Pott Architects, Germany

September 13, 2008

pott
Interior of a Pott Architects home in Germany (image: Rudi Meisel)

From Wallpaper:

Pott Architects is a small but very active and creative architectural practice, with an interdisciplinary approach. Founded in 2005 by Ingo Pott, a graduate from Berlin’s Technical University, the practice has already won several awards, including the Rudolf Lodders Prize – which Pott scooped at the age of 25. The Berlin-based architect has collaborated in the past with Norman Foster’s global team when they were working on the Belrin Reichtstag, as well as a variety of other projects in Germany and the UK. Following that, Pott worked in partnership with the architect Ulrich Harnann for four years before setting up on his own.

Pott sees architecture as much more than just a building. He therefore aims to create tailor-made solutions, depending on the specific demands of each commission and the requirements of each client, and always with the same high quality standards, creativity and a sense of experimentation. Residential design is a big part of the practice’s portfolio, with the featured Haus L in Glienicke being one of its most characteristic and expressive projects. This modern villa is situated on a slope in an extensive wooded site. Home to a lucky family of four, the structure appears to naturally grow out of the landscape.

click here to see the image gallery


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Eco-Friendly Product Design

September 7, 2008

knives
Knives used from recyclable material

Consumers are more and more choosing “green-friendly” options in their purchases. Whether it’s because of trends or because of a real environmental conscience, the rise of the eco-friendy product cannot go unnoticed.

Here is a sample of some eco-friendly products with cool designs made from recycled materials.

Knives (image above)
Austrian Paul Kogelnig and Swiss Gabriel Heusser have crafted these bottle-openers out of old cutlery. According to them, “The future of mass production is mass customisation.”
www.pervisioni.it

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Venezuela’s Beauty Industry

September 5, 2008

Miss Venezuela
Miss Venezuela, Dayana Mendoza

For news junkies, say the word Venezuela, and one will automatically think of two things: its assertive leader Hugo Chavez who is the bane of the USA in Latin America (a role he has taken over from Fidel Castro) and of course, oil. The latter serves as Venezuela’s main industry and main source of revenue as well as contention with the outside world. Yet there is another natural resource that Venezuela has been blessed with: beauty, and more specifically beautiful women for beauty pageants.

Rory Carroll of the UK Guardian takes a look at Venezuela’s beauty industry in: No place for runners-up in land of oil and beauty. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Many ordinary Venezuelans, male and female, proudly assert that this is a land blessed with two things: oil and beautiful women. There are thousands of local beauty contests held annually in schools and villages and banks offer loans for nose jobs.

President Hugo Chávez has railed against widespread cosmetic surgery – girls as young as 15 request breast enlargements as birthday presents – and has tried to steer the country in a more socialist and less materialistic direction.

But not even the commandante criticises the pageants.


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The Splendour That is Versailles

August 12, 2008

Versailles

Versailles’ South Gardens

Few places on Earth can compare to Château de Versailles when it comes to sheer aesthetic beauty. From the dramatic facades of the structures to the finely defined interiors, and of course the splendour of the gardens.

Take a look at this gallery of images from Versailles.


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Levi van Veluw – Face Terraform Art

August 12, 2008

Levi van Veluw

Terraforming the face to reflect open spaces

Levi van Veluw is nothing if not thorough. In the tradition of using one’s own body as a medium, van Veluw terraforms his own head to make them appear as landscapes, material, or animal skins.

Levi van Veluw´s photo series are self-portraits, drawn and photographed by himself: a one-man-process. His works constitute elemental transfers; modifying the face as object; combining it with other stylistic elements to create a third visual object of great visual impact. The work you see therefore is not a portrait, but an information-rich image of colour, form, texture, and content. The image contains the history of a short creative process, with the artist shifting between the entities of subject and object.

‘Landscapes’. This 4-piece series reinterprets the traditional landscape painting, removing plots of grass, clusters of trees, babbling brooks from their intimate 2 dimensional formats and transposing them onto the 3 dimensional contours of his own face. Thus a fresh twist is given to the obsession inherent in the romantic landscape of recreating the world and simultaneously being part of it. The romantic landscape and self-portrait genres are combined as a means of re-examination.

Click this link to see an online gallery of his work plus a video. In the meantime, here’s my favourite landscape portrait courtesy of Levi van Veluw:

Levi van Veluw


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China – home to the most exciting new architecture of the 21st century

July 17, 2008

Chinese National Centre for the Performing Arts

Chinese National Centre for the Performing Arts, design by French architect Paul Andreu

Flush with western dollars and about to stage its coming out party this summer at The Olympics in Beijing, China has remodeled itself with the help of the world’s best architects and designers. Bold, brave, creative, and yet humanistic, China is transforming itself at a pace similar to when the USA was bursting with the same self-assured confidence a century ago when it declared the 20th century to be “The American Century”. Kurt Anderson of Vanity Fair takes a peek at the visual delights rising in China in From Mao to Wow!