Commerce has seen many changes over the past few years, especially as people worldwide have found new ways to connect and work with one another. In spite of this rapid progress, traditional commerce and cultures remain strong in Mexico City's tianguis, derived from the Nahuatl word tianquiz(tli) for “market." These open air spaces have operated since before European invasion and colonization, when bartering was the primary means of commerce and transactions were done in large public areas like plazas and corridors. Eventually, products derived from copper and cacao became a form of currency with which to purchase basic necessities.
Aerial Photography: The Latest Architecture and News
Commercial and Public Spaces: Aerial Photographs and an Interactive Map Help to Explore the Tianguis of Mexico City
Capturing aerial photographs allows raising awareness of a project feature usually complex to capture using traditional methods. Based on the technological opportunities offered by small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly called drones, architecture photographers have begun to explore new ways of capturing a project in order to expose design decisions such as implantation, dialogue with the environment, or the relationship with nearby buildings.
Fascinating and photogenic, colorful cities often catch the eye not only of the thousands of tourists visiting every year but also of many architects around the world. From an aerial viewpoint - which happens to be how many visitors get their first glimpse of these cities from the window of an airplane - one can see the colorful picture created by the many different shades of roofs and rooftops.
There are many different reasons for this diversity of colors. Some cities use specific colors on roofing as a climate strategy, while others simply have a tradition of painting houses in a certain way. In any case, these colorful cities are unquestionably very visually appealing.
Because of the decrease in the availability of land area and the ever-increasing price per square meter, cities often tend to grow vertically. When we picture large metropolitan areas, we almost always imagine high-rise buildings, and the recognizable skyline becomes an icon that immediately evokes the places in which they are located.
“There seems to be a public image of any given city which is the overlap of many individual images," American urban planner Kevin Lynch once said. "Or perhaps there is a series of public images, each held by some significant number of citizens,” he added.
Following this remark, in his book "The Image of the City" (1960), Lynch begins an analysis around the elements that constitute what he considers to be the image of the city. While introducing, describing, and illustrating these elements as physical, perceptible objects, Lynch considers that other non-physical factors such as history, function, or even the name of the city also play a significant role in the construction of this imageability.
Most people are familiar with the concept of social and economic inequality, but although it affects a large part of the world's population, it is still somewhat abstract for many people. Photographer Johnny Miller intends to make it visible through his project Unequal Scenes, capturing images of spatial inequality from a very revealing perspective: aerial imagery.
The project started in South Africa, a country that is socially and spatially marked by apartheid, and now has been taken to Brazil to document scenarios in which extreme poverty and wealth coexist within a few meters, showing how distance is not only a measurement of physical length but can also imply more complex aspects, deeply rooted in our society.
Collectives, is a series of aerial imageries by Brazilian photographer and artist Cássio Campos Vasconcellos, made from articulated photos captured during helicopter flights. On-going for almost 5 years, the project consists of large-format works portraying chaotic urban landscapes and exploring “jam-packed situations typical of our civilization”. Aiming to showcase the impact of human activity on the world, the collection of images is a visual investigation of our consumer society.
Seeing from above – the aerial vantage point – is the illusion of knowledge. This was the idea of Frenchman Michel de Certeau, a historian who was interested in the everyday practices that occur on the ground, on the streetscape. In contrast to Certeau's view, satellite images can be a powerful tool to understand, predict, and strive for a better future for humankind. This is the mission of Benjamin Grant, founder of Overview, a platform that explores human activity on Earth through aerial imagery.
Interested in fostering "an experience of awe" through elevated vantage points of our world, Overview offers snapshots featuring traces of human activity on the surface of the planet. Photos of cities and other cultural artifacts join pictures of mesmerizing topography and natural beauty in an impressive archive of drone and satellite images. Awe abounds as we face not only some of the most impressive human endeavors seen from the sky, but also as we are confronted with the rather gruesome side-effects of our very existence on Earth.
In architecture and urbanism, both proximity and distance from a certain object of study, whether on a building scale or urban scale, are frequent strategies that help us better visualize details and also have a broader overall perception, both essential for understanding the object in question. Changing the point of view allows different perceptions of the same place. By moving from the ground level, or from the eye-level, which we are accustomed to in everyday life, to the aerial point of view, we can establish connections similar to those achieved through site plans, location plans, and urban plans.
