsy and migraines.
(images via: The Daily Mail)
Alison Silva has been a painter since childhood, but her work never stood out until after a tumor began affecting her brain. Suddenly Silva’s work was darker, deeper and up to 20 times more valuable. The New Jersey artist found herself faced with an incredibly difficult decision: have the tumor removed, or keep her newfound abilities despite the risk of a serious hemorrhage. Her doctor says that Alison’s condition is dangerous, but not life-threatening, so in spite of migraines, insomnia, hallucinations and distorted vision, Silva chose her art.
(images via: The Daily Mail)
When doctors performed brain surgery on Alan Brown after a stroke, they thought they were just saving his life. Little did they know that somehow, in the course of the operation, they did something that would turn Brown into an artist. Prior to the surgery, Brown could barely manage a stick figure, let alone a detailed painting. The father of three was handed a pencil, paper and a photograph of a dog by a nurse while recovering in the hospital and reproduced it down to the slightest detail. He’s now a professional artist with a degree in Fine Arts from Worcester University.
(images via: Vanity Fair, Decordova )
Jon Sarkin was a chiropractor who liked golf. Then one day, while playing a round with a friend, he burst a blood vessel in his brain. Suddenly, the man whose life had been so socially proper and orderly became a passionate artist, loud and expressive, who has not stopped compulsively creating artwork since the first day he felt the relentless, insistent need to do it. His work blends painting, poetry and song lyrics with cut-out images to create collages that convey a sense of mystery and abandon.
(images via: Seattle PI)
Sandy Allen’s left brain guided her life, from her career in bookkeeping to her medical studies at the University of Washington. Then, part of Allen’s left brain had to be removed along with a golf-ball-sized tumor buried deep in her temporal lobe. That’s when her right brain took over, and art therapy sessions revealed her blooming talent. Allen jokes, “It’s like I’ve had my inhibitions surgically removed.” While she no longer has the language, math and science functions that once seemed to define her, she’s now an artist and has turned her entire home into a studio.
Lester Eugene Potts, Jr.
(images via: The Brain Matters)
Dr. Daniel C. Potts, a neurologist, witnessed a remarkable transformation in a man who had Alzheimer’s disease and suddenly bloomed into a remarkably talented, acclaimed artist. That man was his father, Lester Eugene Potts Jr. Prior to enrolling in a care facility, Lester Potts had stopped smiling and was unable to perform simple tasks. But an assortment of stimulating activities – including art – brought out a side of him that nobody in his family knew existed. Potts became a nationally recognized artist, creating 75 watercolor paintings – all after his diagnosis. He so inspired his son that the neurologist began writing poetry.
(images via: Now Public)
A rare brain disease, Frontotemporal dementia (FTD), slowly transformed a scientist into a prolific artist who produced more than 1,000 paintings. Anne Adams of Vancouver became aware that something was wrong with her in 2000, when she suddenly lost her ability to speak properly or add simple numbers. After that, Anne spent every day from 9 to 5 in her studio. Her paintings are orderly and methodical, a seeming holdover of her former abilities as a scientist. She continued to paint until 2004 when she could no longer hold a brush, and passed away of FTD in 2007.
(images via: raederscheidt.com)
Anton Räderscheidt was already an accomplished artist when he suffered a stroke at the age of 75, with a career spanning several different styles as he escaped Nazi Germany in the 1930s, settled in Paris, moved to Switzerland and finally returned to Cologne in 1949. But after the stroke, Räderscheidt had to completely re-learn how to paint. The changes in Räderscheidt were dramatic; he had disturbances in spatial orientation and in his vision and left-sided hemineglect. He was unable to recognize faces – even those of close relatives. That led him on a quest to regain his abilities, and he painted more than 60 self-portraits. By 1974, five of these portraits indicated that his condition had improved, but his style had changed more dramatically than ever.
(images via: stephenwiltshire.co.uk)
Stephen Wiltshire is another example of extraordinary artistic talent coming from abnormalities in the brain, but his neurological condition was present from birth rather than developing later in life. Wiltshire’s autism has been the source of many challenges in his life, but it also gave him an amazing gift: he can draw buildings and landscapes from memory after seeing them just once – he even drew all of central London after viewing it from a helicopter.
Wiltshire was mute, communicating only through drawings, until the age of nine, when teachers encouraged him to begin speaking. He has been the subject of many documentaries and was awarded a Member of the Order of the British Empire for his services to art. He now has a permanent gallery in the Royal Opera Arcade in London.
