Blog Profile / WebUrbanist


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Filed Under:Society & Culture
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Archived Since:October 20, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Uplifting Design: Site’s Native Greenery Transplanted onto New Architecture

A lot of architectural schemes start from scratch with the assumption that everything on the building site will be razed or removed, but for this office structure, the designers saved and raised up the robust greenery already occupying the lot. In Da Nang, Vietnam’s fourth-largest city, Ho Khue Architects saw the resilient native plants as an opportunity …

Photographic Memory: Artist Covers Family Home in Pics Prior to Demolition

To celebrate 70 years of family memories, artist Gary Sweeney plastered his family home in Manhattan Beach with old photographs, an installation that lasted until the building was demolished. The photos, shot by his late father, were printed out in large formats and turned into a kind of exterior wallpaper documenting the artist’s childhood. At …

Take it From a Tiny House: 12 Smart Small Space Tricks That Really Work

You don’t have to drastically shrink your whole life to fit into a 200-square-foot space in order to learn a space-saving trick or two from the tiny house movement. Builders and carpenters see working with such a compact living space like a puzzle, and they’ve come up with some pretty cool solutions that translate well …

Dramatas Urbanae: Photographer’s 10-Year Study of a Single Public Bench

A lone Ukrainian park bench has become the unlikely star of a decade-long drama, much more by chance than by design, thanks to a photographer’s unplanned project to document the lives of those who use it. Yevgeniy Kotenko never meant On the Bench to be a series or body of work. He simply began to take pictures of people on …

Temporary Street Art: Mobile Projector Paints Hong Kong with Modern Chinese Zodiac

Three years after decorating Paris with smartly-dressed animals, street artist Julien Nonnon is back with a project that temporarily adorns the streets of Hong Kong with his own modern version of the Chinese Zodiac. Founding member of creative studio Le3, Nonnon walks the streets of cities around the world with a mobile projector for a …

Whole Lotta Lush: 10 Verdant Offices That Feel Like They’re Outdoors

Not every office environment can be a multi-billion-dollar geodesic conservatory filled with tens of thousands of tropical plants, but there are lots of different ways to make boring workspaces more livable with the power of vegetation. These office interiors go way beyond bringing in a few houseplants to improve the air quality, incorporating planters into …

Meta-Footwear: Sneaker Protectors, So You Can Have Shoes for Your Shoes

These new Shoes for Shoes combine sandals, galoshes, and, well, shoes, to create a hybrid fashion phenomenon making its way from the runways of Men’s Fashion Week in Paris to a store near you. Apparently, they heard you like shoes, so they designed some shoes for your shoes so you can put shoes on your shoes. “They’re transformable …

Toy Boxed: 10 Closed & Abandoned Toys R Us Stores

It took 60 years for Toys 'R' Us to rise to a Category Killer corporation... and fall victim to bankruptcy when economics tod it to put the toys away.

Algorithmic Art: Dynamic Display ‘Paints’ Surreal Scenes & Melting Cityscapes

Abstracting views of the city, this huge installation uses computer algorithms to deform local everyday footage on a massive 14-by-23-foot display canvas. Ordinary wall art can get old, especially when one passes it every day. In this case, hours of film can become thousands of unique compositions, slowly deconstructed into impressionist-worthy pieces on the screen. …

The Empire Has Collapsed: Miniature Scenes Illustrate the Post-Apocalypse

Nature begins to take back New York City after all the humans are gone in this series of artfully photographed post-apocalypse miniatures. A collaboration between artists Lori Nix and Kathleen Gerber, ‘Empire’ is the duo’s second series on this theme, the first focusing on interiors while the latest depicts exterior scenes. Living in New York …

Architecture with a Twist: Installation Artist Knots Columns & Flips Facades

In his latest work dubbed Birth, Death and Midlife Crisis, artist Alex Chinneck is back at it again, exploring the limits of seemingly solid structures (and observer imaginations). This latest work in Germany deforms a structural column, calling its conventional neighbors into question. Show More Summary

Graffiti Artists Awarded $6.7M from Landlord Who Destroyed Their Work

Prior to 2013, a warehouse in Queens known as 5Pointz was a graffiti mecca packed with murals and other work by hundreds of artists, many of whom rented space inside the building. That is, until owner Gerald Wolkoff suddenly and without warning whitewashed the entire facade under a messy coat of paint. Wolkoff had been …

It’s in the Bag: 13 Ultra-Functional Backpacks for Busy Urban Lifestyles

A bag is definitely not just a bag when you’re commuting in all weather conditions, biking to work, carrying a lot of expensive gear and trying to look professional and stay organized all the while. These next-level backpacks, tote bags, duffels and briefcases are full of all kinds of cool features, like built-in solar chargers, …

From Chaos to Creative Compositions: The Anamorphic Art of Bernard Pras

It takes a special kind of creative brain to sort a pile of random junk into an anamorphic arrangement that looks like complete chaos from most angles, but comes together into a work of art from the right perspective. These compositions are like visual puzzles, requiring the artist to select objects of just the right …

Raised in a Barn & Proud: 15 Farm Buildings Converted to Modern Homes

They could be so dilapidated they’re practically ruins, but old barns have both historical value and rural charm, and when architects dramatically rescue them, they become incredible modern homes, offices, galleries and artist studios. Even an old potato barn, or goat barn, or teeny-tiny barn, or ugly barn that got an unfortunate 1980s makeover. Not …

Deserted Dollhouse: Street Artist Crafts Eerie Miniature Abandoned Home

Created over the course of six months, this 1:10 scale model of a rundown home may be the most creepy and depressing dollhouse ever created, softened somewhat with miniaturized graffiti murals by its maker. Alice Pasquini is an Italian street artist who, with this model (dubbed The Unchanging World), aimed to capture the mixed reality …

Creature Comforts: 12 More Animal-Shaped Buildings

See the creature, be the creature... live in the creature? These animal-shaped buildings take the concept of surreal estate to a newer, wetter-nosed level.

Link Rot: ‘Social Decay’ Renders Tech Media Giants as Urban Abandonments

Physical businesses that fall on hard times often leave signs in the built environment, like the distinctive facades of deserted or adapted Pizza Huts, but what might social media sites look like in a post-apocalyptic, non-digital world? For that matter, many giants, from Yahoo! to MySpace, have already crumbled and been replaced. But in this …

Tired of Looking At Your Coworkers? Try the FocusCap, a Horse Blinder for People

At the outset, the idea of wearing what equates to a pair of horse blinders so you can focus feels a little ridiculous. The rise of open-plan offices where employees have little to no peace, privacy or space from each other has resulted in a slew of workarounds, from giant helmets to special view-blocking, soundproof …

Egalitarian Gallery: New York Curators Combat Elitism, Exhibit Everything

The art world tends to be exclusive by design, but a gallery founder and a curator in NYC decided to team up and do the most inclusive thing they could think of by offering to display any work sent their way in the ultimate “open call” for artists. The exhibition, dubbed Et Tu, Art Brute? specified …

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