Invisible Barn: Mirrored Surfaces Create Camouflaged Folly


[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Installation & Sound. ]


invisible structure windows reflections

Like a mirage on the horizon, the structure seems to shimmer into and out of existence, playing tricks on the eye with a combination of see-through portals and reflective surfaces.

invisible barn at night

Designed for the 2014 Folly Competition held by The Architecture League, the idea was to slip something into an existing park context that would draw attention and generate interaction.

invisible architecture mylar plywood

Deceptively, the building itself is nearly two-dimensional, adding another element of camouflage depending on the angle of view or direction of approach. Unlike its more solid cousin the invisible cabin, the result in this case could really catch you by surprise, but is still probably less dangerous to walk into by accident than a mirrored fence.

invisible mirrored architectural concept

One of the self-imposed problems its designers sought to solve revolved around the question of year-round engagement – how to make something that changed and was worth revisiting from one season to the next.

invisible building site plan

From the design brief: This mirror-finished folly is placed in the middle of the grove and reflects its surrounding environment: different species of trees and plants, sky, ground and the seasonal changes of the site. The reflection of the folly within its enclosed grove allows the structure to smoothly assimilate into the nature.”

invisible design concept drawing

“The incisions that penetrate through the folly allow visitors to maneuver in, out, and around the structure. Invisible Barn is a folly that loses its man-made architectural presence in nature but adds novel experience and interaction to the users.””

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Digital Street Eraser: Rubbing Out Reality, Photoshop-Style


[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Street Art & Graffiti. ]

street eraser graffiti wall

Analog stickering is taking on a new dimension in the hands of these street artists, a pair of creatives selectively defacing signs, billboards, mailboxes, graffiti and more.

street eraser construction process

street eraser red paint

From DsgnWrld: “Guus Ter Beek and Tayfun Sarier , two creatives behind the Street Eraser blog, are merging the digital world with the analog, sticking their adobe-inspired art throughout London’s urban fabric.”

street eraser fried chicken

Anyone who has used Adobe Photoshop should be familiar with the circular edges of the default tool and the spaces it creates.

street eraser no entry

And then there is the square checkered background that shows up when you wipe out all the layers in front of it to reveal the void.

street eraser bilboard face

The concept is clear: the world becomes a facade and the backdrop a digital no man’s land, or, better yet, a blank slate on which to re-add another layer of creative art.

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Emoji-Nation: Famous Paintings Revised for the Internet Age


[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Drawing & Digital. ]

famous edward hopper conversation

In a world of mobile devices, share icons and popup alerts, fine art is interrupted by signs and symbols of our times, adding a jarring layer of technology to recognizably classic works.

famous painting like count

famous add friend hack

famoust summer evening porch

famous art instagram share

Nastya Nudnik is the Kiev-based Ukrainian artist behind this project that pairs emoticons and other digital features with familiar images by renowned artists, from Michelangelo to Edward Hopper.

famous friend requests

classic painting did you mean

classic painting google maps

In her latest set, icons and frames are overlaid on or around artworks, but in other parts of her ongoing series emoji are paired with famous painted faces and modern movie poster are given an historical twist.

famous god is dead

famous disconnected

famous access denied

Some of the jokes are perhaps a bit obvious, so whether one wants to call this art or cartoonish vandalism is an open question. Regardless, more of her work can be found on the creator’s Behance page.

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Surreal Snippets: Gifs Elevated to Mind-Bending Art Form


[ By Steph in Art & Drawing & Digital. ]


Gifs are taking over the internet, and that’s not always a good thing. Entire conversations are carried out in the form of animated images, replacing words with snippets of out-of-context pop culture. But it’s hard to deny that they can be totally mesmerizing – especially when they’re as surreal as this. Science student Hugo Germain, known as Graphonaute, has truly elevated the gif to an art form of its own.




Objects spin in mid-air, liquid ink turns to gas, letters raise themselves off a page and float. The images defy all laws of physics, warping reality in totally unexpected ways.





Germain creates the images using a combination of live-action footage and 3D tools. Most of the images are unexplained, but occasionally the designer offers a glimpse at what he was thinking during the creative process. “That awkward moment when a dementor bumps into you,” he clarifies in regards to the image above. 


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Animated Still Lifes: 7 Relaxing Cinemagraphic Illustrations


[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Drawing & Digital. ]

animated bedroom fan gif

Reclining in the space between the extremes of sped-up, movie-style GIF files and traditional, immobile paintings, this artist brings lazy scenes of everyday reality to life.



Rebecca Mockam is a Brooklyn-based illustrator and comic artist whose cinemagraphs move only as much as needed, a different kind of visual artist’s takes on medium most often associated with photography.

animated gif magazine cover

Note that these reduced-sized examples don’t do justice to the detail and seamlessness of her originals, so it is worth looking more closely at her portfolio for these and more.

animated tabletop phone gif

Her work is peaceful and contemplative, lending itself to a lot of potential comparisons, including Edward Hopper and Norman Rockwell. At the same time, much of the subject matters is definitively contemporary, including all-too-familiar ringing phones and tablet swipes. Still-life Americana revisited, this approach (in the age of portable computers, tablets and phones) uses a medium that makes sense with its era.



Mockam has worked on everything from art exhibits and comic covers and is currently drawing a graphic novel titled Four Points, set to be released in 2015. She uses a Wacom tablet for most of her illustration work, sketches with a pencil and ink with various brush pens, and a nib & ink when it comes to drawing comics.

