Rural Retrofuturism: Dystopian Visions of Swedish Countrysides

Bild

[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Drawing & Digital. ]

dystopian everyday life field

Set in an alternate-reality Sweden of the 1980s and 90s, these stunning paintings remix pastoral landscapes with futuristic robots, telling a story of a world that could have been. Robots roam alongside dinosaurs while people go about their everyday lives in surreal juxtapositions that seem all the more real for their everyday contents.

dystopian futuristic sweden

dystopian winter vehicles

dystopian print

dystopian flying machine

Simon Stålenhag‘s artwork has spread like digital wildfire across the internet over the last few years, and the announcement of a pair of English-language books (Tales from the loop) of his images and stories has been met with overwhelming support – his crowdfunding campaign has already raised more than 25 times is modest original goal.

dystopian floating tractor

dystopian fuel station

dystopian robots police car

The backstory could be the plot for an upcoming science fiction movie if fans have their way: “In the 1950s, the Swedish government orders the construction of a large particle accelerator. The state agency RIKSENERGI is tasked with developing this massive project. In 1969 the The Facility For Research In High Energy Physics is ready, located deep below the pastoral Mälaröarna-countryside. The local population soon calls it THE LOOP.”

dystopia rural countryside pastoral

dystopian scenes buildings

dystopian loop story

“The side effects of the project are dramatic. Strange sightings and bizarre rumours taints the scientific image of The Loop. In the shadow of the weird machines filling the countryside, life continues as normal. The kids of Mälaröarna grew up living above the technological marvel of The Loop, but for them it was just a part of their very ordinary lives. Until strange beasts from another time showed up, that is.”


Want More? Click for Great Related Content on WebUrbanist:

Robots of Brixton: A Short Dystopian Film by Factory Fifteen

Robot protagonists engage in an urban uprising in London's Brixton neighborhood in this short dystopian digital film by Factory Fifteen. Click Here to Read More »»


Rural Urbanism: Forest Community of One-Pole Tree Houses

Pristine nature versus urban development seem ever at war, but this designer proposes a low-impact, small-footprint approach for cross-kingdom co-habitation ... Click Here to Read More »»


SEM Microscopy: 32 Visions Of A Miniature World

Scanning Electron Microscopy allows scientists to enter a miniature world full of fantastic creatures and otherworldly objects. Click Here to Read More »»


Share on Facebook

[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Drawing & Digital. ]

[ WebUrbanist | Archives | Galleries | Privacy | TOS ]


Big Free Library: Public Pavillion Built of 50,000 Stacked Books

Bild

Warning: DOMDocument::loadHTML(): Unexpected end tag : p in Entity, line: 12 in /var/www/html/web3/html/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/exponent_web_media_pinterest/exponent_web_media_pinterest.php on line 1466 [ By WebUrbanist in Architecture & Public & Institutional. ]

lacuna large volume art

Stacked books form the structural columns of this remarkable structure while support beams in between serve as shelves for even more volumes that can be borrowed, all scanned and donated by the Internet Archive. Even the roof is formed of reading material, featuring fluttering book pages suspended from support wires. Like Free Little Libraries, this huge book repository offers its wares to anyone who wants to take a novel to read and (optionally) return, in turn letting each person who interacts with it to permanently shift its shape.

lacuna building structural books

Opening in one month at the Bay Area Book Festival, this temporary building is made to dissolve – the act of removing books from its shelves will change the way it looks and how light passes through its emptying walls. Reading benches in and around its twelve alcoves provide spaces for retreat or interaction.

lacuna structural design diagram

The title of this project, Lacuna, is also an obscure word referring to missing pages or sections of a book. Its creators FLUX Foundation have a great deal of experience building robust but interactive public art and architecture, including large-scale projects for Black Rock City (as part of the Burning Man festival). Over 200,000 books were actually donated by the Internet Archive, but the remaining 150,000 volumes will be saved for future similar projects.

lacuna project sketch

The Book Festival will also feature talks and readings by hundreds of authors as well as other structures and exhibits. More on the design and its inspiration: “Lacuna is a temple to books. Each of the twelve alcoves of Lacuna are formed by pillars created out of stacked books. Connecting these pillars are shelves filled with books. Above, fluttering book pages attached to guy-wires create a thatch-like roof, creating a space in which visitors literally, and figuratively, inhabit the interiority of books and their contents. “


