creativity · learning · play

Playing into old age: Meet the Graffiti Mamas


Play often involves some aspect of rebellion – doing things just slightly different than before, mixing things up.

That is very apparent in this interview with Luisa Cortesao from Portugal, who became a graffiti artist later in life and ran workshops for her peers.

architecture · community · creativity

Best Tech-Focused Graffiti According To The Creators Project

Banksy is a graffiti artist who often makes commentary about creating better, healthier, more friendly environments.

In light of Banksy’s return to New York in three years, The Creators Project collected “some of our favorite tech-focused graffiti artists in recent memory. Even if these artists don’t use the same stencil and paint style (read: analog) as him, we’re sure these artists cite Banksy as a top influence.”

more via In Light Of Banksy’s New York Return, Here Is The Best Tech-Focused Graffiti | The Creators Project.


Kenya’s Graffiti Train Seeks To Promote A Peaceful Election : NPR

English: Slum Kibera in Nairobi, Kenya.
English: Slum Kibera in Nairobi, Kenya. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just as the decision for Kenya’s election is being determined, a look at an artistic and playful way to promote democracy:

Kenya‘s peace train is ready to roll.

Kenyan graffiti artists received permission from the Rift Valley Railway to spray-paint a 10-car commuter train with peace messages and icons. It may be the first train in Africa with officially authorized graffiti.

The train will travel through the massive Nairobi slum of Kibera, one of the largest in Africa, where young gangs torched, looted and killed in the spasms of violence that followed the 2007 Kenyan presidential election.

“What we’re doing with the train here now, it’s part of a civic education and a way to advertise peace,” says Uhuru B, a 27-year-old graffiti artist.

via Kenya’s Graffiti Train Seeks To Promote A Peaceful Election : NPR.

community · creativity · Social

Street art

Happy Friday! I was forwarded one of those massive emails with a lot of great street graffiti and art, all of them commenting on their environment, as well as adding beauty and interest. I will add credits and attribute authors as soon as I find out who everyone is (if you know any of the artists please let me know in the comments below), but for now just some nice eye candy to get you ready for the weekend. Enjoy!

anthropology · architecture · community · creativity · culture · design · environment · happiness · Social

How legalizing street art made Rio de Janeiro a prettier, happier place

A recent article in the Huffington Post explored Rio de Janeiro’s acceptance of street art and how it has enriched the various neighborhoods:

Brazilian graffiti art is considered among the most significant strand[s] of a global urban art movement, and its diversity defies the increasing homogeneity of world graffiti.” – Design Week

In March 2009, the Brazilian government passed law 706/07 making street art and graffiti legal if done with the consent of building owners. As progressive of a policy as this may sound, the legislation is actually a reflection of the evolving landscape in Brazilian street art, an emerging and divergent movement in the global street art landscape.

Rio de Janeiro has been particularly progressive in its policy towards street art, with its 1999 “Não pixe, grafite” (Don’t Tag, Graffiti) project that brought together 35 graffiti artists to showcase diversity in local styles. But more unique is the evolution of a permission hierarchy, blurring the line between formal and informal. The new street art law merely reinforced these unique patterns of street art and legitimized an already flourishing form of artistic expression.

Retaining walls on the steep terrain provide canvases for artists.

In Rio de Janeiro, street art is ubiquitous. It exists in all corners of the city, from the favelasto upper class neighborhoods, from residential to institutional. It is bold in scale and aesthetics and is anything but graffiti. The urban fabric of Rio de Janeiro also figures prominently in the evolving street art scene. The high walls, whether for security or to contain the topography, provide ample surfaces for painting. But rather than location dictating art, the relationship between owner and artist has a direct impact on where street art occurs.

Owners of buildings, both residential and commercial, sometimes invite artists for commissions, which is done to protect from tagging, as an aesthetic choice or as an economic choice — painting a façade with art may be cheaper than another mode of beautification. In another case, street artists ask permission from the owner.

Tudo de cor para você, Santa Marta, Rio de Janeiro (photo source:

Thanks to the city’s openness to various forms of artwork, and specifically “street” art, Rio de Janeiro is now known for its colorfulness and art. In informal studies the art has also been found to make citizens more invested in their communities and overall happier.

Hooray for public art.

community · creativity · design · happiness

From: DesignSponge » paul price’s signs of affection

Just in time to get into the Valentine’s Day mood: enriching signs that spread joy and cheer to everyone, not just your favorite sweety!

Colorful “Signs of Affection” from graphic designer Paul Price. Wandering by one of these on a cold afternoon sure would be a cheerful surprise. I’m hoping Paul’s work somehow makes it over to the gray Brooklyn streets in my area, so I can stumble upon “Your Hair Looks Dashing.” That would totally make any bad day feel like it was taking a turn for the better. Click below to check out more of Paul’s work online.



more via DesignSponge » Blog Archive » paul price: signs of affection.