Where the hell is Matt?

June 28, 2008

Very moving video.
(Despite the titel :D)
A higher resolution video can be found here.

Matt “a 31-year-old deadbeat from Connecticut” has now travelled around the world to over 55 countries….and danced. Badly, according to him.

After posting the first video of a dance online,a gum company found him and told him they liked it. So they sent him around the world again to make another one. And another one. And appearantly his “bad” dancing inspired lots of people to join him.

Read more about Matt, his amazing travels and see more of his videos on his website.

Our wishes

May 25, 2008

A lot of the famous artists today (especially installation artists and of course architects) need hundreds of thousands of euros and years of time to complete their “vision”. But sometimes you just need a mother with an idea and it turns into a message to the world 🙂

The result Our wishes by Liisa Sinikka Ogburn (or more specifically the children of the first grade class at JY Joyner Elementary in Raleigh, NC).

“For the last two years, I have volunteered in my son’s kindergarden and first grade classes at JY Joyner Elementary in Raleigh, NC. I have watched as he and his classmates have painstakingly learned how to write their names and then write increasingly more complex ideas. Repeatedly, I have been struck by their openness and honesty. To try to capture that, I visited and, with their teachers’ help, asked students “If you had one wish for the world, your family or yourself, what would it be?” I distributed card stock and black pens and asked them to write their answers big so that we could all read their wise words. The teachers helped with spelling. I then tacked a black cloth to the classroom wall, set a stool in front of it and asked each child to hold their sign as I photographed them. I told them they could look at the camera in whatever way they felt.”

You can buy a poster of the project throught her website. All funds raised will benefit the school’s cultural arts program.

Racetrack Playa

May 18, 2008

I first tried to find some way to relate this post to art or design, but in the end i decided it is so fascinating in itself that the only connection you need is the inspiration it gives you, the curiousity it arouses and the fascination of the wonders of our world.

Racetrack Playa (national park of Death Valley, California) is famous for its moving stones. The floor of the playa (an ancient lake) is dried, scorched mud which has broken into perfect little octagons and pentagons. It’s as flat as flat can be. And there are roaming rocks which seem to move on their own. The stones vary from pebble size to half ton boulders and vary in size and shape. Their tracks vary in length and go every which way from zig-zags to loops and double back on themselves. Some travel only a few feet; others go for hundreds of yards.

No one has ever actually seen a stone move. And no one apperantly can figure out HOW they move. And where they go when they reach the end of the lake.

Fascinating.

Here are some articles about it:
The dancing rocks of racetrack playa.
The moving stones of California.

The New York City Waterfalls Project is from (one of) my favourite artist(s), Olafur Elisasson and will be seen in NY from late June to Mid-October 2008.

The Berlin and Copenhagen based artist wants the people to notice and recognize the water that´s surrounding NYC again, because “we tend to see [the water] as a simple surface, framed by a neutral urban waterfront. I wish to amplify its physical and tangible presence while exposing the dynamics of natural forces such as gravity, wind and daylight.”

“With The New York City Waterfalls, i want to focus on the waterfall as a spectacle, operating on a grand and impressive scale, while also offering an intimate and intellectually challenging experience to the people visiting the sites along the waterfront.”

I think it is a very smart (and of course breathtakingly beautiful) way to make people aware of the great natural force of the water around NYC again. It´s absolutly true, that the attention is more diverted to the skyline, and the structures of the city itself. To find something so majestic right in front of you, and then recognizing that it was there the whole time and you just didn´t notice it, will be a real powerful experience for inhabitants and visitors of the city.

Just reading about it changed my perception of the waterfront already. But i really really want to see it in person, too.

Concrete Canvas

April 6, 2008

Design is not just about making pretty things. Good design makes life easier for people, great design encompasses other factors such as being environment friendly or user friendly. Ground-breaking design however sees a need and assuages it – smartly.

British inventors Peter Brewin and William Crawford saw such a need 2004 in Uganda. They had developed a “concrete canvas“, a super strong cloth, which could be formed into strong stable igloo-like structures and won several prizes with it.

In Uganda, like in many countries, refugees lack safe shelters. Flimsy tents are blown away by the wind and get destroyed by water, or broken into by thieves or even enemy soldiers,who seek to steal away children for their army.

The designers answered to this need for safe shelters by inventing their “building in a bag” that only requires air and water for construction, can be deployed quickly and easily and can last up until 10 years. It can be sterelized for medical uses, provides better security (against looting and nature elements) and safe emergency shelters. It can also be demolished easily and leaves little material for disposal.

Go to Designboom for a cool interview with the designers and to see how it works and/or to this Newsweek article explaining how it could help those people in Uganda. (Although i´m still wondering how much water the structures actually need, since that is also lacking in a lot of the areas they would be used in.)
Still, a wonderful invention that hopefully will soon be used to help thousands of people.

This is design at it´s best.

ffffound

March 21, 2008

I found this right on time for the long easter weekend it seems.

A faboulus website to “waste” away the next couple of days (or more). ffffound is an image bookmarking website. You have to be invited by a member to be allowed to blog, but viewing them is for free. Images range from photography to graphic design, art, advertising, street art, vintage posters etc. From beautiful, enchanting and strange to dark and gloomy. Basically everything that catches the bloggers eye.

ffffound.jpg
There must be more than 20 000 images there and it´s growing constantly.

A really great source for inspiration.

Happy easter 🙂

Mac virus

March 17, 2008

Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining.” Jeff Raskin

Right.
That´s what happened to my laptop today. For two hours it looked like it had died a horrible violent death and… now it works for some reason again. We´ll see how long it lasts.
Next time i´ll definitively buy a Mac.
Why?
Because even their viruses are good looking…
And apperantly people have so much time on their hand because their macs never crash that they create awesome new viruses for them in their free time.

Like the Newton Virus. A computer “virus” that was designed by London collective Troika and is on show at the Design and the Elastic Mind exhibition at MoMA in New York until May 12. It causes icons on your computer desktop to fall towards the ground as if affected by gravity.
newton-computer02.jpeg

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“Newton Virus comes on a USB key for manual infection. Simply plug the key into a computer and the virus will automatically copy itself on the hard drive. The virus will then hit at random, but only once. It will not replicate itself, mail itself to your friends or destroy any of your files, but instead provides you with moments of blissful surprise and magic.”
You can watch a cool video of it here.

Ah, i have virus envy.

via Dezeen.