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Nolli App of Rome: Use a Classic Map as a Modern Travel Guide

[ By WebUrbanist in Destinations & Sights & Travel. ] The Nolli Map of Rome is one of history’s most famous works of cartography, and now a new iPhone and iPad app lets you use it to navigate in realtime, helping you both lose and find yourself in one of Europe’s most marvelous ancient cities.

Zig-Zagging Cantilevered Shipping Containers Create a Dynamic Pavilion

[ By SA Rogers in Architecture & Cities & Urbanism. ] Recognizable in their original form, twelve shipping containers form a two-story recreational pavilion for the Chinese city of Shanxi, stacked and set at an angle with the top units cantilevered over the bottom ones.

Reflecting on a Master Architect: 10 Water-Centric Works by Tadao Ando

[ By SA Rogers in Architecture & Public & Institutional. ] Tadao Ando’s work consists of more than just the tangible architectural materials making up each structure, masterfully utilizing reflection, simple palettes and negative space to incorporate wind, water and light into the carefully designed compositions.

Pencil + Sharpener: Redesign Solves 3 Classic Drawing Tool Problems

[ By WebUrbanist in Design & Products & Packaging. ] Pencils require sharpening, run out of eraser and turn into unusable stubs as they near the end of their lifespan, but this clever gadget aims to change all of that, solving all three issues at once.

Silence Of The Lamps: 10 Abandoned Light Bulb Factories

[ By Steve in Abandoned Places & Architecture. ] Things may look dim for these abandoned light bulb factories but hopefully the last worker out the door remembered to flip the switch on their way out.

Diagonal Crosswalk: Walk Any Way in LA’s Safe Scramble Intersection

[ By WebUrbanist in Architecture & Cities & Urbanism. ] When visitors approach the intersection in front of Seattle’s famous Pike Place Market in the heart of downtown, the surprise is palpable when they realize that a ‘go’ for pedestrians lets people walk any way they want.

Shadow Graffiti: Typographic Sundial Transforms Building Facade

[ By SA Rogers in Art & Street Art & Graffiti. ] Integrating the shadows cast by everything from stop signs to public benches into street art often requires the luck of seeing the piece in action at just the right time of day, when the shadow is in just the right spot for everything to line up as intended.

Bottomless Anti-Chair: Crafty Bentwood Form Frames Other Seats

[ By WebUrbanist in Design & Furniture & Decor. ] As it stands, you can do just about anything with this Arm Chair except actually sit in it, at least until you add your own chair, stool or other form of seating to the mix.

Brain Food: Vending Machines Offer Books Instead of Snacks

[ By SA Rogers in Design & Products & Packaging. ] You can buy all kinds of weird things from vending machines these days – from live crabs to blue jeans to gold bars – but this new iteration is more entertaining than most, and it’ll certainly keep you busy longer than a bag of Skittles.

Looking Beyond Land: 12 Floating Galleries, Schools & Cemeteries

[ By SA Rogers in Architecture & Offices & Commercial. ] Even without the threat of rising sea levels, we’ve got land scarcity issues in nearly every major city, prompting engineers and architects to look towards the rivers and seas as settings for floating structures that could support not just housing and restaurants but also farms, movie theaters, schools and even cemeteries.

Neglected Riverside Steps Revived with Form-Fitting Sunbed Seats

[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Installation & Sound. ] Designed to help citizens of Wroclaw, Poland, reclaim neglected parts of their city this site-specific “microinstallation” provides comfortable urban furniture for an otherwise hard-to-occupy staircase.

Build-A-Bug: Mini VW Beetle Model Made of LEGO Blocks

[ By SA Rogers in Design & Products & Packaging. ] Assemble a miniature model of the iconic Volkswagen Beetle with a new kit from LEGO, reproducing the car in minuscule detail from a surfboard-holding roof rack to a four-cylinder air-cooled engine and fuel tank.

Slated for Greatness: 15 Innovative Modern Tile Designs

[ By SA Rogers in Design & Fixtures & Interiors. ] With a history of use in human structures dating back to the 13th century BCE, decorative tilework has adapted along with our tastes and manufacturing abilities to become even more beautiful and versatile than ever before.

Walk on Water: Christo Unfurls 1 Million Square Feet of Golden Cloth

[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Installation & Sound. ] Known for his work on large-scale art projects, including the world’s biggest interior art installation, artist’s latest piece features over 1,000,000 square feet (100,000 square meters) of shimmering yellow fabric, wrapped around floating docks that span for miles up to and across Lake Iseo in Italy.

Scrubbed: 12 Washed Up & Washed Out Abandoned Bathhouses

[ By Steve in Abandoned Places & Architecture. ] Public baths may have a checkered history and a not-so-squeaky-clean image but these dozen abandoned bathhouses prove things aren’t always cut & dried.

Space Age 3D Furniture: Skyscrapers & Rockets Support Stellar Tables

[ By WebUrbanist in Design & Furniture & Decor. ] Furniture designer and sculptor Stelios Mousarris has added a new twist to his latest 3D-printed creation, taking a leap from sweeping cityscapes to impromptu launch platforms with a spaceship-supported glass coffee table.

Urban Fairytales: Hyperrealistic Paintings of Kids Exploring the City

[ By SA Rogers in Art & Drawing & Digital. ] Modern-day children move through a decidedly un-fairytale-like world with unlikely gangs of friendly wild animals to protect them in this series of paintings so realistic, it takes a moment to realize they’re not photographs.

Origami Footwear: Lightweight Lace-Free Shoes Wrap & Fit Any Feet

[ By WebUrbanist in Design & Products & Packaging. ] A Japanese designer and Italian shoemaker have taken a fresh approach to athletic footwear, adapting the minimalist art of cloth wrapping to form the basis of a flexible shoe that fits any foot shape.

Figurative Furniture: 15 Designs With Life of Their Own

[ By SA Rogers in Design & Furniture & Decor. ] Does the human tendency to place a higher value on living things that resemble our own image even extend to furniture?

Pop Arch: Improbable Design Illustrations Made with Autocad

[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Drawing & Digital. ] Used by architects and engineers, Autocad and other computer-aided design (CAD) programs have a long history as boring and blunt instruments of drafting, but this architectural illustrator has breathed new life into these drawing and rendering tools.