Glowing circle made from thousands of recycled notebooks celebrate Bilbaos book festival

June 1, 2017 by  
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Don’t be fooled by the perfect circular shape of this glowing installation in Bilbao. A closer look reveals that the seemingly solid plane is actually made from thousands of illuminated notebooks. Created by anonymous artist collective Luzinterruptus , this curious installation, called Denboran Zehar, uses community interaction to rethink recycled materials . Commissioned by Azkuna Zentroa, Luzinterruptus crafted Denboran Zehar for the 10th anniversary of Gutun Zuria (Bilbao Internacional Literature Festival) in April 2017. In light of the anniversary, the designers wanted to pay homage to the themes of creation and time. “To this end, we looked for a way to make the traces left by time visible over a material associated with creation,” wrote the designers. We thought of those basic white paper notebooks so feared by artists when they are blank, and so beloved when they have been satisfactorily used, even becoming true objects of devotion despite their modest appearance. Within the alarming “anti-aging” context where we are currently immersed, we thought it would be interesting to give life to this idea.” As with most of Luzinterruptus’ projects , recycled materials were primarily used. The artists collected 5,000 recycled paper notebooks and asked the Bilbao community to leave anonymous writings and drawings on the pages. The thousands of notebooks were then individually equipped with lights and arranged in a large perfect circle on Azkuna Zentroa’s outdoor terrace. Related: Luminous floating rings in London are made from 13,000 recycled plastic bottles Luzinterruptus exposed the ephemeral installation to the elements for 25 days, allowing time and weather to deteriorate the notebooks. “These interventions surely suffered severe mutations and both, the colors and the materials, eventually blended, blurring the messages so, to our surprise, everything ended up acquiring a strange homogeneity within the purest eclecticism.” On the last day of the installation, Luzinterruptus moved the artwork indoors and gifted the illuminated notebooks to visitors. + Luzinterruptus

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Glowing circle made from thousands of recycled notebooks celebrate Bilbaos book festival

Giant animal faces take over Mexico Citys forest for environmental awareness

May 26, 2017 by  
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Thousands of visitors to a Mexico City park were treated to an eerie sight in the treetops last weekend. Giant ghostly animals heads peered down from the canopy, fixing their intense gaze on the public in an environmental video installation for Marvin Festival 2017 . Designed by studio Maizz Visual , the ephemeral intervention, called Animal Watching, was created to raise awareness about the destruction of ecosystems and animal species. According to the WWF , almost half of the world’s wild animals have disappeared due to habitat destruction since 1975. In a bid to raise awareness about animal habitat loss , Maizz Visual transformed the forest into a canvas for art. The team, which has created similar interventions in the past, used a video projector of 15,000 lumens and tele zoom optics to project 3D animations of animals onto the canopy. The animals’ giant 3D images appear startlingly lifelike with their animated movements and the depth experience of 3D created through the mix of light and tree leaves. A total of eight different animal faces appeared and disappeared in a continuous seven-minute loop put on between the evening hours of 8:30 and 11. Related: Pre-Hispanic Corn Gods Protest Genetically Modified Maize in Mexico City “The animals had intense eyes that watched and followed the public passing by,” wrote the designers. “Animal Watching positively surprised thousands of viewers while, at least, for a brief moment, made the public thinking about animals with respect and admiration.” + Maizz Visual Images by Revista Marvin

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Giant animal faces take over Mexico Citys forest for environmental awareness

INTERVIEW: Designer Daan Roosegaarde on smog temples, space trash, and what’s next

