Featured Image -- 1598

A perpetual tourist who makes his own souvenirs: The intriguing work of artist Jorge Mañes Rubio

Originally posted on TED Blog:

Jorge Mañes Rubio explains he makes his new souvenirs to create interesting interactions at TED2014. Photo: Ryan Lash

Jorge Mañes Rubio makes his own souvenirs—to have a reminder of his travels and create interactions with locals. Photo: Ryan Lash

From China’s underwater cities to Amsterdam’s neglected neighborhoods to Italy’s looted ruins, Jorge Mañes Rubio seeks out forsaken places and makes art that memorializes, reimagines and reengages them with the world. His project “Normal Pool Level” — which emerged from his exploration of the cities, towns and villages submerged by China’s Three Gorges Dam Project — is on exhibition at the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art in Manchester, England, until September 7. So it felt like the perfect time to ask Rubio more about this exhibit, as well as about the experiences that led him from a stable career in design to life as a perpetual tourist.

Let’s start with your current exhibition. How did you end up in China, looking for abandoned underwater cities?

My project in China was something very special…

View original 2,364 more words


From Stadium Seats to Sitting Rooms: Turning World Cup Stadiums Into Housing

Wow—what an incredible idea. As the World Cup medal ceremony commenced, I had more than a pang of sadness at the thought of these colossal structures going to waste. But then I came across this article on Fast Company that showcases two architects with a brilliant idea of turning the World Cup stadiums into high-density housing. With the public enraged at the use of government spending for the FIFA tournament, what better way to spin the situation into a positive than by turning them into a public benefit? Click the link above for the rest of the story and pics!



Travel Guides for Design Snobs

Ever wish you could find a travel guide that had as much personality as the place you were visiting? Sure, Frommers and Lonely Planet have plenty of solid information, but they’re not very pretty too look at. I recently stumbled across the London-based Herb Lester, which produces some of the most gorgeously illustrated, cheerily written city guides I’ve seen.

A little about them, via the Herb Lester Associates website:

“We research, write, print and distribute travel guides to the world’s great cities. We seek out the well-used and much-loved, and enjoy the extraordinary as well as the everyday. Old bookshops and new coffee shops, park benches and dive bars, hat shops and haberdashers: this is the world according to Herb Lester.”

So not only do a get a comprehensive guide to your locale of choice—off-the-beaten paths included—you also get what are essentially beautifully-wrought maps that could easily be framed and hung on the wall once you return from your trip.

In other words, happy shopping.

Images via herblester.com



The BookBenches of London

Lucky Londoners (and visitors) have a new option for free fun in their city—a hunt for the latest art installations: Books about Town – Around London with Fifty BookBenches. Designed to look like a flipped open paperback and painted by artists to display scenes from popular tales, these books are scattered throughout the city, providing both form and function for locals and tourists alike. A partnership between the National Literacy Trust and Wild in Art, the benches “opened” on July 2 and will remain through September 15.

Here are a few of my favorites:


War Horse. Artist: Rae Smith (original illustration) Created by Gerard Strong


Mary Poppins. Artist: Darel Seow


Around the World in 80 Days. Artist: Valerie Osment


One of the best parts about traveling, in my humble opinion, is the opportunity to invest in a few new books for the trip. So I love this idea of sprinkling books throughout a city (especially one known for it’s literary prominence) and encouraging the public to interact with them. In some cases this means literally: certain benches will have themed-events, including a Meercat Flashmob, Mary Poppins Book Giveaway, and an attempt to break the world record of people dressed up as Sherlock (will Benedict Cumberbatch be there? One can only hope!)

Books About Town will run through mid-September—and if you happen upon a bench you can’t imagine life without, all the benches will be auctioned off in October to raise funds for the National Literacy Trust’s vital work to raise literacy levels in the UK.

All images via The National Literacy Trust

Featured Image -- 1565

Street Art: Around the World in Eight Photos


How can you resist the personality of local street art? I think it says a lot about a city and the people who live there—what the pulse is, how the culture is evolving, what people feel. There’s a good sampling here, each with its own vividness and charisma.

Originally posted on WordPress.com News:

Whenever I get the chance to travel, I always photograph local street art. The topics, colors, and scenes help me absorb the feel and atmosphere that makes each destination truly unique. Join me for a tour of some amazing street art from around the world, right from the comfort of your armchair.

Welcome to Berlin, Germany, our first stop on the tour, where we find Christine Estima‘s photo of street art by ElBocho. I love the bold lines and striking expressions:

#ElBocho Berlin Baby Photo by Christine Estima

#ElBocho Berlin Baby (Photo by Christine Estima)

And now, over to Cardiff, Wales, for something slightly more muted. DIFF GRAFF did a great job capturing Rmer‘s portrait of Marlon Brando as the Godfather. It’s quite striking, wouldn’t you agree?

Marlon Brando by the artist Rmer Photo by DIFF GRAFF

Marlon Brando by the artist Rmer (Photo by DIFF GRAFF)

Heading to Dunedin, New Zealand, we stop off at Dunedin Wears the Pants. The site, run…

View original 318 more words


Summer in Savannah (and bonus Oatland Island)

A few weeks ago I posted photos from Tybee Island—the first half of our trip. Saturday evening and Sunday morning were spent in Savannah and at the Oatland Island Wildlife Center.

We made the quick drive from Tybee to Savannah around Happy Hour. Since Savannah allows open containers, our plan was to pick up cocktails-to-go and take a walk around the city—however, we arrived at the same time as a summer storm. So intead of strolling we ducked in and out of bars and shops on River Street, sampling cocktails, savoring pralines, and scoping out the handmaid goods of local artists. Once the rain blew over, we took our walk through the tree-lined streets and stumbled upon an old cemetery that turned out to be for victims of the yellow fever epidemic—an interesting bit of history I’d never known before.

We had a sumptous Southern Meal at the Olde Pink House, which at one time or another was a private home, a bank, a headquarters for one of Sherman’s generals, among others. It was gorgeously decorated with frescoes and antiques, but the vibe wasn’t at all stuffy. The food was delicious—beautifully plated and generously portioned. (Sorry for the lack of foodporn, must have been too caught up in the company!)

Sunday arrived bright and early, and we ventured over to the Oatland Island Wildlife Center to visit their new cougar. It was hot and humid, but the two-mile trail through the animal enclosures was shady and full of animal characters. The cougars were lovely, but our favorite encounters of the day were the gray wolves.