Blog Profile / WebUrbanist


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

Blog Post Archive

Secretive Urbanism: 13 Exclusive Speakeasies & Shops with Hidden Entrances

The bodega on the corner, your laundromat, the pawn shop down the street or the innocuous law firm entrance you pass on your way to work could be harboring secrets behind unmarked doors or bookcases. America’s modern speakeasies exist more for the thrill of discovery than hiding illicit activities, but you have to admit, it’s …

Urban Birdhouses: Danish Designer Builds 3,500+ Homes for Avian Occupants

Some sit individually in trees while are clustered in sets, branching out like leaves on a building facade or hung like ivy off the sides of structures, but all of these diverse birdhouses share something in common: a single creative mind that has been working on them for years. Street artist and designer Thomas Dambo’s Happy …

Fractal Cities: Drawings of Urban Architecture Seem to Go On & On Forever

The deeper you look into the incredibly detailed drawings of artist Benjamin Sack, the more the cities depicted seem to multiply, as if you could travel through his fractal cities forever and ever without stopping. Drawn in a classical style in black and white, his works play with the topography of architecture that has run …

It’s All a Sham! 21 Urban Structures & Facades That Aren’t What They Seem

The cities of the world have a lot to hide, and while some of those things might be top secret government operations, others are as unremarkable as an ugly ventilation shaft, an electrical substation, a failing and vacant downtown area or just a sad, blank wall that needs some fake windows to improve its looks. …

42 Buried Buses Form America’s Largest Underground Nuclear Fallout Bunker

Composed of dozens of school buses surrounded with concrete, there may not be room for two of every Earthly animal in this “Ark Two” but there is space for around 500 humans (kids and adults) to cohabitate through a moderate apocalypse. Located in Horning’s Mills (in case you need to get there in an emergency) …

Petroleum Pets: Coalinga’s Vanishing Iron Zoo

Painted pump jacks with plenty of personality put the “pet” into petroleum at the venerable and vanishing Iron Zoo in and around Coalinga, California.

Natural-Edge Glassware: Curvy Vases Blown into Organic Wood Forms

Resin is often used creatively to fill in the gaps wooden shapes, but these vases take the opposite approach and employ sliced logs with waned edges as a framing device rather than making it the primary focus of the work. Los Angeles artist Scott Slagerman worked with Jim Fishman on this Wood & Glass collection, in which each vase is …

As We Are: Giant 3D LED Screen Head Takes Selfies to the Next Level

Seeing what your face looks like 14 feet tall and enlarged hundreds of times in a public forum might sound like a nightmare to some people, but to others, it’s a fun way to interact with other visitors at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio. ‘As We Are’ is a permanent sculptural installation …

Underwater Castle: 3,000-Year-Old Ruin Discovered in Turkey’s Largest Lake

Deep in Turkey’s biggest body of water, Lake Van, a secret fortress lay dormant for thousands of years, discovered recently by a team of university archaeologists following local rumors of a submerged structure. Headed by Tahsin Ceylan, a group from Van Yüzüncü Yil University discovered this Iron Age marvel spanning over a half-mile deep below the surface, with …

New Network of Ice Age Caves Found Beneath the Streets of Montreal

Manually chipping away at rock for hours, two cave explorers have discovered a massive, previously unknown system of prehistoric caves beneath the streets of Montreal. Estimated to be around 15,000 years old, the Ice Age cave network was found about 30 feet beneath the city’s Pie-XII Park adjacent to the St. Léonard cave already popular …

Step Into a Pop-Up Book: 11 Furnishings, Rooms & Houses That Fold Up Flat

Does the same childlike awe and sense of infinite possibility you felt when looking at pop-up books as a kid translate to adult-sized versions of pop-up furniture, rooms and even entire houses today? These transforming objects dramatically expand from a flat package just by pulling on one end, revealing themselves to be surprisingly strong and …

Shipping Shapes: Perspective Drawing Lines Form Containerized Landscapes

Anyone who has seen stacks of shipping containers and the huge cranes that move them at big ports knows they can make for a marvelous sight, but what happens when you overlay those rigid geometries on other landscapes? Artist Mary Iverson, who lives near one such port in Seattle, combines paint and photographs to explore the results of …

Lean & Learn: Oblique Earthquake-Proof Bookshelf Doubles as a Climbing Wall

No ladders are required to get all the way to the top of this floor-to-ceiling bookshelf in a Japanese home, built into a specially designed oblique exterior wall for both easy access and earthquake resistance. Shinsuke Fujii Architects rose to the challenge of a tight lot with a smart design that uses a high ceiling, …

Starchitect Spotlight: Olson Kundig’s Crystalline Modern Sensibilities

Each one of architectural firm Olson Kundig’s creations is in open dialogue with its environment, often integrating oversized glass doors that open wide to the outside world or sliding steel panels to close them up and make them feel safe and secure. The Washington state-based firm, consisting of architects Tom Kundig and Jim Olson, feels …

Layers of New York City: 232,000-Picture Urban Time Lapse Remixes Day & Night

New York City never sleeps, they say, and this animation shows just how active the city is by day and at night, combining elements of both in one film that represents “22 Trips to New York, 352 Hours of filming, $1,430 paid in Parking Fees, 9988 Miles Driven, and 232,000 Pictures Taken.” The result is …

Rollout: 10 More Abandoned Roller Skating Rinks

Roller skating may not have been as “cool” as ice skating but it was one hot recreational activity back in the days before inline was superseded by online.

Speedway Core Sample: Cylindrical Specimen Shows 108 Years of Repaved Racetrack

Core samples let geologists examine layers of the Earth, graffiti fans peel back decades of art, or in this case: allow race watchers to see what a century or so of repaved track looks like. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is one of America’s favorite and most famous racetracks, and it has changed a lot over the centuries …

Paper Signals: DIY Sculptural Objects You Can Control With Your Voice

If you could build an origami-like paper object that can visualize information at your voice command, what would you ask it to tell you? Google’s new ‘Paper Signals’ project is a fun way to play with information, technology and DIY crafts, offering templates for paper sculptures containing simple parts like a micro servo, an Adafruit …

Mies Makeover: Artists Cover Barcelona Pavilion’s Marble Walls with White

A minimalist icon by Mies van der Rohe is becoming even more minimal thanks to a series of vinyl screens installed over its ornate marble walls, making the full-size building look like a blown-up miniature model. Spanish architects and artists Anna and Eugeni Bach are behind this temporary Mies Missing Materiality installation at the Barcelona Pavilion, …

Out of Focus: Classic Works of Art Reimagined in Abstract Pixelated Form

Some centuries-old works of art are so imprinted upon the collective consciousness, our brains recognize them even when they’re blurred, disguised, abstracted or otherwise remixed. You could break them down into their simplest elements and somehow, you’d still be able to identify them as the Mona Lisa, Michelangelo’s statue of David, American Gothic or Nighthawks …

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