In an effort to come full circle in recognizing the very polarizing Common Core testing in New York over the past two weeks, we bring you another “math meets art” post. This time it’s the work of Venezuelan architect and illustrator Rafael Araujo, and his very technical approach to capturing the mathematical brilliance of nature. With simple drafting tools (pencil, ruler, compass, protractor), Araujo takes much pleasure and pride being unplugged from technology while exploring three dimensionality (yes, without the aid of a computer), which can take up to 100 hours to create a single complex composition. We cannot wrap our brains around how one would even begin to approach this, so needless to say, we are in complete awe of Araujo. As are the thousands of backers who contributed to his Kickstarter campaign to publish a book of his work, which began several months ago with a goal just over $20,000. Araujo has since raised over a quarter of a million dollars to date, with the help of Sydney, Australia-based husband and wife team Melinda and Andres Restrepo. The Restrepos were so taken with Araujo’s work online, they approached him about creating a book. Capitalizing on the growing popularity of “adult coloring books” (c’mon, not X-rated, but those touting supposed “stress relieving” patterns), the project to publish the Golden Ratio Coloring Book is forging ahead. When you look at the sampling of Araujo’s work below, just keep in mind that they are all done by hand. Simply breathtaking.
The connection between mathematics and art dates back thousands of years. From cathedrals to ancient tilings to oriental rugs, mathematics have been fundamental in geometric designs that are now revered and often emulated. In honor of Common Core testing that is taking place here in New York State this week, we thought it fitting to look at the work of Iranian mathematical artist Hamid Naderi Yeganeh. These often delicately intricate works are quite remarkable, and more astounding is that Yeganeh writes computer programs based on mathematical equations to produce them. Though Yeganeh’s mathematical descriptions are way over our heads (example below), the aesthetic and conceptual allure of these works is certainly not lost on us. The results are stunning, and just proof that math can be beautiful.
This first image shows 9,000 ellipses. For each k=1,2,3,…,9000 the foci of the k-th ellipse are:
and the eccentricity of the k-th ellipse is D(k), where
We at Barbour are not only in the business of making our clients look good, but also helping them present smarter and more efficiently. Originally created by Dutch designer Maurice ten Teye, this superb infographic is worth sharing for its clarity and spot-on advice. The best that we can do as designers is preach these rules… and avoid the dreaded starburst at all costs.
In keeping with our (hopefully) weeklong theme of Create Upstate 2015 (other posts here and here), we turn the spotlight on fellow Rochester-based designer (and educator/writer) Mitch Goldstein. Those behind the planning of Create Upstate clearly made a deliberate decision to have Goldstein kick off the main event. Goldstein is the perfect blend of adept designer and engaging speaker, and his talk about The Habit of Making got us charged up right out of the box. It almost felt like church for designers, and Goldstein was giving a homily. In essence, Goldstein discussed his habit of making for the sake of making, and how it has made him a better designer. This daily 30-minute creative exercise, which he and his wife Anne Jordan call “inside walking”, has given way to some pretty impressive work (below and here). Goldstein stressed the importance of letting go, and not worrying about making something “good” or even “finished”, but just focus on the making part. We are not really doing Goldstein’s sermon any justice here, just know that this is sage advice that we hope to get into the habit of following. Be sure to scroll down for products from Goldstein’s “walks”, and a sampling of his superb client work, some of which originated directly from said walks.
