Art Applied: Technology and Art Collide

Art can range from lovely paintings to crazy sculptures and well almost anything.

The best kind of art though, in my opinion, is both beautiful and practical.  If you love combinations then you should check out what happens when art, technology and architecture collide.  At the University Art Museum at Cal State Long Beach, there is a new exhibit called Materials & Applications: Building Something (Beyond) Beautiful, Projects 2002 – 2013.

Front of the UAM.

Front of the UAM.

I attended the opening night of this exhibit that showcases how different materials are used in more environmentally friendly ways, how we view and interact with space and how buildings and architecture can be built to respond to its surrounding environment.

The actual architecture can be found on Silver Lake Boulevard in Los Angeles.  They are placed throughout the area where people can see and interact with them.  This project was started by Jenna Didier who later met and collaborated with Oliver Hess.  Soon many others joined in including students from CSULB.

While most of the architecture is in Silver Lake, one piece by Edmund Ming-Yip Kwong is Project S’More: Small is More.  It’s on display at the UAM and is the focal point in the gallery.  This piece is an example of using resources to reduce waste and create portable structures.  It’s made from low-cost bent plywood and was used as a campfire area.  Visitors to the museum can walk inside it and sit on the logs.  The floor is covered in smooth river stones, so I recommend not wearing open-toed shoes or heels.  This piece though is beautiful with its teardrop-like design and open top for stargazing.

Another interesting piece is called Yakuza Lou and has an origami-style design based on tessellations.  The creator, Eddy Sykes, calls it an, “automated origami  landscape that lives and breathes.”  Basically it combines the mechanical with the natural as the flaps open up to reveal a garden within its confines.  It opens and closes like those fortune-telling paper creations we all made as kids.

There are many other projects on display; more than I can mention here, so I’ll let these pictures speak for me.  Better yet, you can come see it in person!  For more information on this exhibit please contact the museum by phone 562-985-5761 or email  Hours and admission fees are listed on their website.


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