Book of brutalist archictecture postcards from the Soviet era

Brutal Block Postcards is a new book that, er, celebrates the concrete landscape of the Soviet era. Over at Collectors Weekly, Lisa Hix flips through the pages:

Many of these postcards, published by governments of the U.S.S.R. between the 1960s and 1980s, depict the bland, 1960s five-story concrete-paneled apartments known as “khrushchyovka” as if to say, “Look at the modern wonder of collective worker housing!” To Westerners, the boxy buildings telegraph the bleak authority of so-called poured-concrete “Brutalist” architecture, which was somehow popular with both democratic and totalitarian governments during the postwar years.

However, in Brutal Bloc Postcards, the images of stern rectilinear apartments, government offices, and hotels stand in stark contrast to the dramatic public monuments. These Cold War-era monuments are epic in scale, towering over the Soviet landscape; their angular, avant-garde forms convey movement, as if hurtling toward brighter future through Communism.

"Postcards From Big Brother" (Collectors Weekly)

Brutal Blog Postcards: Soviet Era Postcards from the Eastern Bloc (Amazon)

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New issue of Faesthetic, the lavish and mindbending art 'zine

Boing Boing pal Dustin "UPSO" Hostetler has published the fifteenth issue of his long-running print 'zine Faesthetic, the exquisitely-produced visual wunderkammer of art/illustration/design. Faesthetic #15 is themed "Convergent Visions" and I was delighted to contribute an essay about the Voyager Golden Record as an iconic artifact of futures thinking. The issue features work by all of these incredible creators: Christan Mendoza, Jon Contino, Adam Griffiths, Adrian Cox, Alex Barrett, Caitlin Russell, Chris Nickels, Dang Olsen, Elaine Miller, Gabrielle Rosenstein, Janne Iivonen, Prate™, Jeremyville, Jim O’Boyle, John Szot, Josh Row, Julian Glander, Justin Harris, Karen Ingram & Nicola Patron, Kyle Knapp, Leanna Perry, Loc Huynh, Maggie Chiang, Marta Piaseczynska, Max Löffler, Okell Lee, Pedro Nekoi, Tara McPherson, Thayer Bray, Bryan C. Lee Jr, and Alison Conway.

Buy Faesthetic for just $10. Here's the story behind this edition:

The idea for “Convergent Visions” took root in the halls of South By South West in 2017. After a mind-boggling keynote delivered by biochemist Jennifer Doudna, Faesthetic publisher Dustin Hostetler and creative director Karen Ingram bumped into Hugh Forrest, Chief Programming Officer of SXSW. This chance meeting sparked a conversation between Karen and Dustin that became a collaborative effort with the 2018 SXSW Art Program.

“Convergent Visions” probes various areas in science and technology through an artistic lens. Overarching themes include Design, Health and Wellness, Social Impact and the Intelligent Future become realized through the creativity vibrating and flowing from the minds and fingers of 30 international artists and designers.

With a nod to Donna Haraway’s characterization of the emerging and many-tentacled epoch of the Chthulucene, “Convergent Visions” showcases the visions of these talented creatives.

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Fantastically far out poster for 1974 artificial intelligence lecture at UC Berkeley

Chris Veltri, proprietor of San Francisco's legendary Groove Merchant record shop, posted this astounding artifact to his Instagram wunderkammer of outré culture paper ephemera @collagedropoutsf! It's a poster for a lecture by artificial intelligence pioneer Herbert Simon that took place at UC Berkeley in 1974. The speech was titled "How Man and Computers Understand Language."

Far fucking out. Read the rest

NASA-inspired artist Tom Sachs' new Mars Yard sneaker for Nike

Sculptor/filmmaker/installation artist Tom Sachs, perhaps best known for his incredible recreations/reimaginations of NASA missions in gallery spaces, has revealed his next sneaker designed in collaboration with Nike. According to Hypebeast, "the Tom Sachs x Nike Mars Yard Overshoe is slated to release at DSM London on Oct. 11 and roll out with a global release in the future, at a retail price of £390 (around $511 USD)." From an interview in Vogue:

As an artist and collaborator of many other artists and companies, what appeals to you about collaborating with Nike?

There’s a huge community with Nike, and I think probably the biggest thing that inspires me is that we have these shared ideals of: work first. It’s not just about winning the marathon, it’s about training for it. It’s not about finishing the sculpture, it’s the act of making things. For me, the advantage of being in the studio is I can make something one at a time, 19th-century-style. Nike doesn’t have that advantage, but has the ability to build thousands of products. As a result you have to make different kinds of decisions, and that process is very inspiring and challenging for me. I only do things that are interesting and keep me on my toes . . . . It’s a really major achievement, the shoe. I’m very, very proud of it. It’s something that I started working on in 2007 and just came to life this year. It’s something I didn’t know for sure if it was ever going really happen.

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Glorious collection of control panel photos

Control Panel is a fantastic visual blog "in praise of dials, toggles, buttons, and bulbs," a companion to the Control Panel group on Flickr.

