Cloud House makes it rain on demand with creative water harvesting system

March 23, 2017 by  
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You won’t have to do a rain dance to make it rain at the Cloud House—sitting in one of its rocking chairs should do the trick. Artist Matthew Mazzotta created the Cloud House, a gabled pavilion with a cloud-like sculpture that releases collected rainwater whenever someone sits inside the building. Crafted from reclaimed materials , the art installation was commissioned in Springfield, Missouri to bring attention to our dependence on natural systems, like the water cycle, that grow the food we eat. “Located at Springfield , MO’s largest farmers’ market, CLOUD HOUSE is a poetic counterpoint to the busy market, inviting visitors to a meditative space in which they can slow down, enjoy the fresh edible plants, and listen to rain on a tin roof,” writes Mazzotta. Topped with a cloud-shaped resin sculpture attached by a pipe, the gabled structure is built of barn wood and tin reclaimed from an abandoned Amish farm. Edible plants grow on the windowsills and the building’s two ends are left completely open to reveal a sparse interior decorated with two rocking chairs and a small table. https://vimeo.com/189592923 Related: Open House Renovates an Abandoned Building into a Transforming Open Air Theater Rainwater is collected with a gutter system that funnels the water into an underground storage tank. When someone sits on the rocking chair, a pump is triggered to bring the harvested rainwater up to the artificial cloud where it’s released as droplets onto the roof. The rainwater simulation waters the windowsill plants and creates a “warm pleasant sound of rain on a tin roof.” During periods of drought, however, the cloud will not rain to illustrate man’s dependence on the natural world. + Matthew Mazzotta Via Dezeen Images by Tim Hawley

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Cloud House makes it rain on demand with creative water harvesting system

Antique farm equipment reborn as delicate works of art

March 16, 2017 by  
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These stunning nature-inspired sculptures are so beautiful you might not notice at first glance what they’re carved from—old farm equipment. Self-taught artist Dan Rawlings recycles these discarded tools into canvases and sculptures . By giving these forgotten tools new life, he hopes to remind others to appreciate the value of our existing possessions and the environment rather than succumb to the never-ending excesses of commercialism. Based in Gloucestershire, UK, Rawlings is drawn to the fun challenge of working with old found objects that still have sentimental value even if they’re damaged beyond use. Using a variety of tools including a handheld plasma torch, welders , and scalpels, the artist reshapes and carves intricate nature-inspired scenes. He writes: “I try to create images that remind people of the moments when everything seems possible and free; times when climbing a tree, or sitting admiring the way its branches twist and curl means nothing, but means everything.” Related: Artist Nikki Ella Whitlock recycles wine bottle fragments into ethereal mosaics Although Rawlings works with many different materials, he’s most well known for metal carvings . His manipulation of metals can be seen in his reworking of old saws to the walls of vans. + Dan Rawlings

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Antique farm equipment reborn as delicate works of art

Donald Trump would probably hate this crossable border wall

March 1, 2017 by  
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As a tongue-in-cheek response to Donald Trump’s mission to build a wall along the US and Mexico border, Rotterdam-based Atelier ARI has created an art installation called Open Border. Created for the annual Winnipeg Warming Huts event, the bright orange 9-foot-tall, 120-foot-long “wall” is made of vertical plastic strips that easily let people pass through to the other side. The Winnipeg Warming Huts event is an arts competition that sees various designers install their art works along a long stretch of the Red River Mutual Trail. The open-air architecture gallery is known for having a number of fun, avant-garde designs, but this year, Atelier ARI’s winning installation is speaking volumes about Trump’s hard-line immigration policies. Related: Trump will give architects just five days to submit proposals for a Mexican border wall Visually, Open Border ‘s bright orange strips are in stunning contrast to the snowy landscape, inviting curious visitors to walk through from one side to the other. Although fun in nature, the protest art installation makes reference to a seriousness of the worrisome xenophobic international policies being demonstrated not only by the USA’s current administration, but worldwide. “Creating a wall or border on a route is one the most radical and unnatural architectural statements one can make, which was something we liked a lot,” de Grauw and den Berg told Co.Design . “The moment we came up with the wall we realized this would be a political act as well, relating to the speeches of Trump, but also refugee problems in Europe. [It’s] something you can pass through and a place to gather and warm up.” The design was strategically crafted to make people contemplate the issue as they pass through the orange curtains. The semi-opaqueness of the PVC strips cause people to be indistinguishable as they pass through, a metaphorical statement on the equality of the entire human race. Atelier ARI explains the significance, “Everybody in the wall becomes dark-red silhouettes. Everybody becomes the same.” + Atelier ARI Via Lost at E Minor

