‘Dead parrot’ installed in London


Dead parrotA giant dead parrot was installed in London last week to celebrate the last Monty Python show.

The 50 foot fibreglass sculpture was a tribute to Monty Python’s famous ‘dead parrot’ sketch and was placed near Tower Bridge in the run-up to the last show.

The sculpture took more than two months to complete; lead sculptor Iain Prendergast said: “The key challenge for us was capturing the comedy value of the dead parrot, keeping the realism of the bird whilst also adding touches like the bloodshot, stunned eyes.”

The parrot was delivered to the O2 Arena for the final performance of Monty Python’s ‘Live (mostly)’ farewell show on Sunday.

Find out more about the dead parrot here and tell us what you think of the stunt.

Stirling Prize shortlist revealed


The ShardRIBA has released the shortlist for its prestigious Stirling Prize.

Six new buildings have been shortlisted for the Prize, which is awarded to the project that has made the most significant contribution to architecture in the United Kingdom.

The nominations, which include Renzo Piano’s The Shard, are drawn from the public, commercial, and educational spheres.

Zaha Hadid, a previous recipient of the Stirling Prize, has also been nominated for the London Aquatics Centre.

The winner will be announced by RIBA on the 16th October.

Find out which buildings have been nominated here.

Modernist buildings as mixed-media images


Lucy Williams - Modernist artA British artist creates incredibly detailed renderings of 20th Century buildings, with arts and crafts.

Lucy Williams painstakingly produces three-dimensional pictures out of materials including different types of wood, coloured card, acrylic paint and wool.

Inspired by photographs of modernist buildings, Williams’ work has recently been hosted by the McKee Gallery in New York.

Take a look at more of Williams’ architectural art here and tell us what you think of the handcrafted pictures.

We Are Flowers installation


We are flowersSOFTlab has transformed a New York shoe gallery with a colourful ceiling installation.

The designers took inspiration from Galeria Melissa’s ‘We Are Flowers’ shoe collection by creating a three-dimensional lattice suspended from the ceiling.

This was covered by over 20,000 translucent ‘flowers’ of different colours, and funnelled towards the ground at selected points in the gallery.

Take a closer look at the striking installation here or watch the video below, and let us know your thoughts.

Sand Packaging


Sand PackagingA design workshop has unveiled a unique packaging made of sand.

Barcelona-based workshop Alien and Monkey binds sand together with other naturally-occurring minerals, which, when compacted, dries solid.

The hollow ‘sand boxes’ can be broken open, and when the sand crumbles away, its package is revealed.

Take a look at the eco-friendly packaging here and tell us what you think – would you love to receive a present packaged in sand?

Mall of the World


Mall of the WorldDubai has unveiled plans for the world’s first indoor city, called ‘Mall of the World’.

The giant dome, which will be climate-controlled, recreates iconic parts of cities from across the world, including Oxford Street, Broadway and Las Ramblas.

The 4.5 million sq m city will also boast the world’s biggest indoor theme park and shopping mall, along with 20,000 hotel rooms.

Dubai is already known for several record-breaking constructions, including the world’s tallest building.

Find out more about the Mall of the World here and tell us what you think.

Bricksy: Banksy’s street art in LEGO form


BricksyAn award-winning photographer creates LEGO artworks inspired by iconic Banksy images.

Jeff Friesen, from Winnipeg, started making LEGO dioramas with his daughter, eventually turning to the work of the famous street artist for inspiration.

Friesen’s series, entitled ‘Bricksy’, uses well-known Banksy art as a starting point to create a complete scene made of LEGO.

So far, he has recreated ‘Balloon Girl’ and ‘Kissing Coppers’, among other works.

Take a look at the Bricksy series here and tell us what you think of the fun idea.

Ecolution reveals world’s first portable smartflower


Ecolution smartflower
One of our clients, Ecolution, revealed the world’s first portable solar system, smartflower™ at Dukes Polo, Essex (12-13 July).

The stunning solar power plant is a unique mobile all-in-one photovoltaics system that unfolds automatically as the sun rises, follows it just like a sun flower, and then folds itself away when the sun sets.

Ecolution smartflowerAndy McGloin, commercial manager at Ecolution comments: “smartflower offers a design-led approach to renewable energy. With sustainability and energy efficiency becoming every day terms in our lives, we need to provide our customers with products that are simple to use, efficient and at the same time would adhere to their aesthetic requirements.”

Take a look at some more pictures of smartflower™ below.

Ecolution smartflowerEcolution smartflower

Ecolution smartflower

The ‘biggest design poster ever made’


Malmo Festival posterAn enormous poster which took 900 hours to complete is publicising the Malmö Festival in Sweden.

Described as the ‘biggest design poster ever made’, the poster by SNASK is a physical, interactive installation made of massive shapes which visitors can climb.

The colourful project, which is eight metres wide and and thirteen metres long, used 175 litres of paint, 280 plywood boards and 10,000 nails in its construction.

It celebrates the 30th Malmö Festival, which is taking place in August.

Take a closer look at the innovative poster here and tell us what you think.

How is social media affecting television habits?


Social media television habitsNew research from YouView reveals how social media usage is affecting the way UK viewers are watching television.