May 22, 2017 by  
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We’ve built cities that do us harm, according to groundbreaking Netherlands designer Daan Roosegaarde . Along with his team at Studio Roosegaarde , he’s tackling the pollution we’ve generated in our metropolises, through the power of design . Roosegarde’s Smog Free Project is currently touring China—their most recent stop is Tianjin —and Inhabitat spoke with Roosegaarde about the project and how design can help us shape a cleaner, more beautiful urban future . Check out our interview after the break… INHABITAT: What inspired you to tackle the problem of city pollution with design? ROOSEGAARDE: I’ve been working on landscapes of the future in the last five years, making dance floors which produce electricity when you dance on them, or bicycle paths which are charged by the sun and glow at night. I love to make public spaces which trigger people in a poetical or pragmatic way. Three and a half years ago, I was being triggered by Asia and its curiosity towards the future. On Saturday, I could see the world around me in Beijing on my 32rd floor room, but on Wednesday and Thursday it was completely covered in smog . It was a wake-up moment. I knew it was bad but it’s something different when it’s visual. Governments all around the world are investing in clean technology , electric cars, or more bicycle sharing programs, but that takes quite a long time, like 10 to 15 years, to make an impact. I wanted to make something that has an impact now. Delhi is actually worse, in India. You’re sort of trapped in a bubble which is pushing on you, which is suppressing you. You feel nauseous at the end of the day. It’s weird that we created cities which do harm to us, which are almost like machines. And again it’s not just Beijing. Every big city has its problems with pollution. It’s a global issue. INHABITAT: When did you start to realize that design could offer an answer? ROOSEGAARDE: Two days later, I remembered when I was a boy, a long time ago, I always had to go to these boring children’s parties. I was playing with plastic balloons, and when you polish a plastic balloon with your hand, it becomes static: static electricity, and it attracts your hair. I can remember when I was like eight years old I was mesmerized by that. It’s like an invisible force. It is a gift from nature. So that memory pops up out of the blue, and then the idea came: what if we could use that kind of principle to build the largest smog vacuum cleaner in the world, which sucks up polluted air, cleans it, and releases clean air . So at least we have local parks where people can experience clean air. We made a very, very simple animation the day after, and then we started to talk with the indoor air purifying experts who’ve been working on this for 20 or 30 years. We made a lot of prototypes and tests and a year and half after that moment we built the first one in Rotterdam . This project is self-commissioned. We spend our own time, money, and energy at the studio. No client is going to call me and ask, “Can you make a Smog Free Tower?” So that’s also part of innovation : you launch your own projects, and now people all around the world are coming and calling, they want to be part of it. We’ve proven that it works. It’s really important to keep investing in your own ideas. INHABITAT: As you’re traveling through China, what do you hope people take away from the tour of the Smog Free Project? First the local people, and then also the government officials that see the towers? ROOSEGAARDE: What we want to achieve is two things. One, it’s a local solution on a park level: to create these bubbles of clean air in the city. And that has been proven quite effective: 55 to 70 percent cleaner than the rest of the city. This week is very, very important for us because we’re launching independent scientific research done by the Eindhoven University of Technology with Professor Bert Blocken, a renowned expert in fine particles. They have done extended measurements and research, and this week we’re launching a report which proves the impact and effect of the tower on the local scale: it collects 70 percent PM 10 and 50 percent PM 2.5 on the park scale level. So that’s very positive. And that’s an independent study from a university, you can’t buy them. And it’s being validated now, being peer reviewed and will be published in the coming months. So the idea was to create local places where people can feel the difference, where they can smell the difference, and where they can experience the future. The second goal is to start a conversation. To say, “hey guys, students, makers, scientists, whomever, what do we need to do to make a whole city smog free?” So we did Smog Free Workshops and the response has been great. We had a girl who made fashion which changes in color when the smog level is too high. We had a Beijing designer who made a sort of wearable greenhouse, like a backpack, so you can breathe in clean air from the plants you’re carrying with you. This has been really great to activate the discussion. The final solution in that way is government with a focus on clean air, electrical cars, green technology, etc.; that’s top down, but we want to move bottom up and tackle all of that, and we meet in the middle and that creates impact, that creates change. From these sessions, from one at Tsinghua University in Beijing, new ideas popped up like the Smog Free Bicycle . The bicycle sucks up polluted air, cleans it, and releases it as clean air. The technology is similar to the Smog Free Tower. Beijing was a cycling city 10 or 12 years ago, and that completely disappeared because everybody wanted a car, and everybody now is in a traffic jam and it’s polluted. But the bicycle is a powerful cultural icon. So we want to bring back the bicycle and upgrade it in the celebration of the bicycle in the fight against car pollution. This is also part of the Smog Free Project; it’s the next big idea we’re spending time and energy on. It’s been intense, it’s a politically-centered topic, it’s something new, people have to get used to it. Everybody has opinions about it. Very few have proposals. But step by step we’re creating impact. INHABITAT: I heard about the Smog Free Bicycles and I wanted to ask about those: how the idea came about and the also a little bit more about how they work. ROOSEGAARDE: The idea of enhancing bicycles has been around for a while. For example, Matt Hope , a Beijing artist, worked on it years ago, and before that some other artists as well. So we did the workshop with him in Beijing, and with students from Tsinghua University. They have a lot of bicycle sharing programs like Mobike, and so that’s where we got the idea and thought what if we could take it and push it further. The bicycle releases clean air in area around the face. We don’t want to work with masks or anything; it should be a kind of plug-in to the existing bicycle. Why not, right? We came so far with making crazy ideas happen, this should be doable as well. What is fascinating with innovation, with new ideas, is that in the beginning, there are always some people—most of them are enthusiastic but there are always some people who say, “It’s not allowed,” or “You cannot do it.” But you know what happens now with the Smog Free Project, I have top officials from the government coming to me, and saying, “Oh that’s a good idea, why didn’t you do it before?” I’m saying this with a smile; it’s one of the things about innovation, and you have to go through it, but that’s good, that means you are changing something. You are changing a mentality. But you have to fight for it. INHABITAT: Last year the China Forum of Environmental Journalists suggested that the Smog Free Tower in Beijing wasn’t doing its job effectively. What do you think of their findings? ROOSEGAARDE: I read that. It’s quite difficult, because