Data + Design Project

92 Year Old Grandma Creates Simply Stunning Embroidered Temari Balls

Friday 12.20.2013 , Posted by
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Traditionally created from the remnants of tattered or old kimonos, temari (Japanese for hand ball) are a traditional toy and art form. When the tradition began, the kimono fabric would be wadded up in the shape of a ball and covered with strips of fabric, wrapped so tightly that it would bounce. Over time, it became a craft and the stitching become more intricate and artistic. The centers were replaced with rubber once it was brought to Japan and the art form became a competitive craft among women in the Japanese upper class. Here are some beautiful examples of temari created by a 92 year old grandmother, Nana Akua and photographed by her granddaughter.
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Meet Darcy, The Flying Hedgehog of Instagram

Wednesday 12.18.2013 , Posted by
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Cats are so last week. At least that’s a sentiment most internet users will consider the first time they come across Darcy the flying hedgehog. Three years ago Darcy’s owner, Shota Tsukamoto of Tokyo Japan, popped the adorable quilled creature on Instagram and ever since the fans have been rolling in. Who wouldn’t be amused by the fantastic things Darcy gets up to? Riding flamingos, exploring fuzzy shoes and generally lounging around are all on the days list of activities… but Darcy does them all with endearing style. [Read more...]

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Artist Cuts Exquisite Trees into Luxury Shopping Bags

Thursday 12.12.2013 , Posted by
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If there’s one living thing NOT excited about the holiday season, it has to be the tree. Think of all the wrapping paper, newspaper ad sections and piles of shopping bags! Japanese artist Yuken Teruya has been transforming that last item into something that recalls its living source. With impressive precision he cuts a two-part silhouette – the lower branches and trunk, and the leafy top – into the side of each bag. Then he carefully folds them down into the space inside, joining the two shapes together and finally rooting the base of the trunk with a single drop of glue. Looking inside, viewers are treated to a magically idillic scene, softly lit through the holes above. [Read more...]

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Uncanny Animated GIFs Go In Circles

Tuesday 11.19.2013 , Posted by

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rrrrrrrroll puts photos in heavy rotation. A project based out of Japan, rrrrrrrroll creates animated GIFs featuring an anonymous individual in unassuming, everyday environments. Each still image, however, is animated by one element moving in a trippy endless cycle – ranging from a forkful of spaghetti suspended over a spinning plate, to a woman frantically swinging herself around a lamppost. [Read more...]

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Check Out This Japanese Music Video Beautifully Animated on Spinning CDs

Monday 11.11.2013 , Posted by

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Forget all the GIF animations you’re addicted to, and the conventional computer ones too. This wild new music video for the Japanese band SOUR’s single Life Is Music uses rotating CDs to bring a vintage style of animation to the modern day. A phenakistoscope was a nineteenth-century animation technique that used still images marked radially around a disk. When spun and viewed through a small slit, the image was visually prevented from blurring and created the illusion of movement. Designers Masashi Kawamura (of creative agency PARTY) and Kota Iguchi (of design studio Tymote) have updated the phenakistoscope technique, using animations precisely synched to both the shutter speed of their camera and the beat of the song. [Read more...]

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Painted Wheels: Alexa Meade Creates a Real-Life Painting on a Mini… and People

Monday 10.21.2013 , Posted by

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The alluring Alexa Meade has a serious talent for transforming the real world into a painting, and her latest work sees her doing just that with an entire car in Shibuya, Tokyo. The project, part of a campaign with Mini, sees Meade painting the iconic car in her signature brightly hued style in the studio, then rolling it out on the street for gawking pedestrians to enjoy. She finishes the project by painting volunteers off the street, giving them a paint covered 15 Minutes of Fame (hey, didn’t Andy Warhol paint a car??). [Read more...]

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Elaborate Book Sculptures Tower Over Customers in Japanese Bookstores

Sunday 10.13.2013 , Posted by

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In bookstores throughout Japan, there is a new marketing trend- stacking books like kids on Adderall playing Jenga. Known as Tawaa Tsumi (Japanese for “tower pile”, bookstore employees spend hours transforming books into these beautfiul, massive sculptures. With fancy spiral designs and clever variations, some look with awe, while others complain that this process is not good for books. Could this aesthetic demand be contributing to Karōshi (death from overwork) in Japanese bookstore workers? [Read more...]

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Fantastic Tattoos Made from Dots. Kenji Alucky, Japan’s Traveling Artist, Hits New York.

Tuesday 10.08.2013 , Posted by

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Stippling is a technique mostly associated with fine-tipped pens and a careful hand, but tattoo artist Kenji Alucky from Hokkaido, Japan is using the form on skin. His exquisite pieces are filled with geometric forms, both natural and mathematical, and most are created using his signature method employing fine dots. [Read more...]

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Only in Japan: Man Spends 11 Years Building Gigantic “Robot” Beetle

Thursday 09.05.2013 , Posted by

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When Hitoshi Takahashi was 50 years old, he decided he was old enough to do whatever he wanted… the result wasn’t your average “buy an RV and hit the road,” instead he spent the next 11 years creating a frightening 36 foot long, 12 foot tall mechanical beetle. Takahashi is the owner of a machine shop in Ibaraki Prefecture’s planned city of Tsukuba. The area is known for it’s many engineering colleges and scientific research centers… so perhaps that all had an influence on him. [Read more...]

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How Creatives Work: Akira Kurosawa

Wednesday 09.04.2013 , Posted by

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Akira Kurosawa is respected as one of the greatest film directors who ever lived, and as a master of the Samurai genre of Japanese cinema. Films such as “Rashomon,” “Seven Samurai,” Ran,” “Throne of Blood,”  “Yojimbo,” and others, revolutionized cinema and introduced Japanese film to Western audiences. He always said he didn’t like talking about particular films after he had finished them. He wanted them to do the talking for him. “If what I have said in my film is true,” he explained, “someone will understand.” [Read more...]

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