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Independent research agency Forensic Architecture win another award

Old-street-roundabout-architecture-itsnicethat-list Work / Architecture Winning proposals for regeneration of Old Street Roundabout announced

In 2019, the iconic 1960s roundabout in Old Street, London, will be entirely removed and a two-way traffic system introduced, creating a new public space. As part of the regeneration, Islington Council in partnership with the Mayor of London, Transport for London and Hackney Council asked designers to consider how the street could look after the roundabout is removed. Four winning concepts have now been chosen from a long-list of 39 designers which included Zaha Hadid Architects and Es Devlin.

Woha-architecture-itsnicethat-list Sponsored / Architecture How can we build “feel good” cities?

More than a manufacturer of city-friendly cars, smart sees itself as a concept born to shake up the status quo. The outlet for the brand’s message smart magazine, which describes itself as “a place for stories about visionaries and creative urbaneers, about projects and initiatives that help to improve life in the city.”

It’s a world which reaches far, far beyond cars. smart magazine has positioned itself as an expert on experimental urban architecture with a suite of articles on vertical gardening, a concept which frees up space in busy cities and has hugely positive environmental affects at the same time. Win/win! We’ve rounded up three articles from smart magazine, which will tell you everything you need to know about vertical gardening and why it has the power to keep our cities clean.

Space10 Sponsored / Architecture SPACE10 explores how the creative community can change the way we live

By 2050, the proportion of people living in cities will have risen to 70% – an intimidating concept that SPACE10, IKEA’s research laboratory, believes the creative industry needs to address. So during London Design Festival it will take over Shoreditch’s Protein Studios with a week-long series of events under the theme Exploring Spaces of Tomorrow. Under that, a top-notch roster of creative collaborators have been invited to exhibit, demonstrate and speak about how the industry can help build a more sustainable, meaningful and affordable living environment for an increasingly urbanised society.

Space10-ikea-itsnicethat-material-list Sponsored / Architecture Future living and design democracy with IKEA’s research lab, SPACE10

If IKEA can be credited with bringing design to the world, then SPACE10 has our future in its hands. Founded in November 2015 as an external think-tank for IKEA, the Copenhagen research lab is dedicated to exploring how humankind might live in the next few decades – information that is then fed back to IKEA in myriad forms. With teams researching and experimenting around three themes: Circular Societies, Co-existence and Digital Empowerment, the lab is far from the traditional model of a lumbering trend-forecasting agency producing unrealistic visions of utopia. Relatively small, with a core team of 20 and an evolving team of freelance residents, it delves into realistic possible futures for our society and then presents its findings in art and design projects that aim to engage everyone, not just board members.

Int_thomas_heatherwick_list_2 Features / Architecture Fear of a flat planet: Heatherwick Studio’s adventures with clay

“I’m not confident enough to know what to throw away and what to keep. I’m not a good ‘thrower awayer.’ I’d hate to regret not having kept something,” says Thomas Heatherwick, gesturing around his studio. “At least if you hang on to things, you can hopefully find that you kept the right bit.” We are sat at the heart of his King’s Cross office in North London. There’s an air of intense industry around us and the studio is engaged on an astonishing number of projects the world over. But today we aren’t here to discuss what the future holds, it’s what lies, quite literally, beneath us. On the floor below where we are sat is an archive of the studio’s work that comprises models, maquettes and ephemera that tell remarkable stories of invention, innovation and happy accidents. “I suppose I don’t think of it as an archive, I think of it as not throwing things away,” he explains. “That’s a big not throwing things away space. We do endeavour to try and make special things and if you are trying to do that, then the process would matter too. It amazes me how many people throw things away. Whether that is a deliberate rejection of anything that isn’t current, or it’s laziness, or a clever focusing of energy and resource, I don’t know.”

Jillsenft-treemendous-art-itsnicethat-list Work / Art Jill Senft pairs her fascination with trees and puns in new book Treemendous

Alongside her practice of painting wobbling characters into the funniest and most absurd scenarios, Berlin-based artist Jill Senft has developed a fascination with trees. In particular, it’s when a cluster of trees are horticultured together in an arboretum that caught the painter’s eye, thinking she would collect the different trees together in some sort of book or zine, “which I quickly found boring as it already exists,” she says.

List-screen-shot-2018-04-30-at-11.16.50 Work / Animation Paul Cabon confronts the inevitability of going bald via a surreal animated short

“Being a bald man sucks,” says French animator Paul Cabon in the intro to his animated film The Bald Future. “Knowing you’ll become one is worse.” A surreal and charming exploration of the inescapable combination of genes and time, the film takes you from Paul’s initial realisation of his eggheaded fate during a family meal consisting of entirely bald relatives, to outlandish fantasies of his thick-maned alter ego – a life that Paul will never lead. “I knew going bald was not such a serious problem,” Paul tells It’s Nice That, “yet it was really hard to get some distance and feel ok about it. I realised it could be interesting comedy material because of that – there was some tension behind it.”

