Rope artworks that simulate tree roots and the nervous system

Christopher Jobson, writing for Collosal:

Artist Janaina Mello Landini (previously) continues to produce dizzyingly complex installations and canvas-based sculptural works comprised of unbraided ropes that branch out like tree roots. The fractal-like artworks have developed over a period of six years as part of her “Ciclotrama” series, a word she coined that combines the root word “cycle” and the Latin word “trama” meaning warp, weaving, or cobweb.

Saudi Arabian Airlines refuses to fly passengers who ‘expose’ arms or legs

Soo Kim, writing for The Telegraph:

Saudi Arabian Airlines (also known as Saudia), the national carrier of Saudi Arabia, has warned passengers about the way they dress, stating that those who are “clothed in a manner that would cause discomfort or offense to other passengers” could be denied boarding.

The restrictions apply to “women exposing legs or arms, or wearing too thin or too tight clothes and men wearing shorts exposing legs” as well as passengers who are barefoot, the airline’s website states.

The dress code, which has provoked outrage on social media, is refered to within a list of rules about passengers’ code of conduct on the website.

Well, Saudia is taking all these pains to maximise your comfort:

Saudia states that it “takes all the measures it possibly can to maximise passengers’ comfort and convenience” and its website advises passengers to “wear comfortable clothes when you travel. Tight-fitting clothes may naturally cause some discomfort and it is advisable to wear loose-fitting clothes instead.”

Ironically (though comparative terms are always misleading):

Saudi Arabian Airlines, which launched more than 70 years ago, operates flights from London Heathrow to Jeddah, Riyadh and Yanbu. Earlier this year, it was named the ‘World’s Most Improved Airline’ at Skytrax’s annual World Airline Awards, ranked 51st (up from 82nd last year) among the world’s best airlines. 

Concrete ribs and brickwork walls

Eleanor Gibson, writing for Dezeen:

Concrete ribs extend across the brick walls of this house on the outskirts of Brasília, Brazil, which Bloco Arquitetos has designed as two pavilion-like structures linked by an outdoor path.

Solid brick walls are slotted between the concrete structure, echoing the material palette the architects used for a house extension for a family in Brasília.

The architects left the materials exposed to reflect the building techniques of the local area, and to save time on extra finishes.

“We have decided to use the expression of the materials in its raw state, accepting the imperfections of the local manual labour and its limitations,” the architects explained.

“The idea was to minimise the extensive labour that is normally used for the finishings such as plaster or paint and to have materials that would age well without the need for constant maintenance.”

Thought 1: Building looks great.

Thought 2: “Accepting imperfections of local manual labour and limitations”? It’s very hard to judge the threshold of quality of workmanship in Brazil, but you’d pay double the cost (and time) of a regular painted finish to get that quality of bricks in India, let alone the workmanship. And it would compromise — not embrace — the look they’re going for.

This may have been the initial intention, just as I’ve seen the desire in countless projects here in India, but I’m not convinced the end result maintains those ideals.

The original emoji set has been added to The Museum of Modern Art’s collection

Via MoMA:

We are thrilled to announce the addition of NTT DOCOMO’s original set of 176 emoji to the MoMA collection. Developed under the supervision of Shigetaka Kurita and released for cell phones in 1999, these 12 x 12 pixel humble masterpieces of design planted the seeds for the explosive growth of a new visual language.

Early mobile devices, however, were rudimentary and visually unwieldy, capable of receiving only simple information about weather forecasts and basic text messaging.

Shigetaka Kurita, who was a member of the i-mode development team, proposed a better way to incorporate images in the limited visual space available on cell phone screens.

Twelve years later, when a far larger set was released for Apple’s iPhone, emoji burst into a new form of global digital communication.

Even though these emojis are evidently dated for today’s devices, I prefer their abstract quality over the hyper realistic ideograms today.

Nathalie du Pasquier displays her bold geometric forms and colourful contrasts in London exhibition

Emma Tucker, writing for Dezeen:

French designer and Memphis Group member Nathalie du Pasquier has created more than 50 new pieces for her first solo show in the UK in 25 years.

The From Time to Time exhibition, which is being hosted by Pace London until 29 July, features sculpture, paintings and drawings, all with the bold geometric forms and colourful contrasts that Du Pasquier’s work is known for.

Some of the paintings include additional 3D elements, such as doors that fold out, or grid-like sections that extend beyond the edges of the piece.

Du Pasquier  – who has described herself as a “painter who makes her own models” – often creates these as 3D pieces before painting them in flat colour on canvas.

Louis Vuitton’s $3,000 Android Wear smartwatch

Daniel Cooper, writing for Engadget:

The flirtations between technology and high fashion have never been very comfortable, the former’s mass-market ethos clashing with the latter’s exclusivity. That fact hasn’t deterred Louis Vuitton from launching its own premium Android Wear device, the Tambour Horizon, produced with help from Qualcomm and Google. [..]