I’ve never met the people, and I’m curious what they based on findings on. I think it’s really good people are engaged with the project, and are thinking about it, and are discussing it: what should be, what shouldn’t it be; so I think that’s positive. We knew the tower worked, and we now have the scientific data to back us up. And yeah, let’s keep on pushing what is possible. But basically, the idea is very simple: build the largest vacuum cleaner in the world, so of course it works. I find it hard to grasp how it could not work. What I think is, everybody has opinions, but let’s work at proposals. INHABITAT: Based on discussions around the tower, do you think you’ll change the design of the tower at all or do you think it’s working well for the goal you have for it? ROOSEGAARDE: We’re not changing the design of the tower. Why would I? No, we’re going to keep it like this. The name and design are going to stay like this. I think maybe in the future, I’ll have some new ideas. We want to make it run on solar panels , that’s an important one. And we’re designing bigger versions for larger public spaces. There will be new versions, but this one that we have is perfectly fine. The design is based on Chinese pagodas, Chinese temples. So there’s also this history element in it, and the Chinese love it. When they visit here they lovingly call it the Clean Air Temple. But I think your question is valid. One tower will of course not the solve the whole problem of a city, that is very clear. I think the goal is to create these local clean air parks, and at the same time educate people, to say hey, what do we need to do to make the whole city smog free? There’s a lot of work to be done. We shouldn’t wait for government. We shouldn’t wait for anyone. INHABITAT: You’ve devoted a lot of creative energy to smog and pollution in the last few years. But recently you’ve turned your attention to space trash. Why do you think this is a serious issue, and how can design help solve the problem? ROOSEGAARDE: When you start something new, you always start as an amateur. You start to read, to learn, to talk with the experts. Now I can say I’m an expert in smog after three years, which is great, but it’s always nice to be an amateur again. So now I’m an amateur in space waste . There are millions of particles floating caused by satellites crashing. And it’s a big problem, because if particles like these hit an existing satellite, the satellite goes down, and no more Facebook, no more Inhabitat, no more mobile banking, and nobody really knows how to clean it. And it’s going to get worse. If we continue like this for the coming five to 10 years there will be so much pollution we won’t even be able to launch missiles anymore because they’ll be damaged by particles. Space is endless, and then we have planet Earth floating here, and somehow we were able to trap ourselves in a layer of space pollution. How are we going to explain that to our grandchildren? That’s insane. So what the Smog Free Ring is for Beijing, and what the Smog Free Tower is for China, can we apply that thinking to space waste? I don’t know how and what or when. I’ve had several sessions with space scientists. It is a problem, and somebody needs to fix it. And that’s been fascinating. So that’s the next adventure. For me, a project like this not just about technology or ideology. I’m a trained artist, so for me it’s about the notion of beauty, or of schoonheid. “Schoonheid” is a very typical Dutch word that has two meanings. One is like the beauty of a painting that you look at and then get inspired. But it also means cleanness, like clean energy, clean water, clean air. That element of schoonheid is what I’m striving for. When we design cities or a product or a car or a landscape, schoonheid should be part of the DNA, and we should really start making places which are good for people. This is the big idea we’re aiming for, and in a way all the projects we’ve been talking about are sort of prototypes or examples. INHABITAT: Your work often explores relationships between humans and technology, but you have also been critical of all the time we spend in front of screens. How would you describe a healthy relationship with technology? ROOSEGAARDE: I think it’s bizarre that we’re feeding into our emotions, our hopes, and dreams into these computer screens. We’re feeding this virtual cloud: Facebook, Twitter. And somehow our physical world is almost disconnected from creative or innovative thinking. Most of the physical places are suffering from pollution, floods, you name it. And that’s sort of weird. Our ideas, our money, our focus is online. I would love to connect these worlds again, the virtual and the analog and really say, “Hey, how can we use technology—and design, and creative thinking—to improve life and make places which are good for people again?” Is it George Orwell, are we reducing human activity, or is it Leonardo Da Vinci, where we enhance ourselves as human beings via technology? If you read like Bruce Sterling or Kevin Kelly, they have been talking about that for many years, which I really, really like. And I hope that the prototypes or projects I’ve made somehow contribute to that way of thinking, of enhancing yourself and exploring yourself. At the World Economic Forum, they had Top 10 Skills research about the future skills you and I need to become successful. Number three is creativity, number two critical thinking, and number one is complex problem solving. What I think will happen is that as we live in a hyper-technological world, our human skills: our desire for knowledge, our desire for beauty, our desire for empathy, and our desire for interaction, will become even more important because that is something robots and computers cannot copy or do for us. I believe we will have a renaissance of the arts and sciences . I hope again that the things I do contribute to that trajectory. INHABITAT What are three major things you’d change in today’s cities to make them more sustainable? ROOSEGAARDE: I think I mentioned it with schoonheid: clean energy , clean water, clean air. And maybe the notion of circular: food  should not be wasted but become food for the other. Most of all I hope it’s a city which triggers me, where I feel like a citizen and not just a taxpayer. I’ve been thinking of Marshall McLuhan in the past few weeks. In Vancouver, I gave a TED talk, and quoted McLuhan who said “On spacecraft Earth there are no passengers; we are all crew.” We’re makers; we’re not just consumers. And so how can we make landscapes which trigger that kind of mentality? That’s what wakes me up every day at 6:30. And again, my designs are in that way not just designs or art installations but really very concrete proposals of how I want the future to look like. It’s been great to work with designers, experts, and engineers to make it happen. I think that’s good to mention because sometimes the focus is a bit too much on me, but we have a great studio in Rotterdam where 16 people are working really, really hard every day, and without them I could never make it happen. INHABITAT: What’s next? Do you have any plans for future projects in the works? ROOSEGAARDE: We’re working on the redesign of Afsluitdijk Dike, it’s a famous 32-kilometer dam in the Netherlands that protects us from drowning and dying. What you should know is dikes in the Netherlands are as holy as cows are in India. Now after almost 80 years the dike is in need of renovation, and the minister of infrastructure , Melanie Schultz, commissioned my studio to enhance the iconic value of that dike. And that’s going to be great. We’re going to make kites in the air, which connected with a cable generate electricity. We’re working with light-emitting algae. We’re launching three more new projects in September, October, and November of this year. + Studio Roosegaarde Images courtesy of Studio Roosegaarde

