One of my favorite parts of basketball games is the player introductions, which are essentially laser light shows to get the home crowd pumped up for the opening minutes of the game. I imagine that this video, which was played at the London Velopark before track cycling events over the past five days, is intended to have the same effect (except that the heats themselves are over in a matter of minutes).
Commissioned by LOCOG (the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games for the uninitiated), digital experience specialists Crystal CG created the Tron-inspired animation, featuring original music from the UK's own Chemical Brothers.
Crystal has created a three minute animated sequence for the song's promotional video to match its heart-pounding rhythms. Played in the Velodrome before every session the video shows the Velodrome as never before, literally pulsating with excitement.
"We've created sweeping contours and sleek surfaces as the backdrop for an intense, futuristic cycling 'duel' as two animated riders power round the track," said Darren Groucutt, creative director at Crystal. "It truly brings the Velodrome to life."
The sport has enjoyed growing popularity in the UK in particular, and the home team enjoyed the support of a full house in the 6,000-person capacity velodrome throughout the five days of track cycling events, which ended yesterday. Indeed, Great Britain absolutely dominated the 250m circuit, winning gold in seven of the ten events to complement Bradley Wiggins' gold in the road time trial. (After defending his Olympic title in individual pursuit and earning his third track cycling gold the last time around in Beijing, Wiggins turned his attention to road cycling, becoming the first Brit to win the Tour de France just a few weeks prior to the London Olympics.)
If you're not excited about tonight's Opening Ceremonies, this beautifully crafted animated short by Passion Pictures' Pete Candeland will get you in the mood. "Stadium UK" will be used for the BBC's Olympic coverage and depicts athletes employing the London landscape as their training grounds.
Granted this has nothing to do with design, but this is a visually freaking amazing thing to see. Eighty-eight members of a female skydiving team known as the Pearls of Russia jumped out of a plane, and this is what happened:
According to the YouTube description, the 88-woman "flower" now holds the world's record.
Film production company Common Machine doesn't mince its words when it comes to their latest project, for KA-BAR knives: "The company may be more than a century old, but its emerging marketing philosophy is (if you'll forgive the pun) cutting edge: No more old media, just badass branded entertainment for the Web."
Which shouldn't detract from your viewing experience in the least: the sub-2.5-minute short hits that double sweet spot of American manufacturing heritage and superior production value.
If that doesn't make you want a KA-BAR knife, I regret to inform you that you're not a blue-blooded American... perhaps you'd be more interested to see the Australian and European alternatives (for manufacturing videos, not knives... Crocodile Dundee has nothing on us).
Painter and muralist Josef Kristofoletti is pleased to present his latest project, the "Atlas Detector," commissioned by none other than the ATLAS Experiment at CERN, which is headquartered within the otherwise nondescript building. While we eagerly anticipate confirmation of a certain recent discovery, the Austin TX-based artist has recently completed his eyecatching rendition of the very same.
The three-story tall mural was painted by international artist Josef Kristofoletti on the side of the ATLAS control room directly above the detector, near the Swiss-French border outside of Geneva. This project was inspired by the same questions that the physicists at CERN are trying to answer; where did we come from, what does it mean to be human, and what is our place in the universe. The artist worked closely on location with physicists at CERN over the course of a year to create the mural. It depicts the artist's interpretation of what the Higgs boson might look like.
Here's a gem from the MCM archives (via Visual News): "'The Expanding Airport' was created for the presentation of the new international airport for Washington, D.C. in 1958. Through familiar sounds and experiences, comparisons and basic infographics, the Eameses were able to distill complex concepts into something digestible and clear."
Charles and Ray Eames made this film for their friend Eero Saarinen so that he could concisely tell the history of his breakthrough idea for Dulles Airport in Washington DC. Saarinen had only two hours to meet with the heads of the major airlines and he had found in rehearsals of his presentation he used most of that time setting up the history. Charles and Ray did it in less than ten minutes, and lacked nothing in charm and appeal.