Speaking of mass-market, the Horizon uses the same Snapdragon Wear 2100 gear you’ll find in watches from LG, Gameband, Armani, Guess and Montblanc. The hardware is reasonably familiar, too, with a 42mm case standing 12.5mm off your wrist and packing a 1.2-inch AMOLED, 390 x 390 touchscreen.

One notable admission is the lack of an optical heart rate monitor from the underside of the case, but perhaps exertion, or caring about one’s health, is not something the bourgeoise do.

If one was to draw a Venn diagram of quality (*) luxury vs. tech products, we’d get two very lonely figures.

The mother of 4K TVs, at 262 inches

That second image may be the least appetising photo of the bunch but the most important; that’s the comparison of a tiny 50-inch TV with its 262-inch counterpart (ignoring the aspect ratio) – roughly 26 times larger.

From their product page:

Stay seated in your favorite fauteuil and push the remote control button. Watch the customized fabric cover fold away to reveal the enormous 4k LED TV. Pick content from the integrated 4k media server and enjoy a viewing experience that up to now was simply unavailable outside a private movie theatre in a remote corner of your mansion.

You definitely need a mansion. Or at least be able to afford one. Price: 35,000 euros.

Sorry, that just covers installation. Add another 490,000 euros.

Oh, and leave some contingency fees for (re)making the reinforced concrete wall behind it; 800 kilos isn’t going to support itself.

P.S.: That is the customised fabric cover in action.

A look inside Europe’s most enchanting libraries, completely empty

Christopher Jobson, writing for Collosal:

Over the last year, photographer Thibaud Poirier has traveled across Europe to photograph some of the world’s most incredible libraries. The series includes both historic and contemporary libraries with a special emphasis on the varied designs employed by architects. Poirier captured each image when the buildings were closed and empty of people to focus entirely on structure and layout.

So far Poirier has photographed 25 libraries and says he intends to add to the series as time permits. If you liked this, also check out his Berlin Interiors series.

Awe-inspiring; good design never stales.


Eleanor Gibson, writing for Dezeen:

Japanese brand Muji has unveiled its design for a compact nine-square-metre prefabricated house, which will go on sale later this year.

The Muji Hut will be available for purchase in Japan for ¥3,000,000 (£20,989) from August 2017. The minimalist retailer intends the simple cabin to suit a wide variety of locations, describing it as somewhere between a permanent residence and a holiday home.

“Put it in the mountains, near the ocean, or in a garden, and it immediately blends in with the surroundings, inviting you to a whole new life.”

The Muji Hut’s price tag will cover all the materials needed for the construction as well as the costs of the project’s contractor. The brand is yet to release a date for sale outside of Japan.

Though this concept is not new — Muji itself has sold huts by established industrial / product (note: no architects) designers before — it’s definitely not common. Architecture historically has always produced a trickle down effect i.e. notable architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier have extended their influence to the furniture, lighting and objects in a house.

While interior design may be a new (ish) phenomenon for a separate agency, products has always been a different domain. The furniture in a Corbusier space was designed quite specifically with its context in mind, but it’s this same design which makes it un-product like; the beauty of products is to de-contextualise to work in a wide variety of surroundings, some of which may not even be anticipated (but always encouraged).

Of course, Wright’s and Corbusier’s furniture is patronised in design circles so it’s hard to objectively evaluate the efficacy of working as ‘an architect’ working in the product design realm. In that sense it makes perfect sense for the trickle up effect i.e. equally influential product designers engaging in space making and making the reverse work – asking the consumer to situate the product well within a context.

How well does this work? Let’s evaluate the two sides of the coin. Pro – the standalone nature might ensure pleasant internal spaces, with well worked details, durability (or maybe not, let’s get to that later), cost effectiveness, exact costing and most importantly, what you see is what you get.

Con – limited pragmatism of standalone huts in today’s world, bad positioning is harder to correct and more permanent, materials chosen may not work with all climate (unless there are individual tweaks) and lastly, a total hit-and-miss with the shape, proportions and views with the outside i.e. context.

All in all though it seems worth a shot. Muji might a team of consultants to aid in location, and the design is currently made and sold in Japan so it does work from a technical point of view. I wonder whether there’ll come a time of generating interior layouts with respect to a range of dimensions (since most are orthogonal). It might not be the perfect solution but if the parameters are set right, it would be better than consumers doing it by themselves or from some . Something along the lines of a half-injured world class sportsman being better than an fully-fit low key player.

And let’s not forget, the internet has established the zero distribution economy. Design fees can be easily subsidised by mass outreach i.e. sunk cost fixed, marginal cost [every additional customer] zero, value to both sides.

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