Last Sunday, after protesters in Bristol, England decided to tear down the already defaced statue of a well-known slave trader, Edward Colston, and throw it into the harbor, a heated debate was sparked. While many people cheered as the statue of a man who, back in the day, was responsible for transporting about 100,000 slaves from Africa to the Americas was toppled and drowned, others had conflicting opinions. Some described the act as the erasure of history that is important to remember, while others condemned the protesters for the illegal actions they took part in.
The statue caused a bit of splash both literally and figuratively, as opinions both from political leaders and regular people started flowing. Clearly, some common ground needs to be found to resolve the matter.
As it turns out, there’s a rather simple solution to end the controversy surrounding the toppling of the statue and it comes from the prominent street artist Banksy, who often uses his art to share commentary on politics and social issues. His pitch is rather simple: bring back the statue, put it back on its pedestal, but upgrade it with statues of protesters armed with ropes in the action of taking down the slave trader’s statue. According to the artist, this would be the best way to have this “famous day commemorated.”
Andželika is a content creator based in Vilnius, Lithuania. She has a proven love for animals with over 150 articles written exclusively about them. While she does find cats extremely adorable, thanks to the Internet her all-time favorite animal is a raccoon. Andželika spends a great deal of time online, constantly gets distracted from work by memes, and could surely make listening to music her part-time job. Read more »
Art is a lot of things to a lot of people. However, there is also middle ground to be had here. No matter whether it’s Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” or a meme from the internet, art is here for the betterment of humankind.
Art can enrich us culturally. Art can make us experience new things. Art can be a fountain of morality. Above all, art can push us towards change. Which is what anonymous British cultural art icon Banksy has done over the last few days with his latest Christmas-themed mural.
Banksy’s latest mural, drawing attention to the homeless problem in the UK, popped up a few days ago
A video has recently surfaced on Banksy’s Instagram account. It features a homeless man, later to be identified as Ryan, taking a sip of water in preparation for his bed time on a public bench, which is covered by sacks full of his belongings.
The shot zooms out to reveal an artistic extension to the bench—reindeer taking off into the skies. The way the bench is set up with Ryan’s belongings on it as well as his physical appearance create an allusion of him being Santa Clause flying through the night sky in his sleigh.
View the full video of Banksy’s new Christmas mural
A caption is also included together with the video, reading: “God bless Birmingham. In the 20 minutes we filmed Ryan on this bench, passers-by gave him a hot drink, two chocolate bars and a lighter—without him ever asking for anything.” People can find the new work of art on Vyse St. in Birmingham.
Bored Panda got in touch with Polly Neate, the chief executive of Shelter, regarding the state of homelessness in the United Kingdom. Shelter is a UK-based charity that aims to end homelessness and bad housing in the country.
Another one of Banksy’s recent murals points out the ever-increasing problem of climate change
Banksy’s new mural draws attention to a sad and worsening reality that the advent is not a jolly time for all. Winter is the toughest season for those without a home: temperatures drop below zero degrees Celsius, frequent chill winds, and the occasional snow fall. Not the most perfect of conditions to sleep under the moonlit sky.
“It’s vital we wake up the to the shocking scale of homelessness in this country,” says Neate. “It’s deeply distressing that so many people are forced to sleep on our streets where they routinely face threats of violence and conditions that can result in serious ill-health or even death.”
According to a report by Shelter, around 320,000 people were homeless in 2018. This translates to 1 in every 200 people living without a home nationwide. London is responsible for a bit over half of the count—170,000 people, or 1 in every 52, in the London area are homeless. Other areas like Brighton (1 in 67), Birmingham (1 in 73) and Manchester (1 in 135) are also facing a problem with homelessness. A Shelter spokesperson explained that more recent statistics are currently in the works, but considering the trends, the number of homeless is expected to rise.
“As we see through our own frontline services every day, rough sleeping is a terrible consequence of the housing emergency we’re in,” continues Polly Neate. “That’s why, on top of immediate action to help people off the streets, we also need the next government to rapidly get to grips with the dire lack of social homes that underpins this crisis. Simply put, you can’t solve homelessness without homes.”