With this short, the Eames Studio achieved a different kind of timelessness, at least to the extent that all mistakes offer lessons to posterity. In fairness to Charles & Ray, the animated short was perhaps the most successful part of Eero Saarinen's concept for an "Expanding Airport," which was a bit more ambitious than, say, a house of cards, perhaps to its own detriment: today, the notion of a 'mobile lounge' sounds more like a padded room for making calls (à la smoking lounge) than a modular waiting area.
If only Butzi Porsche were around to see this upcoming documentary. Industry Films' Urban Outlaw follows Magnus Walker, an Los Angeles-based Porsche customizer completely obsessed with the 911.
"The 911's just such an iconic shape, you know, it's the classic Porsche," says Walker. "When people think of Porsche, they think of 911."
Walker's mission in life (aside from fixing Porsches up to make a living) is to collect 911's from every year of their production, from 1964 to 1973. He's one car away from realizing his dream. But enough talk—peep the trailer, full-screen please:
In case you missed it, the American Design Club put on a great show under the banner Raw + Unfiltered during ICFF. Our photo editors captured our faves in the NY Design Week Photo Gallery but now we've got a great look at the behind the scenes!
Meet the five managing members of AmDC, check out great insight from participating designers (we were particularly psyched about Fort Standard's bronze candelabra's cast from the sprues at 1:11). Interviews with Kiel Mead, Bec Brittain, Henry Julier, Fort Standard, Annie Lennon, Sam Cochran and more. (Warning...gratuitous plug at the end of the video.)
"I think Industrial Designers can do everything, from a watch, to a car to a building," explains the ever-charming British designer Ross Lovegrove. "If you are an industrial designer, I am one of you."
Lovegrove speaks with Core77 live from the Triennale Design Museum in Milan. Watch this exclusive video with where Lovegrove discusses Liquidkristal, his new architectural glass walls for Czech manufacturer Lasvit. The process for creating these walls took over a year to develop and employed fluid dynamics to digitally explore large-scale distribution and densification patterns found in nature.
Working with mathematical models, the behavior of glass was simulated under controlled thermo induction. This produced a highly informed line code, which serves as the blueprint for the production process, where highly precise temperature control imbues the glass surface with the beauty of optical effects seen in water. Working with Lovegrove, Lasvit's research facilities, led by Tomá Kamenec, developed a special flexible mold system to capture this effect. The finished product is highly customisable, allowing large-scale pattern aggregations over multiple sheets.
When we built our first Melvin late 2010, we built it BIG because it needed to entertain loads of people all at once. After its initial (online) success, a lot of people, companies and festivals inquired about its availability to do a show. After some phone calls and e-mails back and forth the conclusion was always the same: Melvin was simply too big and expensive to rebuild.
Early 2012, we had some time to spare and we felt the need to challenge ourselves once again, so we set out to build a new Melvin. This time around we could determine our own boundaries and that's why we decided to build a travel version that 'sends' its own postcards and interacts (in some way) with the people around it.
In short, this new Melvin is a Rube Goldberg machine specifically built to travel the world, and let's be honest, we like the idea of going with him whenever and wherever we can.
The film for "Melvin the Mini Machine" is something of a slow build, but I'd recommend watching it in full:
"Hand made-high tech," is a great framework for thinking about Silo's approach to product design. The graduating RCA duo comprised of Attua Aparicio and Oscar Wanless work with industrial materials and processes and adapt them to a more craft approach.
At the RCA student show hosted in Ventura Lambrate, Silo exhibited a collection of vivid new creations utilizing hand-sewn fabric molds filled with raw polystyrene granuales. The process, developed by the duo, they've coined NSEPS—not so expanded polystyrene. The result is a highly graphic, lightweight and structurally stable collection of furniture, lighting, interior objects and personal accessories.
In the few weeks since Google announced their Project Glass, you've undoubtedly seen the spoof videos that popped up cynically assuming the product would be overtaken by ads. What you probably haven't seen is this rather unexpected (and entirely speculative) take on what Project Glass could bring. (Warning: If you have never played Battlefield, and/or are not a 16-to-40-year-old male, you may find this video a tad violent for your tastes.)
