Product Breakdowns Expose the Wasteful Side of Industrial Design in Stop Motion Animation by Dina Amin
February 23, 2020

Industrial designer Dina Amin takes discarded consumer products apart to see exactly what makes them tick. The hobby also exposes just how many resources and materials consumers throw away. A new stop-motion animation titled “What’s Inside” is a supercut of Amin’s breakdowns of familiar items, each splayed in perfect grids of plastic, metal, and rubber.
The exploding electronics featured in the animation are a blowdryer, a stereo cassette recorder, a point-and-shoot camera, and an old cellphone. More Continue reading

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Upcoming Group Show at Beinart Gallery Celebrates the Intricate Art of Miniatures
February 22, 2020

Melbourne, Australia’s Beinart Gallery is gearing up for an exhibition of small scale paintings, scratch-built models, and tiny sculptures. Co-curated by artist Joshua Smith (previously), the Miniature Art Group Show features impressive works by a group of around 30 artists from around the world.
Close-up photos of the architectural models and other miniatures in the show highlight the level of detail that the artists pack into every square inch. More Continue reading

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Faces Emerge from Minimalist Ceramics by Fan Yanting to Consider Emotional Depth
February 21, 2020

Just like a recent study reporting that facial expressions are more complex than we think, Fan Yanting wants to delve into the sentiment behind the scowl or smirk on a stranger’s face. The Taiwanese artist shapes small vessels and dinnerware in neutral tones that don a series of emotions, from an unsmiling vase to a set of defensive mugs. Only starting to create ceramics during the last year, Fan hand-sculpts each set of eyes, nose, and mouth without deciding which emotion he’s trying to capture beforehand. More Continue reading

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Historic Lithograph Reveals Anamorphic Views of Razed Bank of Philadelphia
February 20, 2020

In 1832, artist John Jesse Barker added depth to a drawing by Philadelphia-based William G. Mason to create an optical illusion titled “Horizontorium.” Part of a tradition of anamorphic works, this depiction of the Bank of Philadelphia is one of the two surviving works looking at the historic financial building designed by architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe. At the time, it was the unofficial bank of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that sat at the southwest corner of Fourth and Chestnut streets. More Continue reading

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Sheets of White Paper Layered into Dense Cityscapes and Forests by Ayumi Shibata
February 19, 2020

Japan-based artist Ayumi Shibata (previously) constructs intricate paper cities and natural landscapes that both fit in the palm of her hand and are expansive enough to pass through on foot. Using dozens of layers of paper for a single project, Shibata carves miniature houses, clouds, and tree-filled forests that eventually are illuminated in glass vessels, stored safely in a book, or erected in large-scale installations.
The artist tells Colossal that she doesn’t use pencil outlines, in part because the white paper isn’t durable enough to be erased if there’s an error. More Continue reading

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Pocket-Sized Notebooks Hold Miniature Paintings of Angela Mckay’s Travels
February 18, 2020

Paging through a photo album detailing every moment of a friend’s poolside vacation might not be a riveting activity, but flipping through Angela Mckay’s sketchbooks filled with tiny paintings of her travels certainly is. The Brooklyn-based pattern designer and illustrator of Okhii Studio documents the lush scenery, cavernous waters, and hilly villages she sees on the streets of Lagos, Calamosche Beach on Italy’s southern coast, and in Joshua Tree National Park. Mckay generally positions her miniature paintings against the real-life backdrop, juxtaposing the two depictions that she then shares on Instagram. More Continue reading

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An Anti-Smartphone With a Rotary Designed and Built by Space Engineer Justine Haupt
February 15, 2020

Justine Haupt, a developer of astronomy instrumentation at Brookhaven National Laboratory, spent the last three years developing a device that strips away all of the non-phone functions of modern smartphones. The Portable Wireless Electronic Digital Rotary Telephone (aka Rotary Cellphone) does not have a touchscreen, menus, or other superfluous features. It fits in Haupt’s pocket, and it makes calls.
The first version of Haupt’s anti-smartphone was made using a cellphone radio development board. More Continue reading

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Six-Year-Old Tulip Navigates a Wooly Garden in a New Animation by Andrea Love
February 14, 2020

Andrea Love (previously) is back with a new heart-felt animation detailing the journey of a six-year-old girl named Tulip. An adaptation of Hans Christen Anderson’s Thumbelina, the 8-minute short film will chronicle Tulip’s adventures navigating a dense garden after being born from a flower. “We wanted to create a contemporary adaptation of Thumbelina that allows Tulip to be a child, free from a love-story ending and able to find home in more places than one, while maintaining the original story’s themes of risk, adventure and magic,” a statement about the project says. More Continue reading

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Two Mice Photographed in a Comically Dramatic Struggle in the London Underground

