Data + Design Project

Japan’s Real life Jurassic Park

Monday 04.16.2012 , Posted by

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A couple of hundred miles to the south of Tokyo in the Philippine Sea lies the island of Aogashima. Administered by Tokyo and part of the Izu Archipelago, the island’s 205 inhabitants (2009) enjoy a type of solitude that many will never experience. This island is known for having a volcanic caldera within a larger caldera, which makes the island’s unique shape resemble a tropical scene from the set of Jurassic Park or Lost. Only accessible by boat or helicopter, one could end up trapped here pretty easily if the seas get rough or a tropical storm makes its way in. [Read more...]

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The Peacefulness of Levitation

Friday 03.30.2012 , Posted by

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Natsumi Hayashi is a Japanese photographer who takes levitating self-portrait shots in very interesting situations — surrounded by other people on trains, in the middle of streets, and wherever a little bit of levitation is lacking. The beautiful young photographer has a great sense of humor claiming, “Since I’m yowayowa, it’s really heavy to carry SLR cameras around.” Yowayowa is the Japanese term for “weak” or “feeble” but in reality, it’s probably a good thing to be small and lightweight. In some cases Hayashi has to jump hundreds of times to get the right shot, transforming a simple image of her jumping into the unique levitation photos for which she has gained notoriety. [Read more...]

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TRON: Japanese Style!

Thursday 03.15.2012 , Posted by

Tron is back… in Japan! This beautifully choreographed 5 minute clip of Tron inspired goodness shows 8 dancers in full Tron-like suits that turn on and off. As they move, they come together, disappear, only to reappear somewhere else. It is an exceptionally well done dance piece and inspires new ideas for dances whether at a school play, a theater or a communal gathering such as Burning Man. Enjoy the show! [Read more...]

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Translucent Origami Of Endangered Sea Birds

Friday 02.24.2012 , Posted by

The skeletons of endangered birds and sea-life pop from flat sheets of paper into beautiful, eerie three-dimensional forms in Japanese designer Takayuki Hori’s series Oritsunagumono (things folded and connected). The pieces were his 1st place winning entry into the 2010 Mitsubishi Chemical Junior Designer Award, in which student designers submit their senior thesis works to be judged by a group of artists, designers, professors and critics. [Read more...]

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The Haunting Late Night Photography of Michael Kenna

Wednesday 02.01.2012 , Posted by

The ghostly images of Michael Kenna give us a hauntingly beautiful lens with which to view our natural world. Many of his photos are inspired by his travels abroad, with Japan being one of his biggest influences. When Kenna first visited Japan in 1987 for a one-person exhibition, he became completely entranced with the countries stark terrain. Since then, Kenna has traveled throughout the world snapping his striking, minimalist landscapes, which continue to capture the essence and grace of the eerie mountains, oceans and valleys he photographs. [Read more...]

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Dekotora Trucks: Lighted Chariots of the Night

Tuesday 11.15.2011 , Posted by

Dekotora: an art born in the land of the rising sun, where cool delivery trucks are customized with wild treatments of chrome, stainless steel, colorful airbrushed murals and hundreds of neon lights to brighten the night. In this new series All The Wrong Places from Vice, Elliott Bambrough explores Dekotora culture around Tokyo and the Japan countryside, visiting the birthplace of the trend which began in low budget mid-70s B movies about truckers going on adventures and “chasing tail.” While truck culture has been waning in Japan, Bambrough gives it a little kick… check out the Dekotora treatment to his Mini at the end of the video. [Read more...]

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A Patchwork Japanese Retro-Future

Wednesday 11.09.2011 , Posted by

HR-FM is the name of a very talented Yokohama based artist who creates huge prints of a colorful, patchwork retro-future he calls, paradoxically “the future past.” He says his airplane, robot and speaker filled works are “the fossil which future people may dig,” which seems a perfect description for such a dystopian vision. All of the current works are vector based, created using his Mac and a Wacom tablet and the designs are created using complex lines which are then filled with bold colors. Many must be seen full scale to truly appreciate. To get a larger view, check out hr-fm.com or DeviantArt for a full selection of prints [Read more...]

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Japanese Posters Teach Chemical Warfare Safety

Tuesday 11.08.2011 , Posted by

With the outbreak of the Japan-China War in 1937 and the threat of airstrikes a real likelihood on Japanese soil, these posters from 1938 were created by the government to educate the public about the new Anti-Aircraft Defense Law. According to Pink Tentacle, the law “required citizens to take protective measures against gas attacks and prepare for disinfection, evacuation and relief.” Included in the informative posters, which look a lot like predecessors to airline safety brochures, are instructions for creating your own quick emergency mask, how to evacuate the area and treat patients wounded with mustard gas [Read more...]

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A World Drawn Together by Dots

Thursday 11.03.2011 , Posted by

Student designer/artist Miharu Mitsunaga has created a series of stunning portraits and photographs by covering her subjects with a multitude of tiny hand-painted dots. Her architecturally based series, titled “Ten-Ten” (dots in Japanese), symbolically illustrates the bond between man, woman, family, friend, adult, child and nationality through covering spaces with mostly red dots in her signature pattern. Her series “Graduation Work,” takes the concept one step further covering subjects with linear white dots across their bodies, effectively creating a union across perceived differences in culture, race, sex and age. Beautiful. [Read more...]

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Fanciful Characters of Cut Paper

Monday 10.31.2011 , Posted by

Patrick Gannon pieces his intricately cut paper together like a puzzle, creating beautiful beast filled worlds. The way the curving organic lines form each object give an inviting, earthy, even peaceful feel. Each work is built on a piece of thick wood, some allowing the grain to show through to the finished work. Gannon lives on the beautiful island of Fukuoka, Japan. See more at pgannon.com, follow him on Twitter or like him on Facebook [Read more...]

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