It's been a while since we last checked in with the Tiny House movement and we're happy to see it's still going strong. To refresh your memory, Tiny Houses—as little as 89 square feet—are designed by company founder Jay Shafer to reduce your carbon footprint to its absolute minimum.
The latest development is Tiny - A Story About Living Small, a film documenting Christopher Smith's conversion from ordinary life into Tiny House living. Smith is a bit unusual in that he's young (just 30) and has no building experience, yet purchased five acres in Colorado and is determined to build his own home with his bare hands. (Check the video preview after the jump.)
Nike CEO Mark Parker has a more intimate connection with the design process than your average executive, as he originally signed on as a footwear designer before working his way up the ranks. At this month's NFL launch event, Core77 caught up with the man who oversees Nike's multibillion-dollar empire--and a staff of some 700 designers, not to mention the external creatives whom Nike consults with--to talk big-picture design.
In the video below, Parker describes how Nike observes and collects data from the athletes they work with and injects that into the design process; how co-founder Bill Bowerman's relentless inventorship continues to inform Nike's ethos today; how footwear continues to evolve through advances in materials science; why sustainability and impact is a big part of Nike's design process; and the importance of designers remaining connected to the world for which they design.
This is a truly heartwarming example of some unintended side effects of product design, and this is your must-see video of the week. In 2001, Apple designed an easy-to-use music player called the iPod. In 2007, the famed author and neurologist Oliver Sacks wrote Musicophilia, a book exploring the effects of music on the human brain. And on April 18th of this year, filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett is releasing Alive Inside, his documentary looking at what happens when you bring iPod Shuffles into a nursing home.
This is no frothy Six Flags commercial nor an advertisement for Apple. This is about how elderly people suffering from dementia, individuals who seem locked out of their own brains, can be contacted and connected with by playing back the music of their youth. We'll say no more. Please watch.
A beautiful short film about Caine's Arcade, a 9-year-old's DIY cardboard dream arcade in East Los Angeles. Built out of his dad's used auto parts boxes, packing tape and pure imagination, it's a feel-good short that reminds us of the magic of making.
For as long as I can remember (Winamp, anyone?), visualizers have always had a bit of a psychedelic aesthetic; Benga opts for acetate instead of acid trip. The teaser clip for the dubstep producer's new single, "I Will Never Change," is a clever riff on the prevalence of the digital waveform, recreated in a stop-motion accumulation of custom-cut vinyl—a logical extension of, say, art hacker Gene Kogan's palm-sized extrusion of a Billy Joel track à la Makerbot, yet not as hacker-y as Ishac Bertran's cut-and-paste records.
While waveforms have long been familiar to sound engineers and (with the advent of software tools such as ProTools, Garageband, etc.) amateur musicians alike, music streaming site Soundcloud might be credited with the 'mainstream' popularization of these graphic representations of audio recordings.
It's the stuff of legend in the cycling community, and frankly it's a shame that he lacks recognition in the greater world of sport or of design: Graeme Obree, a.k.a. the "Flying Scotsman," the outsider who broke the World Hour Record (distance cycled in one hour) on a homemade bicycle in 1994, has set his sights on a new record. His infamous "Old Faithful" was inspired by the downhill skiing, where the athlete folded in an aerodynamic albeit awkward-looking tucked position; his equipment consisted of a radical design that reduced the traditional diamond into a single oversized tube, with a one-bladed fork and custom bottom bracket that infamously incorporated parts from a washing machine (more on that below).
A quick dip in the ol' YouTubes yields several fascinating documentary clips, but before we dive—headfirst, arms tucked, as it were—into the archive, it's worth checking out the occasion for Obree's recent headlines: earlier this month, Humans Invent published an engrossing interview with Obree, now 46, who currently has his eyes on the human-powered landspeed record.
