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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Masda's Nagare Design

Mazda's Nagare Design Language

Mazda-Furai-1-lg

There's a good article over at Car Body Design on Mazda's bold new design language.

“We wanted to create cars that had a ‘snapshot feeling’ of this natural motion,” explains Laurens van den Acker. “We realised that the automotive industry is one of the few industries that hadn’t yet captured these amazing natural textures from the landscape. Architecture, fashion and product design have all looked at these landscape elements. There was a great opportunity for us to interpret this for Mazda design.”

“Our new surface language is car-centric,” adds Franz von Holzhausen. “After studying the architectural approach, which tends to be strictly rigid, and the organic approach, which is highly fluid, we created Nagare to straddle those two disciplines. It is fluid, graceful, and dynamic. But the message it registers on the beholder is flow-motion.”

From here Mazda’s designers began to explore the possibility of textured surfacing on cars: as if the cars’ surfaces had been naturally sculptured by air or water. Mazda’s design team began by developing a surface language to visually describe their Flow philosophy. Like the natural elements that had inspired them the team wanted to communicate the sheer raw power of Mazda motion even when their cars were still, as van den Acker explains:

“It was in making the transition from observing motion in nature as an expression of energy to applying it to a manmade object such as a car that we discovered what a thoroughly exciting and logical creative approach the design concept represented. This revelation allowed us to proceed to create one dramatic and unique design after another.”

Mazda-Taiki-development-1-lg

Conventional automotive design dictates that the panels of car bodies are comprised of smooth, clean and clear surfaces. Yet Flow is like a ripple or a wave effect across the surface of the metal.

“The surface language of Nagare goes against conventional design thinking of clean, uncomplicated surfaces,” explains Franz von Holzhausen. “This is what we are all taught at college so it goes against the grain.

“We are breaking the golden rule of design – which is to simplify,” explains Laurens van den Acker. “Everybody will tell you to remove lines until you have no more left to remove. We are adding lines, which is kind of counter intuitive, but if we do it well it looks natural and creates beauty.”

via thisiscolossal

Take a few minutes to appreciate this astonishing 29-year-old dancer from Lawrenceville, Georgia, moving to “Pumped Up Kicks (Butch Clancy Dubstep Remix)” by Foster The People. (The entire WHZGUD2 YouTube channel is breathtaking.) NONSTOP is a co-founder of the Remote Kontrol dance crew along with Julius Chisolm and Bryan Gaynor. Glorious.

“My hope still is to leave the world a bit better than when I got here.”


Photograph by Ted Neuhoff

Mission most fully and beautifully accomplished, good sir. And the world still misses you very much. But we’ll keep believing, keep pretending.

Happy 75th birthday, Jim Henson.

The Friday Afternoon Movie: The Devil’s Backbone

Today The FAM presents 2001′s The Devil’s Backbone (El espinazo del diablo), directed by Guillermo del Toro and produced by Pedro Almodóvar. Set in 1939, during the Spanish Civil War, it tells the story of Carlos, a young boy recently deposited at an orphanage until, he is told, his father, a Republican war hero, returns. Unbeknownst to young Carlos, Franco’s Nationalists have a distinct upper-hand and his father is dead, making his stay permanent. The orphanage is run by the kindly Dr. Casares and and a curt headmistress, Carmen.

Carlos doesn’t take to the orphanage particularly well and while he makes a few friends — not the least of which is Jaime, the orphanage’s bully — all is not well. There is still the matter of Jacinto, the groundskeeper, I violent, brooding man who was an orphan himself, who is intent on stealing the gold rumored to be stored somewhere in the complex. Of course, there is also the ghost of the boy Santi, who disappeared mysteriously on the night the orphanage was bombed, and now haunts the orphanage and who tells Carlos “Many of you will die”. What happened to him and how is it connected to the cistern in the cellar?

His third film, The Devil’s Backbone features the same juxtaposition of childish innocence and dread found in his other non-Hollywood efforts: 1993′s Cronos and 2006′s Pan’s Labyrinth; that latter film continuing the exploration of many of the themes found here. It’s a look at how the unblemished mind confronts the horrors of both reality and the supernatural — a Kids Save the Day movie in the Spielberg vein, forced through a horror movie meat grinder, though del Toro perhaps treats his young characters with a bit more respect.

The horror here is handled deftly as well, the ghost is more often heard than seen outright, softly, mournfully moaning its discontent, keeping it from veering into the territory of silliness that many films in the genre are wont to do. And war, always war. Its looming specter, too, haunts this film as well as Pan’s Labyrinth. War is the real evil in these films, man the main antagonist. Even the depths of del Toro’s imagination cannot eclipse their evil.

