All items from Web Urbanist

Subjective City: Massive Wall Map of NYC Assembled from Handwritten Directions

[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Drawing & Digital. ]

A few years back, artist Nobutaka Aozaki started asking directions from strangers on the streets of Manhattan, then collecting those maps (hand-drawn from memory) to assemble into a huge and growing work of geographic wall art.

To aid his work, the artist pretends to be a tourist, donning souvenir apparel and carrying around a shopping bag from a popular tourist destination. He then asks New York pedestrians how to get from one location to the next, all in ways designed to fill in the gaps of his larger composition.

Re-Habit: Transforming Abandoned Big-Box Retailers to Housing for Homeless

[ By SA Rogers in Architecture & Offices & Commercial. ]

With the age of big box stores waning, all those massive abandoned retail facilities could be transformed almost instantly into housing for the homeless using a variety of plug-and-play prefab elements. The research and development studio at KTGY Architecture + Planning in Los Angeles considers what we seem to need space for the most in cities – housing people who tend to fall through the cracks as the cost of living continues to increase – and builds entire complexes of supportive spaces and services within the empty shells of stores like Sears and JCPenney.

“Re-Habit” doesn’t get rid of retail altogether. It just makes the shopping portions of each building smaller, and places bedroom pods, restrooms, kitchens, dining halls, offices, job training rooms and other spaces behind them. Each Re-Habit store would be a community-supported thrift boutique benefiting the transitional housing program.

Intelligent Interiors: Robotic Furniture Retracts to Ceiling When Not in Use

[ By WebUrbanist in Design & Furniture & Decor. ]

Driven by an artificially intelligent butler, this smart furniture system promises to free up valuable floor space by lifting and lowering modular interior design elements as needed, putting them into play or pulling them up to the ceiling on demand.

Bumblee Spaces has designed their bot to learn and adapt, anticipating needs in addition to responding to specific requests — it even scans items in storage then tracks their location for retrieval, helping you find stuff like lost keys faster. And if it’s raining, the roombot can also call down your umbrella in case you forget.

Human-Sheep Embryos to Lab-Grown Leather: Biotechnology and Animals

[ By SA Rogers in Conceptual & Futuristic & Technology. ]

Considering that it produces such controversial projects as human-sheep embryos, it’s not surprising that biotechnology is often at the center of thorny ethical debates. It’s one of those fuzzy areas of scientific study that routinely prompts headlines like Has Science Gone Too Far? While a lot of biotech simply consists of studying and modifying living cells in a lab, plenty of it concerns the welfare and use of animals, too. We read stories about how animals raised for livestock have been genetically modified to grow too quickly for their legs to support them, but on the other side of the coin, there are advancements that could alleviate suffering, like lab-grown meat and leather or new ways to reduce the need for animal testing.

Hidden Depths: 20 Tentacles of Lurking Sea Creature Sprout from Warehouse

[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Installation & Sound. ]

Any horror fan knows hinting at a larger evil with teaser visuals is a classic trick, like letting viewers imagine, for instance, what kind of hideous invader might be putting feelers out the window of this old warehouse in Philadelphia’s Navy Yard.

Titled simply Sea Monsters HERE, the inflatable installation was created by artists Filthy Luker and Pedro Estrellas in partnership with Group X, an anonymous collective of local artists and curators.

The arching purple limbs span up to 40 feet and feature blue surfaces with green suckers on the bottom to add some additional nightmare fuel. Readers (or watchers) of Stephen King’s The Mist may find the foggy images particularly compelling.

Unseen Movements: Multi-Shot Photography Captures the Complex Trails of Birds

[ By SA Rogers in Art & Photography & Video. ]

For all the effort we humans put into light art, birds have us beat – we just don’t realize it most of the time, because their work is invisible to us. Spanish photographer Xavi Bou reveals the hidden works of art produced as birds fly through the sky using a multi-shot technique that captures both the trails they create and the movement of their wings. The results look sort of like fluttery eels, or black ribbons strewn around by the wind.