Via mitchgoldstein.com and Tumblr
Continuing the theme of our fantastic experience at Create Upstate last week in Syracuse (previous post here), we’d like to introduce you to Curtis Canham of CSA Creative Studio. Canham is an art director/designer/educator based in the Albany area with an impressive and diverse portfolio, from sophisticated packaging to illustration-driven infographics to consumer-facing web design. Along with running a full service design studio, Canham also finds the time to educate the next generation of designers as a design professor at The Center for Art and Design at The College of Saint Rose in Albany. With all of this important work, Canham, believe it or not, is also working on publishing a fundamental typography book. Busy guy, indeed. Last week, Canham ran a table in the marketplace at Create Upstate extolling the virtues of a-holes that quickly caught our attention. A-holes? What the what!? Canham drew us in with his impassioned discourse about his forthcoming book, A-holes: A Type Book. He enlightened us on such things as the anatomy of a-holes, historic a-holes, famous a-holes. and families of a-holes. All of this perceived potty talk may elicit gasps from those who don’t know any better. But being the typography nerds that we are, we, of course, understand and appreciate the double entendre. Aside from the obvious, an a-hole is also the negative space, or counter, within the “A” characters. Canham’s book taps right into a brand of humor we Barbour folk love. With only 5 days left, Canham is in the home stretch of a Kickstarter campaign to fund a first printing of his 130-page book. Don’t be an a-hole… pledge a few bucks, please.
Via csacreativestudio.com and Kickstarter
Gabe was particularly taken with all of this, and his name was fittingly drawn for an A-hole t-shirt at Create Upstate! In his own words, “you are what you wear.” Bahahahahaha!
Full disclosure: we’re having a moment of design envy. And for several reasons. The subject of our aspirational glares is Big Apple-based designer/illustrator José Guizar’s self-initiated, ongoing weekly project Windows of New York. First, we are truly inspired by “daily” projects. We admire the commitment of artists who hone their craft through some sort of consistent work, whether it be daily, weekly, monthly (for example, here and here and here). It truly is a creative exercise, to motivate one’s self to conjure creativity for the sake of it, and at regular intervals, no less. Second, with distractions aplenty, from our Apple i-devices, to social media, to everyday hustle and bustle, being mindful enough to stop and appreciate architectural details around us is easier said than done. Such inquisitiveness and passion are what drives Guizar. Finally, his incredible illustration skills really make this project what it is. In the hands of a less-skilled artist, this undertaking wouldn’t be quite so notable. But Guizar’s spare, yet detailed design approach is perfectly engaging. From his flat style, to his terrific sense of color and composition, to his attention to typography, Guizar’s growing collection of diverse architectural specimens reflects his personal spirit of curiosity and exploration, and should be cherished and admired by designers for quite sometime. Hats off to Guizar for a well-conceived and expertly executed personal project.
There is tremendous beauty in nature, and even some not visible to the naked eye. Take grains of sand, for instance. Much like snowflakes, no two grains are alike. But Hawaii-based Dr. Gary Greenberg reveals a beautiful, colorful tapestry of tiny shells, coral fragments and weathered crystals through his magnified photographs. Greenberg, a former photographer and filmmaker who later earned his Ph.D. in biomedical research, invented and developed high-definition, three-dimensional light microscopes that make this sort of photography possible. His impressive sampling for this photographic series features grains from beaches around the world, which he magnifies up to 300 times to expose “hidden and unexpected aspects of nature.” In his own words, Greenberg explains that his mission is to “reveal the secret beauty of the microscopic landscape that makes up our everyday world.” And that “art is a doorway through which we can more deeply embrace nature.”
More extreme close-ups here and here.
Infographics, by design, are meant to present complex information quickly and clearly. And given our ever shortening attention span (digesting information in the form of Tweets, texts, etc.), the proliferation of infographics is upon us. Munich-based design studio Kurzgesagt (German for “in a nutshell“) is particularly adept at breaking down information and presenting it in an engaging and comprehensible fashion. When applied to traditional cornerstones of education like the solar system, or even current topics of interest like fracking or the situation in Iraq, infographics from Kurzgesagt, led by Philipp Dettmer and Stephan Rether, are able to inform and captivate in extraordinary ways. Kurzgesagt says it best when describing their terrific piece The Solar System: Our Home in Space: “The solar system – well known from countless documentaries. 3D animation on black background. This infographic videos tries something different. Animated infographics and a focus on minimalistic design puts the information up front. We take the viewer on a trip through the solar system, visiting planets, asteroids and the sun.” This piece should be a primer for all secondary school-aged students when learning about basic astronomy. From a design perspective, their sense of typography and color, as well as their use of flat animation, are spot on. Be sure to check out their piece on Iraq… we certainly learned a thing or two.