Weather Of The Day: Mitch Dobrowner’s Storm Photography

How about some hot, meteorological pornography for your Thursday? Mitch Dobrowner has been photographing storms for only two years, producing stunning images of dark and ominous clouds towering over flat grasslands. The magnitude of these fronts is breathtaking, hulking columns of gas and lightning with the world at their mercy. If you like these, I strongly suggest you head over to lens culture and check out their high resolution slideshow. The detail in these is spectacular.

Coilhouse Can’t Stop Saying THANK YOU. (Epic Post-Fundraiser Gratitude Fest)


The core crew: @yerdua, @nicoles, @ashabeta, @theremina, @nadya, @raindrift, @angeliska, @sfslim

“I am covered in sweat, grit, glitter, leather dye, candle wax, hope & joy. #coilhouse” – @thekateblack, posted the day after. (Exactly how we felt, too.)

This post has been exactly one month in the making, but not because we’ve been flaking on it, trust us. Actually, even in the midst of everything else that’s going on (hoo-whee, there’s a lot going on), we haven’t been able to STOP thinking about it, or adding to it constantly. It’s taken time because we’ve wanted to try our best to give props to every single person who made that fundraising event possible, and beautiful, and memorable. There were so, so many of you. Danged if it didn’t take a friggin’ village. Thanks for bearing with us, comrades. Thanks for helping us. Thanks for everything. We can’t stop saying thank you.

According to our tabulations, over three-hundred people came out to the Red Lotus Room on Sunday, August 21st, 2011. Most of them braved a torrential summer downpour, sweltering heat, substantial commutes, and a tough time getting out of bed on Monday morning. Approximately two-hundred-and-fifty of these folks were ticket-holding attendees. The remaining fifty-plus consisted of our enormous (mostly volunteer) crew. And let’s not forget the hundreds of others who donated or bid, watched the Livestream remotely, or hung out DJing for us in the Coilhouse Room on Turntable.fm! This was a huge and complex undertaking for all of us, and somehow, it miraculously came together with less than three weeks of planning.


Aerialist Sarah Stewart performs a death-defying drop. Photo by Audrey Penven.

Mer’s take on the whole thing: “I don’t think I’ve hugged that many people, smiled that much or said ‘THANK YOU’ so many times in an eight hour period.” A month later, it already feels like the sweetest, stickiest, sweatiest of dreams. But it wasn’t. It was real. You were real. Because of you, Issue 06 is imminent, and all kinds of new, exciting projects are in the works. Truly, we remain so deeply grateful to all of you, and we want to tell you again, officially and publicly. So here goes….

Numen / For Use: Tape Melbourne


Photo by Fred Kroh

Numen / For Use are an art and design collective who create organic, web-like structures from adhesive tape. Their temporary installations are large and stable enough for several adults to crawl through, and the effect is not unlike being trapped in a giant spider’s web.

After climbing up a step ladder, you find yourself suspended in a series of glistening caverns, the frosted plastic obscuring your view of the outside world.


Photo by Fred Kroh.
Their latest project, Tape Melbourne, took eight days to complete, with three artists and fifteen volunteers working nine hours every day. The exhibit used thirty kilometers of tape to build, with more tape to repair and fix the structure on a nightly basis.

The Numen / For Use website contains more examples of their work, including images and videos of the construction process. You can explore their newest installation at Federation Square, Melbourne, Australia for a few more days; from now through September 24th, 2011.


Photo courtesy of Federation Square

More photos of the installation after the jump. (Editor’s note: This is our cherished intern Connie Chen’s first blog post for Coilhouse. Thank you, Connie!)

The Mark of Princess Hijab

Editor’s note: today marks the birth date of one of our most tireless and incisive contributors, Mr. David Forbes. For his birthday, David gave us a present: an interview with elusive street artist Princess Hijab. Thanks, David – happy birthday!

A spectre is haunting Paris. For five years, Metro-goers have rounded corners to find heavy, black marker strokes obscuring the idealized arcadia depicted in subway advertisements, the airbrushed bodies of the inhabitants — men and women — disappeared behind a heavy veil. Princess Hijab has struck again.

When she started her “reign” in 2006, observers initially couldn’t decide if it was the work of a modernity-hating zealot or some sort of rabble-rousing commentary. The year before Paris had destructive rioting. France has its own serious racial and ethnic issues, and culture wars are never a place for nuance. The hijab is now, controversially, banned in public.

