A second assortment of some design blog action in the last little while.  From rock houses to Bow-Wowsers, insane pencil craft and elvish furniture, and the veiny building is revealed.

Starting with the tiniest of this weeks subjects, the miniature sculptures of Dalton Ghetti.  Carved with excruciating detail and fragility, Ghetti's chosen medium is pencil lead.  The feats accomplished by his needle-point carving are astounding and well worth a look, I keep going back out of sheer disbelief.  Ghetti is a carpenter, and likes to spend an hour here and there on the carvings, the more complicated pieces taking over a year to complete. Insane, and beautiful.
Found over at Yatzer, and of course I can't ignore the intriguing exhibition currently on show at the Hirschfeld Gallery, called The Light Fantastic, by Peter Trevelyan [].  Also using pencil lead as a material, Trevelyan's sculptures are incredibly complex and equally ambitious in their painstaking detail and fragility.  More info here, it runs until 21 November in Wellington.

Ghetti at work with a needle.

Some of Ghetti's unbeleivable pieces.

Now showing at the Hirschfeld Gallery, Wellington City Gallery.

The next piece of work was spotted on CubeMe (who spotted it on karmatrendz...), and was shot by Jsome1 who's photographs you can check out here.   The work, in the mountains of Fafe, Portugal is an odd little building, of which very little is known... except that it looks awesome.  Jsome1's photo set is here.

Shot by Jsome1, view the set here.

With tight spaces in mind, Atelier Bow Wow have been promoting their new project in Shinjuku, Tokyo: Tower Machiya.  Squeezed between two other plots and with a footprint of under 20m2, the four-storey structure has the typical elegance of other Atelier Bow-Wow projects, incorporating slender industrial fittings and a rigorously restrained material palette.
More project information here.

Interior views of Tower Machiya.

On the larger scale of things, Californian firm Faulders Studio have designed a proposal for a high-rise building which literally feeds from its context, proposed to rest near the Persian Gulf waters.  The GEOtube building incorporates an external skin which is entirely grown from the saline-rich spray of the nearby Gulf, piped 4.62km underground and gravity-fed to the skin.  "As the water evaporates and salt deposits aggregate over time," we're told, "the tower's appearance transforms from a transparent skin to a highly visible white solid plane."  The designers propose the resulting structure will be a "specialized habitat for wildlife" (mmhm), and could be harvested for crystal salt.  There's some strange possibilities in a work like this, which I think offers a productive contribution to urban renewable agriculture, and dare I suggest an organic (or biological) architecture.  Despite their highly finished images, I think the quality of a salt-screen facade (and I'm only entertaining this on an aesthetic level) would be gritty, wonderfully varied and tasty.   Some more images here.

The vascular system of the building, distributing the sea spray.

At first I entertained the idea that the GEOtube and the next could be connected, if only in Rivendell or something equally otherworldly.  The Enignum Canopy Bed looks like it's for Elrond himself, carved beautifully from timber by Irish designer Joseph Walsh.  The piece is one of a similarly designed set, all of which seek to explore and express the qualities of timber.  If that isn't of interest, than you could learn more about Rivendell, like I did.  Here's a curious observation, Tolkien has based the description of Rivendell on Lauterbrunnen, a municipality of Switzerland where he hiked in the early 20th Century,  Peter Jackson on the other hand, just went up to Kaitoke. Choice.