Archive for July, 2008

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Shellabrella

July 8, 2008

sketches etc

Many thanks to RM for emailing me this link to an interview with the maker of these gorgeous shell parasols and umbrellas. His is an inspirational journey of design, inspired by shells and plants and developed through hard work and ingenuity.

I used to live at a train station that was at the end of the line. And some of these end-of-the-line stations have boxes of forgotten umbrellas. Most JR stations, for example, have a lost and found. But my station just had this box. So I’d grab weird umbrellas, broken ones, and take them home. I’d strip the parts, recycle parts… and this went on for several months. I had every size, all kinds of shafts. And I got some pliers from the ¥100 shop, and every night after work I’d come home and work on them. I used fishing wire and spandex to reassemble them. From recycling old and broken umbrellas I knew which parts I needed.

Some of them look utterly bonkers, whereas others look so classical it’s odd to think of it as a new design.

parashell

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Umbrella image of the Week

July 1, 2008

From a project by Aleksandra Mir.

Traveling the world with a familiar object of uncanny proportions can have some unexpected effects. While The Big Umbrella proved useful as a tool for plucking down stray balls from trees, its unwieldy size on busy streets turned altruistic motives into harassment. Providing a shelter, it brought some strangers momentarily together, while alienating others, and in its most salient moments, simply amplified the solitude of the bearer.