The “Festival of World Culture” is well-known for original and unique works of art. My personal favourite was Edgar Müllers’ super-sized 3-D Street Art in 200 where he metamorphosed a large piece of the East Pier of In Dun Laoghaire into a spectacular Ice Berg aspect.

3D Sidewalk Art Culture – Edgar Mueller is a true captain of street painting.


The art of fake tilt-shift photography has become something of a phenomenon in the last several years. By altering the light levels and focus depth in a photograph through Photoshop or another photo editing software, it is possible to make the picture look as though it depicts a miniature scene. While most tilt-shift photographers use landscape photos or other real life scenes, Artcyclopedia has brilliantly chosen to reinterpret classic Van Gogh paintings as spectacular tilt-shift artworks.


It is worth mentioning that there is absolutely no pressing need to change or improve on Vincent Van Gogh’s artwork. His paintings are some of the most compelling images ever created. However, this project brings out surprising details in these paintings that most of us have gazed at many, many times.

The tilt-shift effect was applied to the paintings in Photoshop by adjusting the color saturation, depth of focus and contrast. Obviously, no priceless masterpieces were harmed in the exercise. Nothing has been added or removed. But the results are absolutely stunning: the paintings, which were already breathtaking, take on a whole new context. They become more real in a sense.

Van Gogh’s paintings were particularly well suited to an experiment like this thanks to their rich details and surreal textures. Manipulated by the tilt-shift technique, small details which tend to be overlooked normally pop out and announce themselves to the viewer.

There are, no doubt, many art lovers who would protest even the harmless digital manipulation of these masterpieces. But the changes seen here are not meant to be improvements on the originals – they are simply a different way to look at Van Gogh’s work.

Just as tilt-shift photography of landscapes can bring out aspects of a familiar city or street that we have never before noticed, these slightly altered paintings make the textures just a bit more noticeable and the colors just a bit more vivid.

It comes as a bit of a surprise that the tilt-shift technique works so well on paintings. The distorted depth of focus transforms each two-dimensional painting into a three-dimensional world of its own. These images were all prepared for Artcyclopedia by Serena Malyon.

Undulating water is an immensely soothing and calming sight. That’s why many urban planners incorporate water features into city centers, whether in the form of fountains, lakes or ponds. But international design studio Urban Art Projects wants to put the soothing effects of water into an unlikely place: the side of Brisbane, Australia’s airport car park.

The amazing large-scale project is being developed with artist Ned Kahn. The project is called a “kinetic wall,” and it will essentially be an eight-story-tall public art installation. Seen from the outside, the installation will look like a vertical body of water, complete with gentle waves and natural movement. From the inside of the building, the movement of the facade will create beautiful patterns in sunlight on the interior surfaces.

The effect is created with 250,000 aluminum panels which are loosely suspended so as to move gently with the wind. The huge kinetic artwork captures the ever-changing movement of the wind in a graceful way that also happens to be naturally calming. Maybe the road rage that results from trying to fight your way out of a crowded parking garage will be lessened by the smoothly rippling panels that look eerily like a displaced lake.

But this wonderful art project isn’t just about making a boring building more interesting. It will also help provide passive cooling and ventilation for the car park, cutting down on energy costs and keeping the building more comfortable all year long. The new parking garage, complete with the unique facade, will be completed in late 2011.

Ron Mueck was born on 1958 is an Australian hyper realist sculptor working in Great Britain. Mueck’s early career was as a model maker and puppeteer for children’s television and films, notably the film Labyrinth for which he also contributed the voice of Ludo.
Mueck moved on to establish his own company in London, making photo-realistic props and animatronics for the advertising industry.

Although highly detailed, these props were usually designed to be photographed from one specific angle hiding the mess of construction seen from the other side. Mueck increasingly wanted to produce realistic sculptures which looked perfect from all angles.

