Urban Instagrammers


Instagram—currently numbering over 300 million users—has become a revolutionary medium for wide-scale image sharing for amateur photographers. The Guardian has done all city lovers and Instagram fans a favor by creating a list of the best urban Instagrammers in the United States. The list highlights a diversity of visions, locations, and aspects of a city captured by Instagrammers.

To see what students, alums, and faculty of The University of Texas at Austin’s School of Architecture have been documenting during their research travel, check out the Visual Resources Collection’s Instagram.

Source: The Guardian

Special Preservation Status for Historic Stores in Barcelona

Source: City Lab

Source: City Lab

Historic status granted to architectural sites, both monumental and vernacular, is common all over the world. The distinction often places varied degrees of protection on those structures and sites. However, in a unique circumstance, a Barcelona city committee has slated 228 historic stores for protected status.

The ultimate goal of the protection plan is to preserve the buildings in their current state, or more specifically, to preserve their fixtures, furnishings, and decor. In certain elite cases, the buildings, as well as the businesses themselves, will be preserved—or for as long as market forces allow. The onus will be on prospective proprietors to convince the committee their proposed business plan will enhance or improve what already exists without compromising the original integrity. The petition highlights a much debated point between preservationists and planners: can (and should) an historic city survive/exist frozen in time?

Source: City Lab

New London Bridges

Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 4.22.12 PMIn the center of London—on the South Bank of the River Thames—is the new Nine Elms development. The site includes embassies and mixed use development and is a prime location for a new pedestrian and bicycle connection across the Thames. In addition, a new bridge is slated for construction, which will link Nine Elms to Pimlico. Many architecture firms submitted designs; seventy-four designs were chosen for public viewing and four have been listed as semi-finalists in a competition that will decided which design is constructed. Each of the four designs is unique. Check out the full list of posted entrants here.

Source: Visual News

Women Creating More Sustainable Cities for Women


The City Fix has highlighted four women leaders from Japan, Mexico, United States, and India who are making cities more sustainable.

For example, Fumiko Hayashi, Mayor of Yokohama, Japan has increased equity in Yokohama by eradicating the extensive wait list for government child care to allow for women of all social classes to re-enter the workforce sooner. In India, Ekroop Caur the Managing Director of Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) has revolutionized public transportation for women through increasing safety and comradery. BMTC installed separate boarding for women, CCTV cameras and panic buttons in both buses and bus stations, as well as women-only buses during rush hour. Through these leaders’ acute sensitivity to women’s challenges in urban environments , they have succeeded in increasing access to opportunity and independence for their female constituents.

Source: The City Fix

School Lunches Around the World

Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 1.17.11 PMA chain of salad restaurants SweetGreen, which educates kids about eating healthy, exercise, and sustainability in United States, wanted to draw attention to the more than 30 million students every day who get their lunch from schools in the U.S. For these children, school-provided lunches account for more than half of a students’ daily calorie intakes. Their fascinating photo series shows what kids all around the world eat each day at school.

Source: Visual News


Scenes and Sorrows: A Portrait of Weeping Mary

"Trey's Ride" O. Rufus Lovett

“Trey’s Ride” O. Rufus Lovett

In the special series deep in the heart of (a transforming) TexasNPR highlights O. Rufus Lovett’s photo essay of the unincorporated town of Weeping Mary in East Texas. Lovett creates a portrait of a community rich in spirit, in which people are “married to this place which is theirs and appears to stand still, but which subtly moves forward with the rest of the world in the twenty-first century.” Weeping Mary initially drew the artist—curious about the origin of the name—to the location. Rooted in local lore, the name refers to a story about a woman whose home was swindled from her and how she weeps for her loss. Lovett’s imagery appears timeless and depicts the town with reverence and beauty.

The published body of work is available through The University of Texas Press, Weeping Mary.

Source: NPR All Things Considered

A Central Nervous System Born from Text


Artist Barbara Wildenboer’s Library of the Infinitesimally Small and Unimaginably Large project creates sculptures constructed out of carefully cut books that are pieced and layered together to replicate the human nervous system. The books’ bindings not only frame the pieces but serve as a spine for the sensorium. Wildenboer’s works often center on scientific subject matter and geography—capturing the complex and interconnectedness of natural systems.

Source: Colossal

Photographer Abelardo Morell at the Harry Ransom Center

A Mad Tea Party, 1998 | Abelardo Morell

A Mad Tea Party, 1998 | Abelardo Morell

This week at the Harry Ransom Center (HRC), Cuban-born photographer Abelardo Morell will give the Amon Carter Lecture in the HRC’s Prothro Theater on Thursday, March 26th at 7 pm. Doors open at 6:30.

The HRC’s current exhibition, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, features five photographs from Morell’s Alice in Wonderland series. Morell’s images utilize reproductions of Lewis Carroll’s original character sketches arranged in “scenes” literally pulled from the pages of the book. Morrell states on his website: “When I began to make photographs illustrating this book by Lewis Carroll I had in mind that books themselves should form the architecture and landscape where the story takes place. Because books belong to both the physical and imaginary worlds, I thought that they might serve Lewis Carroll’s tale well. Traveling to Wonderland could seem, after all, to be an experience very much like that of walking across the pages of a story—like going deep into a book.”

Source: Harry Ransom Center: The University of Texas at Austin

Art of the Hive


Artist Ren Ri’s “Yansu II” is an extension of his past work with beeswax which combines his interest in molding and insect ethology. Ri defines “Yuansu” as “…a comprehension of the gestalt of life.”

The bees collaborate with Ri forming their work around a queen placed in the center of a plastic polyhedron filed with a framework of sticks. Every seven days—inspired by the seven days of creation—Ri moves the piece and changes the gravity of the honeycomb; the directional change is determined by the roll of a die.


Preserving Modernist Style in the Wake of Urban Commercialism

The MacDonald House, designed by Seibert. (Larry Reinebach)

The MacDonald House, designed by Seibert. (Larry Reinebach)

City Lab (The Atlantic) offers a closer look into the influence an architecture school had in shaping Sarasota, Florida into a modernist haven and the challenge of preserving that legacy. Sarasota School of Architecture Professor Tim Seibert’s design career spanned over sixty years and helped put Sarasota on the Modernist map. However, as Sarasota’s population has changed so has its modernist identity. Currently the city is debating how to maintain its original identity as strip malls and high-rise condos go up in place of beach-front bungalows. Preservationists: keep an eye on Sarasota as its plans for preservation develop.

Source: City Lab (The Atlantic)

Next Stop: Atlantic Ocean

Next Stop Atlantic - Stephen Mallon

Next Stop, Atlantic – Stephen Mallon

For ten years, decommissioned NYC subway cars have been discarded into the Atlantic Ocean by the Metropolitan Transit Authority with the intention to create artificial reef habitats on the eastern seaboard. The cars—stripped of seats, windows, and equipment—are hauled along the coast from Delaware to South Carolina. Once deposited in the ocean, they act as stable surfaces for marine organisms to attach themselves. Next Stop, Atlantic is a striking collection of images documenting the cars as they enter the ocean on their way to becoming something radically different than what was envisioned by their creators and those who rode in them.  Images taken by industrial photographer Stephen Mallon are devoid of human interaction and capture action stilled in the frame—evoking a haunting and abandoned quality to his beautiful imagery. The exhibition at NYU’s Kimmel Galleries runs through March 16th.

Source: 6sqft.com