Archive for the ‘Wow!’ Category

Humanistic Power Line Pylons

Choi + Shine Architects has a very interesting project called Land of Giants:

Making only minor alterations to well established steel-framed tower design, we have created a series of towers that are powerful, solemn and variable. These iconic pylon-figures will become monuments in the landscape. Seeing the pylon-figures will become an unforgettable experience, elevating the towers to something more than merely a functional design of necessity.

The human forms adapt to the terrain where these are erected, mimicking the figure’s (imaginary) interaction with the landscape, whether it’s climbing a mountain or crossing a valley, using small design changes to convey the differences in posture and mood:

Very interesting! It’d probably brighten anybody’s imagination (or thoroughly haunt him)…especially if it’s produced in enough variations – imagine a long drive  through a  countryside where the electrical lines become an animated xkcd comic. (Am I thinking too much?)

Microsoft Street Slide

This is Microsoft’s awesome Street Slide technology to be shown for the computer graphics conference SIGGRAPH 2010. I’ve always thought there’s little left to improve on in navigation aid (how naive…I know, I know) – so it was a fantastic pleasant surprise to see them demo this very interesting and engaging navigation mode.

Hopefully they would launch this as a real, available (and free!) interface somewhere. Not even really thinking too deeply about how/where this would be really useful – it’s just that there’s a general ass-kickery appeal that cannot be ignored!

Design Currency

Love this video from Icograda – design currency:

I thought it was a CG computer-fakery, but as it turns out:

The theme of Design Currency 2010 is ‘Defining the Value of Design’. To promote the event and play off the ideas of currency and value, we designed and printed over 2200 custom bills and fed them through a money counter to create this animation.

OK GO Rube Goldberg

There are Rube Goldberg setups, and then there’s this:

I’m not sure if it’s already in some sort of record book for the sheer scale of it – just look at the size of the warehouse, and the variety of contraptions of all sizes…madness! No wonder it’s speeding its way around the web like wild fire…

The Immense Redwoods

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Since young I’ve known from statistics in encyclopedias that redwoods are the planet’s tallest trees – the tallest of which grows in excess of 100 meters. While my mind could probably read the numerical figure, it probably doesn’t comprehend the actual immensity and awe of it. And that’s where the following video from the National Geographic help to give some perspective:

Such amazing mother nature, and what dedication and tenacity on the parts of the photographers to capture that magnificent image!

Folding UK Plug

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This concept design for the UK plug’s been making the rounds round the web like wildfire – probably as a testament to how much people loathe the big, fat bulky UK 3-pin plug. Here’s how it works:

Sounds like a student concept project (anyone knows who I can credit?) It’s a concept design by designer Min Kyu Choi.  There are certainly still many technical issues to resolve – putting numerous moving parts and hinges into that small an area will probably require a hell lot of (costly or difficult?) engineering to realize in a large-scale, cheap manner; the live wire looks really perilously close to the neutral wire in the assembly, etc. The final comparison for the 3-way plug was also somewhat unfair as the bulkiness of the plug-heads were also due to the transformer-circuits (e.g. in Apple’s plug).

That said, I loved how the design has approached this prickly problem and tackled it with an elegant and innovative solution (loved the fuse idea – makes it easier to change too!), while still maintaining the compatibility with the current sockets. Kudos to the designer!

Glass Flowers

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Typically in the plant/botany section of a nature museum, you’d find specimens of various plant species pressed flat and preserved in formaldehyde. These flat-pressed clippings lose much of their vibrancy in color, as well as the 3-dimensionality that one would naturally find in real, live plants.

In comes glass artists Leopold Blaschka and his son Rudolf. Using glass, they are able to sculpt and replicate the plant’s 3-dimensional properties and color, giving an almost indistinguishable form from the real plants, including every intricate detail:

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Just how good they are? Apart from the samples in the photos above –

The astonishing accuracy of Harvard’s glass flowers has surprised many of the museum’s visitors, who, on seeing the display, ask to see the glass flowers.

Amazing!

[via Curious Expeditions]

The Sling Shot Man

This guy’s old, but he’s damn accurate with his slingshot. DAMN accurate.

World War – Animation by Vincent Chai

(Click on the video if you want to watch the wide-screen version)

Vincent Chai, a Malaysian(?) animator did the above trailer as his degree project at University of Hertfordshire. Wow, is this the level of work students are capable of nowadays?

Absolutely Amazing!

[More projects from other students here]

Age 10 to 60 – through Make-up & Photography

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Vogue Paris had a very interesting editorial featuring a series of photographs of the 20-years-old model Eniko Mihalik portrayed in the age of 10, 20, … 50, 60 respectively. It’s quite amazing how the overall look can be so malleable, achieved (perhaps not so) simply with tricks of the trade like hairdo, facial expression, make-up, photography angles, etc.

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At 10, a certain wide-eyed innocence with a strong suggestion on bare-chestedness, half-exposed teeth (make them seem smaller and less full-grown), very light make-up, looking almost fresh out of a swimming pool or something.

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At 20, a rather typical high-school/college girl first getting acquainted with mascara and lip-gloss; expressions of youth with straight hair, painted finger nails and fun accessories (ring); there is a sense of eagerness and anticipation in the expression.

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At 30, she looks like she’s been through some really bad relationships, on the roads, and maybe have her life mortgated to drugs and alcohol, doused generally with a sense of cynicism towards the world.

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At 40, life reins in as she matures and develops into a more assured woman; the wild sides has not been eliminated totally but tamed to a more nuanced portrayal;

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At 50, back to a very classic and enduring look showing a sense of refined sophistication after living through the many decades; tastes have been distilled and generally looks more classy.

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Finally at 60, the beauty grows inwards as the outer appearance are toned down in favor of more subtle expression (cropped hairdo, plain top), with a sense that the inner wisdom is now far more distinguishing than the outer appearance.

It’s really quite amazing that all these were achieved simply by modifying the external “packaging” on a person – that probably goes to show how precise the media can turn and distort “reality” by modifying how it is presented. Great works.

[via Miss at la Playa]