In 1996 Mueck transitioned to fine art, collaborating with his mother-in-law, Paula Rego, to produce small figures as part of a tableau she was showing at the Hayward Gallery. Rego introduced him to Charles Saatchi who was immediately impressed and started to collect and commission work.

This led to the piece which made Mueck’s name, Dead Dad, being included in the Sensation show at the Royal Academy the following year. Dead Dad is a rather haunting silicone and mixed media sculpture of the corpse of Mueck’s father reduced to about two thirds of its natural scale. It is the only work of Mueck’s that uses his own hair for the finished product.
Mueck’s sculptures faithfully reproduce the minute detail of the human body, but play with scale to produce disconcertingly jarring visual images. His five metre high sculpture Boy 1999 was a feature in the Millennium Dome and later exhibited in the Venice Biennale.
In 2002 his sculpture Pregnant Woman was purchased by the National Gallery of Australia for $800,000.

Black Rat Projects is hosting the book launch for “Street Studio” – an exclusive behind the scenes look at how street art has entered the mainstream
When : Thursday 8th July 2010 at 6pm – 9PM
Where : Black Rat Projects, Thru Cargo Garden, Arch 461, 83 Rivington Street, London, EC2A 3AY

KZN Clan (Turin)- Heavy industry Show
Graffik 284 Portobello Rd, London, W10 5TE

PlanetPatrol’s summer exhibition will featuring a selection of limited edition prints and original work, including: Matt Stuart (Street Photography), Eelus (Stencil Artist), Sal (Japanese Fine Artist), Peter Taylor (Illustrator), Dran & Bom.K (Street Artists), Alexandros Vasmoulakis (Street Artist) & Sonia Pang (Fine Art).
The exhibition will run from the 9th through to the 18th of July.
Preview on the 8th from 6-9pm.
The Gallery (Entrance situated on Edward’s St)
Stoke Newington Church St N16 OJS


Bold, bio-inspired, vertical and sustainable: those are the traits that architecture of the future will share, if you go by the trends in current cutting-edge concept designs. While some of these architectural concepts will never become reality, others are already in progress or slated to begin construction soon. From a sparkling urban farm inspired by a dragonfly’s wing to a dystopian concept that embraces genetic engineering, here are 12 amazing designs that give us a peek into what the future may bring.


Songjiang Hotel: Paradise in a Water-Filled Quarry



(images via: Green Roofs)

The Songjiang Hotel by Atkins Design makes use of a beautiful water-filled quarry in the Songjiang district just outside Shanghai in China. This innovative design features a green roof, geothermal energy and underwater areas including a restaurant and guest rooms. The quarry provides an ideal setting for sports and leisure including swimming, water sports, rock climbing and bungee jumping. The Songjiang Hotel was originally slated to be completed by May 2009, but as of now it’s still just a concept.

Dragonfly, a Metabolic Farm for Urban Agriculture



(images via: Vincent Callebaut)

From Vincent Vallebaut, designer of the Lilypad concept, comes another stunning sustainable design that aims to meet the food, housing and energy challenges of the future. The Dragonfly is an urban farm concept for New York City’s Roosevelt Island, modeled after the wings of a dragonfly and designed to provide fresh, local food within an urban environment. Fruit, vegetables, grains, meat and dairy would be produced on the Dragonfly’s 132 floors and the entire structure would be powered by a combination of solar and wind power.

The Venus Project: Working Toward Sustainable Global Civilization



(images via: The Venus Project)

In order to survive global warming, the growing human population and other challenges in the upcoming centuries, some believe that we must start from scratch with a new model of human civilization that directs our technology and resources toward the positive, for the maximum benefit of the people and the planet. The Venus Project is a vision for a brand new world civilization and redesign of our entire culture. Circular cities with built-in farms and public transit, along with sea cities that can accommodate millions, are just part of this complex and visionary idea to take us “beyond politics, poverty and war”.

