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11 Works of Art Made With Road Maps

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Whether it’s a traditional Thomas Brothers map book or Google Maps Street View, most of us use maps on at least a fairly regular basis. It’s not all that surprising that we take them for granted, but fortunately there are plenty of artists out there to remind us just how beautiful the art of cartography can be. Here are 11 great artworks made with road maps.

Nikki Rosato

In many ways, the blood and nervous system seem to serve as road maps for the human body. Additionally, when it comes to emotional bonds, we are connected to those we love in more ways than we realize. Artist Nikki Rosato brings new light to these concepts with her creations made from hand-cut road maps.

Matthew Cusick

With a few cutting devices, a bunch of road maps and a tiny bit of paint, Matthew Cusick is able to transform navigational tools into stunning portraits and nature scenes. The results remind us just how much beauty is in a standard map and how much we take the true artistry of cartographers for granted.

Shannon Rankin

Aside from having some of the most varied map creations of all the artists featured here, Shannon Rankin has one of the most concise artistic statements regarding her decision to incorporate them into her artwork, explaining, “Maps are the everyday metaphors that speak to the fragile and transitory state of our lives and our surroundings. Rivers shift their course, glaciers melt, volcanoes erupt, boundaries change both physically and politically. The only true constant is change.”

Karen O'Leary

If you have ever admired the unique shapes created when natural barriers like rivers, mountains and bays intersect with the otherwise grid-like layout of city streets, then you’ll love the art of Karen O’Leary. The artist uses maps of famous locales around the world and white paper to cut out, or occasionally to mark out, everything but the weaving lines of city streets. For example, that’s a cutout of New Orleans above and a marked-out take on London below.

Elisabeth Lecourt

If home is where the heart is and you wear your heart on your sleeve, then it only makes sense to wear your home around town. Okay, so technically you probably couldn’t actually wear these folded creations by Elisabeth Lecourt, but that doesn’t make them any less impressive, especially when you consider how few people can actually fold a road map back up into its original shape.

Susan Stockwell

Lecourt isn’t the only artist to envision maps as clothing. In fact, Susan Stockwell’s many gorgeous 3D paper dress designs look as though they could be thrown on and worn about town .

TerrorDome

Plenty of people enjoy marking the places they’ve visited on maps, but if you prefer having something a little artistic to commemorate your travels, then you might want to place a custom order with Etsy user TerrorDome who turns maps into gorgeous 3D butterflies captured in a shadowbox.

Ingrid Dabringer

If you can’t help but think of Italy as a boot ready to kick Sicily, then you’ll probably love the work of Ingrid Dabringer, who turns the shapes of cities and countries into cartoonish images of people with nothing more than a little acrylic paint and a lot of imagination.

Know any other cool works of art made from maps? If so, feel free to share in the comments.

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Design
This Amazing Clock Has a Different Hand for Every Minute of the Day
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In the video below, you can watch Japanese ad agency Dentsu transform passing time into art. According to Adweek, the project was commissioned by Japanese stationery brand Hitotoki, which produces crafting materials. To celebrate the value of handmade items in an increasingly fast-paced world, Dentsu created a film advertisement for their client depicting their goods as a stop-motion clock.

The timepiece ticks off all 1440 minutes in the day, and was assembled in real-time against a colored backdrop during a single 24-hour take. Its "hands" were crafted from different combinations of some 30,000 disparate small items, including confetti, cream puffs, tiny toys, silk leaves, and sunglasses.

"In a world where everything is so hectic and efficient, we wanted to bring the value of 'handmade' to life," explains Dentsu art director Ryosuke Miyashita in a press statement quoted by Stash Media. "We created different combinations of small Hitotoki brand items to express each and every minute."

You can check out a promotional video for the project below, which details the arduous crafting process, or view a real-time version of the clock here.

[h/t Adweek]

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architecture
Take a Look at These Tiny, Futuristic Homes From the 1960s
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If you find yourself in Friche de l’Escalette, a sculpture park in Marseille, France, this year, you may feel like there’s been some kind of alien invasion among the industrial ruins scattered throughout the park. The institution’s latest exhibition, Utopie Plastic, features three retro-futuristic houses from the 1960s that look straight out of The Jetsons.

As Curbed reports, the prefabricated houses are stocked with mid-century plastic furniture like Quasar Khahn’s inflatable chair.

The rounded interior of a Futuro home with two experimental retro chairs inside.

The show includes one of the Futuro homes, spaceship-like tiny houses originally designed as ski chalets by architect Matti Suuronen. At the time, they cost only $12,000 to $14,000, and could be built on any terrain because of their stilt legs.

A Maison Bulle à Six Coques home lights up with a blue glow at night in the sculpture park.

You can also view Maison Bulle à Six Coques, a flower-shaped hut (its name means Six-Shell Bubble House) by French architect Jean Maneval. The prototype design was first introduced at an art fair in 1956, and went into production in 1968. It came in green, white, or brown, and later inspired an entire vacation village in the Pyrenees, where developers built 20 Bubble Houses.

A modular Hexacube house is lit up at twilight.

And then there’s Georges Candilis and Anja Blamsfeld's 1972 Hexacube design, a modular polyester and fiberglass hut that looked kind of like a giant Port-a-Potty. Multiple Hexacubes could be combined together to make a larger house, and they ushered in a new era of modular, expandable construction.

The era of plastic tiny houses like these came to an end during the 1970s, when the oil crisis in the U.S. made plastic prohibitively expensive—at least for people who were looking for prefab houses on the cheap.

The exhibit is open by appointment until October 1, 2017.

[h/t Curbed]

All images © C. Baraja, courtesy Friche de l’Escalette

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