Chicago-based illustrator Edie Fake’s colorful architectural drawings explore the concept of queer spaces. In his work, identity, gender, and sexuality are metaphorically depicted through architectural elements, both real and imagined. This series is currently on display at the Museum of Arts and Design as part of the Surface/Depth: The Decorative After Miriam Schapiro exhibition, on view through September 9.
Posts tagged with "Illustration":
Morpholio Trace’s Joey Swerdlin and architect Jim Keen have teamed up to discuss the art of illustration in architecture and how it impacts the communication of design to our peers, clients and ultimately the public. With the inundation of photo-realistic representations of architecture, it seems that far too often we lose focus on what is important in design and what needs to be conveyed at the early phases of a project. "These high fidelity images lend credibility to a project vision, but draw more attention to surfaces and details when the argument should be forming around space, place, and use," said Joey Swerdlin, Morpholio community director. It would not surprise many in our field that when asked, several architects admitted spending more time representing their work than actually designing it. There has always been a fine line between process and presentation, one feeding the other, but have we gone too far? Have we forgotten some of the most powerful tools in our storytelling arsenal and how they operate to filter and convey meaning? Morpholio Trace + Jim Keen from Morpholio on Vimeo. Jim Keen would say yes to this proposition. A seasoned architect with an extensive portfolio of built work, Keen ultimately turned his focus back toward illustration, where he finds the most satisfaction. His professional experience provided insight on the delicacy required to communicate a persuasive yet open-ended view of a space or project. According to Jim, “Today, computer renderings have lost their impact, leading the client to obsess over carpet colors or door handles meanwhile losing sight of the overall design. Hand drawings and sketches return the conversation to the design of space by focusing on architecture, form, and people.” Morpholio, a software company founded by architects, seeks to create tools that bridge the gap between the vitality of hand drawing and the intelligence of digital workflows. Jim’s work provides a fascinating case study for such experimentation and is a telling example of the desires that have shaped one of their most widely used apps, Trace Pro. The app replicates trace paper and the tools architects use to sketch, draft, and render. This new kind of interface for design is something in which Keen finds not only creative comfort, but also artistic freedom. “When I work through a design illustration with a client, I need software that 'disappears' and allows me to concentrate completely on the work." Keen’s work powerfully demonstrates that the act of illustration by hand can return the focus to that which should be central in architectural communication by editing out extraneous details, especially in the early concept phase. The diagrammatic nature of the images seems to leave room for evolution, and interpretation, thereby encouraging concepts to be further probed for new and perhaps even more novel possibilities. With the gift of the touchscreen, architects would be crazy not to find ways to integrate analog and digital methods of designing, taking advantage of the intuition and delight that working by hand is known to amplify. Furthermore, it is an opportunity to advance a discipline and language that was honed for centuries into the next era of style, culture, and craft. Reincorporating the hand drawing into a seamless digital workflow is fundamental for the post-digital architect, something that Jim Keen has found by drawing in Trace. Download Trace here. To see more of Jim's work, or request an illustration, please visit his website here.
Brooklyn-based illustrator Paul Tuller was inspired to create a new poster-portrait series, Architecture As Crown, by his architect boyfriend. This series features illustrations of famous architect's wearing their most famous works on their heads. Beginning as a parody of Andy Warhol's God Save the Queen, the project includes such figures as Peter Eisenman wearing House I as a crown. Purchase your own posters here.
At the NeoCon contract furnishings trade show in June, AN executive editor Alan G. Brake sat down with Todd Oldham to discuss the collection of wall coverings he developed for Designtex adapting the work of Charley Harper. Harper is arguably best known as an illustrator, but Oldham is working with the Charley Harper Studio to broaden Harper’s reputation and create new products using his menagerie of images of flora and fauna. A versatile designer of fashion, home furnishings, books, and objects, Oldham has a special interest in reviving midcentury designers and he previously worked with the Alexander Girard archive. AN: Tell us about your interest in Charley Harper. Todd Oldham: I had the great pleasure of knowing Mr. Harper for the last five years of his life. He was an amazing, magical man. I came to know his work when I was a kid. He did the illustrations for a book called the Golden Book of Biology, which was my biology text book in school. I loved it. So many years later I reconnected things and found him and forced my way in—he was very gracious about it So you were a design stalker. Yes, I was a design stalker. I don’t do that very often, but I’m in awe of Charley. It’s a dangerous thing to meet your heroes, but not in this case. It was wonderful. What about his work drew you to him, beginning all those years ago? The things that drew me to his work when I was five are the same things that I love now, which is his ability to communicate complex information to the most…I don’t want to say simplest form because that suggests it’s diminished, which it’s not…he was able to boil something down to the zeitgeist and never lose one morsel of it. It’s really something. How did the collection come together? Well, Susan Lyons is now the big cheese over here at Designtex, and I’d worked with her before on a project on Alexander Girard when she was at HermanMiller, so when this opportunity came up, we always wanted to try to find a partner to bring his work to life in a new way. We’re very excited about this opportunity. We are always true to Charley’s designs. A lot of times when you are working with other designers, the Eames or Girard, you have a lot of objects you