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Donald Trump would probably hate this crossable border wall

Rusty shovel heads transformed into delicate lace-inspired sculptures

February 27, 2017 by  
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Artist Denise Bizot has a gift for breathing new life into an unexpected medium—rusted shovel heads. The New Orleans-based artist retrieves discarded shovel heads from salvage yards and carves beautifully intricate lace-inspired designs into the rusted surfaces. She typically keeps the oxidized patina intact for the visual contrast between the weathered object and the delicate new designs. Formerly a drafter in the petroleum industry, Bizot returned to Loyola New Orleans to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a focus on sculpture. Her interest in found objects , particularly metals, sparked her metalworking craft and love of transforming discarded junk and debris found in New Orleans into beautiful sculptures. In addition to her reworked shovel heads and other sculptures, Bizot also creates more functional pieces such as metal room dividers and handmade tables. Related: Artist sculpts lifelike grizzly bear from recycled cardboard “Like many cities undergoing gentrification , New Orleans is replete with discarded metal, miscellaneous street junk and salvage yards teeming with all sorts of debris,” writes Bizot. “For me, the idea of reclaiming, deconstructing and transforming “so-called junk” into works of sculpture is fascinating.” + Denise Bizot

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Rusty shovel heads transformed into delicate lace-inspired sculptures

Check out the vibrant outdoor art gallery coming to NYC’s High Line park

February 24, 2017 by  
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High Line Art , the arm of Friends of the High Line that manages its public art projects, reviewed more than 50 proposals before shortlisting 12 for the inaugural Plinth commissions. The artists, who hail from all corners of the globe, include veterans such as Haim Steinbach and Charles Gaines, mid-careerists like Matthew Day Jackson and Cosima von Bonin, and emerging talents such as Minerva Cuevas, Lena Henke, and Jonathan Berger. “The High Line Plinth will provide artists with an opportunity to work on a larger scale than ever before possible on the High Line, and to engage with the breathtaking vistas that open up around this new site,” said Cecilia Alemani, director and chief curator of High Line Art. “As a new landmark to this space, the High Line Plinth will create a new symbol of this incredible nexus of horticulture, art, and public space in the ever-evolving metropolis that is New York City.” For the 2.3 million visitors the High Line receives annually, the Plinth provides an opportunity unlike any other: “free, world-class artwork 365 days a year,” according to Robert Hammond, co-founder and executive director of Friends of the High Line. “The High Line Plinth will expand the program’s impact by creating a one-of-a-kind destination for public art on the Spur, a new section of the park with even more space for public programming and dynamic horticulture,” he said. The Fourth Plinth has served as a stage for subversive, politically charged, or otherwise controversial pieces that have fueled debate. The High Line Plinth is expected to be no different, Alemani said. Ascent of a Woman , an entry from New York’s Lena Henke, is a “singular, gigantic, upturned” breast that will slowly erode in the face of the elements. The breast’s outer layer of soil, sand, and clay will eventually give way to new forms cast into the inner mold. Unapologetically sensual, the work pits the city and the body in a “surreal entanglement … challenging New York City’s rational and modernist approach to public space.” Los Angeles–based Sam Durant proposes an abstract representation of an unmanned Predator drone, rotating like a wind vane atop a 20-foot column. In the shadow of the aircraft, visitors may imagine the specter of surveillance casting a creeping, growing influence across the world. Paola Pivi, who was born in Italy but lives and works in Anchorage, Alaska, suggests a 20-foot-high reproduction of the Statue of Liberty wearing an inflatable cartoon-style mask in the guise of someone who has gained his or her freedom in the United States, or seeks to do so. The stories of the individuals featured would be made available to visitors online. Less polarizing, perhaps, is Londoner Jeremy Deller’s slide, which takes the form of a giant chameleon. “There is something magical about chameleons; they can do things that we can only dream of,” he explained. To start with, High Line Art wants to whittle the proposals down to two—you can vote for your favorites , or, if you prefer, recommend something else altogether. “I am excited to work with artists who think critically about the meaning of public space and public life, and create artworks that not only respond to the site, but also spark conversations among a wide audience,” Alemani added. + The High Line Plinth + The High Line Via Curbed

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Check out the vibrant outdoor art gallery coming to NYC’s High Line park

