Saturday, 3 October 2009

Senko Hanabi Traditional Japanese Sparkler

'There is a sadness to senko hanabi. They evoke mono no aware, the flash of sadness at the beauty and briefness of life. The poignantly ephemeral has long been appreciated in Japan and is still felt in the quiet celebration of senko hanabi blossoming from a child's hand.

A senko hanabi (incense stick firework) is a thin shaft of twisted paper about 20 centimeters long with one end containing a few grains of a special gunpowder. Senko hanabi are always included in the packets of fireworks and are always done last to finish off the family fireworks which wouldn't be complete without them.

Children squat next to a plastic bucket half-filled with water and intently set their senko hanabi alight over a candle set in an empty tin can. You hold a tissue-like paper ribbon at one end, while the business end quickly ignites releasing a bit of acrid smoke and tiny spurting flames which swing the paper thread around like a pendulum. Soon the burning end congeals into a red-orange droplet -- a glowing molten pearl suspended on a string.'
- mjk,

a+. via cibone

CIPRIA Sofa by Fernando & Humberto Campana for Edra

CIPRIA Sofa, 2oo9 designed by Fernando & Humberto Campana for Edra is an iconic piece. The settee has 9 cushions fixed to an invisible metal tube frame. The stuffing is Gellyfoam® and Dacron wadding while the ecological fur covering comes in different hair lengths to produce variations on the original theme.
a+. edra via nytimes

Friday, 2 October 2009

Umka & Kera for World Wildlife Fund Project

World Wildlife Fund, Umka 2oo9.

Kera 1
World Wildlife Fund, Kera 2oo9.

Umka, is the name for polar bear in the Chukchi language. Hand-polished, the polar bear sculpture was cut from a solid block of aircraft grade aluminium. Designed by Scott Wilson and fabricated by MD, Umka captured the essence of polar bear through minimalist abstraction.

Kera, on the other hand is a polished chrome Rhino for World Wildlife Fund 2oo8, another design by Wilson in conjunction with Kohler. Kera was in an online auction last year, by Scott Wilson, for Faces in the Wild.
Kera Sketch 1Kera Sketch 2
Kera, sketches.

Kera 2

a+. minimal inc.
a+. faces in the wild via

Moroso Paper Cloud by Tokujin Yoshioka

Paper Cloud 1
'elements of nature and of human imagination synthesized through a texture and a light form like clouds.'
-Tokujin Yoshioka.

As a part of Milan Design Week 2oo9, tokujin yoshioka debuted his 'paper cloud' sofa which he created for Moroso. While the prototype of the sofa is made from tensioned/shirred paper, Moroso will further develop the sofa by using different kind of fabrics making it suitable for daily use.

'I have pondered on expressing the texture of material in nature through industrial product. This new product for Moroso might be a reminiscent of clouds in the sky and flow of water, which are breathed in one’s memories. For the prototype, which will be presented this year’s Salone, I decided to use paper in order to make it conceptual. Later on, they will be developed with fabrics and other materials for daily use. I am fascinated by the elements of nature, because they are not deliberated on purpose but they have the beauty born of coincidence beyond human imagination.'
-Tokujin Yoshioka.
Paper Cloud 2Paper Cloud 3Paper Cloud 4
Paper Cloud 5
a+. tokujin yoshioka via stylepark via square-mag via design boom

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Soma by Ayala Serfaty from Aqua Creations

Soma 1Soma 2Soma 3
The Soma works voice an ongoing discourse with nature. The term, which in Greek means body and in Hebrew refers to blindness, emanates poetic bodies of light which have the appearance of immaterial foggy landscapes. Nature versus culture or nature during transformation is the overarching theme in Serfaty's work.

"That which is beautiful is not ephemeral, it incessantly keeps recurring" (Meira Yagid Haimovici, Curator in of Design and Architecture, the Tel-Aviv Museum of Art).

The Soma light sculptures are composed of layers in fine meshing of colorful/transparent 2mm wide glass filaments meticulously and thoroughly intertwined. The crystal-like form is then encased in a polymer web, creating a surface that resembles a brittle, fragile cocoon. Soma light sculptures display a universal dimension; they are representations of the essence of nature in its most abstract form, standing for frozen memories existing beyond time and space.
Soma 4
Soma 5Soma 6Soma 7
Soma 8Soma 9
Below the making of Soma:
Soma: the design process
The design process begins with drawings and etchings.

Soma: the 2mm thick glass filaments as material
Soma light sculptures are made using 2mm thick glass filaments. The glass is manufactured in Empoli, Italy, by glass artist Sergio Serra, in many colors and transparencies per Ayala Serfaty's requests.

Soma: glass filaments are woven and entwined using lampworking technology
The glass filaments are woven and entwined using lampworking technology. It is a very meticulous and time consuming process. Glass artists Eytan Hall and Anna Gautier are the masters of this work. Eytan and Anna work according to Ayala Serfaty's designs, while incorporating their own individual interpretations.

Soma: the ceramic base and the light source from compact fluorescent bulbs
Various configurations of Soma are constructed over hand made ceramics. The ceramic base is made according to Ayala Serfaty's design, which is in tune with the ceramics artist's particular style and technique. The light source is from compact fluorescent bulbs.