can bring forward. In Charley’s case, he was an artist, so you only have flat things, so making him live in the world in another way, you have to make sure they still represent Charley and what he was about. This medium with Designtex was just perfect. We’re sitting here by the ladybugs, and ladybugs were always very dear to Charley, I think because of their graphic quality. In the early 1970s a Chinese beetle came over—and was known as the orange ladybug—it became a garden pest, Charley was very upset because his beloved creature was being maligned, so he always said, these are the bugs that bug no one, so the ladybug was always very near and dear to him. This was actually painted on the outside of his house in the early 60s and it remained there until weather took it off. It was replaced in the early 1990s. The mosaic that we walked past is an exact replica of the one that was done in the federal building in Cincinnati. It done was in one inch tiles, either whole tiles or bifurcated, and sometimes you’ll see the extensions—either the legs or antennae—were done in glass or plexi-glass inserted into the grout. In a repeatable image it had to be moved around a little bit, but all the colors, all the forms, the scale are all exact. Why was Designtex the right company to make these wall coverings? They’re coming at it from the right place, a very thoughtful place. They’re also trying to make the most conscious decisions about the manufacturing that they can. Charley was an early ecologist. He did amazing bumper stickers in the late 60s that said, “You otter care about water,” and it had a little otter on it. These things were very important for him. Since we represent the estate, going against what was important to him would be blasphemous. Are there other treasures in the estate that will have other lives in future collections? With Charley, they’re all treasures. There is no bad work, no off work. It’s just stunning throughout. Our biggest obstacle was editing it down. I like where we landed with this project, but this is just a sneak preview of what’s to come. This tile-based mural is one of my favorites. It’s very unusual that it’s in a Federal Building. It’s not easy to get access, so I begged and begged for hours. It’s a in a public space but in a building you can’t get into. It’s amazing. It’s over 50 feet of non-repeating images. There’s another that’s based on Charley’s representation of birch bark. Charley had this amazing sort of cubist take on birch bark. That reminds me of your work. My color scheme has been fully informed by Charley, way before I ever knew why. I like those odd colors, the printing techniques. We’re really excited to be debuting with these wall coverings, which are durable enough for healthcare applications. Wouldn’t it be nice to be recovering and wakeup under one of Charley’s ladybugs? Do you have any other archival projects in the works, after Girard and Harper? I do, but I can’t talk about it yet. It’s not a designer, it’s a photographer. But I can’t say just yet.
Tim Burton Los Angeles County Museum of Art Los Angeles Through October 31 Best known for directing films like The Nightmare Before Christmas, Edward Scissorhands, Batman Returns, and Beetle Juice, Tim Burton and his work as an illustrator, writer, and artist are being honored with a retrospective at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. This new show celebrates the way that Burton has managed to put his own spin on movies in an industry known for its fear of the unknown. With over 700 items on display, including drawings, paintings, photographs, film and video works, storyboards, puppets, concept artworks, maquettes, costumes, and assorted cinematic ephemera, visitors get a glimpse into the mind of this modern day Renaissance man. Though the show debuted on the east coast at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the LACMA version of the show, organized by Britt Salvesen, offers its own take on the Burbank native’s body of work. Burton collaborated with the exhibition designers to transform the museum’s Resnick Pavilion into an appropriately “Burtonesque” environment. He also created several new pieces for the exhibition, including what the museum describes as a “revolving multimedia, black-light carousel installation that hangs from the ceiling.”
Last week, we came across illustrator James Gilliver Hancock's series of playful block elevations titled "All the Buildings in New York." It turns out this impulse to sketch block upon block of New York's architecture has been around for quite some time. In 1899, the Mail & Express newspaper company published a graphic journey down Manhattan's Broadway in a book called A Pictorial description of Broadway now archived at the New York Public Library. The stroll down Broadway 112 years ago reveals just how much New York has evolved over the past century. As the NYPL says, "The result, as you can see here, is a 19th century version of Google's Street View, allowing us to flip through the images block by block, passing parks, churches, novelty stores, furriers, glaziers, and other businesses of the city's past." Two of the most dramatic plates in the series show Times Square, above. Quite a striking difference to the neon canyon we know today. Below, you can see the lush Madison Square, also with significantly fewer high rises, and below that is a stunningly underdeveloped 59th Street showing vacant lots and buildings of only a few floors. Click on the thumbnails below to launch a gallery.
Block by Block. Brooklyn-based illustrator James Gulliver Hancock is attempting to draw All the Buildings in New York in quite beautiful pen and ink sketches like the one above. Watch a video of the artist explaining his inspirations, style, and how a chained up wheelchair is architecture after the jump. (via Gothamist.) Leeders. Blair Kamin discusses the competitive race to build green among major cities today. Chicago is still number one for the most LEED-certified buildings, but the self-proclaimed "greenest city in America" faces some stiff competition. Aerial. Building Design is running a new series of aerial photos showing progress at the 2012 Olympics site in London. 12,000 workers are reportedly on site working on the main stadium, aquatics center, and arena. Master Plan. Now that South Sudan's national independence has been approved, Sudan Votes reports that the government has revealed a model of a planned new capital city to replace the chaotic regional capital Juba, but not everyone is happy with the move. (via Planetizen.)