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Underwater Homes: Deserted Basements as Stormwater Cisterns

[ By WebUrbanist in Abandoned Places & Architecture. ] In a dual effort to address urban blight and ailing infrastructure, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is piloting a new program to turn the basements of abandoned houses slated for demolition into rainwater basins.

Star Wars Speakers: May the Force (of Sound) Be With You

[ By Steph in Gadgets & Geekery & Technology. ] Blast your tunes out the eyes of either C-3PO or a Stormtrooper, the bass pounding from beneath their heads, with this set of Star Wars speakers painstakingly reproduced from George Lucas’ original designs.

Super Pier: Green-Roofed Modular Cargo Container Mall for NYC

[ By WebUrbanist in Architecture & Offices & Commercial. ] A massive 14,000-square-foot green roof is the latest addition to a city-approved pier conversion plan, part of an overall scheme to convert Pier 57 in New York City into an extensive modular shipping container mall on the water.

Subterranean Secrets: The Mystery of Liverpool’s Tunnels

[ By Steph in Culture & History & Travel. ] Starting in the basement of a home owned by a wealthy philanthropist in the 1700s, a network of tunnels descends into the earth beneath the city of Liverpool, their full extent still undiscovered even after fifteen years of exploration.

Permanent Markings: 13 Tattoo Artists With Geometric Style

[ By Steph in Art & Drawing & Digital. ] Working primarily in bold, black ink, these 13 top tattoo artists working in Kyoto, London, Berlin, Kiev and throughout the United States stand out for geometric and illustrative styles that put the emphasis on line work.

Wall on Wheels: Sliding Facade Swaps Indoor for Outdoor Space

[ By WebUrbanist in Boutique & Art Hotels & Travel. ] Tucked into an historic winding Hutong of Beijing, this work of convertible architecture featuring a modular moving wall to make maximum use of flexible interior and exterior space on demand.

Drawn Up: Architecture Firm Uses Tape for Full-Scale Floor Plans

[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Drawing & Digital. ] A clever team of architects in Oslo, Norway, mockups up full-size blueprints using a shared flat concrete courtyard behind their office, allowing colleagues and clients alike to test-drive designs in person during the schematic and design development process.

30 Frontier Finalists: NASA 3D-Printed Mars Habitat Shortlist

[ By WebUrbanist in Conceptual & Futuristic & Technology. ] A set of 30 candidates have been selected for final consideration by NASA in the 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge, including robot-constructed buildings, ice architecture and underground dwellings, all designed to turn challenges of building on Mars into opportunities.

Polyphonic Playground: Making Music with Fun Movement

[ By Steph in Design & Products & Packaging. ] Climb a ladder, swing on a hammock-like seat and run your hands along various wooden surfaces on this strange polyphonic playground, and your movements will create a unique song.

Strange Sights of France: 12 Offbeat Travel Destinations

[ By Steph in Destinations & Sights & Travel. ] You haven’t really seen France if you’ve never toured a mansion made of pebbles, taken a ride on a gigantic animatronic elephant, checked out Nazi bunkers turned guerrilla art or gazed upon row after row of horrifying anatomical curiosities.

Floating Farms: Agricultural Barges to Yield 10 Tons Per Year

[ By WebUrbanist in Architecture & Public & Institutional. ] Powered by solar-paneled roofs overhead, these barge farms feature hydroponic space for produce above and support fish farming below, using extant technologies to offshore vast quantities of food to be grown on the water.

Don’t Lets Tart: 10 Odd & Unusual Pop-Tart Flavors

[ By Steve in Design & Products & Packaging. ] Introduced in 1964, Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts have become a pop culture phenomenon boasting a host of odd & unusual flavors only a Nyan Cat could love.

Wayfinding in Subways: 3D Blueprints Show NYC Tunnel Systems

[ By WebUrbanist in Architecture & Cities & Urbanism. ] Inspired by detailed three-dimensional maps of Hong Kong subway stations, a New York artist has painstakingly documented and rendered a gorgeous series of helpful underground diagrams.

Miniature Museum: Scaled Scenes with Jaw-Dropping Details

[ By Steph in Destinations & Sights & Travel. ] Before special effects went digital with CGI, part of the magic of movie making included artists laboring over tiny scaled-down sets, creating little worlds that look totally real until a normal-sized human hand appears in the scene.

Tone Tunnels: Huge Forest Megaphones Amplify Sounds of Nature

[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Installation & Sound. ] Large enough for visitors to enter and sit within, three gigantic wooden megaphones constructed in the forests of Estonia amplify ambient sounds of the environment.

Droneport: New UAV Hub to Ship Medical Supplies Across Rwanda

[ By WebUrbanist in Architecture & Public & Institutional. ] This architect-designed drone airport will be the first of its kind, created to facilitate an unmanned aerial vehicle supply chain servicing remote areas of Africa, addressing urgent medical and other ongoing needs.

Soviet Bus Stops: Surreal Architectural Roadside Wonders

[ By Steph in Destinations & Sights & Travel. ] Standing stark against silent desert backdrops like sculptures made for Burning Man, these leftover Soviet structures are actually bus stops scattered throughout one of the most sparsely populated regions on Earth.

Hot Pop-Up Shops: 14 Imaginatively Risky Retail Designs

[ By Steph in Design & Fixtures & Interiors. ] The temporary nature of pop-up shops seems to inspire a bolder, braver, more experimental approach to retail design, encouraging architects to make use of unexpected materials and play with shoppers’ perception.

Floating Blue: Bold Plan to Expand Dense Cities into Open Seas

[ By WebUrbanist in Conceptual & Futuristic & Technology. ] Ocean cities are a longstanding Utopian dream, but many such schemes fail to address the immediate need of cramped urban centers, many of which around the world are bordered and constrained by large bodies of water.

Dirt Cheap: World’s Largest 3D Mud Printer Makes Green Homes

[ By WebUrbanist in Architecture & Houses & Residential. ] Able to print full-sized structures from mud and clay, this 40-foot-tall 3D printer represents a huge step toward printing affordable housing from free materials. The project was unveiled yesterday, debuting with a live demonstration at a three day rally event in Italy along with a series of workshops and conferences.