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INTERVIEW: Designer Daan Roosegaarde on smog temples, space trash, and what’s next

School principal uses $22,000 of paint to transform former slum into a rainbow wonderland

May 16, 2017 by  
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We all know a fresh coat of paint does wonders for a room but what about repainting an entire town? That’s exactly what this small village in Indonesia did and the results are nothing short of spectacular. Armed with just $22,000 worth of paint, Kampung Pelangi transformed their village in Semarang into a multicolored wonderland and Instagrammer’s paradise . Kampung Pelangi was formerly known as Kampung Wonosari and a slum in a prior life. But thanks to the colorful makeover, the village has been skyrocketed into an international tourist destination. #Repost @lutfianaa18 with @repostapp ??? Angel?? #desawisatabejalen #kaliwernobejalen #bejalen #kampungpelangi A post shared by Desa Wisata Bejalen (@desa_wisata_bejalen) on May 15, 2017 at 3:37pm PDT – Rame ya warnanya ? . pict by @septiyan_dwi_cahya . . ? Kampung Pelangi Kalisari, Semarang – . #semarangexplore #kampungpelangi #kampungpelangikalisari #kampungpelangisemarang #eksploresemarang A post shared by EXPLORE SEMARANG (@semarangexplore) on May 9, 2017 at 9:39pm PDT The Kampung Pelangi aka. Rainbow Village. The rainbow village in Indonesia, called Kampung Pelangi, is trending on social media after a government-funded project transformed it into a vibrant Instagram hotspot. The once struggling village, originally named Kampung Wonosari, located in Randusari in the South Semarang district, was considered a slum before the local government officials decided to turn things around. – #6s #kampong #slumarea #kampungpelangi #semarang #blusukanSMG #streetventurejkt #makkiimages2017 A post shared by Safir Makki (@safirmakki) on May 15, 2017 at 4:35am PDT Kampung Pelangi Kota Semarang~ Mantaaaapppp ??? #semarang #kotasemarang #jawatengah #semaranghits #semarangcity #kampungpelangi #semaranghebat #wisatasemarang #semarangexplore #wisata #indonesia A post shared by J Roymond BP (@roymondbp) on May 12, 2017 at 1:55am PDT The stunning transformation was the brainchild of Slamet Widodo, a local high school principal who wanted to beautify his town and attract visitors. Mayor of Semarang, Hendrar Prihadi, secured a budget of Rp 300 million (approximately $22,000 USD) and even helped the villagers with painting. The Indonesian Builders Association in Semarang provided paint and additional help. Hello Semarang, this is featured from @riza_fe taken at #kampungpelangi Want to be the next featured? Tag your best photos with #randomsemarang A post shared by #RANDOMSEMARANG (@randomsemarang) on May 12, 2017 at 3:57am PDT bagus yah? nice picture cute models #kampungpelangi #rainbowvillage #banjarbarupunya #sumberadi A post shared by andini giovalany, southborneo (@lalan_lingling) on May 15, 2017 at 10:01pm PDT Temenan itu kyk AADC = APA AJA DI CANDAIN ?? #ambarawa #ambarawahitz #kampungpelangi #threesecondmoment #lfl #followforfollow A post shared by tortor (@iqbaltoriq06) on May 15, 2017 at 8:38pm PDT Setiap hal nang pian ketujui.Manggambarakan siapa diri pian sebujurnya.Jadi mun pian ketuju lawan hal nang baik, itu artinya ada kebaikan dalam diri pian.Kaya itu jua sebaliknya. #fotografer @rizkiamalia_aya ?? . #kampungpelangi #ngehitz #banjarmasin #like4like #kalian #bumiketupat #kandangan #banjarbarupunya A post shared by Ardy Agata (@anak_singkung) on May 15, 2017 at 7:32pm PDT @Regrann from @isnaininurul51 – Andaiku punya sayap.. ? . #abaikankostumnya #bukansalahkostum #kampungpelangi #bejalen #ambarawa #semarang #semaranghits #dolansemarang – #regrann A post shared by Jan De Hert ?? (@dehertjan) on May 15, 2017 at 3:18pm PDT Related: Indonesia pledges $1 billion annually to tackle ocean pollution problem The freshly painted village is home to 223 rainbow -colored homes and the mayor hopes to extend that number to 390. Each house was painted at least three different