Want More? Click for Great Related Content on WebUrbanist:

Book Mountain: MVRDV Designs Glass Pyramid Library

A new public library in the Netherlands by MVRDV flouts the conventional wisdom of keeping books in the dark, placing them under a glass pyramid-shaped ... Click Here to Read More »»


Lilliputian Library: 4500 Miniature Books Form Huge Collection

Peek into the astonishing collection of a miniature book enthusiast who may have the littlest huge library in the entire world. Click Here to Read More »»


Face Books: 4 Written Portraits form 3D Autobiographies

Move over, Facebook. Here is a novel hybrid celebration of the written word, printed page, physical sculpture and possibilities of cutting-edge technologies. Click Here to Read More »»


Share on Facebook

[ By WebUrbanist in Architecture & Public & Institutional. ]

[ WebUrbanist | Archives | Galleries | Privacy | TOS ]


Big Free Library: Public Pavillion Built of 50,000 Stacked Books

Bild

Warning: DOMDocument::loadHTML(): Unexpected end tag : p in Entity, line: 12 in /var/www/html/web3/html/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/exponent_web_media_pinterest/exponent_web_media_pinterest.php on line 1466 [ By WebUrbanist in Architecture & Public & Institutional. ]

lacuna large volume art

Stacked books form the structural columns of this remarkable structure while support beams in between serve as shelves for even more volumes that can be borrowed, all scanned and donated by the Internet Archive. Even the roof is formed of reading material, featuring fluttering book pages suspended from support wires. Like Free Little Libraries, this huge book repository offers its wares to anyone who wants to take a novel to read and (optionally) return, in turn letting each person who interacts with it to permanently shift its shape.

lacuna building structural books

Opening in one month at the Bay Area Book Festival, this temporary building is made to dissolve – the act of removing books from its shelves will change the way it looks and how light passes through its emptying walls. Reading benches in and around its twelve alcoves provide spaces for retreat or interaction.

lacuna structural design diagram

The title of this project, Lacuna, is also an obscure word referring to missing pages or sections of a book. Its creators FLUX Foundation have a great deal of experience building robust but interactive public art and architecture, including large-scale projects for Black Rock City (as part of the Burning Man festival). Over 200,000 books were actually donated by the Internet Archive, but the remaining 150,000 volumes will be saved for future similar projects.

lacuna project sketch

The Book Festival will also feature talks and readings by hundreds of authors as well as other structures and exhibits. More on the design and its inspiration: “Lacuna is a temple to books. Each of the twelve alcoves of Lacuna are formed by pillars created out of stacked books. Connecting these pillars are shelves filled with books. Above, fluttering book pages attached to guy-wires create a thatch-like roof, creating a space in which visitors literally, and figuratively, inhabit the interiority of books and their contents. “


Want More? Click for Great Related Content on WebUrbanist:

Book Mountain: MVRDV Designs Glass Pyramid Library

A new public library in the Netherlands by MVRDV flouts the conventional wisdom of keeping books in the dark, placing them under a glass pyramid-shaped ... Click Here to Read More »»


Lilliputian Library: 4500 Miniature Books Form Huge Collection

Peek into the astonishing collection of a miniature book enthusiast who may have the littlest huge library in the entire world. Click Here to Read More »»


Face Books: 4 Written Portraits form 3D Autobiographies

Move over, Facebook. Here is a novel hybrid celebration of the written word, printed page, physical sculpture and possibilities of cutting-edge technologies. Click Here to Read More »»


Share on Facebook

[ By WebUrbanist in Architecture & Public & Institutional. ]

[ WebUrbanist | Archives | Galleries | Privacy | TOS ]


Fantastic Cities: 48-Page Urban Coloring Book Made for Adults

Bild

[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Drawing & Digital. ]

fantastic aerial view

Coloring books are no longer just for kids, as this one designed for adult colorists illustrates in beautiful black and white. Showing urban scenes both real and imagined, these fictional, actual and hybrid views could take hours each for enthusiasts to fill in, and, psychologists argue, may even profit mental health benefits beyond the fun of simply reliving a childhood activity.