Urban society may seem a modern phenomenon but cities have been around for a lot longer than one might think. Indeed, once nomadic tribes began to settle in one location, they saw that it was good, became fruitful, and multiplied. Decades, centuries and millennia passed while war, climate change and human migration all took their toll. Relatively few ancient cities have managed to survive the test of time. Here are 10 that have not only survived, but continue to thrive.
(images via: Frederick Highland, Man In Demand and Historic Cities)
Damascus, the current capital of Syria, has a long and colorful history that stretches back nearly 12,000 years. Located in a fertile region well-watered by the Barada river, Damascus was a prime target of numerous kings and conquerors - and often wound up on the losing side.
(image via: EuroMesco)
Over 4 million people live in metropolitan Damascus today and, partly due to a skilfully constructed network of canals built nearly 3,500 years ago, boasts a multitude of parks and green spaces. Since 1979 Damascus has been UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Jericho, West Bank
(images via: Wikipedia and Bible Archaeology)
The ancient city of Jericho is the world’s oldest walled city, with evidence of stone fortifications dating back nearly 9,000 years; long before the “walls came tumblin’ down” events depicted in the Bible. Archaeological digs have turned up traces of habitation that are even older: up to 11,000 years ago!
(image via: SBF)
Not only has Jericho been continually inhabited for over one hundred centuries, scientists have uncovered a virtual layer cake of settlements - 20 in fact, built one on top of the other down to the present day. Now that’s something worth blowing your horn about… oh, wait.
(images via: Iran Facts)
Dating back to approximately 8000 BCE, the ancient Iranian city of Susa rose to prominence again and again under Elamite, Babylonian, Achaemenian, Greek, Parthian, Sasanian and Persian civilizations.
(image via: CAIS News)
Today Susa is known as “Shush” though things have rarely been quiet there over its very long life. Susa is where the sole representation of the Code of Hammurabi was found. The 7-foot tall basalt stele was taken back to Susa in the 12th century BC and rediscovered in 1901. It now resides in Paris’ Louvre Museum.
(images via: Cultural Tourism and Virtual Tourist)
One way of measuring a city’s age is to note the number of names it has had. In the case of Plovdiv, the list begins with Eumolpias, changing to Philippoupolis when it was conquered by Philip II of Macedon (Alexander the Great’s father) in 342 BCE. Centuries passed and Philippoupolis became Trimontium, then Philippoupolis again, then Paldin, Filibe and finally Plovdiv.
(image via: Discover Bulgaria)
Presently home to around 380,000 (580,000 in the metro area), Plovdiv is Bulgaria’s second-largest city and one of Europe’s oldest - signs of urban activity there go back nearly 9,000 years.
(images via: Hamline University and Pierre Tristam)
Holy to a number of the world’s leading religions, 5,000-year-old Jerusalem was already settled centuries before any of them had their tenets put to paper, papyrus or pre-fired clay. According to the entry on Jerusalem in Wikipedia, “In the course of its history, Jerusalem has been destroyed twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times.”
(image via: Trip Advisor)
Sadly, those numbers are likely not the final score for this exceptional city 747,600 people call Jerusalem, Yerushalayim, Al-Quds and… home.
(image via: Skyscraper City)
Source of prized Tyrian Purple dye and home base of those legendary master traders, the Phoenicians, Tyre was truly a wonder of the ancient world. The city was located on a walled island just off the coast of Lebanon and managed to thwart every siege until Alexander the Great built a causeway so his soldiers could march up to the city walls.
(image via: Sophismata)
(images via: Hezbollah Connect and El Baluarte De La Utopia)
The causeway changed the flow of the sea currents and caused the island to become permanently joined to the mainland. Today Tyre is Lebanon’s fourth-largest city and can proudly trace its history back nearly 6,000 years.
(images via: Erasmus Student Network, Destination 360 and BiblePlaces)
The capital of Greece is home to over 4 million today and is the 5th-most populous capital city in the EU. With its soaring Acropolis and majestic Parthenon symbolizing the golden age of Classical Greece and the foundation of Western civilization, Athens has been lived in for approximately 3,400 years.
