Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #174: Shapes and Designs

Design is thinking made visual.

–Saul Bass

For this week’s photo challenge, we’re taking a closer look at shapes and designs. Once you start noticing them, you’ll find them in many places–in nature, in works of art, in food, in architecture–to name a few. In my first photo, the colorful design makes a wonderful quilt, don’t you think?

Styles come and go. Good design is a language, not a style.

–Massimo Vignelli

I love looking for shapes and designs in architecture. Here’s another photo from the Wellington Hotel in London, which I shared in last week’s challenge. In this small interior section of the lobby, you can see wonderful examples of different shapes and design motifs in the corinthian columns, the vaulted ceiling, and the graceful arches.

Everything has shape, if you look for it. There is no escape from form.

~Salman Rushdie

One of nature’s mysteries is her intricate and beautiful shapes and designs. This image is an old favorite from Meier Gardens in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I love the distinctive markings on the butterfly and the leaf.

I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for.

~Georgia O’Keeffe

These last two photos from an exhibit by the Chinese dissident artist Ai Wei-Wei highlight a variety of shapes and designs. His exhibits are created with unusual materials and have many traditional and non-traditional components. For instance, this self-portrait of the artist was created with Legos. (Click on the image to see an enlarged version.)

In this wider shot of the exhibit you can see the wallpaper and the vases he designed. You’ll notice that his 3 self portraits on the back wall show him smashing one of the vases.

This week we invite you to share images that feature shapes and designs. Have fun searching for them in nature, in your home, in architecture, in food, in textiles, on the street–and just about everywhere else. We are looking forward to seeing your images that will take us to unexpected places near and far! Include a link to this post and be sure to use the Lens-Artists tag.

For Tina’s Interesting Architecture challenge last week, you shared marvelous examples of architecture from around the world. What a treat for all of us!

We’re delighted to announce that Lindy Low LeCoq will be our guest host next week for LAPC #175. We invite you to visit her beautiful and thought-provoking site next Saturday at noon to join our next challenge.

In closing, I’d like to share a link to a wonderful artist who creates beautiful animals portraits using stones and seashells. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

177 replies »

    • Hi, Sheetal. Wow! Thanks so much! I’m delighted you took a look at Anna Chan’s work. It is amazing. I love that she started this project during the pandemic. It’s inspiring. And isn’t that Lego portrait wonderful? I’m so glad you like that, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. What a terrific topic for this week! We all have plenty of shapes to write about– but, as you say, we need to look for them. I’m going to soon this week! But now I’d like to take off for the Wellington Hotel in London. What a lovely treat that would be!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks, Rusha. I’d love to go back to the Wellington, too!! It would be so much fun and the restaurant there is great. Um…now I’m thinking about when I can go! Take care and enjoy the weekend.


  3. So many designs in nature! The trick will be to slow down and ‘see’ them. (fyi when I clicked on the link to the seashell artist various pop-ups (which I normally don’t see) appeared from the museum and eventually my WordPress site totally went blank and froze. Very strange.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Chris. That’s really strange about the website and the WP site. I’ve never had that happen before. I can’t imagine why that happened! As for your thoughts on nature, yes, it’s true. The trick is to slow down and really see them. Photography is great that way…it makes us slow down! Take care and have a good week.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I am a Big Fan of Ai Wei Wei. I saw an exhibition of his at the Royal Academy in London a few years ago. It was fascinating. Each room had wall paper that he had chosen to go with whatever was on display in that room. That was a unique design aspect that for me raised the level of the whole exhibition to a greater height.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What an amazing quilt! I can’t even imagine how much work went into that. Legos are some of the best toys ever (or any sort on building blocks.) We had wooden ones when I grew up. I really like the butterfly shot as well.


    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am totally digging this theme, and your photos are really wonderful.The portrait made with Lego really wows me since I know how crazy it is to build with it. Such precision and I have great respect with all the artists who came up with it.

    Thank you for inspiring us to learn from them by showing photos that shows their creative wisdom.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, JBD! Thanks so much for your thoughts and kind words. It is an amazing feat to create such huge portraits with Legos! I was astounded when I got close to the portraits and saw how they were made. Thanks again for your kind words and have a great week.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Terrific examples and commentary Patti. I will admit to giving serious consideration to what on earth your opening image might have been, and quilt never crossed my mind! It has such a gorgeous design and shape! And legos no less….who’d have guessed?! I’m expecting wonderful responses to your creative challenge this week. Loved your post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Frank. Thank you! I think your teacher was absolutely right about nature’s designs. We humans have copied them for centuries! And thanks as always for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Patti, my favorite shots were the Lego self-portrait photos. I love this wide-open theme. I had fun going through my photos last week and labeling architecture. In the process I discovered some amazing shapes and designs I will share this week. Thank you for hosting.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I like that quote by O’Keefe, it rings true of her work and those of several other intensely visual artists. And its a lovely set of photos that you have this week. That leaf behind the butterfly is so interesting; I don’t think I’ve come across either. The beautiful architecture is another lovely photo.

    I thought I would give you work by a less well-known female artist today:

    Web design: a masterclass


    • Hi, SH. Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments–as always! I appreciate that. The butterfly is beautiful, isn’t it? I was fortunate to see hundreds of them at a special indoor event. But still, it was hard to capture them! I enjoyed your post, too. I was surprised to hear there’s still mining at that location. It’s a beautiful spot.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I probably should’ve been clearer about that, but mining in this spot stopped a long time ago. There’s a sewage treatment plant (at least, I’m pretty sure it is one) there which is fenced off, and a lot of space open to the public. It is a beautiful spot bit there’s also a lingering feeling of wondering what it was like before it was mined out.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Patti

    I adore your lead photo of the swirling design, and coincidentally before I read your descriptive paragraph, what jumped to mind was a quilt. And then I read your note and smiled. You nailed it.

    Here’s another offering from me for the Lens Artists Shapes and Designs challenge:

    Tunnels of Great Blue Heron Love

    Best, Babsje


  11. Pingback: Musin' With Susan
  12. Beautiful photos and a real fun and creative topic. I’m a little late with my contribution as well, I couldn’t think of anything at first but then I found something from my archives. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi Patti – I am just getting caught up on a few blog posts today – and gad I came back to see this one – the lego bricks use to show the artist is just so clever – and his work sounds fascinating

    Liked by 1 person

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