fantastic citiesss

fantastic cities book

Canadian artist Steve McDonald, the man behind Fantastic Cities, is known for works of a similar style, but these have historically been found in galleries and collections: “small on-site studies that are usually done with pencil/chalk on colored paper and large format studio work which is usually done with pencil & charcoal/chalk with acrylic washes on paper. Steve has also gained a lot of attention for his highly detailed ‘ bird’s eye view ‘ renderings of villages, cities and rural scenes as well as his compositions of machinery and his popular flying vehicle series.”

fantastic landscape

fantastic filled in color

In this book, Steve selected scenes from major cities like New York and San Francisco, providing aerial drawings of real places but also stylized works based on the architectural and urban character of other cities, all with extreme levels of detail that leave readers with much to color.

fantastic cities urban cityscape

There may even be psychological benefits to coloring: “by engaging multiple parts of the brain, coloring allows us to focus on the lines, movements, and colors in front of us, use our imaginations and be creative, and de-stress.” More about the book: “This unique coloring book features immersive aerial views of real cities from around the world alongside gorgeously illustrated, Inception-like architectural mandalas. Available July 7th from Chronicle Books.”

fantastic cities books

fantastic cities black white

Nor is this an isolated piece – according to the New York Times, “major publishers are seizing on the trend. This year, Little, Brown will release four illustrated coloring books for adults, all subtitled ‘Color Your Way to Calm.’ The books, ‘Splendid Cities’ by the British artists Rosie Goodwin and Alice Chadwick and three titles by the French illustrator Zoé de Las Cases, feature detailed cityscapes with famous landmarks, cafes and street life. Promotional materials for the books emphasize the health benefits of ‘mindful coloring,’ noting that the activity “has been shown to be a stress reliever for adults.”


Want More? Click for Great Related Content on WebUrbanist:

Book of Cities: Rise & Fall of 10 Places Over 200 Years

We take it for granted that London and New York will grace the pages of books, but would you be surprised to learn that Madrid and Cairo were once as commonly ... Click Here to Read More »»


Pencil vs. Camera: Illusion Drawings Pop Off the Page

You might think artist Ben Heine has Photoshopped himself into his own pencil drawings, but he’s actually standing on top of them. Much like the ... Click Here to Read More »»


Pop-Up Pulp: Book Covers Made Into Dramatic 3D Scenes

Pulp fiction cover art is fabulous enough in its own right, but Thomas Allen takes it to new heights with his weird but hilarious pop-up cover art. Click Here to Read More »»


Share on Facebook

[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Drawing & Digital. ]

[ WebUrbanist | Archives | Galleries | Privacy | TOS ]


Networks of New York: Field Guide to Internet Infrastructure

Bild

[ By WebUrbanist in Travel & Urban Exploration. ]

network guide

We tend to think of the internet as something akin to aether, present all around us in the void – or perhaps something traveling down a series of tubes – the reality is much more complex, rich and intriguing.

networks of new york

In an upcoming book titled Networks of New York: An Internet Infrastructure Field Guide, Ingrid Burrington presents an urban variation on a naturalist’s handbook, giving you the tools to tour the real-life objects that are often obscured or simply hidden in plain sight all around cities.

network internet infrastructure handbook

From the author, “New York’s network infrastructure is a lot like the city itself: messy, sprawling, and at times near-incomprehensible. However, the city’s tendency toward flux is a strange blessing for the infrastructure sightseer: markings and remnants of the network are almost everywhere, once you know how to look for them.”

network field guide notes

The story starts with manhole covers and progresses through street markings, which follow a federal color-coding standard: “Orange refers to the broad catch-all of ‘Communications, alarm, signal lines, cables and conduit.’ This means that orange lines can be internet cables, television cables, telephone lines, or other kinds of conduits.”

network deciphering symbols systems

“The markings are sometimes really sloppy, and often in fragments. Sometimes you’ll see several different labels in the same place. A lot of these cables are bundled up together running through ducts under the city.” Suddenly all of the strange acronyms are comprehensible, including but not limited to: CATV, NXTG, T, ECS, RCN, MCI, L3, XO and FO.

field guide example

The book also branches out to cover different kinds of antennas security cameras we are so used to seeing but many of which we do not understand the purpose of at a glance, from subway wifi devices and distributed antenna systems to CrimeEye, MTA and NYPD surveillance camers.

field guide examples

Finally, the authors builds up to the biggest elements of the built environment: architectural structures housing various large-scale elements of internet infrastructure along the city. Some of these are well-known, but the book brings to light a series of buildings less frequently visited, and provides tips on how to identify others.

field guide illustrations

Recognizing “these buildings when looking on the street is not always easy, but one telltale sign is to look for signs of ventilation and cooling systems. Alternatively, look for windows, or more accurately, the absence of them. (Note: on much larger buildings, in particular skyscrapers, vents also could just be a sign of a mechanical floor, the centralized space dedicated to maintaining utility needs for the entire building).”


