Bench to Bedroom: Urban Furniture Turned Homeless Shelters

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[ By Steph in Design & Guerilla Ads & Marketing. ]

raincity housing project shelter

Whereas London and Montreal have installed spikes on the sidewalks to keep homeless people from getting too comfortable, Vancouver offers a kind welcome with benches that transform into mini-shelters. A nonprofit called RainCity Housing teamed up with Spring Advertising to create the modified public benches in order to provide a covered place to sleep while simultaneously raising awareness.

Bench Homeless Shelter 1

RainCity provides specialized housing and support services for the homeless in Vancouver. This two-part project highlights the importance of RainCity’s work without a hint of the exploitation that’s often seen in homeless awareness campaigns, avoiding stereotypical images of derelict people and focusing on a solution instead.

Bus Bench Homeless Shelter 3

Bus Bench Homeless Shelter 4

The first bench, which reads ‘FIND SHELTER HERE,’ has a built-in roof that can easily be folded up when needed. The second features the message ‘This is a bench’ during the day. At night, glow-in-the-dark ink highlights the text ‘This is a bedroom.’

bench bedroom homeless shelter

The Vancouver campaign is one of many thoughtful projects that meet at the intersection of activism and urban design. An open-source street store that’s easy to set up in any city offers free clothes for the homeless, and 14 thought-provoking ideas seek new ways to manage the issue of homelessness whether by meeting the immediate needs of people who live on the streets or providing more long-term transitional living spaces.


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Book of Shadows: 2D Shape Cutouts Cast Silhouettes on Pages

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motion train animated example

A children’s book with an interactive twist, Motion Silhouette engages readers through pop-up pieces that require lighting to animate shadow pictures on each page.

motion train moving page

motion train other page

motion womans face page

motion butterfly shape page

The idea is to add elements of manual animation that are necessarily subjective – each person will hold, turn and highlight the cutouts in different ways.

motion animated book shadow

motion silhouete tree city

motion silhouette

Secondary readers or viewers (young kids watching over parents’ shoulders) will also have their own unique experience each time.

silhoutte book one

silhouette spider web

silhouette plant shapes

silhouette cross page

silhouette bird page

Motion Silhouette is actually a sequel to another book, simply titled Silhouette (excerpts shown above), a work which similarly uses slightly less-developed pop-up pages to create a more basic multi-dimensional experience.

motion silhouette book

From its Japanese creators, Megumi Kajiwara and Tathuhiko Nijima: “I will begin to talk about the story and illustrations shadow falls on top of the page overlap. In this work, you can enjoy the animation of shadow phantasmagoric by you move the light. Trees and become bigger and bigger, which aims to train a distant star. Story that changes depending on the page falling shadows, shadows move around the top of the page.”


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Earin: World’s Smallest Wireless Earbuds Raise $1,500,000+

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earin wireless mobile audio

Stripping away all non-essential functionality, these sleek audio accessories are tiny enough to be effectively invisible and entirely wire-free. No need to worry about charging, either – their small carrying case lets you power them back up on the go.

Earin just finished raising £972,594 on Kickstarter, over 5 times its original funding goal, reflecting how much so many of us wish to get rid of those pesky wires when listening to music on the move.

earin mobile wireless earbuds

earin detail bud specs

Beyond long battery life, ergonomic comfort, snug sport-friendly casing other essential considerations, stretch goals for the project include waterproofing, phone adapters and battery monitors.

erin capsule container

From its creators: “No unnecessary functionality has been added. No sensors, no lights and no microphone, that’s right – no microphone! Not because we couldn’t but because we wouldn’t! We use balanced armature speakers, used in professional in-ear-monitors and hearing-aids to deliver the best possible sound and to keep power-consumption at its minimal. High-density rechargeable batteries are used to keep playback time up and size down.”

earin package complete

Much of the technical specs on their Kickstarter page will be of interest to audiophiles (and show just how much these makers have thought about their project), but in summary: “The architecture of the earbud is based on two main covers which are ultrasonically welded to create a water-tight seal, protecting the electrical components. The materials are carefully selected to withstand both climate and impact testing. As all project members have extensive experience of creating similar consumer products, we know what works and what does [not].”


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Cabins in the Canopy: 13 Modern Tree Houses by Baumraum

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[ By Steph in Architecture & Houses & Residential. ]

Baumraum Treehouse Solling 1

Ranging from minimalist elevated meditation cabins to complex climate-controlled company meeting spaces, the many treehouse creations of German company Baumraum offer unconventional and often strikingly modern silhouettes in natural settings. Custom-designed and costing anywhere from $25,000 to nearly $200,000, these treehouses and treehouse hotels are places for adventure and retreat amongst the foliage.

Treehouse Halle
Baumraum Treehouse Halle 1

Baumraum Treehouse Halle 2

Baumraum Treehouse Halle 3

Stairs ascend through a hole in the roof of a garage on a German property, spiraling around an oak tree to reach the Treehouse Halle. Baumraum set this zinc and wood structure 11 meters above the ground as a sleeping and relaxation space, supported by two steel stilts anchored to the lower part of the tree. A double-sized bed peeks out a large window onto the surrounding landscape.

