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24 Jul 17:02

Paper People: Hand-Cut Zig-Zag Photorealistic Portraits

by Steph
[ By Steph in Art & Sculpture & Craft. ]

paper cutout portraits 2

Tiny slivers are sliced away from a single, oversized sheet of white paper in a zig-zag pattern to reveal portraits of public figures, from Audrey Hepburn to Michael Jackson, in this series of photorealistic portraits by Korean artist Yoo Hyun. There’s no ink, graphite or paint involved – just an X-acto knife to cut out the negative space and tweezers to carefully peel those pieces away.

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paper cutout portriats 1

Take a close look at Hyun’s works and you realize how strikingly simple this process is, working a similar way to pixels. All you’ll see, when examining a small strip of one of these portraits, is a bunch of diagonal white lines. It’s amazing to see how much detail comes through, the portraits somehow revealing nuances in skin and hair texture, when you look at them from farther away.

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The trick is in ever-so-slight variations of the thickness of each diagonal line of paper. Even the smallest cut-out can convey a shadow, while uncut areas make highlights pop. Pulling this off requires incredible precision, as a mistake the width of a human hair can affect the final outcome.

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Check out more of Hyun’s work on his Instagram, @yoo.hyun, or on Facebook.

Want More? Click for Great Related Content on WebUrbanist:

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Spiral Pen Portraits Use Pressure to Make Amazing Art

An advertising campaign focuses on one artist's unique knack for drawing the most detailed masterpieces in a spiral formation. Click Here to Read More »»

Pixelated Portraits Made of Crayons by Christian Faur

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[ By Steph in Art & Sculpture & Craft. ]

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03 Aug 12:16

French Architect Creates Spider-like Personal Off-Road Vehicle

Pascal Rambaud might be an architect, but that hasn't stopped him from indulging his other passions, like mountaineering and motorsports. Back in the mid-2000s, the latter hobby led him to create an easier way to transport go-karts, which you see here:

That invention, called the DRIV'UP, led to something more complicated that would combine his love of motors with his love of mountains. In 2007 Rambaud began developing a vehicle that was compact, like a go-kart, but which could traverse difficult terrain. Now ready for primetime, he's dubbed it the SWINCAR, and it certainly seems capable of going where other wheeled vehicles cannot:

The electric-powered SWINCAR can run for four hours on a single charge. But perhaps what's most notable about it is its unusual wheels and suspension. When you think of off-roading in a vehicle with that small of a footprint, you probably think of ATVs; those position the rider high up and have their suspension down low, close to the beefy wheels. But the SWINCAR's unique configuration turns this upside down, placing the driver practically at ground level, while moving the mounting points for the suspension far higher, up around where the beltline would be if it was an ordinary car. And the counterintuitively skinny tires seem well-suited to perform the fancy footwork the vehicle is capable of.

Lastly, the SWINCAR boasts a crucial safety feature that your average ATV does not: A rollbar, in case you overestimate the abilities of either the machine or your driving skills.

This is no one-off toy nor vanity project, by the way; Rambaud has partnered with businessman Jerome Arsac and finance/marketing expert Theirry Jammes to form Mécanroc, the company producing and promoting the SWINCAR.

For applications, they foresee uptake by anyone who wants to travel rough terrain without leaving an ecologically-damaging stamp—the electric SWINCAR naturally leaves no emissions and is noiseless—and in addition to those seeking outdoor recreation, the company names both the military and public rescue outfits (think park rangers) as potential target markets.

The company is also seeking distributors, and they reckon the vehicle's unique configuration may help them find some in the existing personal off-road vehicle market. Their "highly differentiated technology [has] no current competitor in the market," they write, and the SWINCAR's unusual design means there's "not [a] conflict with your other product ranges."

31 Jul 16:00

Sculptural Lamps that Transform When Turned On & Off

by Caroline Williamson

Sculptural Lamps that Transform When Turned On & Off

While some objects remain in a single state, a table or a shelf, other objects have two or more states, like a folding chair, a door, or even a lamp. These objects must change in some way to make them useful, which is where the NODE collection of lamps falls. Designed by Odd Matter Studio, these lamps don’t have just a switch or a pull to turn them on and off though, they must physically transform to make it happen. The result is a collection of five lamps that double as functional sculptures.