Want More? Click for Great Related Content on WebUrbanist:

Decoding Streets: Secret Symbols of the Urban Underground

Somewhere between city signs and street graffiti lies a surprisingly rich and colorful language of secret messages, all hidden in plain sight on roads and ... Click Here to Read More »»


Windows Zero: 9 Telecom Infrastructure Buildings

They may not have windows, workers or office space yet blankly mysterious telecom infrastructure buildings are an essential part of the urban megalopolis. Click Here to Read More »»


Free T-Shirt & Final Tag: Banksy’s Goodbye to New York City

After an intensive month-long residency in America’s biggest city with daily updates, street artist Banksy is leaving behind a strangely mixed legacy of ... Click Here to Read More »»


Share on Facebook

[ By WebUrbanist in Travel & Urban Exploration. ]

[ WebUrbanist | Archives | Galleries | Privacy | TOS ]


Networks of New York: Field Guide to Internet Infrastructure

Bild

[ By WebUrbanist in Travel & Urban Exploration. ]

network guide

We tend to think of the internet as something akin to aether, present all around us in the void – or perhaps something traveling down a series of tubes – the reality is much more complex, rich and intriguing.

networks of new york

In an upcoming book titled Networks of New York: An Internet Infrastructure Field Guide, Ingrid Burrington presents an urban variation on a naturalist’s handbook, giving you the tools to tour the real-life objects that are often obscured or simply hidden in plain sight all around cities.

network internet infrastructure handbook

From the author, “New York’s network infrastructure is a lot like the city itself: messy, sprawling, and at times near-incomprehensible. However, the city’s tendency toward flux is a strange blessing for the infrastructure sightseer: markings and remnants of the network are almost everywhere, once you know how to look for them.”

network field guide notes

The story starts with manhole covers and progresses through street markings, which follow a federal color-coding standard: “Orange refers to the broad catch-all of ‘Communications, alarm, signal lines, cables and conduit.’ This means that orange lines can be internet cables, television cables, telephone lines, or other kinds of conduits.”

network deciphering symbols systems

“The markings are sometimes really sloppy, and often in fragments. Sometimes you’ll see several different labels in the same place. A lot of these cables are bundled up together running through ducts under the city.” Suddenly all of the strange acronyms are comprehensible, including but not limited to: CATV, NXTG, T, ECS, RCN, MCI, L3, XO and FO.

field guide example

The book also branches out to cover different kinds of antennas security cameras we are so used to seeing but many of which we do not understand the purpose of at a glance, from subway wifi devices and distributed antenna systems to CrimeEye, MTA and NYPD surveillance camers.

field guide examples

Finally, the authors builds up to the biggest elements of the built environment: architectural structures housing various large-scale elements of internet infrastructure along the city. Some of these are well-known, but the book brings to light a series of buildings less frequently visited, and provides tips on how to identify others.

field guide illustrations

Recognizing “these buildings when looking on the street is not always easy, but one telltale sign is to look for signs of ventilation and cooling systems. Alternatively, look for windows, or more accurately, the absence of them. (Note: on much larger buildings, in particular skyscrapers, vents also could just be a sign of a mechanical floor, the centralized space dedicated to maintaining utility needs for the entire building).”


Want More? Click for Great Related Content on WebUrbanist:

Decoding Streets: Secret Symbols of the Urban Underground

Somewhere between city signs and street graffiti lies a surprisingly rich and colorful language of secret messages, all hidden in plain sight on roads and ... Click Here to Read More »»


Windows Zero: 9 Telecom Infrastructure Buildings

They may not have windows, workers or office space yet blankly mysterious telecom infrastructure buildings are an essential part of the urban megalopolis. Click Here to Read More »»


Free T-Shirt & Final Tag: Banksy’s Goodbye to New York City

After an intensive month-long residency in America’s biggest city with daily updates, street artist Banksy is leaving behind a strangely mixed legacy of ... Click Here to Read More »»


Share on Facebook

[ By WebUrbanist in Travel & Urban Exploration. ]

