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Urban Art and Design

Urban Canvas. Stumbling upon a wall of graffiti isn’t an odd occurrence, but what’s different is coming across a city that embraces the artists so much that they commission works to be placed in the community. In Lisbon, street art has gone from an unwanted nuisance to a welcome sight showcasing the city’s personality splashed across centuries-old buildings and even trash bins. The National Post has more on Lisbon’s murals and urban art movement.

Calligraffiti. With globalization comes the natural process of cultural transfusion. In countries like Lebanon and Egypt, a mixture of ancient Islamic calligraphy is meshing with Western graffiti. Entire blocks of buildings carry themes and tell a story through colorful and delicately placed strokes. Calligraphy was originally regarded as a means of meditation. 1843 Magazine has more on how the ancient craft is being modernized across the Arabic world.

Urban Heights. Over the decades, humanity has increasingly reached toward the sky, constructing towers higher and higher. But opinions differ in what counts as a tall building, like factoring in antennas. ArchDaily has put an end to the debate with the list of the 25 tallest buildings in the world.

Presidential Campus. A year after the former President announced the design team for the Obama Presidential Library, the Obama Foundation released renderings and plans. Led by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, the Jackson Park campus on the South Side of Chicago, an often overlooked area for urban renewal projects, will not only include a residential museum, but also public green space linking Jackson Park to Lake Michigan. Read the full details and see imagery on the Obama Foundation website.

Planted Advertising. Like many cities, Madrid has its fair share of advertisements that have been posted in layer upon layer along its walls. Two creatives from Leo Burnett’s local office began a campaign of guerrilla urbanism with an intriguing paper-based planter that inserts greenery into walls of posters and signage. FastCoDesign has more on the designers turning ugly street ads into living flower pots.

Inspiration comes in many forms–images, words, music, and much more. As part of staying #FluentInDesign, the team at Hunter Douglas looks for things that spark our imaginations. Tweet us your ideas at @FluentInDesign or email us at

Image Credit: Jessica Califano

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