Rich Gradients Flow Through a Luxe Set of Chocolate Bars with Matching Packaging
February 25, 2021

Whether subtly shifting from lemon balm to mint or more dramatically from chestnut to beet-soaked maroon, Little MOTHERHOUSE’s sweets are infused with elegant gradients that permeate both bar and packaging. The white-chocolate treats are produced from cocoa beans grown on a farm in Sulawesi, Indonesia, and then dyed naturally with fruits, teas, and other edibles. Their luxe aesthetic dovetails with equally sumptuous flavors, including black pepper yuzu, matcha raspberry, and cassis brandy, all of which coincide with one of Japan’s four seasons. More Continue reading

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A Striking Curved Wall Swells Upward Across Three Stories of a Taipei Home by Yuan Architects
February 23, 2021

Nestled in the mountainous region of Taipei’s Xindian district is a new home by Yuan Architects that mirrors the stately landscape outdoors. In “Lan Villa,” the international design firm constructed a central, curved wall that sweeps upward as it follows the two staircases from ground floor to ceiling. It mimics the roving scenery that can be viewed through the large, glass windows covering the back facade.
Cloaked in wooden slats, the striking enclosure spans all three stories of the 2,390-square-foot home, which features a kitchen, dining area, and large deck on the first level, main entrance and mezzanine on the second, and bedrooms on the uppermost floor. More Continue reading

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The First USPS Stamp Designed by an Alaska Native Artist Features a Trickster Raven as It Steals the Sun
February 19, 2021

When it’s released later this summer, a new stamp from the U.S. Postal Service will illuminate a piece of Indigenous culture that’s long been associated with an escape from darkness. Titled “Raven Story,” the history-making postage features an iconic animal rendered by Rico Lanáat’ Worl, who is the first Tlingit and Athabascan artist to be featured by U.S.P.S. Awash with twinkling stars, the stamp portrays a black bird grasping the sun in its beak as it breaks from its human family. More Continue reading

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Tokyo’s Kadokawa Culture Museum Houses an Arresting Kengo Kuma-Designed Bookshelf Theater

Although it boasts more than 50,000 books, the massive library at the heart of the Kadokawa Culture Museum (previously) isn’t just for bibliophiles or curious readers hoping to stumble upon a new title. Designed by renowned architect Kengo Kuma (previously), the towering venue is more accurately billed as a cultural gathering space than a traditional book collection, which Ryosuke Kosuge, who works as RK, recently documented a new series of photographs. More Continue reading

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‘Same Energy’ is a New Visual Search Engine That Finds Related Images by Style and Mood
February 12, 2021

Toronto-based developer Jacob Jackson just launched a simple visual search engine that’s particularly adept at gathering results with similar patterns, compositions, and textures. Aptly named Same Energy, the tool is still in beta and minimal by design, with a focus on the image rather than keywords. Results are grouped together by category, which generates a more comprehensive set of findings than similar searches. “We believe it should integrate a rich visual understanding, capturing the artistic style and overall mood of an image, not just the objects in it,” a statement says. More Continue reading

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Join SCI-Arc This Summer for Making+Meaning, a Program Exploring Architecture and Design
February 8, 2021

Making+Meaning students are introduced to the exploratory practice of architecture and design. It exposes participants to a wide range of techniques within a conceptual design framework, departing from the recognizable to create unique, engaging content and experiences. Students complete the program with a sophisticated design portfolio showcasing work produced using a variety of digital representation and fabrication methods, made alongside a global community of creators. Students are offered the opportunity to employ cutting-edge tools such as animation, AR content visualization, photogrammetry, and 3D modeling throughout the program. More Continue reading

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RISD Continuing Education Announces 140+ Online Courses This Spring
February 1, 2021

Rhode Island School of Design Continuing Education is excited to announce more than 140 online courses for adults and teens this spring—including RISD’s Advanced Program for High School Students. RISD CE Certificate Programs are now being offered 100% online.
Continuing Education students can take online classes from anywhere in the world, at any time of day or night. Courses are taught by professional artists, designers, and makers, and RISD CE is open admission—everyone is welcome. More Continue reading

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An Elaborate Kamidana Shrine Designed by Naohiko Shimoda Wraps an Inner Corner
January 29, 2021

Architect Naohiko Shimoda’s interpretation of a kamidana—a small altar or “god shelf” that’s part of a tradition to bring Shinto shrines into private spaces—strays from the simple ledges most often found in Japanese homes. Designed with an intricate foundation and slatted roof, the wooden structure lines an inner corner and is installed high on the wall following the custom. The precise and detailed construction is built on a 1:1 scale, allowing it to “be regarded as architecture with unique proportions and beauty.”
The size of many Japanese houses today limits the placement of the miniature shrines, Shimoda says, which spurred the original 2018 design that’s similar in style but wraps around an outer corner. More Continue reading

