Author Archives: Jessi

Banksy Surprise

Photo credit: Jon Kay

Photo credit: Jon Kay

Elementary students in Bristol, England were surprised when they returned after a break to find a mural by acclaimed street artist, Banksy, on one of the school’s buildings. The students at Bridge Farm Primary School had recently voted to rename the building after Banksy. The elusive artist rewarded them with a work of art on their campus. The artist left a hand-written note to the students as well. The final line reading, “…it’s always easier to get forgiveness than permission.”

Source: This is Collosal

Promoting a Healthy Building Culture

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Economic Innovation Group (EIG) is a Washington, D.C. based collaborative institution working to advance solutions that empower entrepreneurs and investors in forging a more dynamic and entrepreneurial economy throughout the United States. The group recently released their findings on issues of blight in U.S. cities outlined in the Distressed Communities Index. Using a seven metric system the group created a customized data set that gives a ranking to more than 25,000 zipcodes. The seven metrics the group utilized ranged from percent of unoccupied housing that is habitable, median home income, and change in number of businesses in a three-year period. The group created interactive maps, infographics, and a findings report using the compiled data.

“It is intended to facilitate a better understanding of the pervasive pessimism many Americans feel about their own communities and personal economic prospects in spite of years of steady U.S. economic expansion. Looking forward, it aims to identify the communities most at risk of being left behind by the country’s continued growth and development in the years to come.”

Source: Cleveland Scene Magazine

Brutal Ruins: Casa Sperimentale

Oliver Astrologo

Oliver Astrologo

Outside of Rome, in the coastal village of Fregene, architect Giuseppe Perugini built his own experimental home Casa Sperimentale. Perugini’s residence “…combined an array of rotating structures, suspended prefab modules and kinetic elements in a masterful use of Brutalist concrete aesthetics.” The house has sat vacant since Perugini’s death in 1995. Photographer and urban explorer Oliver Astrologo captured a series of images of the building in its desolate beauty.

Source: Visual News

Google Earth Anomalies

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Artist Clement Valla’s Postcards from Google Earth capitalizes on the digital anomalies that occur during the generation of still satellite images for the Google Earth. Valla focuses on the images’ edge conditions and states: “They are the absolute logical result of the system. They are an edge condition—an anomaly within the system, a nonstandard, an outlier, even, but not an error.”

Source: Visual News

Capturing Construction: Historic Images of Seattle’s Space Needle

Workers stand inside the Space Needle’s restaurant level, circa January 1962. (George Gulacsik / Courtesy of The Seattle Public Library)

Workers stand inside the Space Needle’s restaurant level, c. January 1962. (George Gulacsik / Courtesy of Seattle Public Library)

The Seattle Public Library is now the repository for 2,400 never-before-displayed photographs of the construction of Seattle, Washington’s iconic Space Needle. The unique collection chronicles the construction process from pouring the foundation to the placing of glazing in the restaurant. The collection offers an intimate view into the implementation of an engineering and design wonder.

Source: The Seattle Times

From Above: Impacts of Industrial Farming

Aerial Feedlots | Mishka Henner

Aerial Feedlots | Mishka Henner

While combing satellite images of American farmland, British photographer Mishka Henner  noticed anomalies in the landscapes. Bodies of water were unnatural colors and the aerials appeared manufactured or altered. In fact, they were; the landscapes were the sites of massive waste lagoons—the byproduct of industrialized farming. The open-source satellite images also allow Henner to publish and present Feedlots without fear of criminal suit over the controversial “Ag Gag” laws.

Source: inhabitat

Earth-Sheltered Architecture

Edgeland House, Austin, TX | Bercy Chen Architects

Edgeland House, Austin, TX | Bercy Chen Architects

Present day subterranean dwellings often merge modern design aesthetics with architectural traditions that are as old as humanity itself. Tailored to the landscapes of their specific geographic settings, they are both visually striking and energy efficient—utilizing traditional passive heating and cooling techniques, and advanced design and building techniques. The Edgeland House in Austin, Texas by Bercy Chen Studio sits on a rehabilitated brownfield site and is described as “a modern reinterpretation of the Native American pit house, one of the oldest architectural forms known in North America.”

Source: Web Urbanist

Trending: Map Coloring Books

Moscow’s Luzhniki Olympic Complex | Gretchen Peterson

Moscow’s Luzhniki Olympic Complex | Gretchen Peterson

A trend that is gaining momentum, adult coloring books are being created by artists, designers, and architects. Now, Gretchen Peterson—a GIS mapmaker paving the way for female cartographers—is helping to bring the art of map design to a larger audience with her graphically intricate project City Maps: A coloring book for adults. The book’s 40+ illustrations depict aerial line drawings of cities the world over satisfying adults’ impulse to color.

Source: City Lab

Ruins of the USSR: “Soviet Ghosts”


Soviet Ghosts | Rebecca Bathory

Photographer Rebecca Bathory blends the urban explorer experience with her journalistic-style documentation of the crumbling ruins of a once vast empire. Her book, Soviet Ghosts, documents the “strange interval caught between modernity and antiquity” of the former Soviet Union’s Brutalistic and Stalinist architecture. Bathory sees her work as a form of visual preservation, as the images may soon be all that remains of this once monumental architecture now decaying and abandoned.

Source: Visual News

Flea Market Montage

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Spanning time and place, artist J. Frede creates new landscapes utilizing discarded photographs found at thrift stores and flea markets by juxtaposing lines from one image into the next. The completed montages are framed to show their wayward edges but still unify the images into a singular composition. Of the body of work, entitled Fiction Landscapes, Frede says “Arranging these into new landscapes that never existed speaks to the stitching together of human behavior and how we relate to time and the past: How many people have stopped at that rest stop and taken nearly the same photo of the plain hillside? All locking their own associations into the view, first road trip with a new love; last road trip to see grandma; one of many road trips alone.

Source: Visual News


#throughfresheyes | Kristen McCalla

#throughfresheyes | Kristen McCalla

In a brilliant form of cross-promotion, The New York Times Lens blog tasked its readers to revisit and photograph places they may have previously overlooked and upload them to Instagram with the tag #ThroughFreshEyes. Viewing these places “through a different lens” allowed readers and photographers to find visual treasures in places they once perceived as mundane.

Source: The New York Times