Even when the lamp is not being used, the design remains a sculptural object you can visually enjoy. When it’s time to turn the lamp on, you physically alter its look to by moving one of its components.


The lamps were inspired by the shapes of drawn electrical diagrams, which you can see when you open and close the circuit to switch the lamps on and off.






02 Aug 17:00

This Is How to Find the Spiders That Are Staring At You in the Dark

by Kiona Smith-Strickland

Have you ever looked out into your backyard at night and wondered how many spiders are lurking out there? If you have a flashlight, you can spot them by the creepy green glow of their eyes.


03 Aug 01:25

BMW wants you to know when traffic lights change

by Jon Fingas
Traffic lights are supposed to help keep driving orderly, but they often create more tension than they resolve. How do you know that the green light won't turn yellow before it's too late to slow down? BMW thinks it can help. It's the first auto...
03 Aug 02:07


03 Aug 06:00

Study Shows Some Worker Ants Don’t Work At All

by Matt Soniak
A. Kachmar

seems that we share a lot more with ants than we thought.

A research team has taken the famously industrious ant down a peg, showing that many ants don’t do their fair share of work—or any work at all.

02 Aug 21:40

fartooyoungandclever: Ah, the English countryside…


Ah, the English countryside…

31 Jul 11:21

artandcookies: johndoomedbutlovingitegbert: martinekenblog: Ic...




Ice Cream Roses


If you ever want to bring me flowers, these are the kind I like.

29 Jul 05:27

(via 4gifs)

(via 4gifs)

28 Jul 18:00

Inkblot Rug Collection by Lindstrom Rugs

by Caroline Williamson

Inkblot Rug Collection by Lindstrom Rugs

Quick: tell me what you see!

Lindstrom Rugs’ latest collection takes inspiration from the psychological world’s beloved testing method we’ve all come across that aims to give insight into our personality and emotional well-being. The Rorschach test’s infamous inkblots exhibited almost perfect bilateral symmetry and eye-catching patterns that are completely unforgettable. Designed by Erik Lindstrom, founder of the company, the Inkblot Collection evokes similar feelings of nostalgia with their own graphic, black, gray, and white rug patterns.

Inkblot #2

Inkblot #2

Each inkblot pattern was created by hand beginning with the concept all the way through production, from the original ink and water on paper to the artisan weavers in Nepal.

Inkblot #2

Inkblot #2

Inkblot #3

Inkblot #3

Inkblot #4

Inkblot #4

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Inkblot #4

Inkblot #5

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Inkblot #5

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Inkblot #6

Inkblot #6

Inkblot #6

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Inkblot #7

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Inkblot #8

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Inkblot #8

Inkblot #8

23 Jun 21:54

Human vs. Toaster: Proof That Pedal-Power Is Not the Next Sustainable Energy Solution

It's around this time of year that we catch the first glimpses of the next batch of remarkable design talent soon to be unleashed on to the world. It's also a time—reminiscing whilst pouring over graduation projects—that we're reminded of our own college-day optimistic naivety.  I mean, just look at all these wonderful if wildly impractical design solutions!

If I had a penny for every pedal-powered sustainable power project...I could probably have paid an olympic athlete to demonstrate how unrealistic these propositions can be. Fortunately, students at Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Arts have done that for us.

There's a common misconception that our bodies—if tasked with doing so—could produce the power that our increasingly consuming lives demand. Any engineer worth their salt will tell you that this is pure fallacy—the conversion from human to appliance being absolutely abysmal. Sure we can wind up a radio or keep those mini-screens on those gym bikes going but we quickly hit our limit when the energy demands get higher—anything involving heating for example.

By means of demonstrating this inconvenient truth, Robert Förstemann took on the challenge of heating a single slice of toast in a 700 Watt toaster with the incredible strength of his 74cm diameter thighs. Setting out at a steady 50km/h Förstemann battles with maintaining pace to keep the toaster going—the power required equivalent to climbing a 40 degree incline.

Managing to keep the toaster going for just long enough to give the bread a slight golden brown, Förstemann crashed out exhausted from the excursion —an important lesson in energy usage (I'll never look at my toaster the same way again!). If Förstemann's meaty limbs can't cook a slice of bread what chance do the rest of us have!