(image via: Theodora)
The city has not always enjoyed prominence, however - by the early 19th century it had deteriorated to a backwater town with only a few thousand citizens. That all changed when Athens was named capital of Greece in 1834, with the city truly coming of age due to the many infrastructure improvements completed in time for the 2004 Olympic Games.
(images via: Galen Fry Singer and Lgougo)
Due to its exceptional harbor situated where the Tagus river empties into the Atlantic Ocean, Lisbon has always been an ideal military and commercial location - incidentally attracting settlers to serve the soldiers and traders. Archaeologists have uncovered Phoenician objects at Lisbon dating back to 1200 BCE; remnants of what was likely a Phoenician supply base for ships voyaging to and from the British Isles, an ancient source of tin.
(images via: Wall Street Meeting and John P Pratt)
Disaster struck Lisbon in 1755 when one of the most destructive earthquakes ever to strike Europe, accompanied by a massive tsunami and wildfires, leveled much of Lisbon and killed tens of thousands of residents.
(images via: Book Depository and Links On Waves)
Lisbon quickly bounced back from the disaster to regain her rank as one of Europe’s leading cities, a distinction she still holds today.
(image via: Sacred Destinations)
The city of Varanasi, formerly known to English-speakers as Benares, has been a religious and cultural center for at least 3,000 years. Over one million pilgrims from across the Hindu world visit Varanasi each year to participate in ceremonies and swim in the sacred Ganges river.
(image via: Without Borders)
Varanasi is as close to being a true “living city” as one could imagine. Every bit of space is utilized, every disused building is re-worked into a new purpose and over centuries of conflict and conquest, the city heals itself through the power of human conviction and devotion to a greater glory.
(images via: Webshots Travel and Cultura)
Arguably the oldest continually inhabited city in the western hemisphere, Choloula was a contemporary of more famous Teotihuacan yet never suffered the crisis that saw it’s neighbor abandoned in the 6th century CE. By the late Aztec period more than 100,000 people lived in Cholula, and the city near Puebla is home to over 90,000 today.
(image via: Rahuno)
Cholula rose to prominence in the 2nd century BCE but settlement on a more modest scale goes back a further thousand years. The partially excavated monumental buildings at Cholula are among the largest in the world, with the Great Pyramid of Cholula being the largest man-made monument ever made! Its base covers approximately 25 acres and the pyramid’s total volume is estimated at 4.3 million cubic yards.
What’s it take to make a long-lived city? The same thing any realtor will tell you: location, location, location! Prime real estate does tend to attract the wrong crowd - conquerors have a way of ruining anyone’s backyard barbeque - but once all the fuss has died down people do what they’ve always done; keep on coming back for more.
A man walking on water, a bunny the size of a dog and a fetus floating in a starry sky – none of these things can actually be real, right? In an age when almost anyone can effectively manipulate images in Photoshop, it’s easy to scoff at every incredible photograph that you see on the internet. Don’t let your cynicism get the best of you. Some are the result of sheer dumb luck, others from hours of careful preparation and some exist because reality is simply stranger than fiction, but these 15 images are 100% authentic.
Walking on Water
(image via: marianitoz)
Speedboat driver Joe Peroceschi walked on water… sort of. After windy conditions caused his boat, Smokin Joe, to flip during the Budweiser Drag Boat Nationals race on Wappapello Lake in Missouri, Peroceschi appeared in photos to be momentarily running across the surface of the water. In reality, he was about to get hit by a competing boat. Miraculously, Peroceschi survived to walk again.
Faux Photoshop, Literally
(image via: Stupid Videos)
Using a couple cardboard props and a checkered background, this photographer imitated the look of a photoshopped image in progress, seemingly using the eraser tool on himself. Impeccably lined up with the background, it’s difficult to tell at first that this isn’t an image in the process of being edited.
Trippy Illusion in a Parking Garage
(image via: de-war.de)
Driving through a parking garage and seeing words floating around might lead you to think that perhaps someone put a little something in your drink. Graphic designer Axel Peemöller painstakingly painted distorted letters on the walls, floors and beams of a Melbourne, Australia parking garage so that when you stand in the right spot, they seem to hover in mid-air.
A Jumping Shark and Some Surfers
(image via: BoingBoing)
A CNN photographer just happened to snap a photo in the right place at the right time, capturing a spinner shark jumping out of the water in New Smyrna Beach, Florida just yards behind two oblivious surfers. Don’t believe it? CNN has video showing additional images and testimony of witnesses.