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An Innovative Installation Embeds Lights into a Five-Acre Field to Spur Crop Growth


Spread across a thick field of leeks in the Netherlands is Daan Roosegaarde’s new installation that illuminates the practice of modern farming, highlighting the plants that feed us and their plights. In “Grow,” the Dutch artist and designer, who’s known for glowing, interactive exhibits, implanted the rows with red, blue, and ultraviolet lights that shine vertically across the crop and shift in entrancing motion.
Spanning 20,000-square-meters, the multi-faceted project is both aesthetic and practical: the radiant landscape is visually stunning, while the embedded elements enhance plant growth and cut pesticide use in half. More Continue reading

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This Elaborately Armored Samurai Was Folded From A Single Sheet of Paper
January 16, 2021

Juho Könkkölä spent upwards of 50 hours scoring and folding just one sheet of Wenzhou rice paper to create this painstakingly detailed samurai complete with plated armor, traditional helmet, and sword. Beginning with a 95 x 95-centimeter page, the 23-year-old Finnish artist used a combination of wet and dry origami techniques to shape the 28-centimeter-tall warrior of his own design. “There are several hundreds of steps to fold it from the square and there are probably thousands of individual folds,” he said in a statement, noting that crafting the geometric patterns for the armor was the most difficult. More Continue reading

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60,000 Bees Recreate the Nefertiti Bust and Other Classic Sculptures in Wax with Artist Tomáš Libertíny
January 15, 2021

Tomáš Libertíny prefers to collaborate when recreating iconic busts and sculptures, although his chosen partners don’t join him in the studio. The Slovakia-born artist tasks tens of thousands of bees with forming the porous outer layers of classic artworks like the “Nefertiti Bust,” Michelangelo’s “Brutus,” and a large jug based on the “Nolan amphora” at The Met.
Encased in honeycomb, the resulting sculptures generate a dialogue between the newly produced organic material and art historical subject matter. More Continue reading

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Readymade Cross-Stitch and Floral Motifs Are Embroidered Directly into Porcelain Vases
January 7, 2021

Caroline Harrius merges two historically domestic crafts in her florally embroidered vases. The Stockholm-based artist shapes tall vessels and studs them with tiny holes just big enough for thread to pass through. Adorned with a readymade cross-stitch pattern or Harrius’s own floral motifs, the finished vases are semi-functional and visualize the intersections of gender and craft history, particularly in relation to decoration and purpose.
Harrius recently graduated with a master’s degree in ceramics art from Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts and Design, where she began the porcelain pair. More Continue reading

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Vertical Dwellings Nestle into the Floating Miniature Landscapes of Rosa de Jong
December 29, 2020

Suspended within Rosa de Jong’s simple wooden frames are miniature dwellings that climb the steep, rocky terrain. Stilt houses, tents, and exceptionally tall ladders form the idyllic environments that are surrounded by faux moss, minuscule trees, and generally rugged typography. Once assembled, the enchanting scenes appear to float in the open air or within the vertical enclosures of test tubes.
Based in Amsterdam, de Jong (previously) shares with Colossal that she hopes to incorporate water-rooted plants and crystals into future projects. More Continue reading

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Dialogo: A Frenzied Short Film Translates Indiscernible Audio into Kinetic Sound Sculptures
December 28, 2020

Juxtaposing natural elements and mechanics, “Dialogo” harnesses the frenetic, indiscernible components of language into a synesthetic experience. A mix of stop-motion and live-action, the short film features entirely hand-crafted sculptures by the Madrid-based design studio blo que. Each motorized work translates human utterings into movement, whether through an undulating tube of neon or oscillating florals, generating new associations in a conversation between the senses.
To represent the original audio in a visual manner, blo que converts the speech waveforms into animation curves, which subsequently mobilizes the sculpture’s engines. More Continue reading

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Teeming with Flourishes, Narrative Sculptures by Amber Cowan Revitalize Vintage Pressed Glass

The monochromatic assemblages of Amber Cowan (previously) are at once domestic narratives and homages to an abandoned industry. Delicate baubles frame a central figure or scene that the Philadelphia-based artist illustrates with scraps of pressed glass. Whether focused on a lone bridesmaid or a hen hoarding eggs, Cowan’s works explore the feminine experience through themes of “loneliness, the search for meaning, the search for love, and the following of symbolism in the mundane.”
Cowan shops at antique stores and markets for materials, although she more frequently scours scrapyards around the country for discarded bits of glass, which are known as cullets. More Continue reading

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