As opposition forces take control of Kiev, and statues of Lenin fall all over Ukraine, the legacy of Soviet power recedes still further. The military achievements of the USSR and its allies were undoubtedly aided and abetted by Mikhail Kalashnikov’s most innovative design, the AK47. The Russian inventor and arms dealer produced the most popular gun ever, used by armies and rebels alike. Five years after my original post on Eye Blog, Kalashnikov died, on 23 December 2013, aged 94.
Paper assault rifles and the well crafted design of fear
Looking for the ideal holiday-time craft project, something to keep your brain from seizing up during two weeks’ house arrest. Get your Exacto knife skills up to scratch with this self-assembly paper kit 1:1 scale model of the AK47 Assault rifle, the most iconic “Death Machine” ever dreamt up by an industrial designer, the “Avtomat Kalashnikov obraztsa 1947 goda” [Kalashnikov’s automatic rifle model of year 1947]. Continue reading →
Phil Ashcroft and Liz Farrelly
Interview, 26 June 2013
Last summer, I met Phil Ashcroft to talk about his upcoming, limited-edition monograph, Solar System Parameters (published by Gamma Proforma, with an essay by my CSM colleague, Simon Hollington) and an exhibition, “Galácticos”, at Gamma Transport Division, Edinburgh; now both are up and out — the exhibition runs until 6 March 2014. We talked about his diverse work practices, and his career, which spans fine art and design; here’s the interview. Continue reading →
During the London Design Festival, Bethan Laura Wood staged her first solo show in the UK, at The Aram Gallery, London, entitled, Zigzag:Crisscross. I interviewed her beforehand, but it was more of a conversation, over dinner at L’Entrepôt, and below is the edited interview that appeared in the small but perfectly formed publication, which accompanied the show. This month Bethan and her studio colleague, Kim Thome, unveiled a window installation as part of Selfridge’s Festival of Imagination. A big hit with Selfridges and the ICA, Bethan also contributed to the ICA Off-Site exhibition staged in the shell of Selfridges hotel building, also in September 2013, and I’ll be adding some thoughts about that show later.
Liz Farrelly: “Zigzag:Crisscross” at the Aram Gallery features two new projects. Why bring them together?
Bethan Laura Wood: As a young designer, the idea of having a retrospective seemed wrong; so this is a show of work made this year, and the two projects are inspired by urban environments where I live and work. Zigzag comes under the umbrella of the London collection (which also includes Particle), and Crisscross was inspired by Mexico City. Plus, it’s an ongoing investigation – and love – of the materials that make up the city, and especially the layering in a city like London, built up over years. Continue reading →