Johan Lorbeer’s ‘Still Life’ Performances
(image via: ahboon)
Like Li Wei, Johan Lorbeer puts on seemingly gravity-defying public performances, hovering above the ground with one hand against a wall for hours at a time. He’s surrounded by puzzled onlookers who just can’t figure out how he does it. His secret? A fake arm connected to a harness. His real arm is hidden inside his clothes.
Andre Agassi and Roger Federer: Tennis on a Helipad
(image via: The Guardian)
Surely, those guys aren’t really playing tennis that high in the air, right? Well, yeah – and ‘those guys’ are Andre Agassi and Roger Federer. The too-crazy-to-be-real setting is actually a helipad at the Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai. Good thing these two tennis greats aren’t afraid of heights.
Can a Bunny Really be This Insanely Huge?
(image via: Blogsters Guild)
This photograph is one of many that have been circulated around the internet to instant cries of “Photoshopped!” But, believe it or not, rabbits this big do exist. Seriously. There’s video. These giant rabbits are bred in Germany by Karl Szmolinsky – as a source of meat for the North Korean population. You can’t make this stuff up.
Truck Chased by Missiles on the Highway
(image via: CannesLions)
Without the little inset photo, in which you can see the tethers, this photo of a truck being chased down a highway by missiles would be pretty hard to swallow. But, the missiles are just harmless balloons. The ‘Missile Car’ was an entry in the 2009 Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.
Japan’s Futuristic Flood Prevention System
(image via: Neatorama)
A science fiction movie could easily be shot in Japan’s underground flood tunnels. The reflective floors, endless rows of towering pillars and eerie lighting makes the G-CANS project look like something out of this world. It consists of five concrete containment silos that prevent overflow of the city’s major waterways and rivers during rain and typhoon seasons.
Apocalyptic Street Scene
(image via: Metanamorph)
Street artist Edgar Mueller is a master of optical illusion, creating chalk drawings on pavement and other surfaces that transform the space into something altogether different. This post-apocalyptic scene of a German street disintegrating into a churning sea is just one example of Mueller’s many jaw-dropping street scenes. Mueller’s work relies on the viewer to stand in just the right spot to see the illusion.
Storefront Security Gate as Fender Guitar Amp
(image via: Music Radar)
A guitar store in Southampton, England found a brilliant way to not only make its security gate more attractive, but announce what it sells in the most gleefully attention-grabbing way possible. A Fender logo adorns the gate and a sign above the store is complete with controls turned all the way up to 11.
Invisible Car Art by Sara Watson
(image via: The Telegraph)
What appears to be a ghostly apparition of a vehicle over Sara Watson’s shoulder is actually a Skoda Fabia spray-painted to blend in with a parking lot and art studio entrance. Watson, a student at the University of Central Lancashire, worked on the paint job for three weeks. “People have been stopping in the street to look and coming up and almost bumping into it, so it’s had the desired effect.”
The Impeccably Camouflaged Orchid Mantis
(images via: 37signals)
It’s hard to tell at first whether you’re looking at a flower that looks like a mantis or a mantis that looks like a flower. In fact, the orchid mantis is a rainforest insect whose legs resemble flower petals and coloring perfectly matches that of the flowers it is often found hiding inside.
Three Eagles Fighting Over a Fish
(image via: thelastminuteblog)
What looks like a somewhat cheesy patriotic digital image created by a computer is a real photograph of three eagles fighting over a fish in Homer, Alaska taken in March 2008 by photographer Jose Hernandez. This incredible image was one of the winners in the National Geographic 2008 International Photography Contest.
A Fascinating Peek Inside the Womb
(image via: World Famous Photos)
A fetus, still in its gestational sac and attached to the placenta, floats eerily against a starry background. But this is no collage, no matter how unreal it seems. It’s an actual living fetus taken inside a pregnant woman’s uterus with an endoscope. When Lennart Wilson showed it to LIFE Magazine’s editors in 1965, they demanded witnesses to prove that it was real. It remains one of the magazine’s most iconic cover images.
Carrying your shiny new laptop computer around a busy, bumpy, blisteringly hot urban setting seems like an accident just waiting to happen. Not to worry, we’ve got your back… or your bag, to be exact. Today’s better laptops deserve better laptop carrying cases, and a select few have risen to meet the challenge of safeguarding them. Here are 15 of the coolest, hottest and bestest!
