CategoryArt & Architecture

Documentation of Jejuri

[Photoset on Flickr] These are the moments when Facebook comes in handy. I got a notification that one of my undergrad juniors had tagged me on a photo album. Generally when this happens my heart sinks as my retro ugly mug is broadcast to everyone on my current friends list (that’s why Tag Review rocks) but this time it was a pleasant surprise. Back in, what seems another lifetime, architecture college I led a team of my classmates in the Louis Kahn Trophy for the National Association of Schools of Architecture (NASA) annual conference. The brief is to document a historical structure in its entireity notably from the perspective of architectural drawings. This was seen as a way of creating architectural records for structures that potentially didn’t have any including laying them out from perspective of their historical, social, and cultural context.

Although Jejuri has tremendous significance among those living in Maharashtra, even the Wikipedia doesn’t have much information online let alone detailed architectural drawings. So you can imagine the enormity of our task when we picked Jejuri…in early 1998. As we expected, there were no drawings on record so we made couple of visits to the temple town, stayed for a week each time, and literally measured every square inch of the temple complex. We were the source of puzzlement and wonder among devotees who often mistook us for a film crew thanks to our large circular measuring tape and hippie-like tattered jeans. We brought those measurements along with thousands of sketches back to our college where, with the help of a large team of classmates, stayed overnight after college hours for more than a month creating these drawings. Of course, we receive no college credit for this work and was done purely for altruistic and architectural cred reasons.

There are many memories associated with this project that made me friends among my college mates that I wasn’t close to before and helped me learn many things about architecture and historic preservation. More importantly, the camaraderie that we enjoyed either during the visits to this rural part of Maharashtra or the long sleepless nights we spent in our studios listening to hard rock and old Hindi songs in equal measure crouched over the drawing boards was the thing I remember the most. Now, I regret being a teetotaler at the time.

Our efforts were rewarded in part that we won a special mention at the national level for our work; the first accolade for our 8-year-old college that led to several national trophies at subsequent NASA competitions.

Painting Nude

I read this article shared by Prasoon on Google Reader about a new nude painting by Leonardo Da Vinci of a woman who might be the same woman as in the famous Monalisa painting. The opening lines…

Leonardo da Vinci, in a Renaissance version of Mad Magazine, may have painted his famous Mona Lisa in a number of ways, including nude.

My first thought on reading those lines were, how would it matter if Leonardo was nude or not while he painted. It was quickly followed by, ah! they are talking about Monalisa.

Create Art with your Mouse

Mouse Art

I haven’t gone all Jackson Pollack but care to guess how I created this seemingly piece of art in just over an hour? It may look all chaotic but it has a method to its madness. IOGraphica is a fun and awesome tool that tracks your mouse movement on the screen. You install it, let it run in the background, and go about your business. The application traces a path of your mouse with black lines. The black dots represent the place where the mouse was stationary for longer periods of time.

I created this on my MacBook Pro and as you can make out, my dock is on the left. The Mail app is on the top left and middle left are where my Twitter and NetNewsWire app resides. The top right black dot is where my ‘Send to Pukka’ bookmarklet resides. How is this useful? Well, not much really but then not everything you install on your computer is. Or for that matter, most of what you install is for fun.

‘Burdened’ Obama Time Cover

'Burdened' by Dylan Roscover

An amazing portrait created by Dylan Roscover for TIME magazine. It consists of 12,680 individual characters set in about 20 hours, or 10.5 characters per minute and includes type from Obama’s campaign and branding: Gotham, Knockout No. 48, Gill Sans, and Perpetua.

This was featured on the Table of Contents page of the February 1st, 2010 edition of TIME Magazine. It is brilliant not just because of the unique use of typography but also in the manner it captures the zeitgeist of our troubled times. Click through to view large.

Hongkiat shares many more such brilliant art pieces created using typography. There is much beauty even in the seemingly mundane objects like fonts.

NBC Fail

NBC Fail

[source] The perfect new logo for NBC after its fracas with Conan O’Brien. Conan’s last Tonight Show airs tonight. Here’s hoping he finds a home on another network (Fox?). And yes, Jay Leno, the oh-so-unfunny erstwhile host of The Tonight Show sucks.