The Origami, Seamless Indoor/Outdoor Apartment Living


(images via: ArchDaily)

By making apartment buildings entirely vertical, we could enhance the livability of urban residences and provide lush green gardens for each apartment dweller to enjoy. The Origami by Kann Finch, designed for Meydan City in Dubai, would give each apartment an open quality that extends the internal living areas to extensive balconies with uplifting window walls. A patterned solid/glass screen gives the building visual interest from the outside and provides shade and privacy for the residents.

Dynamic, Wind-Powered Rotating Tower


(images via: Dynamic Architecture)

Italian architect David Fischer designed the Dynamic Tower Skyscraper so that each of its 80 floors would rotate according to voice command. Fischer wanted to design a space where you could enjoy the sunrise and sunset from the same room. The rotation takes up to 3 hours and is powered by solar panels and 79 wind turbines, with one turbine located between each floor. Almost the entire structure will be pre-fabricated offsite. Construction is due to be completed by the end of 2010.

Højblokka / Puls High-Rise


(images via: ArchDaily)

The Højblokka_PULS project by MAPT + DARK architects is another approach to vertical urban living, taking advantage of vertical space to expand the capacity of large cities as the population grows. The idea is to have buildings with smaller footprints that is woven into the circulation of the area, combining office spaces, hotels, leisure and shopping facilities with sunlit public spaces in its low-rise urban block.

Green and Modern Fair & Exhibition Space at the Punta Umbria Pavilion


(images via: DailyTonic)

MRDP Arquitectos, a Spanish design firm, wanted to create a space for fairs and exhibitions that would remain lively even in between events, maximizing the usage of the space. Their design for the Punta Umbria Pavilion is situated on an urban plaza and is contained under an expansive green roof covered in native, weather-resistant, low-maintenance plants. A 17m tower serves as a ‘lighthouse’ that provides views of the river and its surroundings.

Sky-Terra Skyscrapers: Urban Recreation in the Sky


(images via: The Design Blog)

As cities become more crowded, green urban space comes at a premium. One idea for preserving recreation space in urban environments is the Sky-Terra Skyscraper by San Francisco-based designer Joanna Borek-Clement. Sky-Terra is a neuron-like network of skyscrapers that tower over the city, bringing public parks, amphitheaters, fields and public pools closer to the sun. The inner core of each structure has elevators to transport people from street level to the top.

The Future World Trade Center

WTC Site Day, Silverstein Properties, New York, USA

(images via: WTC)

New York was deprived of its Twin Towers in 2001, but it will soon have a whole new World Trade Center gracing its skyline. Made up of five new skyscrapers, a museum, a transportation hub, a retail complex and a performing arts center, the new design aims to make the World Trade Center a cultural and commemorative destination. The memorial plaza is scheduled to open on September 11th 2011, followed by the underground memorial museum and Tower 4 in 2012 and the Freedom Tower in 2013. The economic meltdown has slowed progress and it’s unknown when towers 2, 3 and 5 will be completed.

‘My Dream, Our Vision’ by Design Act



(images via: ArchiCentral)

Singapore-based design firm Design Act created the ‘My Dream, Our Vision’ concept for the World Expo 2010 Singapore Pavilion Competition. It uses permutated cubes to generate a pixelated-looking sculptural building that that looks like an illuminated ‘digital cloud’ hovering over a constantly changing green pasture. Designed to present Singapore as the ideal example of a city that can transform the lives of everyone who comes into contact with it, the ‘My Dream, Our Vision’ concept encourages visitors to post their dreams inside.

No Man’s Land: Fresh Water, Clean Energy… and Peace


(images via: Inhabitat)

Can architecture foster peace in the Middle East? The No Man’s Land concept by New York-based architect Phu Hoang Office solves some site-specific issues such as friction over water control and also provides recreation, tourist attractions and renewable energy. The No Man’s Land design is made up of a network of islands, creating an artificial archipelago that actually extracts water molecules from the air to be desalinated, providing fresh drinking water.

