Puzzling Simplicity

Enzo Mari

Ciao bella! I’m in love with these puzzles by Enzo Mari. Discovered while browsing, the graphic simplicity and clever arrangements of these pieces instantly pleased my eyes and made me smile. I wanted to share these ‘organized zoos’ immediately but thought I should have some facts to go with the visual inspiration. Tragically curious, here’s what I have learned about these puzzles that had so fully captured my attention.

Enzo Mari started his career with studies on visual perception and then focused his attention on games for children, graphics, design and architecture. He studied literature and art at the Accademia di Brera in Milan from 1952 until 1956. Entirely self-taught as an industrial designer, Enzo designed his first object for Danese called Sedici Animali.

Sedici Animali was launched in 1957 as a wooden puzzle carefully choreographed by Mari depicting an interlocking rectangle of simply carved animal shapes – including a hippo, snake, giraffe and camel. Pictured here are images of the 1974 reissues of Sedici Animali and Sedici Pesci which were created from cast resin. These amazing designs have stood the test of time and are still, in fact, available for purchase at Murray Moss (although at a collector’s price). In many ways, the pricing isn’t surprising as the puzzles have been documented as the favorite childhood design objects of designers like Yves Béhar who’s award-winning studio is responsible for the design of the well-known One Laptop per Child.

Coincidentally, the Istituto Italiano di Cultura in New York is currently hosting a traveling exhibition of Enzo Mari’s work that is up until Friday, September 5th.

Enzo Mari

Retrospective—One

Retrospective—One

Kemistry Gallery has asked eleven previous exhibitors to create pieces to celebrate four years exhibiting outstanding graphic design and illustration. With a lineup that speaks for itself, Retrospective—One is bringing together Experimental Jetset, Eine, James Joyce, Parra and Geoff McFetridge among others in a line up of graphic design all-stars. Pieces include hand-drawn typography, one-off collages, lightboxes, print editions, and objects showcasing the breadth of graphic design both as a communication form and as a aesthetic skill.

I’m a bit late on reporting this, but wow, what a line-up. If you’re in Shoreditch, don’t miss this show. In the meantime, you can read Wallpaper’s review of the show here.

The show poster was designed by Proud Creative.

And Kemistry likes pink too.

Get Your Widget On

TFAL Widget
We’re happy to announce the release of the Thinking for a Living™ Resources Widget. Now you can stay on top of our resources feed via the Mac OS X Dashboard. Enjoy.

Frank Chimero says, “Eternal happiness lies within this widget.”

Typographic Trees

Typographic Trees

I also posted this at TypeNeu but it’s too interesting not to share here as well. Typographic tree columns created by Why Not Associates in collaboration with artist Gordon Young at Crawley Library in West Sussex County. Currently a work in progress, the library will be opening January 2009.

Get Inspired

inspirational_posters

Frank Chimero’s inspirational design posters are now available for purchase at Frank’s store. Aimed specifically at designers, the topics range from various truisms to snarky tongue-in-cheek comments.

Disassembled Household Appliances

Disassembled Household Appliances

A really nice Flickr set from Brittny Badger, a graduate of the Hartford Art School with a BFA in photography and a minor in visual communication design.

This was my senior thesis project at the Hartford Art School this past year. I took apart used cooking and cleaning appliances, and arranged their interior parts very systematically on a white sheet of bristol board. My intention was to explore the hidden “brains” of these appliances; allowing us to view these everyday objects from a new perspective.

Made In Queens

Made In Queens

Last summer in a rented garage on the outskirts of Queens, NY something incredible was happening. A group of imaginative tinkerers from Trinidad were working late into the nights creating something nobody had ever seen before: enormous stereo systems jury rigged onto ordinary bmx bikes. Traveling together, each behind the handlebars of his or her own massive homemade creation, they treat the neighborhood to an outrageous impromptu music and dance party on wheels. Directed by Nicolas Randall and Joe Stevens, Made In Queens is a documentary film celebrating the beauty these imaginative young people have brought to their adopted home.