Most Beautiful Items: March 21 - 28, 2014

From churches-turned-libraries, to new uses for old CDs, we have plenty of lovely and awe-inspiring things for you to peep this time around. Check them out in this edition of the most beautiful items of the week.


This time lapse of fireflies is art in motion

Most Beautiful Items: March 21 - 28, 2014

If you've been stressing out or if you're getting swamped at work or if you're feeling a little overwhelmed, here's how you fix it: by watching this lovely time lapse of fireflies by Vincent Brady. Just put it on full screen, zone out and watch fireflies (or lightning bugs if that's what you call them) paint the world with light and create mesmerizing art.


These Dazzling LED Sculptures Are Like Giant Kinetic Lite-Brites

Most Beautiful Items: March 21 - 28, 2014

Artist Jim Campbell has made a career out of tinkering with LED arrays. His newest work, a series of glowing, undulating installations, are a playful mix of circuitry, motion, and pure light that will captivate any onlooker.


These Sand Castles Are Actually Castles Carved on Grains of Sand

Most Beautiful Items: March 21 - 28, 2014

Anyone can build a castle with sand, but can you build a castle on sand? Artist and photographer Vik Muniz collaborated with MIT researcher Marcelo Coelho to engrave a castle onto a single granule of sand.


6,000 Used CDs Never Looked So Pretty

Most Beautiful Items: March 21 - 28, 2014

One person's trash is another visionary person's community art project. In this clever and beautiful repurposing of old CDs, Ignatov Architects has created Mirror Culture, a shimmery entrance to the public park in Varna, Bulgaria. A bunch of used CDs never looked so good.


What Sunsets Painted Centuries Ago Reveal About Global Air Pollution

Most Beautiful Items: March 21 - 28, 2014

Dramatic sunsets are undeniably gorgeous, but they portend something ominous: millions of fine particles polluting the air. Researchers are now studying sunsets painted over the past 500 years to find clues to how our air got dirtier after the Industrial Revolution.


The Lonely Process And Lovely Work Of Hong Kong's Neon Craftsmen

Most Beautiful Items: March 21 - 28, 2014

Hong Kong's neon sign trade is fading in the face of new technology, but there are still skilled workers who craft the glowing lights by hand. The process is, by their own admission, painstaking, solitary, thankless, and steadily losing popularity, but these guys are still going at it. Watching them make the magic fixtures is mesmerizing—they are really good at what they do.


The Fantastic Alien Worlds of Concept Artist Christian Lorenz Scheurer

Most Beautiful Items: March 21 - 28, 2014

Ever wondered who dreams up the otherworldly architecture and cities you see in movies likeThor 2 and Man of Steel? Meet Christian Lorenz Scheurer, the concept artist behind both movies—and many others.


The Man Who Collects the World's Rarest Architectural Artifacts

Most Beautiful Items: March 21 - 28, 2014

For Evan Blum, it started as a hobby when he was young. His father, an architect specializing in reuse, exposed him to the world of architectural antiques—and it wasn't long before Evan's own collection had outgrown the space he lived in. Today, 41 years later, it's how he makes his living.


This Backyard Hideaway For a Pianist Will Make Every Musician Drool

Most Beautiful Items: March 21 - 28, 2014

The backyard shack is a fantasy of every hobbyist. If you are a hobbyist with some scrilla, however, you can make your dream a reality—which is exactly what these homeowners/pianists in Japan did, by building an awesome sound-proof shack for their pianos.


These Grand Cathedrals Now House Regular Books, Not Bibles

Most Beautiful Items: March 21 - 28, 2014

Churches tend to ebb and flow with generations: Chapels close after neighborhoods are redeveloped, cathedrals are abandoned after religious upheaval. So, what then? In more than a few cases, they've been turned into bookstores and libraries.