Monday, November 23, 2009

Cut-Ups in New Zealand.

"Going West" is a beautiful short film illustrating the worlds in a book, incorporating papercraft to make something dreamlike and wonderful. It was animated by Andersen M Studio.

The New Zealand Book Council has produced this intriguing video encouraging, what else, reading. We are told that there are NO computer generated effects! The entire stop-motion animated design is of hand-cut and manipulated papers, producing a dream-like world.

It is hard to imagine that this intricate design is completely handmade. In today's world of computer animation, we think it takes on a very welcoming feel, unlike the computer animation's more slick and forced images. What do you think?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Artificial Bio-diversity

Don't miss the pleasure of Christoph Niemann's newest contribution to his "Abstract City" op ed series for the New York Times. This one has the tongue-in-check title of "Bio-Diversity." It's good news in a world flooded with bad and sad.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sarah Susanka Draws the Line

Sarah Susanka
For all of you who appreciate Sarah Susanka's championing of the "Not So Big"house, you may be happy to know that she is expanding the brand. Susanka has taken houses from the "Not So Big" books and packaged the drawings of them. She is selling those drawings at the website

Now you can build your own Not So Big house. However the Not So Big drawings are not so cheap, costing $5,000 to $6,500. For individuals who have no wish for a custom home, who can read detailed drawing, who know how to select and bid out a job to qualified contractors, who feel they know the wealth of fixtures and materials to chose from and who are savvy enough manage and respond to the contractor during complexity of construction, this may be a fine solution. For those who are less inclined to take on all of these responsibilities, consider hiring an architect.

Susanka, one of the innovative thinkers in the field of home design, has always emphasized quality over quantity. That's a good reason why many follow her. She has also changed the way people think about the value and integration of space for daily living. Her skill in using color, enhances space in way that is hard to match. Susanka has brought so much to the housing scene. Her success is a tribute to her manner of communicating ideas, as well as the usefulness of them. Susanka is a big gift from the not so big design genie.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Via Guido Reni 10 00196 Rome

MAXXI Interior

15.11.2009 Rome - Museum of 21st Century public opening

Zaha Hadid, Architect / Designer

Rome's National Museum of 21st Century Contemporary Art and Architecture, whose acronym is MAXXI, was opened to the public yesterday, 15 November 2009. Its official opening will be sometime in 2010, but by all the first reports the space is stunning. Baghdad-born, London-based, and first woman to win the coveted Pritzker Prize, Zaha Hadid, is the building's architect. To some, this seems like Rome's Bilbao moment.

The building required 51,000 tons of concrete and steel, and $203 million of construction dollars. This wonderful Flickr slideshow gives you a good look at the structure from the eye-popping photos it has already inspired. Jay Merrick of The Independent in the UK (which actually has a daily section devoted to architecture), made these comments in this article after a recent visit:

The sweeping geometry of its form and its internal configuration are almost baroque in the way they modulate volume, light and glimpsed views. Exterior spaces are intertwined, sometimes dramatically, at other times with an almost graceful restraint. Inside, the drama is much more visceral. Heavy black staircases, underlit by white lightboxes, rise as if in flowing oriental brush strokes into the overlapping volumes of the gallery spaces. We seem to be in an Expressionist film set.
I have read that the sometimes languid, sometimes fiery, Hadid dislikes handrails. In some of the photos, you can detect the recessed handrails she brought to the design in the main halls. This comment is not meant to be trivial. It is an attempt to consider the mind-busting thought that goes into the details of ground breaking projects like this one.

Hadid was awarded this project over a decade ago, long before she became an international icon for architecture, much like Gehry's relationship to Bilbao. There will be more news to come on this project, but you can say, for now, that Hadid has taken Rome.

New York Times article
Design Museum, British Council, Biography/Comments
Design Boom article - good review and photos
Zaha Hadid Project: Painting as Building
Wiki: Zaha Hadid

Monday Morning Graffiti

Holding up the city’s shaky infrastructure.
You can find Argentine, Gualicho’s website here. (Photo by celso_nyc.)

Get to Know a Graffiti Artist:

"Gualicho was born in Buenos Aires. Though he has lived in this city all his life, he’s one of several artists constantly on the move. He has recently traveled and painted walls all over South and Central America. He began painting graffiti in 1998 and, from 2006 onwards, he’s been using the pseudonym “Gualicho”. His art is very distinctive and colourful. He creates new worlds by inter-connecting animals, plants and machines, also retro-futurist cities and ambiguous characters which reflect archetypes within human beings. He draws upon influences such as folk art, religious icons, comic graphics and 60s psychedelia, together with his own urban heritage on graffiti culture, comic, tattoo, skate and rock. He defines his style as post or neo-graffiti, though he also works vastly on canvas, paper and other materials. Since 2001 he co-manages Barfuss, an animation studio, where he has created pieces for several international companies."

via Escape Into Life
Flickr photo stream slideshow here

Friday, November 6, 2009

Top Nine Green Viral Videos

These videos are, er, so...viral. Go Green!

via @archivedigger