India’s new World Heritage Site

At the end of June this year, 26 new inscriptions were added to the World Heritage Site List, UNESCO’s cultural collection of 1,007 properties. The Queen’s Stepwell (aka Rani-ki-Vav) at Patan, Gujarat, was one of them, stunning visitors with its astonishing structure of architectural and technological skill that India possessed over 800 years ago.

Rani Ki Vav well fisheye
DSM888Rani Ki Vav well fisheye
Rani Ki Vav wide
DSM888Rani Ki Vav wide

Rani-ki-Vav, on the banks of the Saraswati River, was initially built as a memorial to a king in the 11th century AD. Stepwells are a distinctive form of subterranean water resource and storage systems on the Indian subcontinent, and have been constructed since the 3rd millennium BC. They evolved over time from what was basically a pit in sandy soil towards elaborate multi-storey works of art and architecture. Rani-ki-Vav was built at the height of craftsmens’ ability in stepwell construction and the Maru-Gurjara architectural style, reflecting mastery of this complex technique and great beauty of detail and proportions. Designed as an inverted temple highlighting the sanctity of water, it is divided into seven levels of stairs with sculptural panels of high artistic quality; more than 500 principle sculptures and over a thousand minor ones combine religious, mythological and secular imagery, often referencing literary works. The fourth level is the deepest and leads into a rectangular tank 9.5 m by 9.4 m, at a depth of 23 m. The well is located at the westernmost end of the property and consists of a shaft 10 m in diameter and 30 m deep.” – UNESCO

Queen's Step Well_2
mehtasunilQueen's Step Well_2
Queen's Step Well_5
mehtasunilQueen's Step Well_5
Rani ki vav (Patan) detailed embellishments
durgeshnandiniRani ki vav (Patan) detailed embellishments
step symmetry
sunil_shanbagstep symmetry
Queen's Step Well (Rani ki Vav), Patan, Gujarat.
JN SinghQueen's Step Well (Rani ki Vav), Patan, Gujarat.
Voluptuous Apsaras and the male deity
JN SinghVoluptuous Apsaras and the male deity

“Most of the sculptures are in devotion to Vishnu, in the forms of Dus-Avatars Kalki, Rama, Mahisasurmardini, Narsinh, Vaman, Varahi and others representing their return to the world. Nagkanya, Yogini beautiful women – Apsara showcasing 16 different styles of make-up to look more attractive called Solah-shringar.” – Jagadip Singh

patan vav
sapanparikh18patan vav


Product of the day: Lindner Group – Glass partition Lindner Life 620

For product information please contact the manufacturer.

In Portland? Come to the Hand-Eye Supply Grand Reopening Party


Since we opened in 2010, Core77's Hand-Eye Supply has grown into an international design destination and hub for hands-on people of all stripes. Combining the refined aesthetics of designers with the practicality of the trades, Hand-Eye Supply serves and promotes the movement towards a more beautiful, well-made world.

Join us tomorrow, Thursday, October 2, as we open our distinctive store again—bigger, better and more ambitiously dedicated to the creative community—with a Grand Opening Party! This unmissable design event will give the first public look at the beautiful new space, which features custom architecture, innovative interior design and sculpture, a design incubator, and a metal and wood workshop. If you're in Portland, be sure to stop by the inspiring space some have dubbed the Niketown of Design. RSVP on Facebook and stop by for food, drink, live music, and inspiration.

Thursday, October 2, 2014, 6–9pm
Hand-Eye Supply
427 NW Broadway
Portland, OR 97209





Three Red Dot Award Winners that Keep it Simple and Doable


The Red Dot Awards winner's page is usually a fun look at some out-there ideas. But among this year's batch of winners, it's the oh-man-that-is-so-doable concepts that caught our eye. To rethink something simple that already exists can often be far harder, we think, than envisioning a blue-sky solution.

In the Personal Hygiene category, Chen Wanting's clever Tiya Convenient Floor Drain makes perfect sense for anyone who's ever had to remove long hair from a conventional shower drain.



What Do You Get When You Cross an Oven Mitt with a Neck Pillow?


Having just spent a week in China, my circadian rhythm is pretty much entirely out of sync at this point. Traveling 12 hours into the future was rougher than it had ever been, and now that I'm back, I expect that my usual sleep deprivation will be further compounded by jetlag. Well, Studio Banana Things is looking to put sleepnessness to rest, so to speak, by putting the powernap literally within arm's length away with the new "Ostrich Pillow Mini."


