Kropilak

Kropilak

Kropilak

Kropilak

The web site of Branislav Kropilak now features larger scale images of the beautiful parking garages series, and the stunning billboards series of photographs.

In the Garages series, underground parking garages become a secret place of order, rhythm and intense colour. The images appear almost hyperreal - the empty spaces so brightly lit, the surfaces so gleaming, the symmetrical one-point perspective - that they almost seem computer generated.

Similarly the Billboards series, with its vertiginous views looking straight up the stanchions of a billboard tower, each glowing in a dusk sky,present an alien view of a familiar object.

I am increasingly becoming convinced that there is more truth in these 'found' architectures than any of the works that feature in contemporary architectural magazines. If Learning from Las Vegas taught us to think about the separation of sign and container via the casino signs along the Vegas strip, these images invite us to consider the signs themselves as pure structure, signifying nothing but themselves.

Kropilak

Kropilak

Kropilak

City of Signs 7

Eureka car park

Eureka car park

This has been around now for a while, but is still worth revisiting. The Eureka Car Park, in Melbourne, features a signage system created by Axel Peemoeller while working at Emery Studio. The letter forms are distorted acros the vertical and horizontal services, so that when viewed from the correct position, they can be read perfectly.

Eureka car park

Eureka car park

From the Emery Studio website:

"An opportunity to exploit the potential of the vertical and horizontal surfaces of the entry, as a sequence of monumental messages that enhance the experience of arrival and departure through bold graphic illusions."

Such Anamorphic images have been used in art for many years (eg Holbein's painting The Ambassadors), and have also in more recent years been common on televised sports pitches, such as cricket and rugby, but this is the first time I have seen them used for wayfinding. Wouldn't it be amazing if the apparent jumble of signs and symbolds across a city, when viewed from a certain vantage point, resolved into a beautiful coherent image?

Eureka car park


Previously:

Tower Bawher

Tower Bawher

Tower Bawher

I know it's been around for a while now, but I couldn't mention Tatlin's tower without referencing the amazing animation Tower Bawher by Theodore Ushev. In a hyperkinetic homage to Soviet Constructivism, a tower is built, set to the strident score of "Time, Forward', by Georgy Sviridov.

While there are clips of the animation available on YouTube, the best quality version can be found on the Canadian National Film Board Animation Day site.

There's also a great interview with Ushev here.

The Island: London Series

Stephen Walter

Stephen Walter

Stephen Walter

Stephen Walter

On show in the atmospheric Crypt of St. Pancras church at the moment (until 2nd March) is an exhibition of the remarkable drawings of Stephen Walter. Called The Island: London Series, it presents a dense layered symbolic map of London, represented as an island.

While geographically accurate, it replaces the austere, regimented symbolism of an Ordnance Survey map with a rich semiotic cartography, tracing Walter's personal pre-occupations as well as historical references, landmarks, and scattered throughout with the symbols and logos that infest the urban landscape.

It's a kind of proto Google Maps, rendered in crude pencil rather than crisp pixels. But it's a heroic attempt at a individual reading of the city, overlaying much more than the simple geography of roads and buildings. It's an exploration that has obvious touchpoints with the writings of Iain Sinclair, and also Phyllis Pearsall's A-Z of London.

You can see all of The Island here.

Re-presenting Hadid

Hadid Silver Painting

Hadid Silver Painting

Hadid Silver Painting

Here are a few recent paintings by Zaha Hadid, from a show at the Galerie Buchmann. (see Flickr set here). There were also some of these silver prints on display at the recent Zaha retrospective at the Design Museum.

While visually stunning, they are little more than a striking way of re-presenting computer renderings, rather than design explorations. Does the act of producing these images change the design approach?

The place of design is now within the computer, not the drawing.

These paintings are pure surface.

"The Silver Paintings are executed on a polyester skin treated with chrome and gelatine then mounted on to an aluminium DI-BOND to resemble polished metal.

Different media are used depending on the desired effect. Stained glass paint offers transparency while acrylic and Chinese lacquer generate opaqueness. UV-resistant ink combined with vinyl gives the highest degrees of reflectivity. These techniques combine to suggest a gradual intersection between reflectivity and opacity, from one architectural feature to the next."

City of Signs 3

Closer investigation of Stephen Gill's website reveals an intriguing portfolio of projects, including the Billboards project, contrasting the aspirational messages on the front with the quotidian reality that lies behind.

"The billboard can often be seen with its back to the railway tracks or car park, a construction site or an area of wasteland. The basic and most common type is a wooden hoarding structure fixed into the ground with vertical supports to resist strong winds. The range of items promoted is seemingly endless, although adverts for consumer goods far outnumber civic or community announcements. Whatever the product, we read the visual signs in a flash and absorb the meaning in spite of ourselves. As well as relaying their message, billboards naturally become a curtain for whatever lies behind."

Stephen Gill L'Oreal Paris. Because you're worth it.

Stephen Gill Free texts when you join Orange. Pay as you go.

Stephen Gill Turn the key. Start a revolution - (Mazda)

Stephen Gill Why wait? - (Murphy's Fast Flow) Dior Addict


Previously: