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Kathleen McDermott’s “Personal Space Dress” Guards Against Sexual Harassment On Public Transit

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On a subway, personal space is a luxury that you don’t always have. People invade your “bubble,” and while annoying, it can be especially problematic for women. Artist Kathleen McDermott set to even the playing field with her Personal Space Dress, a garment that physically extends the space around a wearer’s body.

This dress is the second in a series titled Urban Armor. It’s a relatively simple concept with technology integrated into its design. When proximity sensors identify that someone’s too close, the sharp plastic scaffolding within the garment causes the hemline to expand outward. Anyone who’s in its area will be ushered away by a patterned-pink skirt.

McDermott got the idea for garment while living in Hong Kong where she’s currently finishing her MFA. Interested in wearable technology, the artist wanted to expand its purposes beyond something that only techies might have. She tells Co.Design, “Taking a photo of your sky diving experience while wearing Google Glass is awesome, but it’s really a small minority of the population that will have this experience. I wanted to explore how wearable technology could impact your physical world, and help the wearers, specifically women, exercise more control over their surroundings.”

While it doesn’t excuse and or solve the problem of sexual harassment on public transportation, it certainly makes a clever point. McDermott plans on making instructions and code for the Personal Space Dress available for download. So, theoretically you could make one of your very own and give yourself some extra breathing room. (Via Co.Design)

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(2) Awesome Videos Of The Day: Eye/Ear Candy

Some days you just need to watch something that will make you laugh. Today is one of those days. First with the above video by Rhett Dashwood for Kumisolo and after the jump Nobody Beats A Drum by Rogier van der Zwaag. Enjoy!

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Stefan Strumbel

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Black Forest, German native Stefan Strumbel is another urban fine artist represented by the Circleculture Gallery of Berlin. Strumbel reinterprets embedded regional folk classics of his personal past: the cuckoo clock, the pre-lentan Alemannic Carnival mask… familiar objects of home transformed with pop-culture flair, bright colors and iconic substitutions; a confrontation to cultural cliches. Strumbel’s work will be on exhibit in October as part of Escape 2010: Escape the Golden Cage, International Exhibition of Urban Art, Austria.

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Michelle Hinebrook

Michelle Hinebrook’s paintings bring together op-art, hard edge painting, geometric patterns, and psychedelic imagery to create  explosive and densely layered abstractions.

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Paper Sculptures Of 80s And 90s Nostalgia

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Zim & Zou are a French design studio created by Thibault Zimmermann and Lucie Thomas. In addition to paper sculptures, they also explore graphic design, illustration, and installation work. Rather than use a computer, the duo prefer to use paper to design and sculpt many of their images before photographing them. From a series entitled “Back to Basics,” these brightly sculpted electronic devices represent 80s and 90s nostalgia and employ color schemes that remind me of the Nickelodeon shows I grew up watching. Each item is meticulously sculpted to real-life size and shape dimensions and includes thoughtful details that give the appearance of full functionality. The use of paper to recreate outdated technological objects also confronts the current modern tension between print and digital media.

The duo told Don’t Panic, “…[A]t first sight it’s a tribute to vintage technologies which marked the technological evolution of the last years, and all the nostalgia of the memories that each have with them. By bringing those ‘dead’ objects back to life, we tried to highlight the very fast evolution of our everyday objects. The devices we use nowadays will, in a few years, be considered as relics too. We wanted to ask a question as well: where will this evolution lead us to?

What inspired us personally for this project are the original objects themselves. Every day we use some of those objects, such as the Polaroid camera and we often play Tetris on the original grey Gameboy.”

Their website has a gallery full of other paper sculpture designs, including paper birds, food, spaceships, and a Higgs Boson. You can watch a time-lapse video of their construction process here. (via unknown editors)

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Designer Fashion Transformed Into Grotesque Consumerism Critique

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The artwork Andrea Hasler if nothing else is a critique of consumerism. Her Burdens of Excess series resemble the strange blend of designer fashion and a slaughterhouse.  Fleshy blobs bulge between straps and buttons nearly turning the high fashion accessories into bizarre creatures.  Zippers and stitching even begin to seem like biological features. Still, our “natural” biological sides as human is a jarring contrast to ideas as contrived as fashion, luxury, even money.

The press release from her recent show at Gusford Gallery in Los Angeles states:

“Hasler’s work focuses on constructions of identity and collective desires, and is characterized by a tension between attraction and repulsion. The works in the Desire series, in particular, focus on the obsession of projections of affluence and glamor. Reworking designer bags, shoes, and accessories into organ-resemblant sculptures, Hasler’s works engage with the psychological aspects of consumerism, blurring the lines between what you are and what you must have.

Through the transformation of GUSFORD’s Melrose Avenue gallery space into an indulgent, glamorous shop, Hasler’s installation embodies the epitome of luxurious excess, and looks to a dystopic future, where branded organs may one day be the ultimate fashion accessory.”

Watch a video of her installation at Gusford Gallery as well as a short interview with the artist after the jump.

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Photographer Spotlight: Gabriel Wickbold

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I’m a fan of color, especially in the  works of  photographer Gabriel Wickbold. Check out the rest of her site as it does not disappoint!

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The Library Dioramas of Marc Giai-Miniet

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These aren’t photos of bisected buildings. Rather, they’re the carefully constructed dioramas of artist Marc Giai-Miniet.  His little libraries inhabit multi-storied buildings, perfectly suitable for us bookish nerds.  However, many of his pieces almost seem to be hiding something sinister.  The floors become darker, dirtier, more utilitarian the deeper they are in the building.  Soot stained boiler rooms occupy the basement floors along with objects long forgotten.  Perhaps the entire structure is a metaphor for the mind in a way: the diligent ego among the book lined floors and the unconscious hidden down in the dingy cellar.

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