Futuristic canopy made of knitted textile solar panels wins 2017 Young Architects Program at MoMA

February 21, 2017 by  
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Since 2000, New York City’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) PS1 art gallery brings to life experimental outdoor installations every summer—and this year’s winning design is shaping up to be its most innovative project yet. Ithaca-based design practice Jenny Sabin Studio won the 2017 MoMA PS1’s Young Architecture Program competition with their proposal of a futuristic shelter made from robotically knitted textile solar panels. The project, called Lumen, is a “knitted light” structure that will immerse visitors in a cooling microclimate during the day and in an ethereal immersive environment at night that glows using energy collected from the sun. Now in its 18th edition, the Young Architects Program gives emerging architects and designers the chance to build a temporary outdoor installation in the MoMA PS1 courtyard in Long Island City. Proposals were required to provide shelter, seating, and water, while also addressing environmental issues that include sustainability and recycling. Jenny Sabin Studio’s winning Lumen will feature a robotically woven canopy made of recycled photoluminescent textiles that collect solar energy to produce light. Misting systems built into tubular structures called “fabric stalactites” will keep visitors cool during hot days. Related: First Ever Mushroom Tower Sprouts at MoMA PS1 in New York Initially developed for Nike, Lumen’s high-tech fabric canopy is a cross-disciplinary experiment that merges elements of architecture with biology, materials science, mathematics, and engineering. Jenny Sabin Studio writes: “The project is mathematically generated through form-finding simulations informed by the sun, site, materials, program, and the structural morphology of knitted cellular components. Resisting a biomimetic approach, Lumen employs an analogic design process where complex material behavior and processes are integrated with personal engagement and diverse programs. Lumen undertakes rigorous interdisciplinary experimentation to produce a multisensory environment that is full of delight, inspiring collective levity, play, and interaction as the structure and materials transform throughout the day and night.” Lumen will be open to the public at the MoMA PS1 courtyard on June 29, 2017 and will serve as the backdrop for Warm Up, the art gallery’s annual outdoor music series. + Jenny Sabin Studio Via Architectural Record Images via Jenny Sabin Studio

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Giant glowing bamboo orbs create a magical hideaway in Taiwan

February 9, 2017 by  
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Bamboo weaving is an ancient and endangered craft but a visionary Taiwanese artist has revived the art with a modern, community-oriented project. Cheng-Tsung Feng , a designer who specializes in bamboo craft design and art, completed Beside, a public art installation featuring two giant and globular installations made from Taiwanese Moso bamboo. These sculptural pieces, installed in Taiwan’s Teng Yu-Hsien Music Culture Park in Qionglin Township, were created with the help of 60 local residents and are lit at night to glow like beautiful paper lanterns. The Beside public art installation comprises two bamboo spheres, the larger of which measures approximately 12.25 square meters in area and 4.3 meters in height, while the smaller measures one square meter and 1.35 meters in height. The sculptures are large enough for adults and children to enter and provide a beautiful space for relaxation day and night. Each steel-framed bamboo sphere was made using circle weaving and random weaving techniques. The porous, lace-like pattern with differently shaped and sized holes allows for views and airflow. Related: Artist Weaves Together Massive Basket-like Bamboo Tunnel for Australian Music Festival Feng designed and constructed the sculptures with help from the community . “If they can participate together, then there will be more feelings attached,” said Feng. The sixty locals who participated in the project had no prior experience with bamboo weaving, however, they were taught easy and simple “random weaving” techniques in as little as a couple hours. “This project enables an opportunity for the residents to be in contact with the endangered traditional weaving culture, which is fading away from our daily life,” wrote the artist. “By means of the co-production with the residents, the traditional craft art is no longer a professional skill, but an approachable wisdom for ordinary people.” + Cheng-Tsung Feng Images by LIN, CI-XIA

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Wool art installation repurposed into blankets for Syrian refugees

