Tag Archives: WebUrbanist

Worlds Under Glass: 33 Miniature Cities & Architectural Sculptures

[ By SA Rogers in Art & Sculpture & Craft. ]

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Sheltered by glass vessels like tiny self-contained biomes, these miniature buildings and cities seem to have their own atmospheres and variable gravity, with houses teetering on the edges of cliffs or springing out of clouds in the sky. Artists craft small-scale structures from balsa wood, paper, cardboard and other materials and house them under domes, bottles, teapots and Victorian terrariums.

Balsa Wood Architecture by Vera van Wolferen

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Often incorporated into animations, Vera van Wolferen’s tiny balsa wood structures can also be structures telling their own stories. A recent series of structures perches tiny dwellings on stilts or stretches them several stories into the ‘sky’ beneath a glass dome, often emerging from cotton ‘clouds.’


Guerrilla Guidance: DIY Street Signs Make Urban Life More Interesting

[ By SA Rogers in Art & Street Art & Graffiti. ]


You’re hurrying along the sidewalk on the way to work, running late and not in the greatest mood, when you see a sign in the adjacent field that simply reads “PLEASE WAIT HERE, YOUR FUTURE SELF WILL MEET YOU SHORTLY.” How does that affect your day? Little moments like these can bring some much-needed levity to the world around us, especially in dark times.




Impeccably produced, often enticing you to push a button or take a card, these guerrilla installations look pretty legit until you stop to read what they say. They’re easy to miss, if you’re hustling too quickly and tuning out your surroundings – but if you take a moment to notice them, they might just make you smile.


Nolli App of Rome: Use a Classic Map as a Modern Travel Guide

[ By WebUrbanist in Destinations & Sights & Travel. ]

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The Nolli Map of Rome is one of history’s most famous works of cartography, and now a new iPhone and iPad app lets you use it to navigate in realtime, helping you both lose and find yourself in one of Europe’s most marvelous ancient cities.

nolli app of rome

Finished in 1748 after 12 years of research  by Italian architect and surveyor Giambattista Nolli, this innovative map represented a novel approach to figure-ground representation.


Streets and open public spaces were depicted as voids, but so to were enclosed civic spaces like the Pantheon. The original engraved city map consisted of 12 copper plates spanning 40 square feet, and, at the time, was the most accurate representation of the city to date.


Architectural Geodes: Subtractive Sculptor Carves Ornate Spaces

[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Sculpture & Craft. ]

carved stone sacred space

Combining the raw exterior remnants of source stones with the finely-tuned architectural details of sacred spaces, these marvelous fossil-like miniatures combine compelling elements of organic forms with heroic amounts of human effort.

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Matthew Simmonds studied art history before becoming a stonemason, then turned his knowledge and skill toward a hybrid pursuit: sculpting spaces from sandstone, limestone and marble.

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What he uncovers inside each chunk becomes part of a graceful juxtaposition with the rough and unaltered exterior shells that remain. His works also convey a sense of discovery, as if archeologists had dug down to find these marvelous wonders buried in history.