Design students: beware the human-powered fallacy!
21 Jul 15:00

Clever Concrete Cloud Toilet Paper Holder

by Jaime Derringer

Clever Concrete Cloud Toilet Paper Holder

Sometimes a product just stops you in your tracks. That’s what happened to me with this concrete cloud-shaped toilet paper holder. THIS THING IS AWESOME.


Designed by French design duo Bertrand Jayr and Lyon Béton. It comes in two sizes: small and large.






[via here and here]

02 Aug 10:00

Inside the failure of Google+, a very expensive attempt to unseat Facebook

by Seth Fiegerman

Create a social network or risk everything.

That was the original pitch for Google's Facebook rival, Google+, a refrain hammered over and over by the social network's chief architect, Vic Gundotra, in meetings with the company's top brass

Gundotra, described by colleagues we spoke with as charismatic and politically-savvy, eventually persuaded Larry Page, the Google cofounder who returned as CEO at the beginning of 2011 after a decade behind the scenes, to turn the company upside down for this cause.

"Vic was just this constant bug in Larry's ear: 'Facebook is going to kill us. Facebook is going to kill us,'" says a former Google executive. "I am pretty sure Vic managed to frighten Larry into action. And voila: Google+ was born." Read more...

More about Google, Facebook, and Business
02 Aug 13:30

The 'Manhattan of the Desert': Shibam, Yemen's Ancient Skyscraper City

by Finn MacLeod
©  Flickr CC user Will De Freitas
© Flickr CC user Will De Freitas

Walking through narrow chaotic alleys dwarfed by soaring towers, few would estimate the age of Yemen's city of Shibam at nearly 1,700 years. Located in Yemen's central Hadhramaut district, Shibam has roots in the pre-Islamic period, and evidence of construction dating from the 9th century.

Shibam is known as the first city on earth with a vertical masterplan. A protected UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1982, the city is home to densely packed buildings ranging from four to eight storeys, beginning in 300 AD but now mostly built after 1532. Thanks to a fortified ring wall, the city has survived nearly two thousand years despite its precarious position adjacent to the wadi floodplain. 

Enter the ancient walled world of Shibam after the break

© Wikimedia CC user Aiman titi Shibam rooftops. Image © Flickr CC user maartenF © Wikimedia CC user Jialiang Gao Haroon Alrashid Mosque in Shibam. Image © Flickr CC user Najeeb Musallam

© Wikimedia CC user Aiman titi
© Wikimedia CC user Aiman titi

As an important stop on the spice and incense trade route, Shibam emerged as a beacon of wealth in the Southern Arabian plateau. The city began as an enclave for rival families seeking prestige, political power, and protection from Bedouin thieves. The notion of stacked housing quickly became the architectural modus operandi, and thus began the construction of hundreds of mud brick buildings. The solution the contiguous tower-houses eliminated vulnerabilities from attack, while simultaneously exhibiting the wealth of the residents. 

© Wikimedia CC user Jialiang Gao
© Wikimedia CC user Jialiang Gao

Shibam was built atop the pre-Islamic capital of Shabwa after its destruction in 300 AD, largely levelling the former community. A few fragments remain from the earliest construction in Shibam, including a mosque built in 904 and a castle built in 1220, however the city was largely rebuilt after 1532 when a devastating flood swept the region, crippling the foundations of the city's ancient towers. Despite its strategic location on the highest point of the wadi floodplain, Shibam has frequently been the subject of flooding, prompting the fortification of its outer walls.

Haroon Alrashid Mosque in Shibam. Image © Flickr CC user Najeeb Musallam
Haroon Alrashid Mosque in Shibam. Image © Flickr CC user Najeeb Musallam

The city is surrounded by fertile land employed for agriculture, using an integrated urban system for the simultaneous generation of food and building materials. After crops are harvested from the surrounding land, soil is collected for construction inside the walled city - and construction is a continuous process, with the towers requiring regular maintenance with fresh coats of mud. Shibam is historically revered for its ingenious urban planning methods, particularly with architecture that harmonizes with a population deeply devoted to traditional Muslim culture. Early incarnations of Islamic architecture can be noted in the fenestration on the higher levels of the structures while the ground levels were dictated by security, creating a fortress-like defense system to protect the affluent residents inside.