Hands Off My Mac Laptop, Mack!
(images via: Radtech)
Long the watchword for toughness and featuring a bulldog mascot to show it, Mack Trucks exude rugged durability with their no-nonsense functional style. Applied to Apple’s MacBook, the concept becomes MacTruck. The manufacturer, Radtech, states that the MacTruck laptop case is made of “ultra-tough 5052-H32 Aluminum alloy shell that’s rugged enough to drive a truck over!” They didn’t say what KIND of truck so we’ll have to take their word for it. In any case (sorry), the MacTruck features an intriguing design that leaves the access ports unblocked, meaning your precious MacBook stays protected even while you’re using it.
Hey Pizza Case!
(images via: Human Beans)
Now laptop cognoscenti can carry their laptops in Italian style… Italian-style pizza boxes, that is! The PowerPizza laptop disguise hides your portable comp in a corrugated cardboard container “made from genuine Italian-style pizza box” - without all the oily residue and leftover mozzarella to jam the keyboard. Instead, the PowerPizza box is lined with a cushy layer of foam and a red-ribbon type tiedown to keep your laptop from sliding around and sticking to the top of the box. Don’t you just hate when that happens?
A Paper Case For The Paper Chase
(images via: Inhabitat)
Cardboard doesn’t have to be cheap and, er, cheesy. British designer Giles Miller has come up with a very green laptop case that looks brown. Crafted from 100 percent recycled corrugated cardboard, the Corrugated Cardboard Laptop Case even has a recycled name. Giles takes advantage of the cardboard’s fluting to add in custom design tweaks like logos and initials to give the otherwise plain-looking laptop case a personalized touch. All in all, a very nice case and well worth saving for a rainy day… no, wait.
A Carpet Bag For Carpetbaggers
(images via: Design Crack)
Giles Miller of The Farm also makes a laptop case from recycled carpet, assumedly cleaned and vacuumed after laying for a few years on the floor of a British pub - though wouldn’t that aged spilled pint’o'lager aroma be nice? The image above shows one of Millers’ carpeted cases; this one looks more like an old geezer’s bathrobe than a carpet but that’s just me.
Sleeve Laptops Alone!
(images via: Redmaloo and Core 77)
These fitted felt laptop sleeves from Redmaloo can comfortably hold 13, 15 & 17-inch laptops and are hand made in Berlin and Brandenburg, Germany. You know the Germans always make good stuff! In contrast to a certain bright yellow towel, however, Redmaloo’s laptop sleeves come in a wide range of colors and fold out into a cozy workstation with integral mousepad. Umm, wow!
(images via: Techeblog)
If you’re a longtime computer user you’ve probably got a few - a few dozen even - old floppy disks moldering away in your junk drawer. If you’re a true geek, you’ve got 42 of ‘em… just the right number needed to craft the geekiest laptop case EVAR! The individual floppies are attached to one another via metal rings at their corners - sort of like chain mail for e-mail.
Here’s a video of a Floppy Laptoppy under construction - watch and take notes:
The floppy disc laptop case, via mezonBiz
A Little Laptop ‘Lectricity
(images via: The Gadgeteer and Fractalspin)
If the Wichita Lineman look is what turns you on, then the High Voltage Laptop Bag should set off some sparks. Resplendent in army olive green set off by screaming orange High Voltage lettering, this is one serious bag. It seems there should be a companion version in State Trooper navy with neon yellow police Caution tape accents but sadly, there is not.
The Generator: I’ll be Black… Silver, Orange or Green
(images via: Zatz Not Funny and The Blue Marble)
The ominously named Voltaic Generator is a sophisticated solar-powered laptop charging case sent back through time to change the future for one lucky lady… ok, it’s not really from the future but that rap helped The Shermanator score so who am I to quibble? Actually, the Voltaic Generator has nothing to do with turning girls on; but everything to do with turning your laptop on. The solar panel side can generate up to 15 watts of clean electricity with its 20% efficient cells. After 5 hours under the sun, the integral Voltaic battery is fully charged and ready to deliver the juice to your laptop through a custom configured adapter. The case, webbing, mesh and lining are all made from 100 percent recycled PET soda bottles. Very cool… sexy even.