For those unaware, Banksy is a world-renowned anonymous English street artist, political activist, and film director. Outdoor locations like streets, walls and bridges have been the canvas for his visual commentary since the early 1990s. He is best known for Girl with Balloon, Love is in the Air, and Napalm, as well as a handful of other works.
This isn’t Banksy’s first Christmas-themed mural, as there was also Season’s Greetings. It features a young kid catching snowflakes with his tongue on one side of a wall. On the other, however, it is revealed that the snow is actually smoke and embers coming from a fire. It used to be on the steelworker’s garage in Port Talbot, but was later moved to a gallery in the town’s Ty’r Orsaf building
You can also become a part of Shelter’s mission by donating to the Shelter’s Urgent Christmas Appeal by visiting their website or, if you’re from the UK, you can text SHELTER to 70030 to donate £3 (texts cost the standard network rate plus £3). Shelter receives 100% of your donations.
What are some of your favorites from Banksy? Let us know in the comments below!
You all probably remember the incredibly talented 9-year-old Joe (aka The Doodle Boy) from England who kept getting in trouble for drawing in class. We all know how he became recognized all over the world after his art school teacher recognized his talent and he was asked to decorate the dining room of the ‘Number 4’ restaurant in Shrewsbury.
Well, we have a wholesome update for you: We have a wholesome update for you: Joe is still drawing, developing his skills, and he’s just finished his latest project on his art school’s wall! It looks absolutely fantastic!
Bored Panda spoke to Joe’s father Greg Whale to get an update about his son’s latest art project. According to Greg, it took Joe around 7 hours to finish his doodles and the drawings will stay at ‘Bloom’ because they’re drawn on the wall.
Joe’s dad Greg confirmed to Bored Panda that his son’s previous art project at the ‘Number 4’ restaurant is all finished.
“Joe has had an amazing response globally and has been met with real positivity, we really like to thank everybody for this, it is very much appreciated,” Greg said. “We have been incredibly busy, Joe has been inundated with requests for commissions and many licensing opportunities and we have now partnered with an agent/manager for him to help to organize the requests.”
Joe’s artistic talents have given him a strong following of fans online
“We have always aimed to protect Joe from all of the hype around him as we want Joe to continue to carry out his artwork for the love of it rather than because he’s being asked to,” Joe’s dad explained. “Joe is now at almost 90,000 followers on Instagram which is amazing and again the support has been overwhelming.”
Joe’s father Greg wants his son to keep drawing for his love of art, not for money
In a previous interview, Greg told Bored Panda that Joe has ‘always’ loved drawing and “was added to the Gifted register in primary school, aged 4.”
He added: “His identical twin brother Jesse was also added to the register.”
Joe’s artistic talents were recognized when his after-class art school teacher posted his work online. Joe’s doodles were then noticed by staff at the ‘Number 4’ restaurant who commissioned him to draw on their walls. That’s when The Doodle Boy was born.
Joe loves drawing so much that he’s always doodling
This bus stop in Devon, England is crowned as the “coziest bus stop in Britain”, and went through a cinderella-like story to get there.
Located in the small Dartmoor village of Walkhampton, the building frequently suffered from vandalism. It had to be cleaned up again and again, until somebody couldn’t take it anymore and turned the stone structure into a place that feels as cozy as a normal living room.
The unknown interior designer redid the walls, brought in a comfortable chair, even framed some paintings next to the timetable of the bus.
“I don’t know who has done it and I haven’t spoken to anybody who seems to know,” The Rev Preb Nick Shutt, Rector of the West Dartmoor Mission Community and a resident of Walkhampton told The Telegraph. “But it has brought a smile to everyone’s faces. It’s like having our very own Banksy, who likes doing some installation art.”