Shibam rooftops. Image © Flickr CC user maartenF
Shibam rooftops. Image © Flickr CC user maartenF

"Sometimes called the 'Chicago of the desert' or the 'Manhattan of the desert', the old city of Shibam presents to historians and urbanists one of the earliest and most perfect examples of rigorous planning based on the principle of vertical construction," reads the UNESCO brief on Shibam. Credited as the home of the first highrise apartment buildings, Shibam has become a symbol for the rise and resilience of middle eastern culture in the desolation of the surrounding desert.

© Flickr CC user the_tenant
© Flickr CC user the_tenant

Sources: UNESCO, SlateSocks Studio

31 Jul 13:42


31 Jul 22:39

Adorable On-Point Illustrations That Express the Value of Sleep to Those Who Aren’t Morning People

by Lori Dorn


Landysh, in-house artist for the language learning company Lingvistov has created a wonderful series of adorable on-point illustrations that express the value of sleep to those of us who would much rather take a nap than take a hike.

f you love the sight of your bed and pillows, if you can fall asleep anywhere and at any time of the day, if you consider sleeping your hobby, if you reserve weekends for sleeping only, then these doodles are for you! Call it beauty sleep, nap, snoozing, slumber, siesta, whatever you want, sleep is your one and only true love. It just makes everything right again. It makes you forget about problems at work, your ex, stress and disappointments of the day. It is undeniably a blessing. Lingvistov has put together a few doodles about the things only those who love sleep can really understand.

These wonderful illustrations are available for purchase as Doodle Cards and Doodle Prints.

Good At Sleeping

I Want to Sleep All the Time

If Morning Happened at Noon

Newtons First Law

Not a Morning Person

images via Lingvistov Doodles

via Bored Panda

02 Aug 15:28

Casa Fenoglio - La F

Casa Fenoglio - La Fleur in via Principi d'Acaja a Torino, Italy foto di Benedetta Picco - Italian Liberty, Art Nouveau

02 Aug 02:29

ciatri: 3fluffies: mufasamonsta: tahthetrickster: i really like looking at google image searches...





i really like looking at google image searches for “firemen rescuing cats” or something because you get super cute pictures like




“THAT’S RIGHT TWAS I that set the house ablaze!!!”


Every fucking time I know what’s at the bottom and every time I still lose my shit.

31 Jul 18:16

Tesla's autopilot mode will get two awesome new features

by Andrew Tarantola
Last fall, Tesla introduced an optional, semiautonomous "autopilot" mode on its Model S. Equipped with ultrasonic radar, the system can sense and avoid obstacles, other vehicles and even pedestrians. Hell, the thing even changes lanes for you with...
31 Jul 13:30

The Kodkod is the Cutest Cat You Never Knew Existed

by Esther Inglis-Arkell

The kodkod is the smallest wildcat—smaller, even, than the average house cat. It’s a tiny, Andean pocket panther that takes tree-dwelling to a whole new level.


31 Jul 20:11

nevver: Fortune cookie

01 Aug 22:02

The bone room

photo Nicola Twilley

Lynn Rainard flickr, Galerie de paléontologie et d'anatomie comparée of the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle

The bone room

01 Aug 23:52


01 Aug 13:12

joyeuse-noelle: carnival-goldfish: Spider legs, white...



Spider legs, white stoneware, 2014

This feels like something that would appeal to byzantienne.

31 Jul 14:42

Photographer Captures Shots of Hawks Exchanging Food in Midair

Food Exchange

Photographer Phoo Chan was shooting in Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont, California, recently when he spotted hawks doing food exchanges in midair. The photo above is a 5-shot composite showing a male Northern Harrier passing a small bird it caught to one of its three offspring.

Here’s a crop of the image (you can see a higher-res shot here):

Coyote Hills

Coyote Hills

Chan also captured this photo of a male Northern Harrier dropping a freshly caught squirrel to one of its mates:

TheFlying Squirrel

The photo was shot using a Canon 7D Mark II with a Canon 600mm on a 2x teleconverter. The effective focal length was 1920mm, which “too much of a reach when the subjects are too close,” Chan says.

