Industrial Silos to Public Art: Massive Mural for Vancouver

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Silo Mural Vancouver 1

Six industrial silos along the heart of Vancouver’s waterfront have been transformed into colorful, towering human figures in a massive mural project by Brazilian street artist duo Os Gemeos. The identical twins, known for large-scale and often politically-charged urban art, raised funds via IndieGoGo to complete the project for the Vancouver Biennale.

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The silos are a landmark for the city, sitting within an ocean cement manufacturing and distribution plant on Granville Island, but they’re not exactly nice to look at. While the rest of the island is brimming with colorful plants and costumed buskers, the silos stand as the final tie to its industrial past.

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The Sao Paulo-based brothers raised over $25,000 for the 2014-2016 Biennale exhibition celebrating art in public spaces, helping to offset the total cost. The finished work, which will be the team’s largest yet, will be unveiled on September 7th, 2014. The mural will measure a total of 23,500 square feet and stand 75 feet tall.

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“We have an ongoing project called ‘Giants’ that has been realized in several places in the world such as Greece, USA, Poland, Portugal, the Netherlands, Brazil and England, and we will continue now in Canada, but with a difference. As the proposed Biennale has a strong connection with sculpture, we decided to find a place where the painting can be transformed, creating a dialogue between the two-dimensional and three-dimensional worlds.”

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“Another aim of this project is to bring new characters to Vancouver while sharing perspectives and cultures and establishing a relationship between the people who frequent this site and integrate this work into city scenery. The connection between water and land on Granville Island, on the false creek margins, also had a lot to do with the choice of location – for us, the water acts as a vein, symbolizing life, and it is very present in our work.”


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LEGO Architecture: 12 Sets Explore Buildings Brick by Brick

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LEGO Architecture Main

Whether official or fan-created, LEGO architecture sets enable wannabe builders to understand just how some of the world’s most iconic structures come together in terms of architectural elements, form and lines. The brand has created an architecture series exploring “the fascinating worlds of architecture, engineering and construction,” and LEGO enthusiasts – including architects – have come up with a few of their own.

Monochromatic Architecture Studio Set

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Luring in architects with its monochromatic color scheme that enables the focus to be on form and shape, the LEGO Architecture Studio set is an all-white series containing over 1,200 pieces. An accompanying 268-page book includes the work of famous architecture firms like Sou Fujimoto, MAD Architects and Safdie Architects and covers principles like modules and repetition, creating surfaces, working in context and symmetry. Not only can it strengthen design skills in an average person, it can actually be used by working architects to create 3D models.

Limited Edition Marina Bay Sands Hotel

LEGO Architecture Marina Bay Sands

Rumored to be set for release only in Asia, the limited edition Marina Bay Sands Hotel set recreates Singapore’s striking cantilevered resort. It’s unclear exactly when this set, which was teased in the back of a LEGO instruction booklet, might be available to the public. Marina Bay Sands is the world’s most expensive building and contains a hotel, convention and exhibition facilities, theaters, restaurants and a 150-meter infinity pool on the roof (which is replicated with translucent blue bricks in this set.)

LEGO Towers by Bjarke Ingels Group

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An architecture concept that was inspired by LEGOs is fittingly rendered in the little plastic bricks with this model from Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG.) The model uses conventional LEGO bricks to show off the design for LEGO Towers, a proposal for a residential, retail and hotel development in Copenhagen. It’s at 1:50 scale, uses 250,000 bricks and took five weeks to build.

Fallingwater

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Perhaps the most well-known private residence in America created by an iconic architect, Fallingwater seems like it was made to be recreated in LEGOs, with its blocky stacked silhouette. Frank Lloyd Wright’s most famous design was completed in 1937 and is considered a feat of engineering, its cantilevered floors jutting out over a waterfall.

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Audio Hop: Best NYC Art Gallery Tour You Have Ever Heard

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nyc gallery audio tour

A new way to experience galleries, their artwork and the city they inhabit, even calling it a tour sells short this extremely impressive multimedia experience. Complete with props and layered audio recordings, all interspersed with civic trivia and high-speed humor, the whole Audio Hop production feels like an well-executed piece of dynamic performance art, in which you can play any number of parts. Launching next month, this hop is well worth a stop, a look and a listen.