Soma: glass structure encase in polymer membrane-like web waiting for the colors to seep through the skin
When the glass structure is completed, it is encased in a polymer membrane-like web. The colors of glass filaments seep through the skin, as well as the inner depth of the piece.

The art statement:

'When I discovered Soma it was like coming back home. Soma is something I was looking for all my artistic life. It relates to work I was doing as a young student, using dust as a prime material. The discovery, like a present for my fortieth birthday, was a true revelation. Within the range of activities of our studio, Aqua Creations, Soma practice goes back to my origins as an artist. The research is free of end use or time limits; it is only committed to becoming authentic to its own nature.

As much as being my own self expression, Soma is a team work of artists:
* Albi Serfaty, my Soma mate, developed the clear-web technology and masters its application.
* Sergio Serra prepares the tinted glass sticks, in a traditional glass factory in Italy.
* Eytan Hall and Anna Gautier of Aqua Creations weave the glass and lamp work it to its unique, one of a kind structure.
* Marcelle Klein and Ronit Zor are independent artists which we've commissioned to create the ceramics.
* Aqua Creations Research & Development department is in charge of the structural and electrical aspects.

Soma's structure is composed of 'lamp-worked' layers of tinted transparent glass veins that create both depth and surface. A clear membrane-like skin is webbed over the glass structure. Both materials are extremely fragile. Their symbiotic relationship creates a strong spatial structure, merging the two materials into a new specificity. Soma illuminated objects explore the interaction created between the glass structure and the skin, and the relativity of coverage to visible depth.

The practice of Soma evolves from one piece to the next. Each of these pieces explores ways to transform calligraphy into texture and into structure. In each piece various particular relationships are created between the surface, light, and shade. The configurations show a more abstract authenticity of the Soma practice, a form created by free drawing in space, captured like a frozen moment of existence.'
- Ayala Serfaty, 2005

a+. ayala serfaty
a+. aqua creations

Monday, 28 September 2009

Binta Armchair by Philippe Bestenheider

Binta 1
Binta for Moroso, is an Africa-inspired armchair by Swiss designer Philippe Bestenheider. The chair’s form is based on African wood carvings and the upholstery is based on Senegalese patchwork fabrics.

'Binta was inspired by Africa. Its sculptural shape evokes African wood carvings, but its polyurethane rubber forms are softer. Like a baobab tree, Binta anchors itself firmly to the ground with thick, trunk-like feet whose elegant forms bring to mind the weighty baobab.
Its upholstery is a patchwork of Wax fabrics, the traditional textiles worn by African women. Contrasting patterns and colours emphasise the armchair’s shape, enveloping and moulding its silhouette.

The brash, bright colour contrasts are in the tradition of African textiles and colour schemes; they conjure up the elegant tailoring of women’s clothes as if Binta were a Senegalese lady about to wear and enhance the hot colours of Africa.'
-Philippe Bestenheider
Binta 2
Binta 3Binta 4Binta 5a+. moroso via dezeen

'Mini' Nostalgic Design Stamps by Royal Mail

Mini: Design Stamps by Royal Mail
For those who loves MINI cars, like me, you would adore this MINI Design Stamps by Royal Mail. Came in a set of 10, these first class stamps have been issued during January this year to commemorate 10 icons of British design. This Royal Mail's new series offers up a nostalgic look at some British Design Classics, from the 1930s and 1960s. A “prestige stamp book”, issued alongside the design stamps, will provide a more extensive background and history of the 10 design icons.

To mark the Mini’s 50th and Concorde’s 40th birthdays, Royal Mail is also issuing a "generic sheet" of 20 stamps (Mini series designed by Magpie; Concorde by Neon) and "medal covers" for each which have been designed by the Royal Mint Engraving Team. All stamps and sets will be available from Royal Mail.
K2 Telephone Kiosk and Polypropylene Chair: Design Stamps by Royal MailSupermarine Spitfire and Mini Skirt: Design Stamps by Royal MailAngelpoise Lamp & Concorde: Design Stamps by Royal MailPenguin Books: Design Stamps by Royal Maila+. royal mail via creative review

Paper Tower by Shigeru Ban

Paper Tower 1
Photos by Susan Smart Photography.

Made from cardboard tubes, the Paper Tower by Shigeru Ban is articulated by metal joints, a system similar in design to the system used by Ban in his construction of a bridge, boathouse and various pavilions around the world. This 22m structure has been commissioned as part of Size + Matter, a London Design Festival initiative in which this year also features a metal sculpture by Marc Newson, also located beside the Royal Festival Hall on the South Bank. The aims of this project are to challenge the perception of the everyday materials used, by creating dramatic temporary installations outside the Festival Hall which will be on display from 19 September, the opening date of the Festival, until mid October.
Paper Tower 2Paper Tower 3Paper Tower 4
Photos by Susan Smart Photography.

Paper Tower 5Paper Tower 6
Photos by Susan Smart Photography.

a+. shigeru ban
a+. london design festival
a+. susan smart photography via dezeen