Dystopian Farming in Manhattan


(images via: eVolo)

Resembling the nest of an insect, the Dystopian Farming project by Eric Vergne combines farms, worker housing and market places, mixing politically opposing classes – farmers and urban consumers. The idea is to reject the romanticizing of food projection and embrace genetic engineering, airoponic watering and nutrient technologies in a fully man-controlled environment in order to meet Manhattan’s food production needs.

No En”>living room would be complete without its centerpiece: the coffee table. As a focus for family, friends, football and fun, the coffee table can’t be beat… but it CAN be OFFbeat, as these 15 creative coffee table designs show so well.

Noguchi Throws Down the Coaster

coffee_tables_1(images via: Classic Design and Noguchi Museum Store)

It’s hard to say what the first piece of furniture worthy of the name “coffee table” was or where it was conceived but for most of us the term brings up an image of the iconic Noguchi coffee table. First produced in 1944 in association with the Herman Miller company, Isamu Noguchi’s tour de force is a simple, organic, ultimately pleasing design that set the bar for urban cool.

Bring On the Coffee Cats

coffee_tables_2(images via: Retro To Go, Roomgoods and ProductWiki)

Noguchi’s very basic coffee table design has inspired numerous copies – or should we say homages? – over the last 60-odd years. The Moebius, Butterfly and Cross tables are all undeniably interesting but at the same time face a frustrating conundrum: how does one improve a superb minimalist design whose signature feature is its simple magnificence?

Domino Theory

coffee_tables_3(images via: SIDD and Design Spotter)

This dynamic coffee table design from Canada’s SIDD Fine Woodworking makes you think for a moment before setting down your mug o’ java. Better use a coaster before you do – each Domino is constructed by a single SIDD craftsman over a period of six weeks and bears the artisan’s signature on the underside.

Tune Up Your Room

coffee_tables_4(images via: Rowean Design and Walyou)

Any successful living room suggests a sense of peace and harmony to the user, and the latter quality is best expressed by the Fender Stratocaster coffee table from Fender Custom Furniture of Portland, Oregon. Solid maple construction is custom stained to evoke the warm, vintage look of Fender’s famous Stratocasters; enhanced by chrome plated tuning pegs and silk screened graphics. FCF has enjoyed great response with the Strat table and will be following it up with a coffee table based on the rockin’ Telecaster.

I Sea What You Did There…

coffee_tables_5(images via: Nerd Approved and Everything Nautical)

What’s up, dock? The Nautical Rowing Dory Coffee Table from Everything Nautical, of course. The 48-inch long table features detachable oars – for those REALLY rainy days, one assumes – and a fitted glass top that nestles just within the gunwales. A genuinely thoughtful design, the Nautical Dory includes a pair of removable shelves that allow you to set the table on end and use it as a bookshelf or, even better, a maritime curio case for your seashells & scrimshaw.

The Age of Aquariums

coffee_tables_6(images via: Gizmodo Germany and Shirley Aquatics)

Sticking with our nautical theme, it’s not really a surprise there are aquarium coffee tables… what IS odd is that there are so many. Perhaps it’s the way watching fish swim can be so relaxing; maybe having water in front of you can make one thirsty. No problems there, unless of course watching fish in front of you makes you hungry… and drive your cat crazy.

Take Me to Your Melitta

coffee_tables_7(images via:

Geek furniture doesn’t get much more geeky than the ZAP coffee table, a one-off, home made Space Invaders tribute from Sean Ragan of Austin, Texas. Layered with handmade Mexican Talavera tiles in cobalt blue and lemon yellow, the 38 by 51 inch table cost Ragan about $415 in materials – which he kindly posts spreadsheet-style for anyone who’s contemplating a similar project. Ragan is offering the table for sale so if your games room (what geeks call a living room) needs that finishing touch, you know who to call.

Save Space, Sit on a Table

coffee_tables_8(images via: Design Milk)

From Space Invaders to space savers: the hand-crafted Futaba coffee table unfolds into a stylish loveseat when unexpected guests arrive… from the Delta Quadrant. If it was just a little larger (or you were a little shorter), the Futaba could double as a sofa bed. Sleeping on your coffee table? It’s more likely than you think.

