Seattle Is Building the Coolest Electrical Substation Ever
Construction is underway for Seattle’s Denny Substation, an innovative electrical substation determined to defy expectations by becoming a vibrant public gathering place rather than a blight on the landscape.
A Spanish Street Artist Gives a Drab Kiev Train a Psychedelic Makeover
Veteran Spanish street artist Okuda San Miguel has transformed public spaces around the world with his riotously colored, geometric, fantastical painting style. Recently, he has turned a historic Spanish church into the Sistine Chapel of skateboarding and enlivened the otherwise blank sides of long-haul trucks to create a rolling art gallery on the Spanish highway.
JFK Terminal 4 Adds Playful Signage to Try to Make Air Travel Less Grating
To cheer up travelers stuck in airport purgatory, Amsterdam’s airport has recently commissioned prominent Dutch designers to install a giant clock whose numbers are painted on by human hands and a dreamy wall of three-dimensional clouds. NowJFK’s Terminal 4 is using design to freshen up its image and inject some personality into the busy travel hub with a cheerful new logo and directional signage from branding firm Base Design.
This Lightbulb Was Designed to Make You Look More Beautiful
Award-winning British company Plumen has made its reputation on reinventing the lowly lightbulb, with eco-friendly designer bulbs that are now sold and featured in prominent museum collections around the world. The company’s first release was the sculptural Plumen 001 in 2010. In 2014, it released Plumen 002, a softer take on the original. Its newest bulb is the 003, which it bills as “a patented bulb that will make you and your surroundings more beautiful.”
An Annual Dutch Flower Parade Uses Millions of Dahlias to Create These Dazzling Floats
On the first Sunday of September every year since 1936, Zundert—a small town in the Netherlands that is the birthplace of Vincent van Gogh—puts on the world’s largest volunteer-run flower parade, with a raft of over-the-top floats made from local dahlias. (Last year’s parade featured a special theme edition with floats inspired by Van Gogh to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the artist’s death.)
A Designer Reimagined Classic Music Scores as Colorful Data Visualizations
Chicago-based web developer and artist Nicholas Rougeux designs mesmerizing data visualizations using such disparate subject matter as tangled freeway interchanges, Shakespeare sonnets, and urban weather patterns as fodder. His latest project, “Off the Staff,” visualizes notes from famous classical music scores, part of a long tradition of experimental notation that transforms standard sheet music into works of expressive art. Or in this case, like a stylized riff on Rorschach test ink blots.
London Burned an Effigy of the City to Mark the 350th Anniversary of Its Most Devastating Fire
In 1666, London was devastated by a raging inferno that laid waste to its medieval wooden infrastructure and became one of the defining disasters in the city’s history. From August 30 to September 4, the city commemorated the Great Fire of London with Great Fire 350, a series of fire-themed art and cultural events that culminated in “London 1666,” a spectacular symbolic reenactment of the fire by American sculptor David Best.
Portraits of the 2016 Presidential Candidates, Rendered in $1 Bills
Brooklyn-based collage artist Mark Wagner’s artistic currency is the $1 bill, which he meticulously carves up into pieces and glues back together to make intricate dollar-themed portraits of politicians past and present and scenic commentaries on the role of money and power on democracy and the global economy. His work is held in the collections such as the Museum of Modern Art, the National Portrait Gallery, the Library of Congress, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The traveling circus of the 2016 presidential election has inspired a new body of work that Wagner will display in “I am Mark Wagner and I Approve This Message,” an exhibition opening Thursday that is Wagner’s second election-themed art show.
This Design Studio Eats a Home-Cooked Lunch Together Every Day
For office workers, lunch usually involves scarfing down a salad in your cubicle or using your break to work out, run errands, or get some fresh air and escape the office—and your colleagues. But the 90 employees in Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson’s Berlin-based studio don’t settle for desk salads or take-out. Instead, the man whose work includes monumental public installations like a giant waterfall in the gardens of the Château de Versailles runs a creative studio in which employees are required to assemble daily for a home-cooked, sit-down lunch.
This Japanese Kindergarten Has an Awesome Slide Directly Down to the Playground
A whimsical new Japanese kindergarten built on the bones of a former two-story home in Okazaki, Japan, the Clover House by Chinese firm MAD Architects has views of paddy fields and mountains—and an exterior slide that lets kids escape through a second-floor window to a playground below.