Virtual Beauty’s expertise is developing media to simply explain complex ideas in vivid visual narratives. We collaborate with clients to develop content that reveals the ideation, invention, and ultimately beauty in the process of making. Our Webby nominated videos capture designers and engineers in action from 3d printer engineering for Popular Mechanics to fragrance molecule design for International Flavors and Fragrances.
Lecture: SVA MFA Design Criticism
It was a privilege to speak in the SVA MFA Design Criticism lecture series. Our talk “Cinematics of Systems, Processes, and Beautiful Things” looked at film making as a modular building process that can draw from a mix of data, images, text, audio, and live footage. "In discarding the conventional narrative structure, a fresh language of film evolves with which to observe, report, and critique."
International Drawing and Cognition Research conference
Our film “WWW Drawing Workshop” was shown at the International Drawing and Cognition Research conference at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in the plenary session “Drawing as a tool for thought” highlighting key issues in drawing pedagogy, research and practice. The film was also part of the exhibit "Tracing Experience", Macy Gallery, Teacher's College, Columbia University.
AW’013 Ice Jacket J: Stone Island
We pair a scientific procedure with the thermo sensitive jacket to show how a chromatic change dynamically visualizes information. Filmed at a Biomedical Chemistry Institute Cold Laboratory, NYC. Reviews from Hypebeast, Highsnobiety, and Complex “Watching the video alone will make you want to start your own science project.”
How Light Behaves: Stone Island
To explain the Mesh Reflective coat, we juxtapose its glass microsphere technology with the optics of an Astrophysical Observatory's telescope. The Manual & Digital Trends says “This isn’t simply a product that gloriously combines tech & style; this product may be solving the problem of nuclear fusion while you’re wearing it and you wouldn’t even know!.”
WWW Drawing Workshop at the Drawing Center
We participated in the "WWW Drawing Symposium: From Pencil to Pixel" co-organized by The Drawing Center and the Stuckeman School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, Penn State University. We presented our film documenting architects James Wines, Michael Webb, and Mark West leading large-scale hand drawing workshops.
The FlowingData visualization blog posted our "Explaining Diagrams" short film and it's received +13,000 plays and counting. We're thrilled to be included in Nathan Yau's thoughtful site that includes both reportage and tutorials.
As part of our obsession with all things molecular, we've been working with Yan Liang, a materials scientist and passionate designer whose work has been featured on the cover of Science Magazine, to create illustrations and animations showing the beautiful processes behind skin biology.
Systems and Stories
At the Transdisciplinary Design MFA program at Parsons the New School for Design (led by Jamer Hunt), I gave a presentation on “Systems and Stories” to introduce alternative approaches to documentary (breaking with traditional testimonials and talking heads). Clips ranged from David Byrne's True Stories to William Klein's Model Couple.
Corning Museum of Glass GLASSLAB
This summer, the Corning Museum of Glass invited designers from the Cooper-Hewitt exhibition “Graphic Design: Now in Production” to push the formal boundaries of glass. We filmed 14 designers participating in GlassLab, a mobile glass-blowing studio, out on Governor’s Island. As Abbott Miller says “I’m hot on glass.”
Talk to Me Exhibition at MoMA
View "Power to the Point" our animated film on diagrams currently in MoMA's TALK TO ME online exhibit.
A Day in the Life of Ernesto Bones.
Beijing Design Week.
With Hester Blumenthal, Andrea Branzi, and others, Virtual Beauty participated in Ab Roger Design's exhibit at the Stanley Picker House. We contributed a narrative based on an intercom phone. A book on its Beijing Design Fair installation just published!
Durkheim Project Website
We just designed a website for Poulin Holdings / DARPA that uses predictive search to detect suicide risk for veterans with PTSD. Its interactive visualizations for exploring the data is crucial to engage the medical community. How does this connect to our movie making? It's all about using a simple structure to reveal what you need to know about a complicated reality.
Austin Advisory Group
Tour de Fragrance
Following a scent from the source, we shot two weeks in the Grasse, Turkey, and the UK for Austin Advisory Group's "Seed to Scent" program for Robertet, a family owned company that specializes in natural raw ingredients. The two videos will debut in 2012.
Abstraction and the Mind
We presented at the "Symposium on Abstraction and the Mind in the Arts", Teachers College at Columbia University. Our topic: beyond the narrative -- new systems for film stories.