Linked: Opening at Percolate

Opening at Percolate
Position: Communications Designer at Percolate in New York, NY. Many thanks to our ADVx3 Partners

Introducing the Core77 ShopBot Series: A Hands-On Look at Desktop CNC Milling


To the uninitiated, a CNC mill might sound like a complicated, intimidating and excessively expensive machine to own and operate. And that might have been true twenty years ago. But now we live in an age where the prices are coming down and the interfaces are becoming ever-easier to use—something like what the original Mac did for desktop publishing. So if you're an independent designer or small business owner looking to prototype or produce your own stuff, now is the time to look into a CNC mill. And we're excited to bring you this new series on how to use one.

With regular video updates, we'll walk you through a basic but powerful 3-axis machine and show you everything you need to know in order to operate one, starting with a group of introductory videos and then diving into a step-by-step project. And in order to be as inclusive as possible, we've opted to take a "...For Dummies" approach—so whether you're a traditional shop vet or have never used a power tool in your life, we believe that you, too can use a CNC mill by understanding certain principles and systematically learning to use some basic software.

The first question you would-be CNC millers might have is, which machine should I look at? There are several different affordable desktop CNC mills on the market, and we decided to go with ShopBot, for a variety of important reasons:

Next up we'll give you an overview of the machine, then show you how to set it up.


Wildlife Wednesday: Whales

With good luck and quick reflexes, photographers capture thrilling moments of getting close to those alluring whale species in a variety of locations around the world.

Day 4- Humpback Whales Bubble-netting, Juneau, Alaska
tracyafosterDay 4- Humpback Whales Bubble-netting, Juneau, Alaska

Humpback whales off the coast of Alaska.

Tadoussac, Quebec, Canada.

My favourite time of year
Lacewing!My favourite time of year

Sydney, Australia.
“The whales are taking their time heading south back to Antarctica for summer. These two whales spent about an hour checking out us and another nearby whale watching boat.”

“These are the various barnacles growing on the underside of a Humpback.” – Jim McLean

Humpback Breach
fascinationwildlifeHumpback Breach

“Breach Breach Breach…i’ve never been to a place where the humpbacks are that active…Monterey Bay, California.” – Mario Nonaka

Fritz Wilhelm_4Breach_190

Moss Landing, California.

Humpback Whale double breach
lironsnaturephotography.comHumpback Whale double breach

“Humpback Whales breaching in open BC [British Columbia] waters between mainland and northern Haida Gwaii.”

“Those are indeed the two front halves (not the tails) of two nearly school bus sized marine mammals leaping out of the water. I have seen a reasonable number whale breaches in my life but never a double breach. It was amazing to see!”

“If you have ever had a chance to photograph whales, you will know that any breach is exciting, and it is something you usually will not see when you are whale watching (based on my experiences). Photographing breaches is even harder because you have no clue where and when they will leap out of the water, so usually most of my attempts to photograph a breach are just giant splashes. For this shot I couldn’t have been luckier.” – Liron’s Nature Photography

How many Orcas?
Tim MellingHow many Orcas?

“Pods of Orcas often show a degree of coordination when they appear at the surface to breathe with adjacent animals appearing simultaneously. But for a while this group mustered into a tight formation and I counted fifteen dorsal fins visible. Not perfectly choreographed but still quite impressive. The extremely large triangular fin at the back is an adult male, and so is the second right at the front (but not fully out yet). Females have smaller, more curved fins. Each Orca in a pod such as this will be blood relatives. Males will wander off to mate with females in another pod and similarly, other males will come to mate with females in this pod. But when the mating is done, the males return to their mother’s pod. This group of Orcas feed almost exclusively on salmon so the name “Killer Whale” is not really appropriate. Also they are really just very large Dolphins, although the distinction between whales and dolphins is rather blurred. These were photographed in the Johnstone Strait off the northeast coast of Vancouver Island.” – Tim Melling

Family 2
kozyndanFamily 2

Kingdom of Tonga, Polynesia.
“A placid mother humpback whale and her playful calf.” – kozy and dan kitchens

Humpback Breach (Explore #22 9-8-2014)
River WandererHumpback Breach (Explore #22 9-8-2014)

Kihei, Hawaii.
“45 feet long, with 15 foot pectoral fins, and a tail muscle that thrusts its 45 ton body from the water in an instant…to say that it’s “breathtaking” is an understatement!” – River Wanderer


Moss Landing, California.

This photo selection is inspired by the Whale Watching group.

To join this series, tweet @flickr with your favorite wildlife photos, and include the hashtag #WildlifeWednesday. And if you’d rather not tweet, simply include the same hashtag in your Flickr photo title, or tag it with WildlifeWednesday.

We look forward to seeing your contributions and featuring a new selection of your photo submissions every Wednesday here on our blog.

Previously featured for this series: Wildlife Wednesday: Marine mammals

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