David-shrigley-itsnicethat-fully-coherent-plan-book-lies_list Work / Art David Shrigley: "Question Time is like watching people having an argument in a pub"

David Shrigley is venting. I’ve asked him about the inspiration behind his new book, Fully Coherent Plan for a New and Better Society, and in typically humble fashion his first answer is, “I dunno, the usual stuff.” But then, he admits there’s more to it. “It’s kind of a political book, but a sociological take on it. More of an explanation of society. It purports to make sense, but it doesn’t. Someone told me the other day it was profound… and I said, oh, ok good.” Obviously, the title is ironic, he clarifies, just one of the book’s many jabs at the state of the world’s current affairs. “If we had a fully coherent plan for a new and better society we would’ve put it into action long before now.”

Folder-studio-film-itsnicethat-list Work / Film Folder Studio's interactive documentary K-Town '92 highlights our "desensitisation to societal trauma"

The 1992 Los Angeles riots were a series of riots, lootings and arsons that occurred from 29 April – 4 May. The unrest began after the acquittal of four officers from the Los Angeles Police Department who were involved in the brutal beating and arrest of African American taxi driver, Rodney King. The riots began after footage of the incident was broadcast and widely viewed on television resulting in the most destructive civil disturbance in America’s history, totalling in over a billion dollars of damage.

Hedvigjenning-nand-itsnicethat-photography-list Work / Photography Hedvig Jenning's dreamy fashion photography creates and captures individual characters

Soft, pastel hues permeate Swedish photographer Hedvig Jenning’s work, whether it’s a fashion shoot for The Guardian or a body positivity series for Odda magazine. Her images are romantic and dreamy, but maintain a lighthearted tone due to subtle, humorous details. Hedvig grew up in a small village in rural Sweden where she spent her days watching films, reading magazines and listening to music. Popular culture played a pivotal role in getting her interested in photography and pursuing a creative career.

Richard-turley-publication-itsnicethat-list Work / Publication Civilization by Richard Turley is a "half newspaper, half support group" about New York City

“I went to BJ Magazines on Varick Street at lunch – one of the better places to get magazines [in New York], but somewhere I’ve been going less and less,” recalls designer and art director, Richard Turley, of the day back in January he decided to create his latest project, Civilization. “I walked around and it felt different from how I remember and I was trying to work out why; then it occurred to me that the reason it felt different was because half of the shop was now crisps and corn snacks. Maybe this change had been happening for some time, but it felt quite shocking.”

50-years-of-choice-publication-itsnicethat-list-alt Work / Publication 50 Years of Choice: a publication of 50 posters by 50 women discussing abortion

“Back at university after summer, Leah [Fredrickson] and I spoke about her recent abortion,” explains graphic design student Millie Tyler. “We spoke for a long time about the fact that abortion isn’t discussed openly. There are still so many issues around reproductive rights and bodily autonomy; there is a massive stigma which we wanted to address.”

Dominiquevine-dreamsarchive-graphicdesign-itsnicethat-1list Work / Graphic Design Designer Dominique Vine's type-heavy visualisation of dreams

Melbourne-based graphic designer Dominique Vine has gravitated towards the arts for as long as she can recall. Her years of creatively-minded projects is evident; Dominique’s portfolio is full of confident colour combinations, strong typefaces and considered compositions. “When I finished school I actually decided to enrol in a journalism degree,” Dominique tells It’s Nice That. “I regretted my decision very quickly, deferred after a semester and applied to communication design at Monash University instead. It was definitely one of the best decisions I’ve made. I finished my course last year but my love for design continues to grow.”

Mischa-appel-graphic-design-itsnicethat-list Work / Graphic Design Mischa Appel's series This is Where You End investigates the "increasing polarisation of society"

“What I like about being a graphic designer is that you have one foot in society, and the other in contemporary art,” Utrecht-based designer Mischa Appel tells It’s Nice That. “Using both of these universes allows a designer to create communicative and artistic products. This can result in new reflections on established matters, or in new uses of existing techniques.”

Ladybeard-beauty-publication-itsnicethat Work / Publication Ladybeard magazine returns and reshapes the stories we tell about beauty

Feminist publication Ladybeard has returned with its third issue, unpacking the personal connotations as well as the wider implications of beauty. Following on from previous issues exploring sex and the mind, the third issue investigates how “we make and unmake ourselves in the image of what our culture finds beautiful,” through the work of over 100 contributors, each more fascinating than the last.

