Artful Impact: The Let’s Colour Project brightens up communities

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I’ve always felt the Spanish nailed it with the bright colors in their architecture.  It adds such vibrancy to a neighborhood.  Well, the Let’s Colour Project must agree, since they are on a mission to launch a color movement across the globe.  From their website:

Grey is out. Gloom is gone. It’s time to live our lives in colour.

The Let’s Colour Project is a worldwide initiative to transform grey spaces with vibrant colour. A mission to spread colour all over the world.

We are working together with local communities across the globe, rolling up our sleeves to paint streets, houses, schools and squares.

Check out some beautiful community transformation in time lapse:

On the film:

This 2 minute global film was shot by multi-award winning director Adam Berg over four weeks in Brazil, France, London and India. Every location is real and they remain transformed by a palette consisting of 120 different colours. The people in the film are not actors, they are real people who rolled up their sleeves to transform their community with colour.

[Props: Nerdcore]

Posted on June 1st 2010 in Artful Impact

Maps That Changed the World

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Since I love maps, I suggest you check out this Maps That Changed the World piece from the Daily Mail.

Google Earth is rightly among them, but most are historical maps that represent breakthrough events for mankind.  Here is a preview of my favorites (click to view larger image):

You gotta love propaganda.  ”Be On Guard” was early pro-Bolshevik propaganda that highlighted the European threat and helped to define the Soviet identity.

The Henricus Martellus World Map (circa 1490) was allegedly used by Columbus and one of the earliest to depict a round earth on a flat surface.  Note the absence of the Americas.

America finally shows up in the Waldseemuller Map (circa 1509), though it’s looking pretty scrawny.  It is here officially named after the navigator Amerigo Vespucci.

This 1889 descriptive map of London’s poverty may have been the precursor to geographic information systems.  Black is the poorest, gold is the wealthiest.

The London Tube Map of 1933 was the first to place stops at regular intervals for easy reading, thus saying “screw it” to the idea of maintaining scale.  This ultimately explains why Manhattan keeps getting fatter in the ever-evolving NYC subway map.

Be sure to check out the rest of the maps here.  Which is your favorite?

[All image credits to the British Library via The Daily Mail]

[Props: Freakonomics]

Posted on May 28th 2010 in Artful Impact

Public Pianos come to NYC!

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Music, good or bad, will soon flow freely through New York City.  Since 2008, artist Luke Jerram has been around the world dropping pianos off in public spaces for anyone to hop on the ebony and the ivory.  And this summer the pianos are coming to NYC! (they’ll also be in London and Bath)

Public Piano

[Image Source: Luke Jerram via The Village Voice]

The initiative, dubbed Play Me, I’m Yours, will place 60 pianos throughout the five boroughs with the help of Sing for Hope, a collaborative of musicians that volunteer for humanitarian causes.  They will be out from June 21st – July 5th, so click here for complete maps of where each piano will be located and get out there and jam.

I wonder how they will deal with the weather.  And I would imagine theft would also be a concern.  But seeing as how they are not my pianos, I could care less.

There is going to be one piano right in my backyard at Gantry Plaza State Park.  I might have to go out there and show off my Hot Cross Buns.  Hopefully others with more talent will also be out in tow.

Posted on May 28th 2010 in Artful Impact

Artful Impact: Just a little patience; Guns will turn to Roses

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Samuel Steinberg Seidel, contributing to GOOD, highlights cases of artists recycling weapons into art.  Check out these pieces from the Guns to Roses elective at Washington DC’s Youth Rehabilitation Services New Beginnings program:

Others, like Guns into Art, helped recovering addicts at Milestones, a drug rehab center in San Francisco, to explore the Cycles of Addiction:

More disarmament from the TAE Project, using AK-47s leftover from the Mozambican Civil War:

Posted on April 2nd 2010 in Artful Impact, OrgWatch

Artful Impact: If Manhattan ate strictly local

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I prefer my videos with a little music, but this silent film created by MVRDV is pretty damn cool.  It demonstrates the spatial implications if Manhattan were to attempt to grow all of its food on the island of Manhattan.

Money fact: growing it all in a single building would require a 23 mile-high skyscraper.

[Props: good]

Posted on March 7th 2010 in Artful Impact

Artful Impact: Everyday Water Conservation

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GOOD Transparency put together this cool little video that shows how seemingly insignificant everyday decisions can drastically affect your water consumption:

Posted on February 23rd 2010 in Artful Impact

OrgWatch: Project H Design makes design matter

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On the Colbert Report, Emily Pilloton of Project H Design explains how her organization aims to create genuine social impact through humanitarian design.

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Emily Pilloton
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Economy

I’m such a sucker for this kind of stuff.  It’s probably my inner-architect, whom I exiled during college, trying to squeeze back in.

The grand irony is that I quit my pursuit of architecture because I felt that there was not enough potential to create genuine impact through design alone.  In retrospect, it seems surprising to me that it went down like that, because I went to a very Modernist school, where “form follows function” was the law of the land.

I’m just glad that so many others have found ways to put their skills to good use.

Posted on January 28th 2010 in Artful Impact, OrgWatch

Artful Impact: Just make it fun

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This is awesome:

[Piano staircase from The Fun Theory]

The Fun Theory is an initiative created by Volkswagon.  The idea is simple and cool: to find ways to influence socially beneficial behavior by making the activities fun.  The piano staircase is just one of many you can find on the website.

They also had a contest for ideas with a cash prize.  I’m less impressed with the entries, but I am a big fan of the idea behind the site.  I hope it continues beyond this contest and is more than just a marketing ploy for VW.

Now how do I get myself one of those piano stairs?

Posted on January 25th 2010 in Artful Impact

Artful Impact: globalized song

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Nothing like using synchronicity to highlight our diversity:

Pretty random that this came from CollegeHumor.

Posted on January 19th 2010 in Artful Impact
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