colors and some feature artwork . Colorful Indonesia! ?? #colors #colorful #indonesia #village #decouverte #travel #voyage #kampungpelangi A post shared by Open Minded (@openmindedmag) on May 15, 2017 at 8:51am PDT Semarang juga punya…. @semarangexplore #rainbow #kampungpelangi #semaranghebat #semaranghits #semarangcity #kotasemarang #DISTARUHEBAT #pasarkembangkalisari #gunungbrintik #visitsemarang #visitjateng #wisatasemarang #exploresemarang #semarangexplore #photoshop A post shared by Achmad Syarifudin (@jalidin) on May 15, 2017 at 6:55am PDT Pilih lah jalan yang benar untuk masa depan #malangmegilan #malangkotadingin #kampungpelangi A post shared by fian (@ahmadfian14) on May 15, 2017 at 5:59am PDT Benches and bridges also received the colorful treatment. The social project, which was completed last month, is heralded as a success in rejuvenating the town, uniting the community, and stimulating the local economy with an influx of tourists. Via Archdaily Images by Arie Prakman Nek misale urip mu kurang berwarna.. cobo dolano mrene.. ? . . . . . . . . . #kampungtridi #kampungtridimalang #kampungpelangi #visitmalang #exploremalang #goesmalang #malang #malanghits #myexplorer #ootd #mbolang #damnilovemalang #damniloveindonesia #parapetualang #parapejalan #idpetualang #nvlindonesia #nvljatim #yicam #yicamera #warnawarni #indonesiaituindah #instaphotography #instaadict #instaadventure #instagram #like4like #like4follow #likeforfollow A post shared by Rizky ardhyanto (@rizky_ardhy) on May 15, 2017 at 4:46am PDT Kampung Pelangi Semarang…mengubah yang kusam menjadi indah berwarna-warni…#kampungpelangi #kampungtematik A post shared by endang sukarjati (@endangsjati) on May 15, 2017 at 3:56am PDT The Kampung Pelangi aka. Rainbow Village. The rainbow village in Indonesia, called Kampung Pelangi, is trending on social media after a government-funded project transformed it into a vibrant Instagram hotspot. The once struggling village, originally named Kampung Wonosari, located in Randusari in the South Semarang district, was considered a slum before the local government officials decided to turn things around. – #6s #kampong #slumarea #kampungpelangi #semarang #blusukanSMG #streetventurejkt #makkiimages2017 A post shared by Safir Makki (@safirmakki) on May 15, 2017 at 3:23am PDT Nongkrong dulu ..#semarang #semarangan #semaranghits #dolansemarang #kampungpelangi #semarangbaru A post shared by D Mahendra Putra (@mahendra__putra) on May 15, 2017 at 2:55am PDT Kampung pelangi .. Warna warni seperti dirimu … #semaranghits #dolansemarang #semarang #semarangan #kampungpelangi A post shared by D Mahendra Putra (@mahendra__putra) on May 14, 2017 at 10:10pm PDT Musim hujan.. Sedia payung sebelum hujan?????? Payung Kehidupan bersamamu untuk memulai msa depan yg cerah..?? . Ekspresikan gayamu dgn grafiti cantik dan menarik di kampung pelangi?? . Loc: Kampoeng Pelangi, Banjarbaru . . . . #visitkalsel #wargabanua #infobanjar #banjarinfo #seputarbanjar #klikbanjar #instakalsel #instabanjar #shalokalwisatalokerbanjar #kampungpelangi #banjarbaru A post shared by Fahrina Supianida, S.Ars (@rierinryukyu) on May 14, 2017 at 9:02pm PDT Hello hari gini masih fobia menutup aurat??? Fobia kalo dijemput Allah pas lg ngumbar aurat ??? #kampungpelangi #wisatabanjarbaru #gerakanberhijab #pulkadot #monocrome #seputarbanjar #beraniberhijrah #mariberhijab #hijrah #hijabfashion #huntingphoto #hijablover #hijabsyari #huntingfoto #banjarbaru #explorekalsel #explorebanjarbaru #catatanhati #wanitahijab #pinklovers #photoshoot? #photography #muslimah #sahabatsholehah #instakalsel #jalanjalan #weekend #instakalsel #hijabindonesia #muslimahbanua #wanitahijab #gerakanberanisyari A post shared by Ainur Yusridha Jannati (@ai_nezt) on May 14, 2017 at 5:37am PDT #kampungpelangi #ngarames #semarang #semaranghits A post shared by Tyok Br@ndyz (@fuadprastyo25) on May 14, 2017 at 5:38am PDT #wisatadadakan #kampungpelangi #kalisari #explore #wisatasemarang #dolansemarang A post shared by Leo_Zodiak_Ku (@ponco.haryadi) on May 14, 2017 at 1:58am PDT