Wang-wei-itsnicethat-3 Work / Photography Wang Wei’s series Young Wild & Free captures the fresh energy of Beijing youth

Beijing-based photographer Wang Wei is best known for his extensive fashion editorial imagery, having racked up almost 25,000 followers on Instagram, but it is his personal series Young Wild & Free – shot entirely on 35mm analogue film – that truly caught our eye. Consisting of playful, colour-saturated images drenched in the bliss of youth, Young Wild & Free gives us an insight into the daily life of Wang Wei and his friends as they navigate the weird and wonderful moments of those coming-of-age in China.

Burobumbum-undwasisstdudann-graphicdesign-itsnicethat-11listlist Work / Publication Büro Bum Bum designs a cheery cookbook to get families excited about veg

From ‘fitspo’ bloggers to the West’s worsening obesity crisis, the topic of healthy eating is increasingly discussed and debated in the global press. In order to educate families on the importance of a balanced diet, Berlin-based studio Büro Bum Bum has designed Felix Bork and Deniz Ficicioglu’s plant-based cookbook Und Was Isst Du Dann?. Having worked on an impressive range of projects in the past – including art direction, branding, editorial work, visual identities and illustration – the design studio has constructed a beautifully simple and engaging publication to get youngsters excited about veg.

Ross-paul-mcewan-graphic-design-itsnicethat-list-alt Work / Graphic Design Ross Paul McEwan's expressive designs channel "that feeling you get when the sun comes out"

Currently residing in east London, Ross Paul McEwan moved down south from his home town of Warrington seven years ago and has been working as a print designer, predominantly within the fashion industry, ever since. However, at the beginning of 2018, he started experimenting with more personal work and now boasts a portfolio packed full of expressive and emotive designs.

Oliviekeck-longdistancecaller-animation-itsnicethat-3list Work / Digital Artist Olivié Keck explores South African youth culture through a vibrant VR video

South African artist Olivié Keck’s latest project Long Distance Caller is a patchwork of digital tales about self-doubt, love, loss, regret and infatuation. The virtual reality video explores South African youth culture in the 21st century through the lens of the artist’s vibrant and dynamic aesthetic. “I relish loud colours, juxtaposing ideas, jumbled associations and subverting expectations. I tend to use a variety of mediums to estrange people from the commonplace narratives,” Olivié tells It’s Nice That.

Dropbox_poster_april_nicer_tuesdays_wang_soderstrom_klas_ernflo_itsnicethat_list Partnership / Dropbox: Monthly Poster Crossing dimensions: digital artists Wang & Söderström turn Klas Ernflo's illustrations into a 3D still life

For this month’s Dropbox poster collaboration, Copenhagen/Malmö-based digital artists Wang & Söderström worked with Swedish illustrator Klas Ernflo in a cross-dimensional merge of talent. Working via Dropbox Paper, Klas, Anny Wang and Tim Söderström found a way to blend their different approaches – Klas’ flat ink paintings and Wang & Söderström’s hyperreal 3D renders – in a truly unexpected way, via that most classic of artistic compositions, the still life. The poster will be given out to every Nicer Tuesdays attendee on 1 May.Given the brief to explore a loose theme of April, Anny and Tim thought of two events during the month – Easter and Siblings Day – with a unifying symbol, the egg. “We think the egg shape can really communicate these themes and fit our organic shape language,” they explained to Klas. Bouncing around ideas, they talked about “nest-like” compositions customised with patterns, bringing in a mixture of 2D and 3D abstract shapes from “both the Klas and the W&S universe,” and possibly mapping Klas’ illustrated patterns on to 3D eggs. For all these concepts, the duo shared tests, sketches, collages and swatches to show Klas how it could happen.Though the two studios work in very different ways, they found common ground in their use of shape – abstract, globular, amorphous forms that could visually tie to both their work, to make the final poster truly collaborative.

Studio-creme-animation-itsnicethat-list-alt Work / Animation Studio Creme's 3D scanned campaign film for Heresy is inspired by "mysticism and folklore"

We’ve seen our fair share of lookbooks and campaigns in our time. However, we’ve yet to see one that is completely fabricated in a fantasy 3D world, with models wearing the actual clothes 3D scanned and incorporated in that world. However, this is exactly what London-based Studio Creme has created for clothing brand Heresy’s S/S 2018 campaign.

Carolienniebling-thesausageofthefuture-publication-itsnicethat-4list Work / Publication Designer Carolien Niebling wants you to meet the meat we eat

“About four years ago, I read that we are eating too much meat and that we are doing irreversible harm to our planet. I wanted to approach this problem in a creative and openminded way that involved the industry’s butchers rather than propose alternatives,” Dutch graphic designer Carolien Niebling tells It’s Nice That. Carolien recently completed her master’s at ÉCAL – where she now works as a teaching assistant – and specialised in food-related design. Her latest publication, The Sausage of the Future, is a vibrant and immaculately curated publication that traces the various building blocks of sausage-making and explores the moistness, flavouring, glue and preservation of different types.

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