• ( egoistic ) • activistic • architectural • audible • cinematic • conceptual • graphic • strategic • surface • urban • wireless
Posted by Sebastian on Dec 05, 2010
Back in September, a group of Czech artists called EPOS 257 camouflaged themselves as city-workers, went to the Palackeho square in Prague and installed a fence.
The fence was left on the square with no apparent intent or explanation.
At first, the city council didn't know about it, and when there were told, they didn't know how to deal with it - what if somebody put it there for a reason?
The fence stayed for 54 days before being removed.
Sometimes it takes a small sticker to make a big wish.
The simple fill-in-the-blank stickers are created by artist/designer Candy Chang to help citizens in New Orleans express and share their thoughts on their community.
Stickers are free and can be found in corner stores, cafes, bookstores, bars, hair salons, and other places around New Orleans.
It is not the first time that Candy Chang - a favorite of this site - made a tool designed to empower people and communities. Check for instance the remarkable Post It Note Project for Neighbours, Tenants' Rights Flash Cards and Community Chalkboards.
Posted by Sebastian on Nov 16, 2010
German artist Aram Bartholl merges physical and digital hardware in his latest project called Dead Drops.
The project consists of USB sticks embedded in public walls and structures.
The USB sticks can be used to share files anonymously and anyone can drop or find files simply by plugging a laptop into the wall (an extension cable may be needed). A map of all Dead Drops is available on a website where users can also add their own.
The project is a critical take on the 'digital cloud' where data is no longer kept private.
Related: Drop Spots
Initiated and organized by the Dutch design duo Haas&Hahn, the Favela Painting project aims at transforming favela communities in Rio de Janeiro into landmarks and inspirational monuments.
Inhabitants are encouraged and employed by Haas&Hahn to paint their own neighbourhoods and houses according to pre-arranged patterns provided by the two designers.
The eye-catching project took off in 2007 with a mural in Rio's notorious favela and since then, it has grown in scale and ambition.
Ultimately, Haas&Hahn's dream is to paint an entire hillside favela that will turn the community into an "artwork of epic scale". Hopefully their dream is shared by the people who have to live there.
Grey goes green in central Rotterdam where the Parking Garage Westblaak is being transformed from a block of concrete to a green oasis.
The new parking garage named Green Park will be covered with various plants and the structure is set to become the largest green facade project in Europe. Aside from looking pretty, the vegetation will help offset Co2 emissions, improve biodiversity and absorb rain water.
The project's main investor is Christian Stadil, a Danish buddhist, businessman and owner of the sportswear brand Hummel. The facade is designed by local architects, Kühne & Co.
Socalled vegitecture (vegetated architecture) is becoming increasingly popular, not only because of its environmental qualities, but also because it can turn ordinary buildings into urban landmarks. See for instance the BHV Homme fashion storein Paris, Arquitectonica's Ballet Valet Parking Garage in Miami and Edouard François' iconic Flower Tower in Paris.
Pavements in some areas of Copenhagen have recently been marked with mysterious cartoon-like labels.
The street artist behind the labels turn out the be the City of Copenhagen, and the aim is to make the streets safer for school kids.
By following the labels, kids are able to find the safest route between destinations in school districts.
The system is personified by a cartoon character named 'Max'. Footprints are used to visualize a route and when there is a crossing or turn to make, Max will show up and point in the direction.
• www.kk.dk (The City of Copenhagen - in Danish)
The SMS slingshot is a device designed to create digital augmented realities in urban space.
The device is shaped as a wooden slingshot with a build-in mobile phone display, a keypad and a laser. Users can type a text message and shoot it straight at a large facade. A projector pointed at the facade will show the message as a colour splash with the message written within.
The project is designed by VR/URBAN, a group of digital intervention-activists based in Berlin. They will demonstrate the device at various media-festival in the next couple of months. Check their website for dates and technical specs.
Copenhagen Poverty Walks is a new alternative walking tour giving locals as well as visitors a unique opportunity to experience the city from the perspective of homeless people.
The tours are guided by homeless themselves and during the walk, participants will hear about the guide's personal street experiences and universe.
Poverty Walks is organized by the NGO project Udenfor (Outdoor). You can read more about the walks on Copenhagen's official tourist website Visit Copenhagen.
Related: The Other Tour
Posted by Sebastian on Apr 17, 2010
Just came across a video at PopTech with Kacie Kinzer presenting her fascinating project TweenBots.
TweenBots are human-dependent robots that navigate the city with the help of the people they meet. The bots themselves are relatively 'dumb', but equipped with cuteness, they manage to get strangers to interact and collaborate.
Posted by Sebastian on Jan 13, 2010
Apparently it worked like this: Nicolas first went to selected places in Google Streetview, grabbed some of the Street View images and photoshopped himself into them. Subsequently, he went in person to the same places in Chicago, placed a print of the photoshopped Street View images at the scene they were originally taken. Then, he documented it by taking a photo of the image and put it on the web along with a a small text and a link to the Street View location.