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School principal uses $22,000 of paint to transform former slum into a rainbow wonderland

Japanese food artist carves fruits into incredible masterpieces using just an X-Acto knife

May 15, 2017 by  
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Playing with your food is generally frowned upon, but Japanese artist Gaku elevates humble fruits and veggies into art with his skilled and gorgeous carvings . With a simple X-Acto knife, he expertly embellishes radishes, papaya, apples, taro root and more. Honoring and exploring the Japanese and Thai traditions of food carving, Gaku makes precise cuts into his chosen fruit or vegetable. His designs often take on traditional Japanese floral and wave patterns and are amazingly detailed and intricate, especially considering the ephemeral nature of his creations . Some of his elaborate works incorporate real and fantastical animals , such as a crab design carved into an apple or dragons carved into eggplant or a banana. As bananas are cheap and readily available, Gaku says they are an good option for practicing food carving. Gaku’s attention to detail and careful cuts are truly impressive. This self-taught food artist began food carving as a hobby, and he is also a chef. Related| Extraordinary banana art etchings are inspiring and edible One of the most amazing elements of these designs is how quickly Gaku must work. As any foodie knows, bananas, apples, and avocados are fickle, turning brown and less visually attractive within mere minutes. Gaku’s pristine photos, which he chronicles on Instagram , barely show any sign of the dreaded oxidation . Almost 60,000 followers anxiously await his next mukimono-style food carving. In addition to apples and lemons, Gaku has carved pumpkins, carrots, zucchini, and some type of leaf or stalk, which he transformed into grasshoppers. One of the ideas behind these food carvings is to appreciate the beauty of simple fruits and vegetables, and we love how the stunning images instantly expand viewer’s artistic imaginations. We also love Gaku’s not-so-precious approach to his creations when they are done: he eats them. You can watch some of Gaku’s process here in this mesmerizing Instavideo. + Gaku on Instagram Via Booooooom and This is Colossal

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Japanese food artist carves fruits into incredible masterpieces using just an X-Acto knife

The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art will bring a massive 11-acre green roof to Los Angeles

May 10, 2017 by  
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Much like the beloved Star Wars movies, the design process for the George Lucas Museum of Narrative Art is turning out to be quite the saga. The museum is at long last set to be built in L.A.’s Exposition Park, and MAD Architects just unveiled updated plans for the futuristic building – including a massive 11-acre green roof! According to Urbanize LA , the design for the $1 billion project will soon be presented to the Los Angeles City Planning Commission for approval. The latest renderings by the architecture firm, led by Ma Yansong, depict a few changes from the initial designs unveiled last year. The most notable differences are the massive green roof and the elongated sinewy shape of the 300,000 square feet complex. Related: George Lucas selects Los Angeles to host $1 billion art museum The museum will hold two theaters, archives, offices, classrooms, and a library spread over two wings, but the bulk of the exhibition space will be housed on the fourth floor, where the two wings connect. Additional exhibition space and a restaurant will be located on the top floor. A large underground parking garage with capacity for 2,400 cars adjacent to the museum will be hidden under 11 acres of expansive green space . According to the project description, the Lucas Museum will house one-of-a kind collections divided into three categories: narrative art, the art of cinema, and digital art. Visitors will be able to enjoy a variety of art genres from fine art and modern art, illustrations and comics. Of course, there will also be a large collection of props and storyboards from Lucas’ long career in the film industry. + Lucas Museum + MAD Architects Via Archinect Images via LADCP

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The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art will bring a massive 11-acre green roof to Los Angeles