February 7, 2017 by  
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Although many of the exhibitions from the 2016 Amman Design Week surely left quite an impression on visitors, there is one art installation in particular whose longevity will be tangible for years to come. ENTRELAC by fiber artist Rayah Kassisieh was initially a monumental installation made up of 350 kilograms of un-dyed, handknitted wool strands that gracefully hung from the ceiling. However, once the event came to a close, the Brooklyn-based artist set out to repurpose her artwork into blankets for Syrian refugees and Jordanian families. The initial artwork consisted of enormous wool strands that represented the relationship between digital design and traditional craft. The artist used computational modeling to determine the intricate design of the strands, but the work was mainly the result of hand-crafted excellence by a team of talented seamstress es. The 28 large knit strands were cut and stitched by hand by twenty Jordanian women working from their homes or small workshops. Related: Ikea flat-pack refugee shelters awarded Design of the Year Once the event was coming to a close, the artist worked in collaboration with NADAAA ,  Boston-based architecture and urban design firm led by  designer Nader Tehrani, and the Amman Design Week team to repurpose her work into blankets. The same women who created the initial piece for the event then took on the responsibility to transform the material into 38 blankets for those in need . + Rayah Kassisieh  + NADAAA Photography by Hareth Tabbalat

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Wool art installation repurposed into blankets for Syrian refugees

Artists build treehouse ‘Visitor Center’ at Mexican border

February 6, 2017 by  
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Putting a sardonic, yet poignant twist to typical welcoming centers seen in national parks, Japanese artist collective, Chim?Pom has created a “U.S.A Visitor’s Center” on the Tijuana border. The treehouse shack is perched high in a tree overlooking the border wall that separates Tijuana from San Diego, California. The “Visitors Center” is a rickety wooden structure that sits precariously among the feeble tree limbs located on a family home in Colonia Libertad area. The desolate Mexican neighborhood has seen countless amounts of Mexican migrants pass through on their way to cross the border. The artist collective, (formed in Tokyo in 2005) met the owners, whose self-built house sits adjacent to the treehouse, while visiting Mexico last year. Related: Apartments made out of re-used materials pop-up in protest of the housing crisis in Munich The Japanese team installed the protest art installation last July as a metaphor of the “unreachable USA”. One of the artists in the collective, Ellie, was previously denied entry into the country when working with a Japanese TV crew. In an interview with Hyperallergic, Chim?Pom explained the inspiration behind the project, “National parks like the Grand Canyon have visitor centers to learn about places that you cannot enter. In Tijuana, there are many people who cannot enter the US. So for people like them and Ellie, this is a USA Visitor Center to think about what America is.” In clear view of the treehouse, the artists also placed a white cross on the American side of the border. With a little help from the community, Chim?Pom scaled the border wall to place the cross there as a symbolic gesture to liberty. Next to the cross, the artists dug a circular hole paying tribute to a previous installation. Both of the installations, “Libertad” and “The Ground” represent a place of “in-betweenness and uncertainty”, a state many immigrants can relate to these days under Donald Trump’s immigration ban . Both of the US-based installations will most likely be removed soon by authorities, but the Visitor’s Center is on private land, hopefully ensuring a little longevity. “Since it’s a center to view ‘Libertad’ and ‘The Grounds,’ it’s essentially like an art gallery, but once those two works are removed it won’t have that function,” Chim?Pom said. “But you’ll still be able to look over the US, and if a new wall is built, you would be able to see the construction.” + Chim?Pom Via Hyperallergic Photography via Chim?Pom and MUJIN-TO Production. Lead photo by Osamu Matsuda.

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Artists build treehouse ‘Visitor Center’ at Mexican border

Polish village heals post-WWII blues with hand-painted homes

February 6, 2017 by  
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The small village of Zalipie, Poland leaves a big, bright, and beautiful impression on travelers. Everywhere you look you will see hand-painted floral designs on homes, barns, bridges, wells, and chicken coops. The tradition began a century ago, but only within the last few decades was it transformed into an annual contest to turn the tiny town into a living piece of art, and heal post-WWII blues at the same time. 100 years ago, locals would touch up their homes for the holidays by painting over soot stains caused by their wood-burning stoves. Often, this would not completely cover up the marks, so people got creative. The practice of painting flowers began informally and blossomed into a town tradition over the years. And the designs spread outside the home to the exterior of buildings and even backyard and community structures. Related: Poland unveils glowing bright blue bike lane that’s charged by the sun The trend continued over the decades, and then a new annual contest was created to bring up the spirits of the local community after WWII . The Malowana Chata (Painted Cottage) competition officially became an event in 1965 and still continues today. The media have improved from cooking fat-based paints to more hardy materials and the villagers have worked hard to preserve as much of the original artwork as they can. Zalipie is only an hour and a half outside of Krakow, so visitors traveling by car can easily enjoy the breathtaking blooms. Via Mental Floss Images via Flickr  (CC BY-ND 2.0)  ( 1 , 2 , 3 ), Wikimedia ( 1 , 2 , 3 )

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