The study discovered that one in seven viewers search through social networks to find television recommendations, while over a quarter stay off social media when they need to avoid spoilers.

YouView surveyed two thousand viewers and also asked them about their ‘second screening’ habits (nearly one in six are on Twitter while watching a programme).

Find out more about the research here and tell us if social media influences your television habits.

Jeep’s optical illusion posters


Jeep adA new ad campaign for Jeep puts a twist on an old style of optical illusion by using animals.

The ‘See whatever you want to see’ posters feature animal pictures that, when turned upside down, look like a completely different animal.

The ingenious black and sepia posters, designed by Leo Burnett France, include a giraffe which becomes a penguin when flipped.

The posters are intended to give the brand a spirit of adventure and encourage users to see the world – while driving a Jeep, of course.

Take a look at the campaign here and tell us which is your favourite poster.

A table reflecting the depths of the ocean


The Abyss TableA layered coffee table by Duffy London resembles the depths of the ocean.

The Abyss Table stacks blue glass on slices of light wood, which gives the impression of a sandy sea bed.

The glass echoes the effect of the ocean, as the layers appear to darken as they deepen.

The uniquely shaped table mimics the contours of the ocean and was handmade by Christopher Duffy’s team.

Find out more about the table here and tell us what you think of it.

Pantone posters with character


Pantone 7686 CPantone’s new ad campaign shows how crucial colour is for iconic pop culture characters.

‘There can only be one’, devised by Y & R Shanghai, uses the features of famous cartoon and puppet figures against a background square of their dominant colour.

Completed by their Pantone numbers, the posters demonstrate that a strong colour is key to making characters instantly recognisable.

The posters include ‘Pantone 7686 C’, a deep blue, which uses googly eyes to represent Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster.

Take a look at all three posters here and tell us what you think of the fun concept.

Photographs of Design Museum revealed


The Design MuseumPhotographs of the new Design Museum in South Kensington have been released.

The museum, which is currently under construction, is due to open in 2016 and will be three times the size of the current building.

The £80 million project will include design workshops and a design library, a free-to-enter permanent collection and a gift shop.

A virtual tour of the site was made available online last year.

Find out more here and let us know what you think about the project.

Landesgartenschau: an exhibition hall built by robots


Landesgartenschau Exhibition HallAn exhibition hall has a structure created entirely from plywood prefabricated by robots.

The Landesgartenschau Exhibition Hall in Germany has been constructed using digital design and robotic fabrication techniques, which also included insulation, waterproofing and cladding.

The hall’s structure consists of 243 hexagonal plywood panels and the double-domed design is inspired by the skeletal structure of a sea urchin, which is described as ‘one of the most efficient modular systems in nature’.

Find out more about the design here and tell us what you think.

LEGO bus stop on Regent Street


LEGO bus stopTransport for London (TfL) is celebrating the Year of the Bus by installing a bus stop made entirely from LEGO bricks.

The stop, which is on Regent Street, has been created in conjunction with the nearby Hamleys toy stop and is made from 100,000 pieces of LEGO.

It took two weeks to put together, but TfL hopes the bus shelter with a difference ‘will bring a smile to the face of even a hardened commuter’.

Even the windows of the bus stop have been replaced with clear LEGO bricks, although the more complex transport maps were printed as usual and then pasted onto the LEGO wall.

The Year of the Bus celebrates several bus-related anniversaries, including the 60th anniversary of the iconic Routemaster bus.

Take a closer look at the LEGO bus stop here and let us know what you think of it.

Fibreglass cows bring wi-fi to Glastonbury


Wi-fi cows at GlastonburyFestivalgoers at last weekend’s Glastonbury were able to enjoy wi-fi on the site, thanks to a trio of fibreglass cows.

The cows, named Dolly, Daisy and Molly, were installed at key points around the festival and provided revellers with wi-fi for twelve hours every day.

Acting as 4G hotspots, the cows were powered by EE (Glastonbury’s technology partner) and designed by Hank, the on site artist.

Find out more about the cows here and tell us what you think of the fun idea.

Maison des Fondateurs


Maison des FondateursBjarke Ingels Group has unveiled its spiralling design for a Swiss watchmaker’s museum.

The project, entitled ‘Maison des Fondateurs’, is partially sunken into the ground and incorporates spiral geometry, invoking the feel of cogs and other watch pieces.

Based at Audemars Piguet’s headquarters in Vallée de Joux, the building will hold the watchmaker’s workshops and galleries.

Find out more about the design here and tell us what you think of it.

Playful quote posters


Illustration printsA designer has given some inspirational quotes new significance in colourful minimalistic posters.

Ryan McArthur has taken quotes from famous people, such as Oscar Wilde and Albert Einstein, and plays with their meaning in illustration prints.

For instance, Thomas Edison’s ‘Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration’ is represented through one light bulb and ninety-nine drops of water.

Take a look at the posters here and let us know your favourite.

Long exposure photos give trams sparkle


Budapest tramPhotography and festive lighting transform mundane Hungarian trams into cosmic marvels.

In Budapest, trams are each decorated with 30,000 blue and white LED lights during the holiday season.

Visiting photographers often take long exposure pictures of the trams, creating ethereal images that give the trams a futuristic feel.

Take a look at some more long exposure photographs here and tell us what you think of them.

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