Category Archives: Art/Design

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When Chess Meet Art

Chess has gotten a bad rep over the years as being a game for the geeks, but not anymore. A group of artists have found a way to make the game of chess more interesting, visually appealing and even fun for the general public.

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“The Art of Chess” is an exhibition that will be taking place at the Project B Gallery in Milan from April 14th-May14th 2010.  The gallery will be filled with ornate and eccentric concepts surrounding the classic chess board through the eyes of artists around the world. Some sneak peaks have ranged from miniature house appliance pieces to naked barbies.

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How can one go wrong with a game where loss still results in artistic enjoyment? We suggest you check it out, mate.

– Talia Ricci

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Typographic Photobooth

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If your face was a font, what would it look like?

No we’re not kidding.

Do you think you’d have more of the clean curves of a Helvetica or do you think you’d be more of a classically balanced Georgia?

For those of you who don’t know what you’d be (or are still confused) may we present, TYPEFACE.

TYPEFACE is a custom software that analyzes your facial dimensions and then translates them into a type design. Each individual typeface can also be tweaked slightly by simply changing your facial expression. To make things even easier, individual fonts can be saved and exported by pdf.

The program is still a work-in-progress, but a downloadable version will be available soon. Keep checking this website for details.

While I’ll embarrassingly admit we did enjoy that whole change-your-face-into-a-50s-grad-photo thing, this is so much cooler.

– Alexa P Gray

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Tourbillon Cell Phone

To those who know what a Tourbillon mechanism is, you’re very smart. For those who don’t, it’s the mechanism used to power many 19th century watches, without the use of electronics…Got that? Also, it’s now in a cell phone.

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The not yet released Celsius X VI II cell phone incorporates Remontage Papillon technology, meaning it runs mechanically, no electronics. That’s right, none.

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This complex, hand finished, 550 mechanical-part mind bender uses a mechanism that mimics the movements of a butterfly in order to power the phone. Complicated? Yes. Functional? Completely.

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The inner workings of the phone are not only attractive to look at–it bares almost all–but the mechanism is powered simply by opening the phone. Seems easy enough now, doesn’t it.

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Three years in the making, this otherworldly piece of modern machinery is set to release in a few days at the prestigious Baselworld, 2010.

The complex simplicity of the Celsius makes it very attractive and we can’t wait to see it in action.

– Tim Morse

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Drink up this lampshade

Tim Fishlock’s done it again— he’s given new life to an object that’s usually thrown-out after one use. This time, it’s the drinking straw.

His lampshade is made up of 3,000 drinking straws that are all connected into one long chain.

With that one chain, Fishlock creates a translucent sphere to surround the lightbulb. If you really wanted to, you could unroll the ball and get one uber-long straw… but if it takes Fishlock seven days to put together, it might take you a little bit longer to get it back into lampshade form.

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The drinking straw lampshade, aptly named Gulp, comes on the heels of Fishlock’s What Watt? another spherical chandelier made up of more than 1,243 incandescent lightbulbs of various shapes and sizes.

But, one can’t help but wonder, were these previously used straws?

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-Otiena Ellwand

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Hydro Floors

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Personal indoor pools will always be at the lap of luxury, but Hydrofloors will take it to the next level.

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The pool pimps at Hydrofloor designed a ‘walk on pool.’ Not like walk on water, but a the floor actually sinks down and fills with water at the touch of a button.  Hello future, technology, you are so nice to us sometimes… In effect you can go from dance party to pool party in less than an hour. Not too shabby.

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And the nice thing is, when you aren’t using the pool it blends in with the rest of the floor, making it virtually unnoticeable.

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The “nearly invisible” system can be adjustable to whatever water level you like, you want a wading pool, done. A swimming pool, done. You can even adjust different parts of the pool to different heights, shallow end for the kiddies and deep end for the adults. Just be sure that after you elevate it, you give it some time to dry out before you break out your dancing shoes…

-Tim Morse

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Playing red light, green light in the shower?


photo from waterpebble

After a long day, most, if not all of us, look forward to having a long hot shower—the kind that turns you into a prune. Just thinking about it can make you sigh with want, but too much of anything, is never good. That feeling of guilt for spending an hour, or more, in the shower sets in, and you wonder, how much is too much?

photo from waterpebble

 Introducing the Waterpebble, a small translucent device shaped like a pebble, monitors water going down the plug hole when you shower. It memorises your first shower, and uses it as a benchmark for the coming ones. Then the LED illuminates, and is pretty much like a traffic light telling you when to get out. Green, enjoy that hot beating water, yellow get ready to wind it down, aka, get that condition out of your hair, and red, turn the tap off stat!

