Macro Photos Spotlight the Colorful, Whimsical Plant Growths Caused by Cynipid Wasps
June 30, 2021

When an herbivorous insect like an aphid or mite needs a place to feed and reproduce, it sometimes seizes a tiny section of a plant where it creates an abnormal growth or gall. These tissue pockets provide shelter and nutrition for the maker, and although some can be unsightly blemishes on the host, others, like these brightly colored growths of cynipid wasps, are bizarrely beautiful additions to the otherwise green leaves. Photographed by Timothy Boomer, the macro images capture the imperceptible details of the galls, which appear like fairytale-style mushroom houses, prickly sea urchins, and fuzzy, striped domes. More Continue reading

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350 Layers of Coiled Clay Form an Organic Low-Carbon Home Made Through 3D-Printing
April 23, 2021

Last summer, The New York Times Magazine published a series of articles declaring that climate migration—a global exodus that’s predicted to displace between 50 and 300 million people worldwide—has begun. As more regions surrounding the equator become uninhabitable due to rising temperatures, crop losses, and disasters, entire populations will be forced to relocate to regions with more stable environments and economies. This impending movement coupled with an ongoing lack of affordable housing has sparked a wave of conversation about how best to remedy the looming crisis. More Continue reading

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Tokyo’s Kadokawa Culture Museum Houses an Arresting Kengo Kuma-Designed Bookshelf Theater
February 19, 2021

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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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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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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Clusters of Candy-Colored Domes Designed for Communal Living Populate Iran’s Hormuz Island
December 8, 2020

Along the beaches of Hormuz Island in the Persian Gulf lies a series of gumdrop-esque abodes. The multipurpose project, titled “Presence in Hormuz,” features earthen structures that dot the sandy landscape in a textured cluster of peaks and bulbs.
To build the candy-colored domes, ZAV Architects utilized the SuperAdobe process of renowned Iranian architect Nader Khalili, which involves stacking coils of wet earth, and trained local craftsman in the technique. More Continue reading

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Vertical Cities Soar Into the Sky in Otherworldly Digital Paintings by Artist Raphael Vanhomwegen
November 6, 2020

Raphael Vanhomwegen describes his process as “visual brainstorming,” a technique that involves rendering his digital paintings quickly “to keep a spontaneous going-with-the-flow feeling.” The Belgium-based artist depicts vertically built cities with houses, shops, and stairwells that spring up from a hillside or body of water. Whether in technicolor, neutral shades, or moody grays, the soaring architecture is otherworldly and even foreboding as it appears to peek through surrounding fog. In many works, a few figures are perched on the balcony or a swarm of birds flies overhead. More Continue reading

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Multi-Story Murals Showcase Domesticity through Elegant Ceramic Tableware

Spanish street artist Manolo Mesa merges public and private spheres through large-scale murals that highlight simple domestic objects. The multiple-story artworks depict traditional dining scenes, from an elegant porcelain tea set to a lone jug with swirling flourishes to another vessel resting on a saucer.
To complete a recent tableau in Oviedo, Spain, for Parees Fest, Mesa explored the history of an abandoned pottery factory in San Claudio. Event organizers gathered tableware from local residents, a collection that informed the shapes and exterior motifs of his work.  More Continue reading

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