Adam Nowek

Deconstructive Graffiti By Alexandre Farto

Scratching the Surface

Alexandre Farto’s ongoing project, entitled ‘Scratching the Surface’, takes a wall of a building and chips away at it until a portrait emerges. The locations vary, from the sides of beautiful buildings in Moscow to derelict buildings in London to abandoned interiors in Portugal. The result is the transformation of a bland surface in public space to an ornate piece of art, free for all to see.

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Landscape Artists ‘Grassify’ Interior Of York Cathedral

Grass church, York

As far as art installations go, this is certainly one of the most sacrosanct: laying down real God-fearing grass inside of the nave of York Minster in England. The pious pitch was installed by Wow! Grass!, which I hereby declare to be the greatest possible name for a group of people that install grass. York Minster laid down the saintly sod in time for a major benefit dinner to raise funds for the building’s maintenance. The 900-guest dinner was recently held as part of the Diamond Jubilee for Queen Elizabeth II.

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Urban Working Fuel: The Eco-Pod


The ever-inimitable Blah City recently brought our attention to the Eco-Pod, a concept developed by Höweler + Yoon Architecture in collaboration with Squared Design Lab. The pods are both modular office spaces (and, as everyone knows, we love all things stackable) and sources of fuel: the pods harvest micro-algae, which serves as a highly promising bio-fuel type.

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  • Studio Gil’s Urban Toy Box

    ToyBox by Studio Gil

    One of the trends of 2012 in design, especially in the urban context, is ensuring that play is a fundamental part of our daily, public lives. London-based Studio Gil Architects seem to agree, but have put together a concept that is directed at those that need play the most: children.

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    A Smart Guide To Utopia: 111 Inspiring Ideas For A Better City

    A Smart Guide to Utopia

    Last year, Le Cool invited us to be one of the contributors to a new book about ideas and projects that improve the city. We were very glad to find the final result in our post box some weeks ago. ‘A Smart Guide to Utopia’ is a book about cool urban initiatives, but not just another book about cool urban initiatives. It starts out with a fabulous admission from Ben Hammersley: that the city is the natural habitat of humanity. We need our cities just as much as they need us. They are the engines of humanity, and this book shows 111 different ways that this is happening right now.

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  • #ILoveVancouver: A Temporary Outpouring Of Love


    With a little help from other Vancouver-loving folks, local entrepreneur Graham Anderson put out the call for I Love Vancouver Day on Facebook recently. The idea was to recreate the iconic images of renewal from last year’s riot clean-up, where boarded-up shop windows were covered in written confessions of love and apologies to the city that so many adore.

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    Cargotectural Futurism: New Designs For New Dilemmas

    Container City, London

    Pop-Up City’s resident container expert here with yet another report on shipping container urbanism. We love shipping containers, or, at least, re-using them: whether it’s making offices, hotels, or coffee houses, we’re ardent supporters of the cargotecture trend. But the logical end point of container urbanism appears to be on the horizon: shipping container cities.

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    #IABR — An Urban Rooftop Farm In Downtown Rotterdam

    Dakakker, Rotterdam

    Meet the Dakakker. As part of the 5th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam, the Rotterdam Test Site has included the city’s first rooftop garden on top of the Schieblock building. The garden houses vegetables and herbs (and some bees, too!), with the produce heading to local restaurants and a soon-to-be-opened shop.

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