Almke Treehouse
Baumraum Treehouse Almke 1

Baumraum Treehouse Almke 2

A lucky scout group in Wolfsburg, Germany gets to meet at this elevated clubhouse constructed around a pine tree, with two almost-identical wooden volumes set at staggered heights within the forest canopy. The Almke Treehouse provides a place to gather, eat and sleep, with the lower volume full of bunk beds for eight.

Treehouse Djuren
Baumraum Treehouse Djuren 1

Baumraum Treehouse Djuren 2

An elliptical volume with egg-like sides seems to float above a wooded family property in Northern Germany, supported on a series of four stilts around two are oak trees. Sleeping benches covered in gray felt offer a comfortable perch from which to look out onto the trees.

Treehouse Solling
Baumraum Treehosue Solling 2

Baumraum Treehouse Solling 3

Baumraum Treehouse Solling 4

Treehouse Solling hovers above a pond like something out of a fairytale, an unusual two-story structure with a rounded roof punctured by a skylight. The treehouse serves as a sleeping place and observation point connected to a nearby forester’s cabin via a cable-suspended bridge. Like most of Baumraum’s structures, the outside is covered in zinc plating and the inside is lined with timber.

Treehouse in Belgium
Baumraum Treehouse in Belgium 1

Baumraum Treehouse in Belgium 2

Baumraum Treehouse in Belgium 3

This treehouse was envisioned as the perfect place for a paper company to brainstorm about sustainability among nature. Located in a forest in Belgium, the climate-controlled space is a lot more like a conventional building than most treehouses, containing a kitchen, lounge and restroom as well as a ventilation system and motion-sensor LED lights. It offers all the comforts of a meeting space within an office, but in an environment that’s a lot more conducive to creative thinking.

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WTF Is Street Art? Poster Boy Hacks NYC Sign by High Line

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[ By WebUrbanist in Drawing & Digital. ]

wtf is street art

If you have spent any time along the High Line Park in Chelsea, you will recognize this extremely prominent billboard that one artist had the audacity to climb and hack.

wtf street art dynamic

The original message (WTF is alternate side of the street parking anyway?) was selectively deleted to make way for a replacement question.

wtf street art gif

Working at night, Poster Boy risked discovery by people parking and picking up their cars in the directly adjacent lot, not to mention being highly visible from the street.

high line amphitheater view

During the day, visitors sitting in the over-street theater seats within the elevated park have a direct view of this huge black-on-yellow poster. It is doubtful the change will survive long, so check it out while it lasts!

halloween pumpkin carved cone

wolverine movie subway ad

movie poster ad hack

Known for his creative edits of local signage and hacked infrastructure, Poster Boy has a huge collection of photos you can browse of his work, ranging from small stickers added in unusual contexts to whole-billboard transformations.


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WTF Is Street Art? Poster Boy Hacks NYC Sign by High Line

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[ By WebUrbanist in Drawing & Digital. ]

wtf is street art

If you have spent any time along the High Line Park in Chelsea, you will recognize this extremely prominent billboard that one artist had the audacity to climb and hack.

wtf street art dynamic

The original message (WTF is alternate side of the street parking anyway?) was selectively deleted to make way for a replacement question.

wtf street art gif

Working at night, Poster Boy risked discovery by people parking and picking up their cars in the directly adjacent lot, not to mention being highly visible from the street.

high line amphitheater view

During the day, visitors sitting in the over-street theater seats within the elevated park have a direct view of this huge black-on-yellow poster. It is doubtful the change will survive long, so check it out while it lasts!

halloween pumpkin carved cone

wolverine movie subway ad

movie poster ad hack

Known for his creative edits of local signage and hacked infrastructure, Poster Boy has a huge collection of photos you can browse of his work, ranging from small stickers added in unusual contexts to whole-billboard transformations.


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All Terrains: 3 Futuristic Land, Sea & Air E-Vehicle Designs

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[ By WebUrbanist in Technology & Vehicles & Mods. ]

land sea air vehicles

This amazing all-terrain land variant is just the first of three compelling electric vehicles conceptualized with lightweight materials and green technologies and designed, respectively, for overground, aerial and underwater travel.

nimbus concept e car

nimbus offroad concept car

nimbus electric vehicle design

First of this series by Eduardo Galvani, the Nimbus features an electrical engine powered by a lithium-ion battery that works in parallel with a combustion micro-generator for recharging.

nimbus interior dashboard view

nimbus all terrain vehicle

nimbus on the road

Its structure is composed of carbon-fiber, titanium and aluminium, lightening its load. It also features rooftop solar cells and a regenerative brake mechanism helping it recover and save kinetic energy. Panoramic wraparound windows allow for views out in all directions, while key design elements are picked up in the dramatic sky and sea variants shown below.

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SCADpads: Parking Garage Turned Tiny House Village

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SCADpads tiny house village 1

Just how livable can a 135-square-foot micro-house really be? That’s what an interdisciplinary group of students, faculty and alumni at Savannah College of Art and Design set out to learn with ‘SCADpad,’ an experiment that has turned a parking garage into a village of tiny houses.