Obree grows a bit incoherent during the second half of the five-minute clip, but this is precisely why he's such a compelling individual: he so obviously has a one-track mind that one gets the sense that his fixation on speed is his literally his raison d'etre. The lengthy interview (produced alongside the video) quickly exposes the depth of his obsession:
...I thought to myself, what was my passion before? What were my strengths? I thought bike design, bike building, and pumping out a lot of energy from my legs. I thought the human powered land speed record is the perfect solution to all those three things. It is actually the complete embodiment of what I am as a human being.
"Fresh Guacamole," a stop-motion short produced by PES for Showtime's SHORT Stories, hit the web a few weeks back (it's not so fresh, in a manner of speaking), but it definitely put a smile on my face when I saw it for the first time the other day:
The real genius lies in the details: 'peeling' the old, worn baseball/onion to reveal a pristine one underneath the outer skin; the little 'squish' of the golf ball/lime...
It's the sequel to the similar-but-worth-watching-nonetheless short "Western Spaghetti," after the jump:
Cats like moving objects, but only for a while. I once bought a radio-controlled mouse that zipped around the living room, and my cat couldn't help but follow it around and try pouncing on it. And then, eventually, she got tired, and she took a nap right next to it.
Brothers Will and Matt Burrard-Lucas certainly learned their lesson from much bigger cats—lions—which destroyed a remote control camera they dubbed the BeetleCam. And so they created the lion-proof BeetleCam, armed and prepared for the legendary king of beasts. Here's thetir recen report from Kenya's Masai Mara National Reserve:
The pride had four cubs and it wasn't long before they were all circling BeetleCam suspiciously. They grew bolder and more inquisitive by the second and soon they were approaching to within inches of buggy as they probed for weaknesses.
They intuitively recognised the front of BeetleCam and would try to circle around to attack it from behind. They also grew bolder whenever BeetleCam retreated, swiping at it with their oversized paws. We were just getting the hang of this new game when disaster struck; BeetleCam's front left wheel hadn't been tightened properly and it worked its way off! The cubs instantly seemed to recognise that the buggy was in distress and they closed in.
A male lion graciously helps test out the new BeetleCam...
The Vimeo iPad app features a beautiful full screen interface that allows you to view and browse for videos at the same time and even access your site stats. Screenshots by the author.
It's always been the designer's alternative to YouTube. With a cleaner interface and built-in communities, Vimeo may not have the powerhouse reach of YouTube but it hosts its own film festivals and offers a number of "Pro" features tailored for filmmakers, animators and design nerds. It's always pushed boundaries and trends in online video, with early adoption of HD and Creative Commons Licenses.
Which is why I was excited to learn about Vimeo's new iPad app, a much-needed release that builds off the strengths of its original iPhone app. Hot on the heels of the New Vimeo site redesign, the iPad version opens up in full screen glory, an extension of the already great site. The videos play in full screen and make for relaxing viewing on a couch. And if you hook it up with Apple TV (which I didn't get to test out), you can even watch them on the big screen in your living room.
As designer Joseph Schmitt in the company's blog post announcing the new app, "Mobile traffic to Vimeo has exploded (technically speaking, it's tripled) since we first launched our iPhone app in early 2011, so we've renewed our focus to provide the best possible experience for Vimeo users on the move." The new app is sure to drive even more traffic (and reduce eye strain!).
Each video features the standard "Like" and "Later" buttons, and you can login with your standard Vimeo account so it all syncs up. In this regard, the "Watch Later" feature makes a lot more sense--turning Vimeo into an Instapaper-like site for great video (though you still need to be connected to the web to view them). Below the video, you can get more information from the author, share it out with your friends (including an embed feature for Wordpress), and even determine the CC license for viewing. You can even scroll for other videos while watching the current one.
The editing feature is clean and easy to use, with color-coded layers and a bevy of options, including transitions, audio (with easy access to Vimeo's music store), and text.
The most intriguing element, and a vast improvement from the tiny iPhone interface, is the ability to shoot, edit and upload video. Taking advantage of the iPad's built-in video camera, you can quickly shoot clips and either automatically upload them or create a new project.