But from her work, there is no hiding, Parisians still pour out of trains to find the mark of Princess Hijab.

She hasn’t exactly hidden from the media, either. But strangely, in an era craving constant revelation, her identity remains a closely guarded secret. She claims to be around 22 years old, poor, from an immigrant background, and not a Muslim. Those who meet her aren’t even sure if she’s female.

Via e-mail, Princess Hijab, the alias chosen to represent “a mixture of precarity and aristocracy,” has chosen to draw back the veil, just a bit, and tell us about how — and why — she chose her domain.


MizEnScen’s somber, surrealist collages


Bride I

MizEnScen’s elegant digital collages, laced with melancholia like mournful mezzotints, are a surrealist fusion of gleaned vintage engravings, illustrations, and photography in which she expresses her love of the macabre and whimsy through her work while “exploring the juxtapositions between what some consider beautiful and horrific”.
“To me,” she notes, ” they are one of the same.”

“The artist, in my opinion, is a monstrosity, something outside of nature”. -Gustave Flaubert,

Referencing this provocative quote, she postulates that this sentiment “… pertains to my works’ visual theme and aesthetic. I create images that draw on my morbid sensibilities and because of that, the images exhibit dark or morose elements. In essence, I’m inclined to the things outside of nature because that is precisely what I find beautiful.”

Those unfamiliar with her artwork may also know her as MizEnScen on tumblr in which she curates, among other things, a striking collection of film stills from early black and white cinema and cites an unapologetic love of the breathtaking, enigmatic Greta Garbo. It is unsurprising then, that she lists among her artistic inspirations: “silent film, melancholia, carnivals (sideshows), The Weimar Republic, Dia De Los Muertos, Edwardian/Victorian photography and illustrations, Surrealism, Pop Surrealism, engravings (particularly medical illustrations), German Expressionism, oddities/curios, graphic art, collage, and Dada.”

Her process involves both digital and traditional methods, about which she shares the following: “When I create a digital collage, I may or may not begin with an idea, but I simply rummage through illustrations to gather inspiration and play around with them in Photoshop. Other times I create elements that I want to incorporate either as part of a altered-digital collage or my own illustration by sketching in graphite and ink, then scanning the artwork to alter in Photoshop. Some of my other artwork is done in traditional paint and brush, my new favorite method being dry brush. Essentially the tools I use are graphite, ink, acrylic, watercolor, oil, paper, canvas, engravings/illustrations, and Photoshop.”

Though not currently an artist by trade, she is working toward making her artwork a full-time venture. More of MizEnScen’s sketches, collages, etc. can be see on her flickr page and art prints are available through society6. See below the cut for a small selection of her wistful, whimsical collages, compositions which resonate with both “traces of sadness and fleeting gladness”.

BTC: “Waking up to say…”

“…HEY GIRL!”

Yeah, admittedly, we’re a little late to the party re: this amazeballs Beauty and the Beast parody by Micah McCain. But it’s just too good NOT to post as a BTC, and surely, not all of you have experienced the spiffiness yet. Bonjour!

Mer’s Haunted House Music Score for “Empty Rooms”


Empty Rooms Trailer by adamlamas

“Empty Rooms” is an independent thriller directed by Adam Lamas in which a single mother and her non-verbal autistic son are terrorized by mysterious intruders after they move into a new house.

In addition to being Lamas’ first official feature-length film, it’s also a another first for our own Meredith Yayanos: her first feature-length film score. Complete with strings, theremin, voice, synths, raw percussive elements and piano, the score is at turns terrifying, sad, atmospheric and eerie. You can hear some of the score in the trailer above, and listen to several low-res, unmixed clips of the score on Mer’s Soundcloud. Appropriately enough, Mer recorded the score over the course of “several cold, dark, occasionally terrifying months” last year, hunched over her laptop, alone in a large, unheated house in the middle of nowhere. Engineered in Dolby 5.1 Digital Surround Sound for the film, the score is “OFF THE HOOK!!!” according to the director.

In addition to working on Coilhouse, Mer is currently in the studio finishing up an album as The Parlour Trick, her similarly spooky “haunted chamber music” project with multi-instrumentalist Dan Cantrell. As she tweeted four hours ago, “cheerfully trapped in tiny room w/cacophony of bowed glockenspiel, pump organ, chamber strings, bodhrán, grand piano, typewriter, celeste.” Sounds promising indeed. More news about The Parlour Trick in the months to come.


Photo by Audrey Penven

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