8 thoughtful Mother’s Day gift ideas for the eco mama in your life

May 9, 2017 by  
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Finding the perfect gift for the eco-conscious Mama in your life is a little more labor intensive than just running out for generic cards or super-market flowers at the last second. You want to find something that shows you really care – about her and about the planet. We’ve made your life a bit easier this year with a roundup of eight thoughtful gift ideas we think will appeal to the earth-loving mama in your world. 1. Ladies-only outdoor adventure Adventurous outdoor Moms will love REI/Outessa’s three-day retreats , where they can dabble in rock climbing, yoga , paddle boarding, and more while being treated to chef-prepared and locally-sourced meals. After a weekend spent with other nature -loving women, Mom will come back ready to tackle parenting and life with feeling connected and rejuvenated. 2. Jewelry Andrea Bonelli ’s gorgeous handmade jewelry (like the above pink sapphire necklace ) incorporates recycled and ethically mined stones and metals. Bonelli is also a member of Ethical Metalsmiths and gives back through the Toolbox Initiative, which provides jewelers in West Africa with tools and supplies to encourage their ability to work autonomously. If the sky’s the limit for the Earth Mama in your life, gift her with a premium piece from Monique Pean , beloved among the eco-celeb set for her sustainable and unique pieces, who counts former First Lady Michelle Obama as a fan. 3. Books Whether purchasing a physical book or the e-version, you have plenty of choices that will expand Mom’s reading horizons. A few of our hot picks: Phenomenal , which has readers join a new mother as she traipses across the planet in search of migrating butterflies in Mexico and lightening storms in Venezuela and  Lab Girl , the bestselling and intriguing memoir of geo-biologist Hope Jahren. Others may enjoy How To Read Water , which provides insightful instructions for forecasting the weather by looking at waves or using puddles to figure out directions. If the Mom you’re gifting these books to has little ones, earn bonus points by also gifting her some time and a quiet space to actually read them. RELATED: 11 Eco-tastic gifts for Mother’s Day 4. Ceramic breakfast bowl These hand-painted and hand-thrown Moroccan bowls  from Raven & Lily are wonderful mood boosters for Mom when she’s throwing down a bowl of cereal amidst the before school morning chaos or snacking on some dried fruits and nuts for a midday break. It’s no coincidence they are also perfectly sized for use as a chai or latte “mug”; the bowls also come in a mini size  and are pretty enough to corral rings, change, keys, or perhaps chocolate chips. 10 percent of sales goes towards an after-school program in Morocco that provides academic support, life skills mentoring, and leadership coaching. 5. S’Well water bottle We probably all have a reusable water bottle (or five) at home, but somehow they manage to migrate to kids’ backpacks or end up on spouse’s desks. S’Well ’s sleek BPA-free stainless steel water bottles are triple wall insulated to keep beverages cold for 24 hours or hot for 12. The limited edition Terra bottle is decorated with lush flora and fauna; we’re also loving the Elements collection, inspired by natural beauties such as pearls and marbled stone. A portion of S’Well’s sales go towards supporting clean and safe water supplies in vulnerable communities. Staying hydrated, whether Mom’s adventures take her on a hike or to the carpool line, never looked so pretty. 6. Flowers No sad, tired, on-their-last-stem arrangements here: Bouqs partners with local artisan florists around the country and sustainable farmers around the world to provide vibrant custom bouquets. In certain areas of the country, a “bouq” can even be delivered on demand within hours, a lifesaver for spouses and children who perhaps procrastinated a bit too long. All the vendors in this “farm to table” arrangement approach practice sustainable farming that minimizes waste. Want to give Mom the gift that keeps on giving? Consider gifting a living plant that can provide beauty (and clean air) to her space for years. Any potted plant will do nicely, but if you’re looking for an easy, low-maintenance gift idea, moth orchids (phalaenopsis) , in particular, are beautiful, usually easy to find at your local market, extremely low-maintenance (you barely need to water them), and great indoor-air cleaners . RELATED: 7 indoor plants that purify the air naturally 7. Edible goodies INNA Jam ’s jams , shrubs, pickles, and salts are next-level delicious. With a focus on organically grown produce from a 150-mile radius of the company’s California kitchen and a strict seasonal sensibility, Moms and anyone who gives these treats a try will fall in love with the flavorful, jewel-toned, single-origin jams as well as the game-changing shrubs (basically a fruit/vinegar/sugar syrup). Other ideas? Try hand-crafted, non-GMO pickles in flavors including Maple Bourbon Whiskey Sour from Brooklyn Brine  or a 111-year-old dehydrated sourdough starter . 8. Art Adjusting to life with kids often means mamas have to modify their travel and adventure expectations. If she can’t lay her eyes on a far-flung island or peak in real life for the time being, playful and cheerful wall art that brings to mind her love of nature may be a temporary salve. Printed on FSC-certified or recycled paper,  options from Graphic Anthology  include abstract geometric trees or mountains , Scandinavian design-inspired fish , and a sweet reminder to all to Go Outside and Play  and would make also great additions to a nursery, kitchen, or family room. You can even pick up a gorgeous Mother’s Day card while you are browsing the site. Lead image © REI/Outessa

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8 thoughtful Mother’s Day gift ideas for the eco mama in your life