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David Behringer, the curator of this experience, is exuberant, knowledgeable and very dedicated, visiting over 250 galleries in Chelsea each month to find the five most worthy ones to show any given group (and rotating with each tour). From start to finish, his personality and enthusiasm make it work. For an simple sample, check out his video recap below showing ten of his favorite exhibits from 2013 – then click here to buy tickets for the program starting next month.

Unlike a traditional audio walking tour, this one features both live and prerecorded sound, all delivered wirelessly to an inconspicuous device, letting its guests meander through the galleries but also break away from the group. The clips include carefully curated and edited interviews with artists and other soundbites related to a given work or its context. “A hidden radio transmitter allows you to hear your guide from any distance (in total secret) AND listen to insightful audio clips of the artists themselves while you’re in the gallery.”

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Effectively, you and your fellow half-dozen tour-takers feel both empowered to enter galleries that might seem open or feel welcoming you but also liberated from the the feeling of being tied to a traditional clustered bunch of gawking tourists. You can fall behind and linger, or stride ahead to the next stop, all while absorbing auditory input in the background.

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andreas gursky_gagosian gallery

30 out of 30 reviewers on TripAdvisor rated David’s private tours as ‘Excellent’, effectively a unanimous a 5-star recommendation. WebUrbanist’s own Executive Editor had the opportunity to a sneak peak at his new and more-public offering this summer and was beyond impressed – what were individual tours are morphing into something suddenly more accessible.

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mark di suvero_paula cooper gallery

If it was not already clear: we would strongly recommend taking a trip with David to anyone who wants to get a glimpse of the art world … or simply wishes to take a artfully curated walk through New York City, learning about the neighborhood, its architecture and artwork alike. Even if you are not in the area, you can still check out the blog to learn about fantastic new works.

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rain room gallery installation

Above: The Mots Amazing Art of the Year in NYC, 2012 edition. From TheTwoPercent.com: “New York City contains the highest concentration of contemporary art galleries in human history. The result is the opportunity to enjoy the best art on the planet in a museum-like environment, without the crowds, for free, IF you can sort through the ever-changing 500+ galleries to find the most unique, jaw-dropping experiences. Good news, we found them. You’re invited on an unprecedented live audio experience of the most cutting-edge art in the world.  It’s a secret tour that takes you to the best, lets the artists speak for themselves, and give you complete freedom to wander.”


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Chameleon Pen: Scan, Save & Draw Up to 16 Million Unique Hues

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[ By WebUrbanist in Design & Products & Packaging. ]

scribble surface scan grab

Five years ago it was an mind-boggling design concept, but today the idea color-changing pen has morphed into a working prototype that draws colors from objects and surfaces, natural or artificial, then lets you use them in all kinds of creative ways. This real-world version can make over 16,000,000 different tones and store over 100,000 unique colors in its memory.

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scribble pen user interface

Imagine the possibilities of Scribble, both artistic and practical: instead of trying to mix just the right paints to capture a landscape or replicate a color scheme for your interior remodel, you can scan the actual colors of environments and use those. Users can then upload, store, tag and share their color picks for future applications.

original color scanning pen

 

see n scan pen

The Color Picker by Jinsun Park (shown below) was a purely conceptual design model at the time, but operated on the same principle (like the Photoshop eyedropper tool), made to contain a series of inks that (much like a printer) would mix in the appropriate amounts, reproducing colors scanned into it. This new variant on the device also converts the colors into other formats (like binary, decimal and hexadecimal) that can be saved and deployed for digital art. And with cartridge refills, you will never need to buy another color of pen.

scribble pen prototype

The applications are myriad: “For the colour blind, kids, interior decorators, homeowners, teachers, artists, photographers, designers and students, the Scribble colour picker pen will make copying an exact colour, any colour from any object, an absolute breeze. With Scribble you can scan, match or compare colours, draw on paper or your mobile device.” Of course, you don’t have to scan in a new color – you can always mix your own on the computer and input that preferred tone too.

scribble nature scanning tool

scribble child user example

scribble tablet device upload

Here is the executive summary from the company: “Scribble is the first coloring device of its kind that can take the world of color around you and transfer it directly to either paper or your favourite mobile device. Simple hold the Scribble’s scanner up to any color, like on a wall, a book or magazine, a painting or even a child’s toy and within a second or two that color is stored in Scribble’s internal memory. You can now instantly draw on paper with the Scribble Ink Pen or draw on a digital device like an iPad or Wacom Tablet with the Scribble Stylus Pen.”