SCADpads tiny house village 2

SCADpads tiny house village 3

The larger question that the team wanted to answer was, how can design change the world? SCADpad is an example of transforming an uninhabitable space into sustainable and efficient housing using the millions of parking spaces in the United States that are typically vacant at any given time.

SCADpads tiny house village 4

SCADpads tiny house village 5

SCADpads tiny house village 6

Each of the three SCADpad units has its own theme and visual identity reflecting the college’s global footprint, with a common green space fostering a sense of community. It took 10 months to design and develop the project, from its architectural footprint down to the remote home controls.

SCADpads tiny house village 7

SCADpads tiny house village 8

Artists from SCAD helped design and decorate the interiors, including large-scale paintings, making these tiny houses visually dazzling, but it’s clear that they’re pretty practical, as well.

SCADpads tiny house village 9

SCADpads tiny house village 10

Students, faculty and special guests lived in the SCADpads from April through June of 2014, documenting the experience on Instagram.


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WTF Is Street Art? Poster Boy Hacks NYC Sign by High Line

Bild

[ By WebUrbanist in Drawing & Digital. ]

wtf is street art

If you have spent any time along the High Line Park in Chelsea, you will recognize this extremely prominent billboard that one artist had the audacity to climb and hack.

wtf street art dynamic

The original message (WTF is alternate side of the street parking anyway?) was selectively deleted to make way for a replacement question.

wtf street art gif

Working at night, Poster Boy risked discovery by people parking and picking up their cars in the directly adjacent lot, not to mention being highly visible from the street.

high line amphitheater view

During the day, visitors sitting in the over-street theater seats within the elevated park have a direct view of this huge black-on-yellow poster. It is doubtful the change will survive long, so check it out while it lasts!

halloween pumpkin carved cone

wolverine movie subway ad

movie poster ad hack

Known for his creative edits of local signage and hacked infrastructure, Poster Boy has a huge collection of photos you can browse of his work, ranging from small stickers added in unusual contexts to whole-billboard transformations.


Want More? Click for Great Related Content on WebUrbanist:

Zaha Hadid’s Apartment Block Overlooking NYC High Line

A glittering glass apartment block with volumes flowing into each other in dynamic stacked arrangements will be architect Zaha Hadid’s first building in ... Click Here to Read More »»


15 High-Dollar Hacks: Steampunk Home Hacks & Vehicle Mods

Steampunk is moving closer to mainstream. Some people drop buckets of money on steampunk hacks. Here are 15 high-dollar hacks to thoroughly steampunk cars and ... Click Here to Read More »»


Urban Nest: New Round Amphitheater Section for High Line

New York’s elevated park is expanding in new directions both physically and proverbially, its new addition a stark circular shift from the overall linear ... Click Here to Read More »»


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Subway Cars to Churches: 15 Creatively Converted Offices

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[ By Steph in Architecture & Offices & Commercial. ]

Converted Offices Soccer 1

Anything from a graffiti-covered subway car to a Route 66 gas station can become the setting for creative modern offices. Architects and intrepid homeowners have converted junked buses into home offices, $20 construction trailers into backyard studios and subterranean garages into company headquarters.

Slice of an Old Bus Turned Home Office
Converted offices School Bus 1

Converted Offices School Bus 2

One creative thinker in Hungary saw something most of us wouldn’t when he gazed at an old bus sitting in a junkyard: a corner office. That is, a home office in the corner of his bedroom, made from a sawed-off section of the bus. A new paint job and working lights give the bus a fun update.

Former Steel Plant to Light-Filled Work Space
Converted Offices Steel Plant 1

Converted Offices Steel Plant 2

The existing shell of a former steel plant has become a wide-open industrial setting for the offices of engineering firm IMd, with sections in the two-story structure linked by foot bridges. Translucent volumes set within the large space provide quiet and private places to work and meet without sacrificing the spacious feel.

Underground Garage to Architecture Studio
Converted Offices Garage 1

Converted Offices Garage 2

Half-hidden by an overgrowth of ivy, all that’s visible of this architecture office from ground level are a few desks and some unusual lighting. Architect Carlo Bagliani remained an underground car garage as an inhabitable workspace filled with industrial accents. A long glass wall facing the lawn prevents the subterranean space from feeling dark and cramped.

Low Budget House-to-Office Conversion
Converted Offices Low Budget House

Austrian architecture firm Bad Architects turned a house in Innsbruck into their own office on a tight budget using sliding-wall systems made of foam to divide the interior spaces. The foam panels feature cut-out patterns that let light pass from one space into another, and give the office visual appeal from the street.

Graffiti-Covered Subway Cars to Rooftop Offices
Converted Offices Subway Cars 1

Converted Offices Subway Cars 2

Graffiti-covered subway cars (or ‘tube carriages’ as they’re known in the UK) were hauled onto a rooftop and stacked together to create offices for international arts charity Village Underground. The spaces are leased to creative small businesses and art-related start-ups, who’d naturally feel right at home in a reclaimed urban space decorated with vivid street art.

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