He writes that male Northern Harriers can have as many as five mates at once, and since the males are the main bread- meat-winners in the “families,” they’re constantly busy trying to provide for their mates and offspring.

By the way, Chan is the same photographer that snapped that photo of a crow riding a bald eagle earlier this month.

(via Phoo Chan via 500px ISO)

Image credits: Photographs by Phoo Chan and used with permission

31 Jul 16:45

This is a Rooftopping Photographer From the 1920s


Rooftopping photographers have gotten a lot of attention and notoriety in recent days for climbing to extremely high points in cities and shooting photos while often teetering on the edge. It turns out photographers were already pulling similar stunts nearly a century ago.

The picture above (by an unknown photographer) shows a photographer taking a picture of New York City streets while standing high above on the corner of a skyscraper. It was taken sometime in the mid-1920s.

Update: Here’s a 1905 photo of a photographer sitting high above Fifth Avenue:


This photo, purportedly of photographer Charles C. Ebbets in 1932, is reminiscent of many of the rooftopping photos we see today.


Update: As photographer Bob Cooley points out in the comments below, multiple sources on the Internet suggest that all three of these photos show photographer Charles C. Ebbets, who was known for these types of stunts.

31 Jul 02:31


29 Jul 13:23

Kitten + Owlet + Coffee equals cute

by Andrea James

Hukulou Coffee in Osaka has several owls, but Fuku the owlet and Marimo the kitten are the star attractions, as they have become very good friends.




The posts below have some very cute recent videos.

出勤前のふたり その1 Shall we enjoy a view from a window of the workshop for a while?

— hukuloucoffee@OSAKA (@hukuloucoffee) July 9, 2015

にゃー ほー オープン!

— hukuloucoffee@OSAKA (@hukuloucoffee) July 5, 2015

Lots of great fan art on their Twitter feed, too.

Hukulou Coffee (Twitter)

30 Jul 18:47

Who said it: Charles Manson or Kanye West?

by B.R. O'Deal
A. Kachmar

#13 says it all...


Kanye West is a phenomenally talented entertainer and loved by millions. Charles Manson is a failed wanna-be pop star and infamous murderer who we hope will remain locked up for the rest of his life. The two can't possibly be more different, other than sharing a propensity for spouting near-nonsensical egomaniacal quotes. Take a look at the examples below. Can you tell which quotes were uttered by Kanye and which ones came from Manson?

  1. "Nothing in life is promised except death."
  2. "No sense makes sense."
  3. "I'm like a machine. I'm a robot. You cannot offend a robot."
  4. "I can't judge any of you. I have no malice against you and no ribbons for you. But I think that it is high time that you all start looking at yourselves, and judging the lie that you live in."
  5. "One day the light will shine through, and one day people will understand everything I ever did."
  6. "Everything I’m not made my everything I am."
  7. "The real strong have no need to prove it to the phonies."
  8. "I am not a fan of books. I would never want a book's autograph. I am a proud nonreader of books."
  9. “I don’t know what ‘my way’ is. Everybody keeps telling me I got all these things. I read the other day where I had magical powers. I told everybody in the chapel ‘Zap, zap, zap, zap!’ I said ‘Where’s my magical powers at?’ Well, you can’t believe what you read in the press. I ain’t got no magical powers or mystical trips or anything like that. It’s kind of silly.”
  10. "I live and breathe every element in life."
  11. “There’s all kinds of Jesus. There’s a black Jesus down in Florida, he’s having a good time. There’s a Mexican Jesus down in Mexico, I mean there’s all kinds of Jesus. There’s a Jewish Jesus."
  12. “The media crucify me like they did Christ.”
  13. "When someone comes up and says something like, 'I am a god,' everybody says 'Who does he think he is?' I just told you who I thought I was. A god. I just told you."

Answers – 1: Kanye, 2: Manson, 3: Kanye, 4: Manson, 5: Kanye, 6: Kanye, 7: Manson, 8: Kanye, 9: Manson, 10: Kanye, 11: Manson, 12: Kanye, 13: Kanye

Image of Kanye West: Everett Collection /