 From that moment on, Waterpebble automatically fractionally, reduces your shower intake, shortening your showers, basically it’s a no brainer: set it, and forget it. Not too bad huh…

 Say goodbye to wrinkly fingers and toes!

-Melissa S.Robinson

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Ok Go, the viral video music machine!

In Grade 6 science class we built a Rube Goldberg machine. The trick was to achieve a simple task, like getting a ball from Point A to Point B, in a very complex way, using mostly chain reactions.

The band Ok Go, famous for their Grammy award-winning treadmill video “Here it Goes Again”, has spawned another viral video for their new song, “This Too Shall Pass”. This time, the band got help from the engineering company, Syyn Labs, to assist them in twisting their upbeat music with technology to create the ultimate Rube Goldberg music machine.

As the tempo picks up, a piano is dropped and shatters, a shopping cart spills all of its contents, rainbow flags make you think of Feist’s hit music video 1,2,3,4 for all it’s colourful cheer. It’s a winning science fair project turned wacky art experiment, using every possible garage and attic item found. Then, SMASH, a hammer hits a T.V. playing their famous treadmill video, in tune with the lyrics, “Let go of the old, this too shall pass” (Ok Go, what are you trying to tell us?). It even includes a car, and one of the band members flying into a stack of cardboard boxes as one part of the chain reaction. Black umbrellas are raining from the sky, yellow balls are bouncing all over the place, colourful paper airplanes are zooming from the ceiling and a bunch of silver garbage bins have toppled over. It’s chaotic, but somehow systematic, it’s brilliant. It ends with the band members being splattered with more paint and all of the engineers who worked on the project cheering from the loft above. Woah! I click ‘replay’, there were a few things I missed.

It took several months to build the machine that is featured in their four-minute long music video. To make the project even more challenging, the machine had to be built on a shoestring budget, span two floors of an old warehouse in Los Angeles, and, of course, be in sync with the song’s beats and lyrics.

The video had its world premiere on YouTube on March 1st and has already had well over 2 million views. More awards to come? We think so.

-Otiena Ellwand


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Yummy, Gummi Chandelier

Craving some gummi bears? Corner store too far? Then pluck one from your chandelier.

Image from Jellio's Facebook Page.

The design company Jellio just recently released their gummi bear chandelier light. It’s a sphere made out of approximately 5,000 hand-strung acrylic gummi bears (okay, so I was just kidding about the eating part). The process takes two months to complete and the company has decided to create just ten of the yummy, gummi chandeliers—to keep them in that much coveted one-of-a-kind category.

Image from Jellio's Facebook Page

Jellio is known for making fun home furnishings that often play off our childhood memories. The company built a sign made out of actual miniature Hot Wheels cars for one car enthusiast, and for another custom project, the company created cupcake chairs for a pop-up bakeshop in Toronto.
Jellio’s Hot Wheels custom design project. Image from:

Jellio's Robin Hood custom design project. Image from:

Jellio sure knows how to get our stomachs grumbling!
-Otiena Ellwand

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Banksy releases Film, opens Gallery

International renegade and guerilla graffiti artist, Banksy is back, and in his prime.

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To help promote his new film ‘Exit Through The Gift Shop,’ originally titled ‘How To Sell Sh*t to C**ts,’ Banksy created a gritty, underground Pop-Up Cinema, where he can not only display his famous stencil art, but also his physical art and the film.

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The film, shot by French filmmaker Thierry Guetta, documents Banksy going about the world as he does his art.

It received mixed reviews at Sundance, some critics described it as a mockumentary, believing none of it to be real, while others said it was a real and honest film.

In keeping with being real and honest, Bansky’s theatre is a filthy, underground shrine is a 150-seat theatre located under the Waterloo train station in London, that has been dubbed ‘The Lambeth Palace.’ Now, Banksy is back on the streets and now underneath them as well.

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Despite being rather eerie the dwelling being almost decrepit, the film sold out immediately after tickets were released. Shows are scheduled only until March 4, 2010, talk about a limited release!

To promote the film even further Banksy shot a video that will appear on various websites showing him doing a classic stencil piece: spray painting a monkey holding a movie clapper in front of a back alley security camera.

Banksy has been a staple in the art world for not only his work, but the political statements that go along with it: everything from painting KKK members being hung in Birmingham to painting ladders on the separation wall at West Bank.

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So, Banksy has a new film, new theatre/gallery, what’s next?

“I was planning on making some huge paintings about sleepwalking our way towards the apocalypse, but I ended up going to the pub and getting some crisps,” said Banksy to London’s Times Online.

Here’s the trailer
– Tim Morse

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