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Sans Forgetica, a font to make you remember

Sans Forgetica is a free-to-download font that supposedly helps you "remember your study notes", designed by typographer Stephen Banham and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology's Behavioural Business Lab. It's a remakably hostile mindhack: the letterforms are designed to be difficult to read without losing their legibility, thereby "prompting your brain to engage in deeper processing" and "question the gestalt understanding of type".

I'd like it more if it were a deliberate prank, a typographical equivalent of the Jimmy Kimmel skit where he tricked Fashion Week attendees into praising a model wearing a watermelon on his head. It's called semiographic closure, honey, look it up. Read the rest

Incredible 19 square feet LEGO model of Apple Park

Automotive engineer Spencer Rezkalla spent three years building this astounding 19 square foot LEGO model of the just-opened Apple Park. The 1/650th scale model contains roughly 85,000 pieces, including 1647 trees. From Rezkalla's project gallery on Flickr:

I've always wanted to build a horizontal skyscraper. These are sometimes also called "groundscrapers".

In 2014 I came across some drone footage of an enormous circular excavation being dug into the California earth. When I discovered this was the start of the foundation for a new low-rise Apple "spaceship" campus, I knew I had found an interesting and suitable candidate.

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Architects redesign Japanese tunnels into artworks

The Kiyotsu Gorge lookout tunnel is a huge engineering marvel amidst spectacular beauty. Artists and architects recently repurposed it as an art installation replete with reflective surfaces, colored lights and sculptures. Read the rest

These Pixel Art Animation tutorials are fun (and free) to watch

Luke aka Sadface is a pixel artist who also creates these fun and informative videos that show you how to make pixel art animations. Read the rest

Supersonic: a glorious new art book about the Concorde airplane

During its 1970s heyday, the Concorde, the commercial supersonic plane that did NYC to London in under three hours, wasn't just a revolution in aerospace engineering; it was an icon of industrial design, set the bar in luxury travel, and, quite literally, embodied the jet-set lifestyle. Now, my friend qnd colleague Lawrence Azerrad, the creative director of the Grammy-winning Voyager Golden Record vinyl box set we released last year, has created a glorious art book about the Concorde and its scene in the sky. The book, Supersonic: The Design and Lifestyle of Concorde, overflows with historical and technical information and stunning photos of the plane, its marketing materials, and amenities designed by the likes of Andrée Putman, Raymon Loewy, and Sir Terence Conran who wrote this book's foreword. From CNN:

Taking a branded item home was part of the experience. Anything that could be removed from the plane would be taken by passengers as a souvenir. Some of these items were particularly sought after, like those designed by Raymond Loewy, the father of industrial design who created cabin interiors for Air France.

"He used a very forward-thinking, futuristic approach for that time, down to the design of the seats, the headrests, the fabric and, probably more famously, the stainless steel flatware, which Andy Warhol would famously steal," said Azerrad. "There's a story where (Warhol) asked if the person sitting next to him was taking theirs, she said no and he took her set."

Supersonic: The Design and Lifestyle of Concorde is a magnificent celebration of the history of our in-flight future. Read the rest

Hypnotic video of 3D-printed plant forms undulating underwater

Hydrophytes are 3D-printed multimaterial forms that explore the possibilities for engineered plants of the future. Read the rest

Vintage logos and motion graphics for today's Internet companies

Future Punk created retro logos and motion graphics for today's Internet companies if they existed decades ago. The artist was "inspired by great work of Sullivan & Marks, Robert Abel & Associates, Computer Image Corporation and various other early CG/Scanimate companies."

And if you're not hip to Scanimate:

Scanimate is the name for an analog computer animation (video synthesizer) system developed from the late 1960s to the 1980s by Computer Image Corporation of Denver, Colorado.

The 8 Scanimate systems were used to produce much of the video-based animation seen on television between most of the 1970s and early 1980s in commercials, promotions, and show openings. One of the major advantages the Scanimate system had over film-based animation and computer animation was the ability to create animations in real time. The speed with which animation could be produced on the system because of this, as well as its range of possible effects, helped it to supersede film-based animation techniques for television graphics. By the mid-1980s, it was superseded by digital computer animation, which produced sharper images and more sophisticated 3D imagery. (Wikipedia)

(Thanks, UPSO!) Read the rest

Watch this evocative trailer for a digital design event

OFFF Milan is known for putting together great promotional work for their annual digital design event, and this year's trailer sets a remarkable tone. Read the rest

Trippy video explores the optics of CGI-generated crystals

Maxim Zhestkov (previously) created a mesmerizing exercise involving light refracting within computer-generated crystals. Read the rest

Instant noodle action figures

Graphic designer Taishi Arimura creates all sorts of delightful and whimsical work, including these cool instant noodle action figures. Read the rest

Try this new font made from corporate logos

Creative studio Hello Velocity's Brand New Roman is "the most corporate Corporate Font ever created!"

(via Laughing Squid) Read the rest

What popular websites looked like 20 years ago

The web was a lot less slick in the mid-90s. Font choices were limited and designers were trying to figure out how best to use the new medium. The Web Design Museum has screenshots of 1990s and early 2000s versions of Amazon, eBay, CNN, Disney, and other sites that look like they were designed by an enthusiastic 13-year-old with a GeoCities account. Read the rest

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