Verry India

Mahindra Jeeps ply illegally between small towns and villages stuffed to the brim with passengers, their luggage and their livestock. If you see one of these, get out of their way immediately. The only thing riskier than being inside, is being in front of one of these extreme machines.

[Source: Verry India; image source] Vikram Nandwani is back to blogging with his awesome caricatures series on typical people and features of India. Also, I’m not surprised that his caricatures will be featured in an exhibition in Pune at Malaka Spice in Koregaon Park. He will be continuing his weekly caricature series on DesiPundit starting next week.

The Blueprints Database

Lovers of engineering drawings, rejoice. This blueprints and reference image database, with more than 37000 blueprints, templates, 3/4/5-views and drawings is one heck of a treasure trove for those who love precision drawing [via]. One of my favorites:

The Cylon Attackstar from Battlestar Galactica.

A Kid’s NYC Subway Map

If you are a kid in NYC and love taking the subway, then this map is always going to be in your pocket [via].

The World of 100

Tobt Ng’s World of 100 takes percentages on a variety of topics to a whole new level with the help of cool graphics.

Bad Paintings of Barack Obama

Influenced by Shephard Fairey’s iconic image of Barack Obama if you thought no one could even paint a bad picture of the President, think again.

Obama – Yes We Did poster

obama-yes-we-did-print

This huge 24″ x 36″ poster now hangs proudly in my study. It may seem a little over the top akin to worshipping of The One but I simply love Shepard Fairey’s artwork. A smaller version of the poster in a sticker form will go up on my laptop lid soon. Considering that this is the town that hosts the George Bush I Presidential Library, it might seem as if I’m rubbing it in their face but hey, I lived eight years which incidentally is my entire duration in the United States, under his son’s torturous rule.

Thanks to Parag for buying and sending the poster to me since being a non-citizen, I couldn’t buy it from Move On.org as it constitutes a political donation.

Hitler’s Art Collection

Hitler’s art collection goes online. It looks quite different from the cafe and the bedsheets they tried designing in his name in India. How long before someone vandalizes these just like his wax figurine at Madame Tussauds’.

Burj Dubai at Night

With construction going strong for world’s tallest building, even Dubai has joined the ranks of cities that do not sleep.

Wedding at Bhubhaneshwar – Part Nine

This will be the last in the series describing my wedding at Bhubhaneshwar although I’m resisting the urge to stretch it out and make it an even ten. Also, I wanted to write on my other experiences in India including the stereotypical what-has-changed, and of course, our other wedding reception in Thane which was held jointly with my brother’s reception. Probably I will write on those at a later time. I have been pestering Ash to write her version of India and wedding experiences but she simply refuses to citing lack of inclination or motivation. Or is there more to it?

After wrapping up our Konark Temple visit, we were already running late for our lunch. Ash’s four aunts had collaborated on that front and were supposed to meet us near Ramchandi Temple which is located right at the spot where river Khushabhadra meets the sea. Legend has it that when the Muslim invader, Kalapahad invaded this region he tried breaking into this temple to break the idol when he was met at the entrance by a maiden who offered to open the door. But she wished to wash her feet before doing so and as Kalapahad waited for her, she sneaked away and guess what, she in fact was the goddess. I am not sure if the idol sprang into life and ran away or the so-called goddess took the idol with her but these stories are always highly exaggerated but nevertheless fun to hear. Anyway, I didn’t enter the temple so I can’t tell you how it is from the inside. I was more interested in its scenic location and spent time taking photographs of the beach and other sights.

Before others went to the temple, we had the typical picnic lunch with a large mat spread out on raised platform. Ash’s aunts had brought lunch in this huge tiffin box which was in fact an outsized version of your regular steel tiffin box that every officer-goer in India is familiar with. Everyone was delighted that we even had chenna pod petta as dessert at the end of yet another scrumptious lunch. The Oriya khatirdari was certainly exceeding all expectations and even nitpickers couldn’t find much to complain. With hunger satiated, everyone was ready for Jagannath’s darshan.

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Spot the Library

This is so mighty cool. I love when art and architecture intersect.

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