Thrilla In Manilla
(images via: Madame Herve)
Shuky of Australia makes a variety of very cool laptop bags, the most interesting of which resemble paper manilla envelopes - right down to the looped string closing of the flap. The manilla-styled Par Avion series bags come in several sizes and a choice of 5 different colors. The 3D look Samba bags come in 2 color combinations and feature a leather carrying handle.
You Cedar, You Want’er
(images via: Geeksugar)
These eco-friendly cedar wood laptop cases from Monacca are a balanced complement to today’s metal and plastic laptops and netbooks. Made from alternately press-laminated, thinned cedar wood from Umaji Village, Kouchi Prefecture in Japan, these Kaku laptop cases weight less than 2 pounds yet are surprisingly strong. Both the Pink-trimmed and Mocha cases cost over $400 each, however, so it’s not recommended you rely on their strength alone to safely navigate airport conveyor belts and harried baggage handlers.
The 9-5 Corporate Laptop Sleeve
(images via: Stickers and Donuts and Barry’s Farm)
The 9-5 Laptop Sleeve is about as geekish as it gets - well, except for the case made of floppy disks mentioned earlier in this post. Known by those in the know as the Dilbert Laptop Sleeve after corporate America’s long-suffering cubicle denizen, this flannel-lined eyebrow raiser is covered in heavy duty vinyl (sorry, not polyester) and is foam lined for protection against errant pointy-haired bosses - are there any other kinds? - and evil feline HR directors.
The Casual Friday Laptop Sleeve, Part 1
(images via: Voxphoto and Makezine)
We guys love our well-worn t-shirts and it’s a sad day indeed when a fave, much like Jerry Seinfeld’s treasured “Golden Boy”, doesn’t make it through that fatal 1,000,003rd spin cycle. All is not lost, however! With a few strategic stitches (beg your wife or GF to do it if you’re too manly to sew) you can give Golden Boy new life as a laptop carrying case! According to the inventive creator, you end up with “a soft pouch with three compartments, plus a pocket for the power brick. Keeps the dirt off your shiny white laptop and confuses potential thieves.” Right on, because who wants to swipe your dirty laundry - or anything wrapped in it.
The Casual Friday Laptop Sleeve, Part 2
(images via: PugnoM)
Everything gets better once the feminine touch is applied, amirite? The above t-shirt-based laptop sleeve shows what happens when a gen-u-ine girl starts from scratch, using a NEW t-shirt (Golden Boy wouldn’t have a chance). The former shirt collar becomes a handy storage pocket for the power cord and the designer has plans to make subsequent versions with reinforced pockets and optional carry-straps. Girls… is there anything they can’t do?
A Case For House
(images via: Zedomax and DesignerSleeves)
We know a few laptop owners whose machines qualify as biohazards - Dorito crumbs and spilled Pepsi make an ideal growth medium. Even if your laptop IS clean and bacteria-free it might pay to cloak it in a deceptive “bio infectious” sleeve. You never know when you might run into a germ-phobic thief. Practically speaking, these neoprene designer sleeves come in 4 graduated sizes and a multitude of cool designs are available. Thick, slick and durable, you can even sneeze on them… a protective measure in and of itself.
Keep Your Documents In My Document
(images via: ThinkGeek and Slashgear)
To close, we have the ultimate laptop case: a big My Document folder, just like the one on your virtual desktop. Only bigger. It’s cute, it’s geeky, and it even comes with a removable cursor pin that’s cleverly “8-bitted” for effect. The versatile case can be used to carry regular paper documents if you’re a purist or have OCD.
Have laptop, will travel? Then you likely own one of the above 15 laptop cases or sleeves. Maybe more than one - dude, you’re scaring me.
While most homes these days are all about standard faucets, modern design is taking over with sleek curves, elegant edges and smart shapes. And since the future is all about interacting with water in the funniest, yet most stylish possible way, here is an amazing list with probably the best faucets you’ve ever seen so far.
1. Ring Faucet by Sun Liang
Edging away from the conventional, with his Ring Faucet, designer Sun Liang allows the water to flow in a circular fashion. And although it may not look that perfect after a few months worth of mineral deposits, the flatness of the design sure makes you think of the smoothness of a waterfall.
2. Glowing Ripple Faucet
Designed by Smith Newnam and the gang at Touch360 Studio, Ball Ripples is a really cool and modern bathroom faucet that combines a clean design with the purity of the water. Fitted with an array of electromagnetic sensors, to control the faucet you maneuver an electronically-secured metal ball that will turn red or blue to tell you how hot the water is.
