In theory

More than Fashion

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Amsterdam-based fashion designer Femke Agema creates much more than a collection of clothes each season, crafting an entire fantastical world of wonder with each group of  designs. Her most recent collection, Elders, “a vision of the world springing into life after winter…made to be explored, bursting with colours and textures, where the only limit is your imagination.” Agema created both a traditional collection of clothing for the line – fun, bright, spring-y dresses, tops, and skirts – along with a range of more couture accessories like string-ladder necklaces and hats and vests of wood chips. Going even further, she created a series of playful costumes as an installation to accompany the themes of Elders, all supported by great, quirky photography and video.

Roll With It

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Taking the term ‘mobile home’ literally, the British circus and theatre group Acrojou created a conceptual wheel of a house. The large metal wheel, adorned on its interior with various turn-of-the-century household items – stools, suitcases, clocks, clothing, and various knickknacks – is operated by two acrobats who twist and turn and push their way around, in order to roll the wheel along. Their stage becomes part of their act, as they perform and interact with it. Check out the video here.

Lean To

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We love photographer Paul Octavious’ simple, witty perspective imbued in his subject matter – like his great stacks of colored books and beautiful rainbows of spinning records. With his new project, “Lean With It,” he ventures further into the absurd, to great effect, traveling all over to photograph naturally-leaning trees and people next to them, leaning at exactly the same angle. The images are fantastically simple, beautiful and humorous all at once.

Rockefeller Stone

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The ancient-looking human forms of artist Ugo Rondinone’s stone sculptures are inhabiting Rockefeller Center for part of the summer. His exhibition, “Human Nature,” on view through July 7, consists of nine massive, stoic sentries, ranging from 16 to 20 feet in height and weighing up to 30,000 lbs each. Made of bluestone from a Northern Pennsylvania quarry, the sculptures bring a calmer, quiet Easter Island air to the bustling speed of Rockefeller Center.

Robotic Sips

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The MIT Senseable City Lab recently unveiled a new app allowing users to create and order their own cocktail creations (alchoholic or non-) of choice, which is then mixed, poured and served by a bartender robot. Developed in collaboration with Coca-cola and Bacardi Rum, the Makr Shakr offers over 100 drink choices, allowing for co-creation of drinks between friends, and sharing of recipes, ingredients and photos via the app. The robot arms elegantly pour mixes, peel lemons, and shake drinks thanks to gestures based on ballet dancer Roberto Bolle’s movements, which were filmed and used to program the robot’s movement.

Fenced In

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In a great example of turning the ugly and overlooked into something beautiful and interesting, the Walker Art Centre commissioned Geoff McFetridge to create a mural along a temporary construction fence covering part of the building. Inspired by the long, narrow strip of canvas – which reminded him of a film strip – McFetridge created an animation of sorts, with characters morphing and progressing along laterally. We’d love to see more construction fencing offered up to designers.

Simplicity in Sound

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Swiss artist Zimoun creates surprisingly moving sound installations using simple, everyday objects and industrial mechanisms. He currently has two installations showing – in Berlin and Prague. At the Opernwerkstätten in Berlin, Zimoun created a room-within-a-warehouse, with cardboard boxes. Tiny motors laid out in a minimal grid along the interior walls work to spin several cork balls on strings, which bounce against the cardboard, creating a mesmerizing and soothing effect like falling rain. A beautifully shot video on Zimoun’s website shows a great compilation of some of his work.

Around New York

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Starting last Friday, May 10 to next Tuesday, May 21, there are so many art and design events taking place around NYC, there’s no way we’ll see even half of what’s showing. For the first time, all of these events are being collected under NYCxDesign, which is promoting the shows, providing lists and a handy app too. Last weekend, the Frieze Art Fair took over Randall’s Island, and Pulse took over 18th street (Rune Guneriussen’s work was included, shown above). The first annual Collective Design Fair was also held last weekend, a high-end, well-curated collection of talented international designers. ICFF takes place this coming weekend – check out designboom’s guide for exhibitions, events and shows happening all over the city.

Food Play

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Advance tickets are now available to what is sure to be an incredible retrospective exhibition on chef Ferran Adrià and his famed Spanish restaurant elBulli, showing at Somerset House in England from July 5 – September 29. “elBulli: Ferran Adrià and The Art of Food” is the first exhibition dedicated to a chef and restaurant, and will show in-depth looks into his research, preparation, presentation, and plaudits – with sketches, plasticine models, tasting menus, and press clippings. Check out a great interview with Adrià in anticipation of the exhibition, on his craft and how it relates to design.

Untouched Beauty

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Photographer Sebastião Salgado travels the globe shooting gorgeous, remote areas of the world and the animals, landscapes, and indigenous peoples he finds. His past eight years of travel have culminated in a powerful exhibition at the Natural History Museum in London, titled “Genesis,” showing through September 8. He said with the project, he wishes “to do homage to the planet,” showing images of a world untouched by modern life, incredible in its strength and beauty.

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