[ WebUrbanist | Archives | Galleries | Privacy | TOS ]


Last Stop: Photo Book Documents 150 Vanishing US Rest Stops

Bild

[ By WebUrbanist in Culture & History & Travel. ]

rest stop photo montage

For the last five years, this photographer has been traveling around the United States and capturing an eclectic but dying breed of roadside architecture: the American rest stop.

rest stop brick wood

rest stop simple a frame

the last stop big bend

rest stop waggon cannon

Ryann Ford of Austin, Texas, who has taken 150 pictures of  these to date, notes that this architectural typology has been associated with ” rest, relief, hospitality, and nostalgia” for the last half-century. The shots shown here include Big Bend National Park, Texas (FM 170), Walker Lake, Nevada (U.S. 95), Thackerville, Oklahoma (I-35), Clines Corners, New Mexico (U.S. 66/I-40), Monument Valley, Arizona, and more.

the last stop photo book

the last stop picture pages

the last stop cover page

Though The Last Stop has just reached her crowdfunding goal on Kickstarter, there is still time left to support the project in return for this oversized coffee table book which will be filled with 100 pages of images and stories. It represents both an aesthetic treat but also a critical archive of these structures, many of which are being abandoned or destroyed. Polaraids, prints and other prizes are also available.

rest stop map image

rest stop abandoned deserted

rest stop desert roof

rest stop picnic area

“When interstate highways were first built, passing up many small towns, rest stops were a way to reconnect people to the places they were traveling though. They gave small towns a chance to show their cultural significance. Rest areas have become relics of America’s roadside past. These sites not only illustrate a unique period in the American travel experience, but are significant for the architectural forms found within them.”


Want More? Click for Great Related Content on WebUrbanist:

Empty Spaces: Photo Book Documents Eerie Urban Ruins

Crumbling cathedrals, decaying theaters and half-destroyed camping cabins: urban explorer Johnny Joo has seen it all, and he doesn’t just document these ... Click Here to Read More »»


Go Somewhere Else: 8 Abandoned Roadside Rest Stops

Rest stops and welcome centers are to highway travel what oases are to desert caravans, with one exception: when an oasis dries up, the camels unload anyway. Click Here to Read More »»


The Bus Stops Here! 34 Bus Stop Guerilla Marketing Hacks

Most bus stops are... less than stellar. Unfortunately, the only way most bus stops generate excitement is through advertiser-driven guerilla marketing. Click Here to Read More »»


Share on Facebook

[ By WebUrbanist in Culture & History & Travel. ]

[ WebUrbanist | Archives | Galleries | Privacy | TOS ]


Tiny Flip Books Filled with Secret Slots & Negative Spaces

Bild

[ By WebUrbanist in Design & Products & Packaging. ]

flip book negative space

Pushing the limits of the traditional printing craft, these stunning little Japanese flip books illustrate the power of slicing, splicing, zooming and panning, all to create a series of vertigo-inducing effects and dizzying optical illusions.

gif dizzying flip books

Flipping through the pages of these creations of artist Mou Hitotsu reveals a series of hidden surprises, including embedded objects and stories that unfold in the negative space cut out progressively in sequential sheets of each volume.

gif flip book design

Some of these play into abstract and surreal short stories about planetary systems or biological processes while others are simply used to convey holiday-themed wishes.

flip book secret surprise

Via Colossal and spotted by Travelry during a book convention, there are a number of works in this series from JP Books, each one playfully using similar devices to tell different tales as the pages unfold.


Want More? Click for Great Related Content on WebUrbanist:

Static Flip Books: 360-Degree Scenes in Panoramic Pages

Like a flip book, there is no text, and each page of these volumes contains a slightly different scene. But that is where the similarities end and the fun ... Click Here to Read More »»


4500 Miniature Books Form Huge-but-Tiny Collection

Peek into the astonishing collection of a miniature book enthusiast who may have the littlest huge library in the entire world. Click Here to Read More »»


Edgy Art: Fore-Edge Paintings Hidden in Historical Books

Invisible at a glance, artists have long hidden fore-edge artwork in plain sight, resulting in works that are sometimes first spotted decades or even centuries ... Click Here to Read More »»


Share on Facebook

[ By WebUrbanist in Design & Products & Packaging. ]

[ WebUrbanist | Archives | Galleries | Privacy | TOS ]