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Compact CityTree: Vertical Micro-Garden Packs a Forest’s Worth of Green Benefits

[ By WebUrbanist in Architecture & Cities & Urbanism. ] Packing the environmental impact of as many as 275 actual urban trees, these multi-functional CityTree units are dense and efficient fighters of urban air pollution (the single largest environmental health risk).

The Bizarre, Chaotic Geometry of a Frank Gehry Building in Progress

[ By SA Rogers in Architecture & Public & Institutional. ] Depending on how you feel about Frank Gehry’s work, this building in progress could either be fascinating, monstrous or a combination of both.

Happier Campers: Take Your Gear to a New Level With These 15 Innovations

[ By SA Rogers in Destinations & Sights & Travel. ] Elevate your camping style with the latest high-performance gear like twig-burning stoves, tree tents, bear-proof coolers and portable loungers.

Inflatable Interventions: Soft Spikes Bring Roofless Ruins Back to Life

[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Installation & Sound. ] A series of architectural installations in Scotland contrast sharply with the centuries-old stone architecture and natural landscapes, featuring spiky white inflatables filling in aged cracks and gaps.

Oru Origami-Inspired Folding Kayak is Back with an Updated Design

[ By SA Rogers in Design & Products & Packaging. ] City dwellers with small apartments and limited storage can now own a kayak that folds up into a suitcase-sized package perfect for toting on your bike or public transit.

Bold Bamboo: 8 Dramatic Organic Structures by Chiangmai Life Architects

[ By SA Rogers in Architecture & Public & Institutional. ] With the completion of their latest project, a spectacular sports hall made of prefabricated bamboo trusses, Thai firm Chiangmai Life Construction (CLC) shows off the stunning architectural possibilities of this natural, inexpensive and sustainable material.

Blade Rollers: 11 Retro-Style Knife Sharpener Vans

[ By Steve in Technology & Vintage & Retro. ] Charming and quaint hand-painted knife sharpener vans are one of the few remaining holdouts from the golden age of hand-delivered household services.

Calm & Centered: Cemetery Tunnel Trek Reveals Huge Hill-Wrapped Buddha

[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Sculpture & Craft. ] A massive landscape intervention near Sapporo, Japan by architect Tadao Ando both conceals and reveals a 40-foot statue of the Buddha in the midst of a rural cemetery.

Cylinder House: This Residence is Just a Cluster of Glass Tubes

[ By SA Rogers in Architecture & Houses & Residential. ] You know those glass tubes at the bank drive-through that shoot your deposits and withdrawals back and forth between you and the tellers?

Cones on Poles: Field Guide to Elevated Traffic Cones in Everyday Contexts

[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Installation & Sound. ] Like some many things in the built environment, once you start noticing cones on poles you will see them everywhere — Cones on Poles, an “unofficial sequel” to The Subconscious Art of Graffiti Removal by Matt McCormick, explores “the strange phenomena of people placing cones on poles and other elevated places.” What started out as a joke has become a study of adaptive patterns — per Matt, some are “predictable, like a cone being placed atop a bollard that keeps people from backing up into an oil tank,” while “others that are more geo-locative, like a cone on a mailbox or telephone pole in a rural area, set in place to create a sort of landmark.” Over time, he has started noting and naming different configurations — a cluster of three or more is a “congress” (above) and then, of course, there is the self-evident “triple stack” (below).

Splitting Bricks: Architectural Art Installation Tears a London Building Apart

[ By SA Rogers in Art & Sculpture & Craft. ] A London building appears to have fallen victim to an earthquake tremor or foundation collapse, with a jagged section of its brick facade split in half and threatening to collapse altogether.

Underground Art: 11 Subterranean Galleries & Installations Delve Deep

[ By SA Rogers in Art & Installation & Sound. ] Often mysterious, somber and a little otherworldly, subterranean spaces add a sense of depth (no pun intended) to the art installations and performances held within them.

Downloadable Deco: Art Archive Puts 200 Graphic Design Classics Online

[ By WebUrbanist in Technology & Vintage & Retro. ] Some great institutions are becoming even greater in the digital age — places like museums continue to scan high-quality paintings and photographs for distribution and agencies like NASA put vintage pictures and video footage online for everyone to access.

Avian Palaces: Traditional Ottoman Bird Houses are Miniature Masterpieces

[ By SA Rogers in Culture & History & Travel. ] Istanbul takes bird houses very seriously, and always has – seriously enough to attach palatial digs for feathered residents to their own human-sized buildings.

Messages in the Sand: 12 Great Guerrilla Ads at the Beach & the River

[ By SA Rogers in Design & Guerilla Ads & Marketing. ] The beach is one big billboard for companies looking to surreptitiously market their products, from Game of Thrones to Jim Beam, which would be annoying if most of these guerrilla installations weren’t so fun.

Warming Signs: Clet Abraham Rewrites Rules Of The Road

[ By Steve in Art & Street Art & Graffiti. ] Guerrilla street artist Clet Abraham may be the Banksy of the boulevard, hacking road signs with stickers and encouraging people to question authority.

Plug & Plop: Urban Add-Ons Turn Street-Side Bollards into Seats & Tables

[ By WebUrbanist in Design & Furniture & Decor. ] Designed to act as barriers, bollards are a common sight in cities around the world — but what if they could engage rather than just separate?

World’s Longest Pedestrian Suspension Bridge Stretches Over 1,000 Feet

[ By SA Rogers in Drawing & Digital. ] Three hundred feet above the valley floor, a suspension bridge gently sways and bobs as pedestrians cross its 1,621-foot length through the Swiss Alps.

Future Fonts: Tracing the Role of Typography in Science Fiction in Films

[ By WebUrbanist in Design & Graphics & Branding. ] Whether intentionally retro, as in Stranger Things, or overtly futuristic, as in RoboCop, the role of typography in a movie goes well past the title, subtly but powerfully shaping the world viewers are invited to experience.

Anime Architecture: Exhibition Showcases Japan’s Fictional Buildings

[ By SA Rogers in Art & Drawing & Digital. ] Visions of fictional cities – whether optimistic, realistic, fantastical or dystopian – tend to take on a haze of mystery and grandiosity in Japanese anime, as epitomized in ‘Ghost in the Shell.’ Dark jumbles of nearly-identical skyscrapers lurk over the protagonists in futuristic metropolises, often emphasizing feelings of desolation, industrialization and technology run amok.