With WantedDesign 2019about to get underway in two distinct venues—Wanted Brooklyn at Industry City (May 16-20) and Wanted Manhattan at Terminal Stores (May 18-21)—we asked co-founders Odile Hainaut and Claire Pijoulat about the fair’s theme, its new student design awards, and the second year of its bespoke Look Book at the Manhattan edition. The duo, both born in France, worked in the design and art fields before founding WantedDesign in 2011 to coincide with ICFF (International Contemporary Furniture Fair) in New York. The event is now an integral part of the annual NYCxDESIGN calendar.
Interior Design: How would you describe the 2019 theme of “Conscious Design” in the context of the Manhattan and Brooklyn editions of WantedDesign?
Odile Hainaut and Claire Pijoulat: In 2018, “Conscious Design” was defined as a leading theme to present sustainable projects that foresee what the future can be, if supported by creative vision and smart decisions. In 2019, the notion of conscious design will be encouraged and more widely highlighted in the WantedDesign programming as it is an urgent and essential matter. Protecting the environment, achieving reasonable consumption, and reducing waste are all issues that designers face on their daily tasks to create our homes and our work spaces, in addition to bringing beauty to healthier living.
Facing climate change, evaluating the impact we have on our planet and on civilization itself, falls now more than ever under the scope of responsibilities of all designers and creatives at large. As event organizers, we have the opportunity to have a voice; these are issues that we want to address specifically and that we implement in the way we build the show itself in encouraging our exhibitors to embrace a zero-waste approach when producing their installation. Last year we were able to reduce our waste by 50 percent, and in 2019 our policy is the first item in the contract we send to our exhibitors.
The 2019 edition will challenge design professionals with original exhibits and showcases in order to forge their inspiration when drawing our future. Both destinations, Manhattan and Brooklyn, will include numerous educational (and fun) activities such as workshops, demos, and talks for the visitors and participants to connect, share, learn, and discover what should come next.
ID: What can student designers attending WantedDesign this year expect to gain from the different programming of the Brooklyn and Manhattan editions?
OH and CP: WantedDesign Brooklyn will have the Factory Floor dedicated to the Schools exhibit, with 30 schools coming from all over the world (France, China, Mexico, El Salvador, England, the United States, etc.). Now this show is becoming a not-to-be-missed destination to discover young talent. For the students, it’s a stepping stone to build up their professional network, which we know is essential.
Students will benefit directly from our ever-growing number of visitors, including design professionals and manufacturers. This year, for the first time, we have organized a jury to award the best design-student projects. It’s a way to highlight and support them even more. The jury will be led by Avinash Rajagopal, editor in chief of Metropolis, and includes Ayse Birsel, co-founder of Birsel + Seck; Andrea Lipps, assistant curator of contemporary design at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum; and Jonsara Ruth, co-founder and design director of Healthy Materials Lab at Parsons School of Design.
Five Awards will be given to the following: Best Original Concept and Design, Best Sustainable Solution, Best Project with Social Impact, Best Ready-to-be-Implemented-or-Produced (Project or Product), and Best Conscious Design Project (that unites three of the four previous criteria). Those five students will benefit from special promotion, and this review is a chance to show their project to professionals who can help with constructive criticism and a real eye for design.
We are also hosting various activities and programming that will be learning experiences for the students. For schools, we are really building opportunities of exchange and partnerships, which is essential.
Lastly, we are partnering again with AIGANY to host the 3rd Spring Wanted Job Fair. It’s a “speed dating” format, not portfolio review, offering a chance for young designers to meet with creative firms.
ID: What can members of the trade attending WantedDesign this year expect to gain from the different programming of the Brooklyn and Manhattan editions?
OH and CP: In Manhattan, we always have a great presence of group exhibits from all over the world. This is really a unique feature of our show. This is how we share original design, new ideas, new material, new potential collaborations. Visitors will meet with Polish, Egyptian—for the first time in the U.S., and it’s a large group of 13 designers—Canadian, Mexican, and Colombian designers.
It’s also the second year of Look Book, a program dedicated to the promotion of the best high-end designers and makers in North America. This section of the show targets interior designers and architects who are looking for talented designers/makers with unique know-how to create bespoke pieces.
In the Launch Pad program, visitors will discover a large selection of 33 international designers, in two categories, furniture and lighting, who have a product ready to be launched in the U.S. market and are looking for the right partner to do it.
