All items from Web Urbanist

Pigeon Portraiture: Photographer Highlights Beauty of Everyday Urban Bird

[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Photography & Video. ]

An oft overlooked wonder of the urban wilderness, the common pigeon is much more than it appears, with a rich history of aristocratic breeding dating back centuries.

Photographer and native New Yorker Andrew Garn has spent years documenting these creaturing and collecting them into a book titled The New York Pigeon: Behind the Feathers to share their “personalities, expressiveness, glorious feather iridescence, and deeply hued eyes.”

Birds that used to be exchanged between the wealthy as gifts have grown to have different associations, and created a whole industry of pigeon defense systems for urban architecture.

Ghostly, Plant-Filled Abandoned Houses in Tehran Symbolize Toll of War

[ By SA Rogers in Art & Installation & Sound. ]

A series of abandoned houses in Iran’s capital city overflow with vegetation in varying states of vitality and decay, making them feel untamed, out of control and perhaps impossible to save. In some rooms, saplings spring up from cracks in concrete with a certain defiance, and flowers bloom in the dim light. In others, dead garlands drip down staircases, and shrubs that should be evergreen have begun to wither and turn brown. The variation speaks to the different ways in which people might respond to their homes suddenly no longer being safe – whether they find a way to go on, or succumb.

Sleep in a Legend: Bauhaus School Opens Student Rooms to Public Guests

[ By WebUrbanist in Boutique & Art Hotels & Travel. ]

A pivotal institution in the early development of Modernism, the iconic Bauhuas school in Germany has been renovated to match its 1926 look and feel, complete with studios and sleeping spaces now open to the public.

The student rooms, now available for rent, are small, minimally appointed and feature private balconies, designed as spaces to sleep, hang up one’s clothes and work a bit in a chair at a desk, but mainly austere to drive people to collaborate in studio spaces.

Urban Rewilding: Reverse-Engineering Cities to Save Nature – And Ourselves

[ By SA Rogers in Architecture & Cities & Urbanism. ]

In an age of mass extinctions and climate chaos, can we reverse-engineer some aspects of our built environments to live in greater harmony with nature? Many of our cities are built on former wetlands, fighting a losing battle with erosion and the sea. We’ve lined important ecological corridors with concrete. We’ve hunted into oblivion many of the very species that could help keep the rest of the food chain in check. Much of our architecture is focused on shutting ourselves away from nature, as if we could escape it. But advocates for ‘rewilding’ say all we have to do to repair some of the damage humanity has wrought upon the Earth is let go of our obsession with control.

The concept of rewilding has been around for decades, and it’s not necessarily a cohesive movement or concept, but rather a collection of related goals. Some define ‘rewilding’ specifically as the reintroduction of apex predators to certain regions, but just as often, it simply means allowing nature to take over far more often than we do. That might look like any number of things: removing sea walls and dams, reinstating river meanders, protecting certain marine sites from fishing and harvesting, allowing brownfield sites to grow wild after cleanup, making concrete channels more hospitable to wildlife or restoring floodplains.

Out Of Time: Abandoned Virginia Renaissance Faire

[ By Steve in Abandoned Places & Architecture. ]

The abandoned Virginia Renaissance Faire in Fredericksburg, Virginia was a short-lived medieval-themed festival whose days (and knights) were numbered.

It seemed like a good idea at the time… the Nineties saw a global explosion of “ren faires” and you practically needed a catapult to get on that particular bandwagon. Not to mention that Sherwood Forest had both an ideal name and an idyllic location deep in the Virginia countryside. How could the Renaissance Entertainment Corporation resist its allure? In time, they would wish they’d have done just that.

Mobile Phone Airbag: Spring-Loaded Legs Deploy to Save Dropped Devices

[ By WebUrbanist in Gadgets & Geekery & Technology. ]

Protecting better than conventional cases or edge bumpers, this “active dampening” unit acts like an airbag for your portable handheld gadget, springing to action as it heads toward the concrete sidewalk or hardwood floor below.

Award-winning German mechatronics design student Philip Frenzel designed the ADcase with four “legs” that auto-detect a phone’s fast motion, flipping out to slow it down upon impact. The protrusions can then be tucked back in for repeated use.

Currently a prototype, its popularity has already leant the innovation success in crowdfunding leading toward commercial production — the extra depth added by the attachment will also optionally house additional battery and a charger.