From street signs to familiar buildings, color palettes, bridges and more, many cities around the world are instantly recognizable through their iconic visual components. At this year’s Maison & Objet, we found several ways in which designers are bringing these big cities into homes beyond the traditional souvenir. From card games to puzzles and decal-style artworks, here are a few ways to fit familiar skylines inside your home.
The Line was born just over two years ago and in that time has spread all over the world. It began with a picture of the Marseille skyline, the origin city of Antoine Daniel, designer and founder of the brand. The Line offers very simple metallic urban outlines that can be nailed to the wall. These are real landscapes, portrayed from a specific point of view. In fact Daniel travels to all the cities that go into the collection and makes sure that the skyline is represented as faithfully as possible.
Ian Flood and Chris Prosser love architecture and chess. In a very natural way their passions gave life to Skyline Chess, a set whose pawns are the most iconic buildings from London and New York. The pieces of the first editions were made by 3D printing, but today they can also be cast in precious bronze, in a completely handmade process in London. In wood or marble, the playing boards come in different materials and decor—decorated with an essential feature or with the city map. They are a gem for the architecture addicted.
is a different kind of game that’s also related to architecture. Here, it was the passion for architecture that gave life to the projects of the young French company. For example, Babel Capsule Tower is a Jenga-style table game inspired by Nakagin Capsule Tower built in Tokyo by Kishō Kurokawa in 1970. Archiblocks is simple game of wooden house-shaped blocks with no specific purpose but having fun imagining and then building stuff. Isn’t this what all architects aspire to do?
Palomar is a Florence-based company specialized in designs inspired by urban environments. Their most recent project is City Icons Contemporary Souvenir by Paolo Dell’Elce. The collection is composed of snow globes featuring some of the most important contemporary buildings from all over the world. Here we have 432 Park Avenue for New York, Ricardo Bofill’s Hotel Sail (Sail Hotel) for Barcelona, Renzo Piano’s Auditorium for Rome and Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower for Tokyo.
And if instead one fancies something simply to adore, there’s the incredibly light, ironic and kitsch Les Parisettes snow globes. Inside, Godzilla or a giant panda threatens the Eiffel Tower. There are plentiful options of whimsy.
Images courtesy of Paolo Ferrarini