World Metro Systems


The Guardian presents a brief photo history documenitng the world’s metro systems over a one hundred year period, ranging from the first underground rail systemthe London Undergroundto Moscow’s ornate stations, often referred to as the “people’s palaces.” The collection reveals how metros over time have evolved, alongside cities, to best serve residents’ needs.

UT faculty, students , and staff can access images of world metro systems by logging into the Visual Resources Collection’s online image collection and searching key terms “subway” and “underground station” to view images from various regions and time periods.

Source: The Guardian

Vernacular Architecture One Exposure At A Time


Author Katherine Flynn highlights the upcoming issue of Preservation Magazine with a blog post featuring a recent body of work by photographer duo Steve Gross and Susan Daley. Vernacular architecture—utilitarian in nature and designed in response to needs rather than stylistic constructs—reflects a greater social message about a town, people, and region. Canvasing the country, the photographers documented structures on isolated roads in nearly abandoned towns and homesteads. Gross and Daley believe the buildings appeal “because of their familiar forms that have a sense of character, directness, and certainty about them.”  The result is a poignant, socially conscious body of work.

Source:  Preservation Magazine is the quarterly publication of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

VETS RESTORE: Veterans and Historic Preservation


VETS RESTORE, in King County, Washington, is an example of a partnership focused on civic engagement, veteran relations, and historic preservation bringing awareness to both the needs of returning veterans and historic buildings. Upon acceptance into the program, military veteran participants receive training on the theory of historic preservation. They visit current project sites in the region and receive weeks of supervised hands-on training. After completing the program, participants work as paid interns with one of the organization’s five local affiliates. Visit the VETS RESTORE Facebook page to view photos of work by the participants.


Public Art in D.C. Narrates Neighborhood Change


This month, the Washington, D.C. Commission on Arts and Humanities launched their city-wide temporary public art project called 5 x 5. The project brings an installation to each of D.C.’s eight wards. Placing an installation in each ward not only feeds the greater context of the work but decentralizes public art. The common threads of redevelopment and gentrification and how they influence the ever-changing identity of the wards are reflected in the installations. Artist Glenn Kaino superbly captures the resiliency that manifests through neighborhood change in Bridge. Bridge is made up of two-hundred unique slats. Each slat is a cast of athlete Tommie Smith’s arm with a clenched fist to replicate his appearance at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. About this gesture, Smith later commented, “Well, I didn’t actually make the Black Power sign. I was showing solidarity with all the world’s repressed people. It was a sign of freedom” which is a sentiment that still inspires those who feel repressed in the face of redevelopment.

Source: The Dirt: Uniting the Built & Natural Environments

Old and New Photo Fusion


Blogger Jason King was inspired to reflect upon Portland, Oregon’s history of hidden hydrology through viewing Photography Then and Now’s interactive photos that juxtapose an exact location through a lens of historical events and the present day. King’s images challenge one to not only contemplate urban metamorphosis through the built environment but also ecologically.

Source: Landscape+Urbanism

Lighting Designers Collaborate with Local Prisoners


In 2009 Norwegian design partners Morten & Jonas founded STUDIO Bjørgvin in partnership with the Norway correctional system. STUDIO Bjørgvin was inspired by Morten & Jonas’ desire to not only design innovative pieces but to also encourage transformative discussions and practices among local prisoners. Both of Morten & Jonas’ desires were fulfilled by the collaborative creation of the Bake me a Cake” lamp. Morten & Jones found that prisoners experienced cognitive shifts—transforming  their traditional thought patterns—through the process of design.

Source: Cool Hunting

Temporary Sand Paintings

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New York artist Joe Mangrum creates spontaneous, large, colorful sand paintings featuring intricate geometries on city streets and public plazas. Part of the intrigue of his more than 650 works created since 2009 is that they are temporary and are soon swept away. He has recently gained notoriety due to tension with authorities, but the beauty and accessibility of the works has caught the attention of several museums, where he has created incredible installations.

Source: Web Urbanist