• ( egoistic ) • activistic • architectural • audible • cinematic • conceptual • graphic • strategic • surface • urban • wireless
A few months before the senseless events on 9/11, the performance-group eteam took part in the LMCC artist in residence program that had studios on the 91st and 92nd floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Center.
On the night of March 29 2001, the eteam created a temporary light-sculpture using illuminated windows in the North Tower to spell their name in capital letters. To create the letters, they needed 279 'dark' and 127 'light' windows on 7 floors (from 89th to 95nd). The event was carried out in collaboration with 12 offices located on the respective floors.
During their stay, the eteam did another site-specific event called Quick Click in which they made photographic portraits of people in the studio from a helicopter hovering outside the building.
Posted by Sebastian on Jan 06, 2008
RDF181 is the name of a temporary parasite-looking structure in the center of Brussels.
For almost a year, RDF181 has been the headquarters of Rotor which is a design platform dedicated to exploring creative ways of reusing industrial waste.
The structure will disappear again this February and during it's short life span, it has housed Rotor's meetings, performances and exhibitions.
RDF181 is an initiative of Maarten Gielen, Lionel Devlieger, Mia Schmallenbach and Tristan Boniver.
Last November, the Swedish designer Samir Alj Fält organized the interactive design project Ultravåldsdesign (~ ultraviolent design), in which he examined the relation between creation and destruction.
Inspired by the somewhat innocent and exploratory side of children's destructive nature (ripping stuff apart, kicking things), Samir invited 6th grade students from a local school to participate in a series of workshops.
Together they vandalized objects and materials to explore how aggression and frustration can be used in a constructive way, and to see if there are ways of creating design that can not only resist violence, but can also be improved by it.
The project was realized in collaboration with Tensta Konsthall near Stockholm.
Some of the thoughts of Ultra Violent Design can also be found in the project 'do-create' by Kesselskramer and Droog Design, which took place 7-8 years ago - I am thinking particularly of Marijn Van Der Poll's work do hit.
The idea of using invisible information to generate visible forms has flourished in recent years, thanks to new sophisticated technologies as well as our increasing desire for things with meaning.
One of the latest examples reflecting the trend is Daniel Libeskind's Freedom Tower in New York City. The spire of the building is planned to be 1,776 feet high - 1776 was the year when the United States Declaration of Independence was drafted.
Another more dynamic example is the Allianz Arena in Munich, which has a surface that can change color depending on the action inside of the stadium.
At the other end of the scale is the mural at the Agnes Scott College in the US. When the college opened a Science Center back in 2003, one of the students came up with the idea of decorating a wall with a DNA motif. The three-story high motif represents the exact DNA of Agnes Scott whom the college was named after in 1906.
Related: A portrait by British artist Mark Quinn.
Archis.org has launched a blog about the architectural consequences of war.
The blog, called Unbuilt, serves as a platform for dialogue and sharing ideas for reviving the city and land after (and often still in) conflict.
An entry that caught my eye is written by Edwin Gardner who reflects about the presence of bullet holes in the buildings of Beirut.
Gardner looks at bullet holes from a different perspective and proposes a concept where the holes are replaced by lights. The idea is to reverse the meaning and experience of bullet holes and to introduce unexpected poetic moments of beauty, ambivalently mixed with the physical testimonies of violence.
It's probably not very realistic that such concept will materialize in a city where people have basic needs to worry about (survival, water, electricity?) but the idea is very beautiful and a lot more captivating than many of today's dark memorials and similar symbolic representations.
Related: The Light/Linien. Peace sculpture by Elle Mie Ejdrup.
Posted by Sebastian on Oct 29, 2006
Chris Speed is a British artist/researcher who investigates the relation between space, time and architecture through conceptual approaches.
The Random Lift Button is a project in which Speed installed an R button in an elevator. By pressing it, people are taken to a random floor.
The Random Lift Button was apparently installed in two lifts in Portland Square at the University of Plymouth, UK. Are they still functional? Did anyone ever try one of them?
Related elevator art: The floor of the elevator (Televator) at the Ars Electronica Center in Linz animates when it's in motion. Coincidentally, it's made by Roy Ascott who - like Chris Speed - is also affiliated with Plymouth University.
David Graas is a Dutch product designer who demonstrates that it doesn't necessarily take new technologies or materials to create new expressions - it simply takes new ideas.
One of his latest products 'This Side Up" is a set of sustainable stools made of a single sheet of cardboard.
The stools can be used as one single unit or transfomed into two separate stools by pulling them apart.
The cardboard text "THIS SIDE UP" is used by Graas, not merely as a product name but also as a user manual, which indicates how the stools are separated.
Construction Site is the title of a prize winning outdoor advertising campaign for LEGO.
Real construction sites were transformed into LEGO-like universes, simply by adding a few colorful containers shaped as overdimensional LEGO bricks.
Construction Site is also the name of one of LEGO's toy products.
Posted by Sebastian on Jun 12, 2006
Heklucht is an innovative design product that combines a bike stand with a pump.
The design was originally conceived for an art project in Ypenburg, which is a newly build city district in den Haag, the Netherlands.
The idea behind the concept was to stimulate social interaction between people in Ypenburg however, this ingenious design should be useful wherever there are bikes and people.
Heklucht is designed by studio HiMom / Jeroen Bruls and Krijn Christiaansen.
The 2006 edition of the Play Award design contest is devoted to football (or 'soccer' as it is called in the US).
Football hasn't changed much over the past century but now Play Award calls for young designers to rethink, challenge and innovate the elements of the game, such as: the rules of play, the stadiums, the teams, the balls, the turfs etc.
PLAY-AWARD is an initiative of NIKE Germany and the Berlin based design festival DESIGNMAI.
PS. As inspiration or critical context, you might be interested in Friedrich von Borries' book Who is Afraid of Niketown? in which he analyses Nike's marketing strategies with a focus on how they target local sub-cultures and urban space.