Wanted Interiors will explore the Future of Water/Bathroom 2025, a research project resulting from a collaboration between a team from Pratt Accelerator and the American Standard creative team, which is sponsoring this program. It involves how to change behaviors when using water, new scenarios and new ways to build bathroom for a sustainable urban living.
Last but not least, our talk series presented by DesignMilk and Clever is also a great focus for people who want to use WantedDesign as a resource and networking platform.
Building scale models of a beloved home that can fit on a tabletop has literally become a cottage industry.
Veteran marketing executive Lisa Macpherson was thrilled two years ago, when she and her boyfriend Jim decided to buy their first house together, in Virginia. The only sacrifice: He would no longer live full-time in his house in Chicago, a passion project on which he’d collaborated closely with an architect. The solution, Macpherson reasoned, was for him to bring that house to Virginia with him—at least a scale model of it. Macpherson found a U.K.-based model maker, Chisel & Mouse, to tackle the project. She sent across blueprints, satellite images, photographs, and other details about Jim’s home, and connected the firm with his architect in case of questions.
“For someone in love with their home, seeing it reproduced at scale, with every detail perfect—it would be a knockout gift,” Macpherson explains via telephone from Virginia. “It was the perfect intersection of where we were in our relationship and his passion for that house.”
Sure enough, a few months later, an enormous wooden crate arrived in Virginia. At its center, painstakingly packed, was a 14-inch-wide plaster replica of Jim’s home in Illinois. The maquette perfectly mirrored every exterior detail; elements of the interior were visible, too. Through one window, Macpherson could see the fireplace; another provided a view of Jim’s platform bed. When Macpherson presented it to him at Christmas, Jim was speechless.
“Even a couple of years later, it’s still a big darn deal,” she says with pride. “It’s on a glass cocktail table here in Virginia—it’s the centerpiece of the room.”
Custom miniatures are increasingly the focus of Chisel & Mouse, which Robert Paisley runs with his brother, Gavin. The duo, yearning for a more fulfilling career after working in software sales and banking, turned to model making seven years ago.
“We’re both passionate about architecture,” Robert explains from their studio just outside Brighton, England. “And Gavin’s pride and joy is a Millennium Falcon in Lego, and he loves anything Airfix.”
The Paisleys combined these interests by buying an early Makerbot 3D printer with which they developed molds of such noteworthy buildings in the U.K. as the Tate Modern and the Battersea Power Station. The pair then hand-poured plaster into those molds before custom-finishing each piece. The results were an instant hit with the likes of interior design guru Sheridan Coakley of furniture design company SCP; the range of works now includes everything from the Capitol Records Building in Hollywood, Calif., to a Regency townhouse in Bath, England, and aerial views, incuding cityscapes of London, Chicago, and other places, that can be hung like paintings.
Soon after launching the firm, the Paisleys began receiving enquiries such as the one from Macpherson: Could Chisel & Mouse apply its model-making know-how on a bespoke basis? In response, the brothers created a custom division that produces made-to-order maquettes such as that of Jim’s house in Chicago. Bespoke models take around 12 weeks and cost from 1,500 pounds ($2,117) to 5,000 pounds; tbespoke projects now make up about 40 percent of their business.
“We’ve always been approached by people who have buildings that are fabulous, and it’s an incredibly joyous experience when they get to open the finished product,” Paisley says. “Everybody has been over the moon.”
Marking an Occasion
The impetus for most commissions is usually a renovation or a sale, explains Robert Paisley. One father received a scale model of the home he had renovated for decades as a 70th birthday gift from his children, while a trio of daughters in Ireland commissioned Chisel & Mouse for more poignant reasons: “They were moving their father into a home after their mother had died, so they clubbed together to have a commission done of their family home. They wanted one piece for each of them and one for their dad to take with him.”
Paisley has also worked with the Perez Art Museum in Miami, producing 50 miniatures as thank-you gifts for major donors, as well as several condo developments whose off-plan buyers received a maquette of the future building as a closing gift.