The Periodic Coffee Table of the Elements

coffee_tables_9(images via: Designboom and Element Displays)

There’s nothing worse than a geek with a sense of humor, unless it’s a geek with no sense of humor. In any case, the Periodic Table of the Elements would even make ol’ Mendeleev himself crack a smile, until he read the price tag ($8,550). Pricey or not, it’s a table… of the elements… get it? Not exactly a thigh-slapper but if you’re going to make a joke, at least carry it through to the end and that’s exactly what Element Displays has done. All of the elements are sealed into clear acrylic blocks and set into a 4-ft. wide burred oak table. Built-in lighting illuminates the blocks and the more reactive elements are sealed in inert Argon gas or mineral oil. There appear to be quite a few blocks labeled with the “radioactive” symbol, so unless you want your coffee re-heated for you we suggest using a lead coaster.

ROSIE says, Touch-a Touch-a Touch-a Touch Me!

coffee_tables_10(images via: Engadget and Savant)

The world’s first interactive coffee table costs a cool $35,000 but like all new technology, the price should fall as the ROSIE Coffee Table Touchpanel Controller begins to fly off the shelves and into America’s homes. Featuring an Apple OS-X based operating system and an Intel processor, the ROSIE coffee table is really too good to rest coffee mugs on… and besides, spill-proofing the screen has been one of the biggest issues the Savant design team had to deal with. Isn’t this what Microsoft’s highly touted Surface table was supposed to do?

Godzilla’s iPhone, or Your Coffee Table?

coffee_tables_11(images via: iLounge and SlipperyBrick)

Not everyone has 35 grand to blow on a coffee table these days, but that doesn’t mean one must do without. Take the iPhone coffee table, crafted by iLounge readers Tuan Nguyen, Ken Thomas and associates from corrugate cardboard glued together with white glue. It’s not interactive but it does include a set of iPhone icon coasters coffee-sipping guests can use to rest their mugs on. The table doesn’t have an iPhone dock, unfortunately, but as it’s just a design concept made of cardboard perhaps that might be asking a bit much.

Coffee, Tea or Napalm?

coffee_tables_12(images via: Motoart)

Please return your Motoart coffee tables to the upright position… which would be a different position from the ones these genuine recycled aircraft parts assumed in their previous lives aboard F-4 Phantom fighters, Boeing 707 jetliners and B-52 Stratofortress bombers. Seriously, a coffee table made from chromed Phantom afterburner cans? That lights up at night with red LEDs? You know you want one.

The Coffee Table Book Lamp Table

coffee_tables_14(images via: Robot Nine)

Takeshi Ishiguro’s Book of Lights is the ultimate coffee table book – it’s a table top and reading light all in one. Granted, the three .06 watt LEDs don’t hold a candle to, well, a candle but this is one design project that favors form instead of function. Anyway, anyone who can combine a working lamp with a pop-up book deserves kudos in my, er, book.

Kramer’s Coffee Table Book

coffee_tables_15(images via: SONY Style and Press The Buttons)

No collection of coffee tables should be without Cosmo Kramer’s “coffee table book that turns into a coffee table”, as demonstrated by the hipster dufus himself on a very special Live with Regis and Kathie Lee. SONY liked the concept so much they employed the theme to package their 32-DVD Complete Series of Seinfeld set. This may be the only one of Kramer’s crazy concepts to ever reach fruition – on TV or in real life.

The Coffin Table

coffee_tables_13(images via: WebEcoist)

All good things must come to an end, and that includes you – whether you’ve been good or not. Prepare for the day you shuffle off this mortal coil with the Biodegradable Coffin coffee table from Halfway House Design. Designed by Charles Constantine of the Pratt Institute – we’re assuming that’s a school – the eco-friendly, biodegradable pine wood Memento coffee table will stylishly store books, games, wine… and one day, you.

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