"Soy de Azteca" (Or "I'm from Azteca") is a photographic project by Zaickz Moz that seeks to re-think the expressions of community and identity of the periphery of Mexico City—which is becoming more diffuse and overflows beyond its geographical limits. The objective of this project is to re-think the interpretations of community and identity of the residents of Ciudad Azteca (State of Mexico) manifested in private, public and urban spaces, through photographic series that addresses issues such as appropriation and modification of space habitable, urban development and the sense of community in the neighborhood of Ciudad Azteca.
The particular characteristics of a community give the inhabitants a sense of identity and belonging. Does this happen in any inhabited place? When observing that the history of Ciudad Azteca always exists in relation to Mexico City, it is worth asking if identifying traits have emerged among the inhabitants of Ciudad Azteca. As in other areas of the capital's periphery, it is possible to observe in this group of neighborhoods located in the municipality of Ecatepec the capacity of the locals to build and transform a space into a variety of forms of urban habitat.
Exploring the streets of foreign cities is profoundly engaging. Whether it's meeting new cultures, observing new architectures, or trying new food, travelers usually go for the typical sightseeing activities. However, some have quite a unique take on tourism and choose to think outside the box - or in this case, above it.
Hungarian photographer Márton Mogyorósy chose to explore the Catalonian capital from above, capturing aerial shots of the city. Drone photography has helped us see cities from a unique perspective, and with Barcelona’s dynamic urban fabric, the coastal city’s buildings and beaches have turned into vibrant geometric artwork.
The winning entries of the Siena International Photo Awards 2018 have been unveiled. The “Architecture and Urban Spaces” category winners offer a wide range of subjects, locations, and perspectives, from the relationship between the Moon and the Leaning Tower of Pisa to snow-capped “Toy houses.”
The Siena International Photo Awards saw 48,000 images submitted from 148 countries. The announcement of the winners coincides with the launch of the “Beyond the Lens” exhibition of the winners, running until 2nd December 2018 in Siena.
On construction sites, workers are increasingly using drones to do what humans can’t. In the past, we’ve covered brick-laying drones, their impact (for better or worse) on the urban environment, and how the technology can help improve the accuracy of architectural renders. CNBC recently reported on how drones can be used to take aerial photos of construction sites at hard-to-reach angles—an innovation that has caused drone sales to sharply increase. According to the article, "construction drone usage has skyrocketed by 239 percent year over year."
Beauty or Tragedy? Aerial Imagery of Spain’s Abandoned Housing Estates Wins DJI Drone Photography Award
The winners of the DJI Drone Photography Award have been announced, a competition calling for ideas to make creative use of drone photography, and to explore subject matters impossible to experience on foot. This year, the two winning projects consisted of a new perspective on Spain’s 3.4 million abandoned houses, and the documentation of salt production across Europe.
Each year, on the first Friday in June, people in the US celebrate National Donut Day. The origins of this commemoration go back 100 years: soon after the US entrance into World War I in 1917, the Protestant Christian church and international charitable organization The Salvation Army sent a fact-finding mission to France. It was during that mission that volunteering women began serving free donuts to soldiers on the front lines with the aim to boost the troops’ morale. These women, dubbed “Donut Lassies,” are often credited with making donuts widely popular in the United States when troops returned home from war.
In celebration of Earth Day, we invited Benjamin Grant—founder of the Daily Overview—to select the five "overviews" which he considers to be among the most inspiring that his platform has shared. The image above, taken on Christmas Eve in 1968 by astronauts of NASA's Apollo 8 mission is, according to Grant, "believed by many to be the first "overview" of our planet, captured by astronaut Bill Anders." This photograph dramatically pulled into focus the simultaneous magnificence, intricacy, and terrifying fragility of the planet we inhabit. Since that moment the advent, acceleration, and accessibility of satellite imagery has made one thing abundantly clear: that humankind has had a considerable effect on Earth, for better or for worse.
As recently as a century ago the idea of viewing the world from above was little more than a fantasy: the airplane was still in its infancy, with rocketry and satellites still decades into the future. Those who could not take to the air had no recourse but drawing in order to represent their world from an aerial perspective. This limitation is difficult to imagine today when access to plan photography is never further than the nearest Internet connection. Anyone with a smartphone has, in essence, the entire world in their pocket.