Chisel & Mouse isn’t alone. A cottage industry of architectural model-makers has arisen in the U.K. to offer this bespoke service, with Mulvany & Rogers at the higher end.
“The majority of our work is commissioned from the states,” explains Susie Rogers, co-owner of Mulvany & Rogers, via email. “We’ve made a copy of the London house where a U.S. client lived while he was seconded to London. His children were born there, and he wanted to remember the happy times on his return to the U.S.”
She says that prices vary, but start at 60,000 pounds for bespoke work. The firm keeps a waiting list, which can range from 9 months to three years.
A Celebration of Architecture
Timothy Richards makes miniature models, too, viewing them as sculptures via an approach he considers lyrical, even poetic. “When you pour that plaster in, you have to let the material go, just to do its magic. I am at the behest of the materials,” Richards says via phone from his studio near Bath. These aren’t simply doll house-like miniatures, he stresses. They are stand-alone artworks.
“I always say you can make great models out of great buildings,” says Richards. “They’re avenues—funnels—into this wonderful world of architecture and what buildings mean to us. They’re a celebration of architecture.”
Bespoke commissions contribute from 45 percent to 50 percent of his business. Ideally, Richards spends about six months on each piece, with prices starting at 8,000 pounds. He works in styrene and other materials, building scale models by hand. (Like the Paisley brothers, he was obsessed with Airfix models as a child). Richards has produced everything from the façade of a house on London’s Hampstead Heath to a tabletop model of one of England’s few Tudor-era palaces that remains a private home. Rather than simply reproduce this building, he added period details to the landscape around it: a Henry VIII-like king and his procession approaching from one side and a hunt chasing stags on the other.
That all these model makers are based in Britain, is less a coincidence than a legacy of history. Arguably, the most impressive collection of small-scale architectural replicas in the world is contained in London’s Sir John Soane’s Museum. The renowned 19th century architect amassed this haul, and the maquettes in his former home serve as staples for courses at architecture and design schools in the U.K. Most were made for Soane by French artisans Jean-Pierre and François Fouquet—Regency-era Chisel & Mouse, if you will—who earned widespread accolades for the intricacy of their miniatures.
The Fouquets kept their plasterworking technique, which allowed them to execute in such detail, such a closely guarded secret that after they died, it became almost impossible to create such precise, small-scale replicas in plaster. Modern techniques such as computer-aided design have overcome this two-century impasse.
Indeed, the Soane connection inspired Manhattan lawyer David Stutzman. Passionate about architecture, he made a pilgrimage to the museum in Lincoln’s Inn Fields on a visit to London and was captivated by the plaster models. Stutzman and his husband had just bought and restored a townhouse on Bleecker Street, returning the façade to its 1850s heyday.
“I thought the idea of having a model of my house was such a wonderful hearkening back,” Stutzman says by phone from his office, where he keeps the Chisel & Mouse-produced replica on a book case, positioned to face due west, just as the house does. “The rendering was so detailed—the cornice, the lintels on the brickwork. There’s this really beautiful blood-red door on our house, and we wanted that to show up, too.”
In the ultimate accolade, the Paisley brothers added his bespoke design to Chisel & Mouse’s catalog. For $270, you can snap up a copy of Stuzman’s home, too.
Building: Museum of Tomorrow Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Architect: Santiago Calatrava Fun fact: Completed in 2015, 1.4 million people visited the Museum of Tomorrow during its inaugural year, far exceeding the anticipated 450,000 visits. It is currently the most-visited museum in Brazil.
Photo: Getty Images
Building: Takasugi-an (Tea house on the Tree) Location: Chino, Nagano Prefecture, Japan Architect: Terunobu Fujimori Fun fact: The name Takasugi-an means, “a tea house [built] too high.”
Photo: Getty Images
Building: Hypo Alpe-Adria Bank Location: Udine, Italy Architecture firm: Morphosis Architects Fun fact: The architects tilted the entire building 14 degrees to the south so the upper floors naturally shade the lower floors of the building, thereby conserving energy.