Worlds largest offshore wind farm opens in The Netherlands

May 9, 2017 by  
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Dutch officials have increased the country’s clean energy repertoire with the world’s largest offshore wind farm . Opened on Monday, Gemini wind park has 150 wind turbines spinning approximately 53 miles (85 kilometers) off the northern coast of The Netherlands ; the project is capable of generating about 600 megawatts at full winds – enough to power 785,000 Dutch households. The wind park, which was conceived in 2010 and cost $3 billion (2.8-billion-euro), comprises a collaboration between Canadian renewable energy company Northland Power, wind turbine producer Siemens Wind Power, Dutch maritime contractor Van Oord and the waste processing company HVC. “We are now officially in the operational stage,” said Matthias Haag, the company’s managing director, in a press release.” This been “quite a complex” operation, Haag added, “particularly as this wind park lies relatively far offshore… so it took quite a lot of logistics.” Over the next 15 years, the Gemini wind park will be able to generate about 13 percent of the country’s total renewable energy supply or about 25 percent of its wind power . This, in turn, will meet the energy requirements of about 1.5 million people. Related: Scotland’s latest wind farm will help fund 500 new affordable homes Phys.org estimates that the wind park will help reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1.25 billion tons. Fossil fuels continue to make up approximately 95 percent of The Netherland’s energy supply, according to a 2016 report from the ministry of economics affairs. However, by sourcing 14 percent of its energy from clean sources – including wind and solar – by 2025, the Dutch country will be en route to becoming carbon neutral by 2050. Hopefully, the example The Netherlands has set will inspire other countries to follow suit in an effort to curb climate change . Via Phys

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Worlds largest offshore wind farm opens in The Netherlands

Explore incredible worlds inside these landscapes carved into books

May 2, 2017 by  
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Laramée, who has an extensive background in the arts, is best known for his topographical literary sculptures that take anywhere between days to months to complete. His sculptures have depicted breathtaking landscapes from iconic Petra in Jordan to China’s emerald karst mountains. In an interview with yatzer, Laramée say that these works of art aren’t so much about nature as they are about capturing and evoking the feeling of the sublime and spirituality inspired by extraordinary landscapes. The sculptures are all made by hand without computer modeling. Laramée uses a vast array of tools from band saws and chain saws to flexible shaft rotary tools and sand blasters to carve small magical worlds from tightly bound book pages. Mountainous landscapes, icy glaciers, canyons, and underground caverns are all masterfully represented in his prolific series. Laramée applies oil paints, inks, dry pastels, crayon, adhesives, and beeswax to bring the landscapes to life. “My work, in 3D as well as in painting, originates from the very idea that ultimate knowledge could very well be an erosion instead of an accumulation,” writes Laramée. “So I carve landscapes out of books and I paint romantic landscapes. Mountains of disused knowledge return to what they really are: mountains. They erode a bit more and they become hills. Then they flatten and become fields where apparently nothing is happening. Piles of obsolete encyclopedias return to that which does not need to say anything, that which simply IS. Fogs and clouds erase everything we know, everything we think we are.” + Guy Laramée Via Colossal

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Explore incredible worlds inside these landscapes carved into books

Ai Weiwei and Shepard Fairey launch skateboard protest art for Trump’s 100th day

April 27, 2017 by  
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Artist-activists Ai Weiwei and Shepard Fairey have teamed up to launch a new series of artwork today in response to the 100th day of Donald Trump’s presidency. The pieces are printed on an intriguing medium: limited-edition skateboards. The collection is debuting at The Skateroom , a social entrepreneurship initiative that uses funds from its custom, fine-art skateboard decks to support at-risk youth. This is the second time The Skateroom has worked with Ai Weiwei , a contemporary artist and political activist whose work has drawn the ire of Chinese government on more than one occasion. His Study of Perspective collection showcases a series of photos shot between 1995 and 2003, with the artist flipping the finger at iconic landmarks and symbols of authority across the globe. Though it’s not a new series, the spirit of ideological opposition is one that remains especially relevant in today’s political climate – and the piece The Skateroom has chosen to highlight takes aim directly at the White House. LA-based street artist Shepard Fairey , perhaps best known for his iconic and controversial Obama “HOPE” posters , has also adapted one of his existing political works for The Skateroom. No Future is a simple, black and white stenciled image that denounces hate speech and propaganda – two subjects that have become disturbingly urgent in this new era of fake news and “alternative facts.” Related: Creepy Skull Sculptures Rise from the Remains of Dead Skateboards The collaboration with both artists makes perfect sense – Weiwei and Fairey have both attempted throughout their careers to use art as a force for positive social change, so The Skateroom’s mission is a clear match. These politically-charged works will debut at Art Market San Francisco from April 27th-29th, and will be available to purchase at The Skateroom online store. The Ai Weiwei print is available in a limited edition run of 666 hand screen-printed 7-ply Canadian maple skateboards, the first 66 of which will be signed by the artist and priced at $3,000 each. The Shepard Fairy edition will be slightly more limited, with only 450 skateboards available, priced at $450 a piece. + The Skateroom Images courtesy of The Skateroom

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Ai Weiwei and Shepard Fairey launch skateboard protest art for Trump’s 100th day

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