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This year for its holiday program Experyment Science Center focuses on space travel and flying. We were asked to design a poster which would combine this theme with play and experiments. When we told them what we wanted to do, we were given three boxes of fun stuff: science toys, microscope parts, lab equipment, a model of the solar system. We also raided our son’s room for toys and then constructed a rocket of all those bits and pieces we chose.

Projects like this are awesome for reminding us that design is more than being stuck to the computer screen and can be fun in more than one way.

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The flashlights-as-rocket-engines might be our favorite part.

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(First of all, this post is so late – sorry about that. Our son is back to preschool and this means back to the onslaught of all sorts of cold viruses like you wouldn’t believe. But we’re powering through.)

A long time ago we started Project Doolittle: both a tribute to the Pixies’ great album and an experiment in tangible type. By the time we finished the project, that is designed all 15 covers for all the songs, it is (already a bit past) the 30th anniversary of the release of Doolittle so the project becomes even more of a celebration of this record.

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Each cover is a different attempt at tangible typography: letters made of various materials, crafted by hand, sometimes designed by us and sometimes based on existing typefaces. We didn’t mainly focus on the connection between the material and the song, going more for an impressionistic, poetic if you will, relation between them (though in some cases the connection is more obvious than in others). We wanted to experiment with 3D typography to see how much using actual, physical objects rather than a computer adds to typographic designs.

This project started as one of our very first forays into handmade type and in the period between its beginning and ending we managed to do quite a few such projects (including a PhD thesis) but we are happy that we chose to return to this series and finished it because it’s one of those string-free projects that are very fun to work at. Hope you enjoy it as well.

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This year marks 100 years of the establishment of the Bauhaus school of design and we (along with the rest of the world) are celebrating the occasion with a poster.

Bauhaus is one of the most recognizable names and most important institutions in the history of design and particularly modernist design which – as you may know or not – is very much what we love. So working on the poster was pure (math-tinted) pleasure.

We drew several iconic Bauhaus designs isometrically (celebrating Bauhaus’ artist – and ours – fondness for isometry) and arranged them into a number 100.

You can buy the poster on the Bazaar or Society6.

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Our version of the logo for the centennial.

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This detail includes Wassily Chair by Marcel Breuer, Marianne Brandt’s tea infuser and pot by Wolfgang Rossger & Friedrich Marby.

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This detail includes furniture from Gropius’ office and nesting tables by Josef Albers.

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This might be our favorite piece of Bauhaus design: chessboard by Josef Hartwig.

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Happy Bauhaus 100!

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With uncommon (for us) consistency we push on to the finish line with Project Doolittle. This week it’s “Mr. Grieves” with script lettering made of – not really hair. But it sure looks like hair. What it really is is tow (and boy did I have to look up the English name).

We put off this project for a while, expecting the material to be hard to work with, but it surprised us with its relatively pleasant point between flexibility and stiffness. It only took minimum amount of cursing and re-shaping the letters: I imagine it would be much harder to work with actual hair.

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Two to go but we’re still deciding upon the last materials.

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Project Doolittle continues today with “Hey.” As this is the shortest of the titles, we could choose a material that wouldn’t work with a long word. We have a whole collection of small empty syringes used during pregnancies. We kept them precisely to use for a future project. We filled them with colored inks and arranged into letters. This looks better up close because the result turned out quite delicate but the subtlety contrasts interestingly with the sort of emotional punch that the sight of a syringe gives many people.

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Three designs to go and we’re getting there.

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Continuing Project Doolittle, which honors the Pixies’ amazing album, we tackled “Crackity Jones” this week.

During Christmas clean-up of the house we found three jars of colored stones which were probably intended for plant pots but we had bought them with some unspecified future design project in mind. And this turned out to be the perfect opportunity to try them. (Also our older son had so much fun with helping that this turned out to be a perfect family activity, too.)

And yes, we designed the letters digitally before we made them tangible.

Front cover of the single.

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Back cover.

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The stencil.

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Four more songs to go – and we’re working on it.

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After a Valentine’s Day related interlude, we come back to the rest of the exhibitions about the gardens of Gdańsk, designed for the Museum of Gdańsk. The general explanation is here, in part one. Today’s photos show the other, pink room (and glimpses of the blue one) which focused on the philosophy of gardening in the 18th and 19th centuries.

A section on garden benches with a bench where a visitor could rest.

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A glimpse of the original interior of the museum: a stucco ceiling.

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The blue room held original art and a huge printout of a historical photo.

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…and this guy.

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