3. Ondus Digitecture Wall Mount
This is Ondus Digitecture, a sleek digital faucet by the Germans from Grohe. Renowned for their exclusive designs, Ondus has a slim wall mount panel with a touchpad control, digital temperature readout and handy holders for whatever you need. It looks like the KITT of faucets, but we’re a bit disappointed it doesn’t have a turbo boost button. Looks gorgeous!
4. Hansa Latrava
Former head of Mercedes Benz design, Burno Sacco teamed up with the wicked chaps at Octopus Design to create a luxurious faucet. Although totally different from designing cars, with its sheet of flowing water that mocks its edgy origination, the shining proves nothing short of cool.
5. Triflow Tap by Zaha Hadid
Designed for British manufacturer by renowned architect Zaha Hadid, this Triflow Tap is a seductive addition to any modern environment. Charting the fluid geometry of water in motion, the glossy tap boasts a patented three-way technology that sends filtered water through a dedicated waterway, separate from the hot and cold water streams.
6. X-Touch Mixer Faucet
Designed by the Italians from Newform with a pretty traditional design, the X-Touch Mixer faucet does away with antiquated analog knobs and uses a bunch of buttons instead. Buttons that help you set the temperature of the water to suit your needs. Precise and informative, obsessive compulsives will definitely love one of these in their showers.
7. Luna Faucet from Graff
Looking more like a Samurai sword rather than a bathroom fixture, the softly curved from Graff is a masterpiece of plumbing that exudes elegance. Available in polished chrome and brushed nickel, the 3 feet tall wall mounted faucet adds enduring inspiration to your bathroom design and easily becomes the main focal point.
8. +Shifter faucet
Car enthusiasts can now go frugal with water, thanks to the new . Drawing inspiration from a car’s gearbox, the exquisite concept by Shen Di, regulates the amount of water that we use. Sleek, minimal, and following an ultra-luxurious theme, this futuristic copper finished design is a clever little idea for the green-minded.
9. Fountain Tab
Can you imagine that some people come up with ideas to simplify the daily morning routine of teeth brushing? Dubbed the Tab and designed Jinsun Park & Byungmin Woo, this cool faucet looks like a cool water fountain, but the main feature is to keep cups away when you need to gargle. Less clutter thanks to a bit of over complexity is not a bad idea afterall, don’t you think?
10. Articulating Karbon Faucet by Kholer
With its sculptural and artistic edges that betrays the clever engineering, this by Kholer is a cool addition to the functional kitchen of your dreams. Designed for large spaces and to be used hands-free, you can pull it down into the sink when needed or you can tuck it away when not in use. Adding a tinge of enjoyment to your daily routine, the expensive ($925+) Karbon Faucet certainly knows how to look practical.
11. Bola See-through Faucet
The Bola see-through faucet is a modern design created by Agustin Otegui, the see-through faucet proves fascinating with a practical purpose that does not fail to impress. Crafted with special lights that illuminate the falling water, the plan was to create something nothing short of breathtaking. An amazing design exercise that looks clean,modern, yet simple, this hollow faucet looks perfect to take the burden away after a long day at the office.
12. The Faucet Buddy
The Faucet Buddy is a fascinating gadget that you can attach to your current faucet in an attempt to monitor your water temperature as well as how much you have used. Designed by Baek Uyeol following a sleek theme, this particular add-on features a LED screen that not only makes it easy to read, but also makes the whole installment uber-cool. Perfect for the geek at home, eh?
13. SmartFaucet by iHouse
High end technology and sophisticated design combined, that’s what the SmartFaucet by iHouse is all about. Designed to recognize the user and immediately adjust the temperature to their commonly used preferences, it features brightly colored and attractive LED lights that change according to the preferred setting. Capable of allowing you to check email or a calendar,the SmartFaucet more than high on technology.
14. ThinkGeek LED Faucet
LED Faucet lights are amongst the most popular in faucet technology and make for some strange sink, basin and faucet designs. But if you don’t believe us, look at this amazing faucet designed by the wicked folks at . Meant for those that want to harness the fascinating power of an LED controlled temperature monitoring system, the lights change according to the water temperature, and are great as a safety measure. It’s weird to wash your hands with some blood-red water, eh?
This article was written by Alex of Home Design Find. To learn more about home design trends, advice, and ideas please subscribe to our feed or email updates.