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Buckminster Fuller & Others

Buckminster Fuller was some man. As a pioneer in designer/scientist/philosopher/problem-solver/futurist he’s added some profound thoughts & ideas to human culture we can still feed ourselves on.He paved the way for today’s trend watchers and just recently scientists discovered some of the oldest molecules of our universe are shaped like his Geodesic Domes – incredibly stable & strong. Yep – Bucky’s the man.

This kinetic installation by David Letellier echoes Buckminster’s synergetic structures as well as other creative grandmasters Tinguely (poetic machines) and Alexander Calder (mobiles) – followed by an image of his Terrain Project (Sierra Nevada, California) reminding a lake that was once there by using Geodesic shapes.

Buckminster Fuller Tinguely Alexander Calder David Letellier
Levi van Veluw used 150 symmetric icosahedron shapes in his drawing Origin of the Beginning – like a mini big-bang in a child’s bedroom (where it all begins).

Levi van Veluw icosahedron

According to the Buckminster Fuller Institute, Van Veluw is not far of using Bucky’s icosahedrons to depict the very start: new scientific discoveries have revealed a class of carbon molecules that have been dubbed buckminsterfullerenes because of their geodesic sphere shape. Not surprisingly, they too are incredibly stable. Some scientists believe that fullerenes may turn out to be the most prevalent and the oldest molecules in the universe, validating the mathematical geometry that Fuller developed and called Synergetics…

Dutch Design #8 – Fire Drawings by *Glithero*

These fire drawings by designers Tim Simpson and Sarah van Gameren of Studio Glithero remind me of hours of pyrographic fun we had at my primary school’s creative class: it was the thrill of the actual process that excited most, the idea of burning your mark on a bit of plywood. According to the duo:

“Only an explicit account of the process can lead to a real comprehension of the design object”

This trademark led them to a larger public in 2010 with their project Blueware: a collection of ceramics with cyanotypes, a process of capturing direct impressions of botanical specimens on earthenware, using photosensitive chemicals. And a project that married the inventions of their Anglo-Dutch predecessors.

Studio Glithero are British designer Tim Simpson and Dutch designer Sarah van Gameren, who met and studied at the Royal College of Art. From their studio in London they create product, furniture, and time-based installations that give birth to unique and wonderful products. The work is presented in a broad spectrum of media, but follows a consistent conceptual path; to capture and present the beauty in the moment things are made.

The Importance of Keeping Bees

While the world has yet to find a cause (and solution!) for colony collapse disorder more and more city farmers reintroduce bees to urban areas and teach us cosmopolitans about the basics of nature. A mesmerizing short film of urban farmer, chicken wrangler and beekeeper Megan Paska promoting the importance and benefits of beekeeping on her rooftop garden in Brooklyn, NY. If you’re not convinced by the video, read her top 10 reasons to become a beekeeper in the Huffington Post.

via Made by Hand: a short film series celebrating the people who make things by hand — sustainably, locally, and with a love for their craft.

Autumn Gold – a documentary by Jan Tenhaven

The Dutch have a great saying: rest rusts – the five 83+ old protagonists (and GREAT characters) of this inspiring and witty documentary Autumn Gold are the living proof. All training to be in top form for the Geriatric Olympics in Lahti, Finland, we get valuable insights into an alternative way of aging. They’re not scared of death or giving in with old-age limitations (it’s all in the mind!) but focus on life and Lahti. So they battle their body, and battle time but most of all they battle competition: they’re in it to win…

Dutch Design #7 – Gravity Stool by Jólan van der Wiel

Jólan van der Wiel manipulates the natural forces of gravity & magnetic fields to shape his design – a very organic, fascinating process that makes me feel humble and in awe with the wonders of physics. And the result shows just that: an extremely powerful yet sinister/disturbing looking stool. Jolan about his designs:

There are many ways for a design process. Each project is different and asks for flexibility in skills, knowledge and behavior. I admire objects that show an experimental discovery, translated to a functional design. A visible concentration in any scale I work on.

Dutch Design Gravity Stools by Jolan van der Wiel Dutch Design Gravity Stools by Jolan van der Wiel Dutch Design Gravity Machine by Jolan van der Wiel

On another note (or stool…) Jólan is also the co-founder of Black Pudding – an upcylcing design label based in Amsterdam delivering UNIQUE NOTEBOOKS on request for as little as €7.50 ex p&p. Just send them a theme, word or any other note of inspiration and they’ll make a unique little notebook for you.

Unique Pocket Notebooks - Black Pudding

Paris is Burning – a documentary by Jennie Livingstone

I spent my weekend browsing through LOVEFilm’s online streaming catalogue making a list of golden and undiscovered oldies to watch. That’s how I came across tour-de-emotional-force Paris is Burning – a documentary on NYC’s ball culture filmed in the mid to late 1980s, exploring a colourful & marginalized subculture defined by race, gender, class and capitalism. Loved the journey through Harlem’s Vogue scene – popularised by Madonna years after – following drag families and their rivalry over realness. And incredibly moved by their (un)fulfilled American Dreams, living the fantasies of fame, wealth and other aspirations denied to them. Powerful and legendary.

Watch Paris is Burning on YouTube

Pani Jurek – Maria SC.

I am obsessed! Vases coming from all ends and I like them. Just over 2 weeks ago I posted about Chris Kabel’s Hidden Vase project followed last week bij Giorgia Zanellato’s Narciso and now a Polish designer joins my club of vase fetish. Designer Pani Jurek of Gang Design was inspired by the Polish scientist Maria Sklodowska-Curie – who won the Nobel Prize in chemistry – when creating this lamp/vase made from chemistry test tubes. Pani Jurek designs go beyond its stereotypical function and make you put the pieces together, in the non-IKEA way. The hoops are adjustable in height so you can easily change your flower arrangement / scented oils / coloured water / …

Narciso – Giorgia Zanellato

Just 2 weeks ago I discovered Chris Kabel’s invisible vases and now I stumbled upon vases that multiply! Italian designer Giorgia Zanellato focuses on the functionality of a vase – not just to hold flowers & provide them of water but to display the flowers to their greatest potential. So she uses mirrors to draw attention to the role of the flowers – from a simple reflection to a kaleidoscopic effect. They’re made in borosilicate glass, powder-coated aluminium and mirrored stainless steal.

Hello… – Mattatje Oorlog vs Lionel Richie

Incredibly clever & smile enforcing edit by Matthijs Vlot – aka VJ Mattatje Oorlog – of many films supporting Lionel Richie’s master love song ‘Hello’. So much emotion! Matthijs’ website seems to have gone through the roof after this video going manically viral and is now unavailable but I can only hope to find more videos like this once it’s back up.

Dutch Design #6 – Chris Kabel

January is a great month for flowers. Not so much because there’s a wide range of choice – because there isn’t – it brings new life in any dull post-festive home. So I love my flowers, but have a troubled relationship with vases. My ‘wardrobe’ for blooms consists of all-round compatible black and transparent options with one striking vase to spice up carnations. Chris Kabel undresses flowers with his different perspective on vases displaying flowers in the nude. It looks like the flowers are growing right from the tabletop. Chris on how to make a vase disappear:

“[…]Hidden Vase started as a research, based on the way a chicken waterer works. With the help of Frank Bruggeman this concluded in a photographic registration of my initial research for the Plant Journal, a Spanish magazine about plants. Then a small collection of one-off vases was produced, based on the initial research. The flowers are placed around the water container so that it seems as if they are growing directly from the plate.”