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Time in Color: Skatepark Graffiti Acts as a Working Sundial

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[ By Steph in Architecture & Cities & Urbanism. ]

Skatepark Graffiti 1

Skaters at this park in Lugano, Switzerland don’t have to pull out their phones to check the time – they can just glance down at a series of colored lines painted right onto the concrete of the bowl as a modern sundial. A ribbon of rainbow hues curves up and down the undulating surface, the sun and shadows revealing the current hour.

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A different line of color indicates each hour of the day, marked off as the sun passes overhead. Designed by Moscow group Zuk Club, the vibrant park is like an abstract modern mural customized specifically to the shape of the bowl and the surrounding area.

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It’s an interesting and visually resting concept, though perhaps no match for the largest and most complex skate parks around the world. Skaters who find ordinary skate parks unimaginative should check out 13 examples of highly skateable architecture, ranging from the specially renovated interior of a hunting lodge to Zaha Hadid’s futuristic science center in Germany.


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Hyperphotos: Architectural Hybrids Remix Built Environments

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hyperphoto endless staircase image

There is something almost mystical (or mythical) about these photographic collages, at once apparently realistic in content and seemingly impossible in composition.

hyperphoto urban city montage

hyperphoto babylon

The Hyperphotos portfolio of Jean-Francois Rauzier, a French artist and photographer, represents years of captured images overlaid to create incredibly detailed composites. “In his monumental works he mixes the infinitely big and the infinitesimal, in a profusion of details so unusual as fascinating. The image thus recomposed numerically gives way to the dreamlike world of the artist.”

hyperphoto reflected mythical interior

Some seem to reflect the nature of their places of origin, from New York City and Paris to Istanbul and Barcelona, or the time period from which the architecture originates, from ancient cathedrals to modern brownstones.

hyperphoto stacked bridges

hyperphoto infinite future city

Others are works of almost pure fantasy, casting the viewer into imaginary futures or impossible pasts. While people, plants and animals are sometimes included, the focus of his fascination is almost always a built environment.

hyperphoto inside religious structure

About the artist: “Fascinated by photography from an early age, Jean-François Rauzier graduated from the School Louis Lumière in 1976. He has since been working as a professional photographer, while developing a personal creative work. In 2002, his artistic work takes an innovative and radical turn.” Now “he creates virtual images consisting of several hundreds of shots, taken with a telephoto lens and assembled by computer.”


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Urban Camo: Body Paint Blends Humans into City Backdrops

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Urban Body Paint Camo 1

Human figures blend into iconic New York City scenes, from the Brooklyn Bridge to the Guggenheim Museum, in artist Trina Merry‘s tromp l’eoil urban camouflage works. Each subject is carefully posed against a backdrop and painted in place to virtually disappear.

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The work is reminiscent of that of Liu Bolin, the Beijing-based artist known as the ‘Invisible Man,’ who spends hours studying his chosen locations and painting himself and other subjects. It’s also another amazing example of surreal and sometimes mind-bending works of art that use human bodies as canvas.

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“My surface is living, breathing human beings making this a highly relevant & immediate medium,” says Merry. “The painting is temporary, like a Tibetan sand painting, beginning to change into another work as soon as I stop painting, changing texture & color.”

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“For this reason highly intentional photography has become an important part of documenting my work… likewise, I work with y human canvases on poses, creating new opportunities for line & Form. My work is sometimes experienced live as an installation, for example, at museums, or preserved through photographs as limited edition fine art prints.”


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