Modern War Effort
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The husband and wife design duo, Charles and Ray Eames, are most often associated with their beautifully contoured chairs that became a visual hallmark of postwar California culture. Charles Eames, who had worked with architect Eero Saarinen at Cranbrook Academy in Michigan in the late 1930s, began experimenting with molded plywood, which would become a key element in his future furniture projects. The history behind the Eames’s iconic designs began in 1942 with their contribution to the war effort as the United States Navy commissioned them to produce a more lightweight plywood leg splint for use aboard warships.

“The splints needed to be strong and durable enough to hold up under stress, yet also sufficiently light and nimble to facilitate easy navigation of confined shipboard spaces. Most important, they needed to provide a stable armature for the wounded human body – whose integrity and function had been compromised by laceration, fracture, burn and other physical traumas.”[1]

The splint was the Eames’s first design to go into large-scale production. By the end of World War II, over 150,000 had been produced. The undulating, ergonomic form replaced older metal designs with laminated and molded birch plywood that was functional, strong and lightweight, as well as visually and tactilely appealing. Charles and Ray Eames would continue to reimagine every day objects for the next three decades, creating a long lasting legacy in the world of modern design.

Roshy Vultaggio is a graduate student in the History of Design and Curatorial Studies program offered jointly by the Parsons School of Design and Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. She is a Fellow in the museum’s Product Design and Decorative Arts Department.

[1] Jason Weems, War Furniture Charles and Ray Eamse Design for the Wounded Body, Boom: A Journal of California, Volume 2, No.1 (Spring 2012), 46-48.

from Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

The Miniature Model Behind ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ | Via

While “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is busy with smaller design elements, one of its most striking designs is the hotel itself. Outfitted in shades of pink and purple and situated atop a hill, the hotel is grandiose and picturesque. It also happens to be nine feet tall. For wide shots of the hotel, the director Wes Anderson and his team decided to use a handmade miniature model.

“I’ve always loved miniatures in general,” Mr. Anderson said, speaking by phone from Paris. “I just like the charm of them.” He used miniatures in “The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou” and more extensively in “Fantastic Mr. Fox.” He said he feels that audiences tend to recognize what is artificial, whether in computer-generated effects or otherwise, and that gave him liberty to use models. “The particular brand of artificiality that I like to use is an old-fashioned one,” he added.

He collaborated again with the production designer Adam Stockhausen (“Moonrise Kingdom”) to come up with the look of the hotel, then had it built by a crew. Here is a closer look at the hotel, including commentary and ideas from Mr. Stockhausen.

SoP | Scale of Representation


Marrying Locomotives and Graffiti at a Miniature Scale with @californiagrownginger

To see more of Rob’s model trains, and the life-sized locomotives that inspire them, follow @californiagrownginger on Instagram.

“You can’t just paint rust on, you gotta create the rust—layers and layers of diluted paint and weathering chalks,” explains Rob Lewis (@californiagrownginger), whose meticulously crafted “HO scale” model trains reflect a decades-long love of locomotives, graffiti and photography.

Rob, who was born and raised on California’s Central Coast, traces his interest in graffiti back to skateboarding, and his love of trains back to his grandfather, but it was photography, which he fell into after high school, that married the two. “By 1999 I was camping out along the Tehachapi Loop taking pictures of trains,” Rob explains. He even got a job at a photo lab to feed his habit. “People used to trade pictures of trains and graffiti back then, so it was good to have a cheap way to print.”

“I always noticed the way different trains would break down,” explains Rob, whose years of train watching and thousands of photographs have cultivated an eye for detail that makes possible his fanatical devotion to accuracy. “You have to replicate what you see, not what you think it should be.”


‘Scale Model’ - models: Jeremy Matos & Richard Detwiler - photographed by Christopher Griffiths - stylist: Benjamin Sturgill - casting director: Edward Kim - Details September 2014


Hi guys, it’s been a while… and that’s because I’ve been focusing all of my spare energy on this little project, a 1:12 inch scale living room set, which is part of a larger project revolving around stop motion animation O.O

The idea for this started sometime last year when I was compelled to make a miniature sofa, which you can see in detail here. Then this January, I took a couple days off to make a bookshelf to go with the sofa, and decided then and there that I needed a whole living room set. I also thought it might be efficient (a weird concept in regards to art and slow craft…) to combine it with my dream of making some quality stop motion animation, and thus this mini living room was born.

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