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Cutting Edges: Layered Back-Lit Paper Art Gets Deep & Dark


[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Sculpture & Craft. ]

paper art cave people

Together, Hari & Deepti (Deepti Nair and Harikrishnan Panicker) turn sets of two-dimensional cutouts into vivid and haunting three-dimensional dioramas, often set in shadowy fantasy spaces.

paper above and underground

paper sunken ship sea

Despite the darkness of their subject matter, in ordinary lighting conditions there is almost nothing to be seen of these pieces. The work waits in the shadows, so to speak, popping out when you turn out the lights and turn on the LEDs inside each individual light box.

paper artist in context

paper art daylight

paper cut out art

Loosely analogous to a book, perhaps, the story plays out in the space between the pages, each one individually flat but, together with illumination, adding up to something more than the sum of its parts.

paper art fantasy scene

paper art on display

While most of their works are relatively small, a recent project challenged them to build at a much bigger scale, creating an entirely monstrous (pun intended) New York cityscape (shown below).

paper artist giant sized

From the artists: “Paper is brutal in its simplicity as a medium. It demands the attention of the artist while it provides the softness they need to mold it in to something beautiful. It is playful, light, colorless and colorful. It is minimal and intricate. It reflects light, creates depth and illusions in a way that it takes the artist through a journey with limitless possibilities.”

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Pilot Projects: 8 Artistically Painted Airplanes & Jets


[ By Steve in Design & Graphics & Branding. ]

artistic airplanes
Airlines large and small are artistically painting their aircraft in flying colors to ensure the view from outside is as nice as the one from your window seat.

Shakes On A Plane

easyJet Shakespeare airplane (image via: Joshua_Risker)

It’s a bard, it’s a plane! To help celebrate the 450th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth, British budget airline easyJet has rolled out a distinctly decorated Airbus A319-111 emblazoned with the legendary English playwright’s visage. The brilliant orange and white jet is the centerpiece of easyJet’s promotional campaign supporting the establishment of an annual national William Shakespeare Day on the literary icon’s birthday, April 23rd. A curtain call for Flickr user Joshua_Risker for the eloquently Elizabethan image of Sir Will above.

easyJet Shakespeare airplane (images via:, EAPForum and

One curious feature of the promotion was the enlisting of the UK’s oldest living “William Shakespeare”, aged 91. Those interested in riding the Shakespeare plane will be pleased to note easyJet will be running special “on-bard entertainment” (their pun, not mine) flights from Gatwick Airport across the carrier’s network in the UK and Europe this summer. We’re guessing the Twelfth Night is fully booked.

Raising The Bar

Southwest Airlines Bar Refaeli Sports Illustrated 2009 airplane (images via: Brisbane Times, Flightgear/N-Scot and Carter)

In 2009 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue cover model Bar Refaeli practiced a little double coverage when her bikini-clad likeness was plastered across both sides of a Southwest Airlines 737. While the Israeli beauty herself approved of the SIxSW promotional gimmick, the airline reaped a whirlwind of controversy when some passengers felt the imagery was, shall we say, less than family-friendly.

Painted On Porpoise

Amakusa Airlines dolphin airplane (image via: Rocketnews24)

When Japan’s Amakusa Airlines decided to paint their entire fleet to resemble the company’s dolphin mascot, the firm’s accountants kept their composure… the “airline” only has one plane! Amakusa managed to make the most of their resources, however, as their workhorse twin-engine Bombardier Dash 8 turboprop was arted up to resemble a mother dolphin and her two babies – one on each side. Everybody now: “Awww!”

Amakusa Airlines dolphin airplane (images via: Rocketnews24, Naver Matome and 1TOPI)

Amakusa Airlines may be small but when it comes to social media they punch far above their weight. The company’s Facebook page gleefully promotes the plane’s extreme makeover with a marketing focus on Japan’s so-called airplane geeks. Riding the dolphin was never more fun… well, almost never.

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The Rotten Apple Project: Quick and Dirty Urban Hacks


[ By Steph in Art & Installation & Sound. ]

Rotten Apple Urban Hacks 1

Sometimes, a reclaimed piece of junk is all it takes to make a bus stop, bike rack, subway station or virtually any other urban setting more comfortable and fun. The Rotten Apple project consists of incredibly fast and cheap urban interventions that anyone can replicate in their own cities, from a simple hinged wooden board that turns a bike rack into a folding seat to improvised tools that transform scaffolding into a musical instrument.

Rotten Apple Urban Hacks 2

A piece of scrap wood and some chess pieces, fitted onto the top of a fire hydrant, becomes a public game board. An old, unused newspaper dispenser is a cold weather clothing bank with the addition of a sticker.

Rotten Apple Urban Hacks 3Commuters waiting on the bus have a place to hang their bags thanks to an old IKEA clothes hook added to a street sign. Other signs were modified into sidewalk tetherballs or double-height bike racks.

Rotten Apple Urban Hacks 4

Rotten Apple Urban Hacks 5

Magnetic boards on the subway platform aren’t just a fun way to pass the time, they can also brighten up someone’s day with a cheerful message. A window of an abandoned building, bricked up long ago, is a public bookshelf, and a sticker applied to an electric main notifies passersby that there’s an outlet hidden inside so they can charge their phones.

Rotten Apple Urban Hacks 6

The people who run Rotten Apple have chosen to remain anonymous, leaving only this quote from Victor Pananek as a clue to their motivations: “Design, if it is to be ecologically responsible and socially responsive, must be revolutionary and radical in the truest sense. It must dedicate itself to… maximum diversity with minimum inventory… or doing the most with the least.”

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