Today Jess shares a recent diorama find and narrowly avoids falling down into a philosophical spiral… 

Dioramas were never something I was forced to make in my school years but thanks to the diorama episode of The Simpsons, the Simpsons being the source of so much of my worldly knowledge, I am familiar with them.

The scaled down scenes, usually housed in a hacked up shoe box, held together with craft glue, crudley applied paint and a kids (ok- the parents) sheer determination to please the teacher, speak to me about childhood. I have never thought about them in the context of cool design and especially not as something that would ever be on display in an edgy showroom in New York. Until now.


Brooklyn designers Cold Picnic have drawn on their epic diorama making skills to create a series of vignettes that bring their rug and bathmat designs into the three dimensional plane, albeit on a mini-scale. Each piece in their new Passenger collection has become the starting point for an enclosed world, as the rug’s colours and shapes are extended out to form a collaged landscape made of cardboard and paint, with teeny potted plants giving scale to the environment. In an interview on Sight Unseen, Cold Picnic talk about how the rug range was inspired by the atmospheric landscapes seen in the film The Passenger. I love the full circle nature of the exercise of creating these dioramas- the designers were inspired by landscapes in a film and from that they created their rug range, which then inspired them to bring that expression back into the third dimension, recreating the landscapes on a smaller scale. Art imitating life, imitating art, imitating life.

But mostly what I love about this is the lo-fi nature of the approach. Cold Picnic aren’t worried about the fact that making dioramas is something that people would have left behind in childhood- they have embraced the approach and created something fresh and unexpected and I declare them the winners of the Springfield ‘Diorama-Rama’ day!

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Images by Cold Picnic, as seen on Sight Unseen

{This post was created by Jessica Bellef for The Transcontinental Affair}

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