Bristol-based photographer Sam Rowley is dedicated to capturing fleeting moments. After lying down on the platform near London’s Underground and waiting for two mice to appear, Rowley was able to photograph the upright pair as they engaged in a brawl over a morsel of dropped food in a shot titled “Station Squabble.” “He only saw them fight over scraps of food dropped by passengers a few times, possibly because it is so abundant,” said a statement from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, in which Rowley was awarded the 2019 Lumix People’s Choice Award. More Continue reading

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Anatomical Forms Emerge From Zippers, Quilted Fabric, and Felt by Élodie Antoine

Belgian artist Élodie Antoine understands the behavior of fibers, controlling them in ways to produce textile designs that are organic, fungal, and oftentimes anatomical in nature. Her anatomies emerge from taut lycra, dense felt structures, and an impressive number of zippers. The pieces are as much a reflection of the numerous tissue types in the human body as the textiles themselves. 
Antoine shares with Colossal her view on the connection between textiles and anatomy. More Continue reading

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Life’s Sublime Moments Unearthed in Cubist Paintings by Connor Addison
February 13, 2020

Barcelona-based painter and photographer Connor Addison situates his recent series of oil paintings within the context of philosopher Edmund Burke’s theory of the sublime. That notion is based on the idea that “whatever is in any sort terrible or operates in a manner analogous to terror, is a source of the sublime; that is, it is productive of the strongest emotion which the mind is capable of feeling.” Aptly titled Sublime Affliction, Addison’s works often feature one or two people lying or sitting still, their expressions conveyed by the shaded geometric shapes that form their fragmented faces and bodies. More Continue reading

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A Minimalist Home in Japan Utilizes a Tent Structure With Open Air Sides
February 12, 2020

A new tent-shaped home built in a small agricultural village near Nagoka, a city in the Niigata prefecture of Japan, is designed with a community in mind, rather than a single family. Conceived of by Takeru Shoji Architects, the 166.24 square-meter “Hara House” is situated on a larger estate and utilizes a simple A-frame structure made up of 120 millimeter-wide beams. The two-story home has a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and living space downstairs, with storage and two small rooms upstairs. More Continue reading

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People Are Knitting, Crocheting, and Weaving Tangible Records of Temperature Changes

In an effort to make the ongoing effects of climate change more visible, needleworkers around the globe are creating temperature blankets and scarves that track local weather patterns. Earlier this month, writer Josie George began an expansive Twitter thread about the project, motivating others to share their similar work. “I decided that this year, every day, I would knit a row on a scarf to mark the corresponding daily temperature/weather of my town,” George wrote in the original post. More Continue reading

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Minimalist Ceramics by Amy Victoria Marsh Exude Positivity and Playfulness
February 10, 2020

Relying on a simple color palette, Amy Victoria Marsh crafts minimalist ceramics meant to inspire positivity and humor. The Manchester-based artist creates playful pieces ranging from supine women reading to others wrapped up on a sushi bed to her “Happy Poo” collection. Her pastel fortune cookie even comes in an illustrated package with an uplifting saying stuffed inside.
Marsh tells It’s Nice That that much of her lighthearted work has been inspired by a 2016 visit to Japan. More Continue reading

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Brightly Colored Rope Masks Born from Happy Accidents by Bertjan Pot
February 9, 2020

During a material experiment, Dutch designer Bertjan Pot, along with his fellow designer Vladi Rapaport, discovered a technique for stitching together lengths of brightly colored rope to create interesting face masks. Though reminiscent of tribal masks and seemingly full of meaning and individual narratives, Pot says that the faces came from a less-than-successful attempt at making rugs.
When trying to turn the rope into rugs, Pot found that the material would not stay flat. More Continue reading

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Black Men Photographed Immersed in Bodies of Water by Denisse Ariana Perez
February 8, 2020

Caribbean-born, Copenhagen-based photographer Denisse Ariana Perez captures images that connect her subjects with the environment and redefine ideas of black masculinity and beauty. Taken in Benin and Uganda, Perez’s Men and Water series (I, II, and III) features men of color often topless, but not sexualized, as they sit, stand, and embrace one another in murky natural pools and beneath waterfalls.
“I’m on a quest to find beauty in the sometimes less obvious places,” Perez told It’s Nice That. More Continue reading

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Framing Pattern and Symmetry, Unintended Beauty Explores Intricacies of Industrial Spaces
February 7, 2020

It’s well understood that producing a single book is an arduous task, making it even more impressive that British photographer Alastair Philip Wiper is offering three distinct versions of his newly released work, Unintended Beauty. The monograph is available in three covers⁠—an orange or blue option with architectural and machine focuses and a black one with hanging sausages⁠—created by the design firm, IRONFLAG.
The Copenhagen-based artist has an eye for spotting the sublime complexities inside warehouses, factories, and shipyards of global institutions like Adidas, Boeing, The European Space Agency, and the Swiss research laboratory CERN, where he captured the pattern and symmetry of the industrial spaces. More Continue reading

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