Like many of our faithful readers, Australian designer and sometime filmmaker Björn Rust noticed the trend of production/fabrication/ manufacturing videos and saw fit to share his own take on the same. "Made by Hands" depicts the manufacturing of an aluminum and wood bench for Street & Garden Furniture Co.
I assure you that these are the only two shots of just hands...
As with the video for Kaspar Hamacher's "Ausgebrannt," Rust opts for natural audio as opposed to a staid folk ditty or a hip indietronica tune; unlike Hamacher, Rust leaves the original audio intact instead of dramatizing the sounds with heavy reverb. The result is an uncannily understated video that mirrors the un-self-conscious efforts of the workers themselves, sans so much as descriptive text or voiceover.
Don't be fooled by the possibly-Cheetos-inspired text treatment...
DARPA's mission statement conjures MI6's fictional R&D Department, headed by Q in James Bond films, or Lucius Fox's subterranean lab in The Dark Knight:
DARPA's mission is to maintain the technological superiority of the U.S. military and prevent technological surprise from harming our national security by sponsoring revolutionary, high-payoff research bridging the gap between fundamental discoveries and their military use.
In other words, DARPA is more or less tasked with turning science fiction into reality. Case in point, their recent viral video of a svelte robot cheetah hitting its stride at an impressive (and weirdly terrifying) 18mph sprint.
That's a solid 40% increase over the previous record, set by MIT Leg Lab's Planar Biped back in 1989. Indeed, the Cheetah was developed less than ten miles away from Cambridge—a half-hour run when its at top speed—by Boston Dynamics of Waltham, MA, for DARPA's Maximum Mobility and Manipulation (M3) program. (It should come as no surprise that acronyms figure heavily into their project names.)
The Cheetah's impressive 3:20 mile is appreciably faster than a human at a clip, though it's worth noting that Usain Bolt has been clocked at a top speed of 28mph... and the animal for which the robot is named tops out at the oft-cited 70mph mark.
Nevertheless, the biomorphic aspect is paramount: "The robot's movements are patterned after those of fast-running animals in nature. The robot increases its stride and running speed by flexing and un-flexing its back on each step, much as an actual cheetah does."
But enough chit-chat, you want to see the effin' thing in action:
Tasked with the marketing for chocolate maker Cadbury, the UK branch of global creative agency Fallon erected a massive, Willy-Wonka-esque chocolate fountain at London's Westfield Shopping Centre. The 30-foot structure bubbles, gurgles and dispenses real chocolate, which you can see in the video at the bottom of this entry.
But first, we've got to show you Joyville, the Fallon-created fictional world where chocolate is supposedly made. The following depiction of Joyville is either a testament to inventive vehicle and set designers or a strong argument for letting creative directors dabble with psychedelic drugs:
Admit it, there is no point in that video where you could have predicted what would happen in the next five seconds.
We've all seen product placement on TV, or movies like Tower Heist that insert real-world newspeople like Matt Lauer covering the Thanksgiving Day Parade in order to lend it some verisimilitude. An interesting twist on these ideas is a scene from Ridley Scott's forthcoming Prometheus sci-fi flick, which depicts a TED Talk—from the year 2023:
We're digging the drone cameras. And we're also glad that TED Talks are still going strong in Scott's vision of the future, though it seems clear this Peter Weyland character is up to no good.
This has been online for a while now, but we recently came across this remarkably detailed and well-produced—for the early 60's, when it was made—documentary on how the iconic Porsche 356 is manufactured. It's not clear as to what year it's from, though we've deduced that the factory produced roughly 7,500 356s during that era, or about 30 per day.
We've pointed out just a few highlights, but frankly it's worth watching nearly every second of the videos—a feat considering that the doc, broken into five parts, clocks in at nearly 45 minutes. The first four parts, which come in at around ten minutes each, focus on specific parts of the manufacturing process, roughly from the outside in (as per the assembly sequence).
Part 1 focuses on the fabrication of the "famous unitized Porsche car body"; the car "assumes an identity" at 6:48.