One reason why a skyscraper enjoys being tall is because of the views it offers. There is something serene about overseeing it all, as it can be a liberating experience to see the bigger picture. Looking at things from a distance allows you to see connections and structures you wouldn’t be able to see from standing in the middle of it, and it gives you a perspective of a city that feels less cluttered and more transparent.
Today we present the work of Amsterdam based freelance graphic designer/illustrator Coen Pohl, who uses this bigger picture as a design theme. His recent work called City Life (see above) floated around the internet recently and is good example of that. But there is much more fun stuff in his portfolio, such as these examples:
Sudoku World Cover
Some, but not all of his work incorporates letters and text. The ones which do reveal the only when seen from this angle, capturing the bigger pictre you would have never realised from street level.
Coen was kind enough to elaborate a bit on his work. Asked where he finds inspiration, what he is trying to capture and what he finds most fascinating about cities and skyscrapers, he responded with the following.
I get a lot of inspiration from travelling. I spend a lot of time in Seoul, and sometimes I visit Hong Kong, Tokyo, Beijing en Shanghai just to wander around and take it all in. I think I’m especially inspired by crowds. There is something about the way people live and get around in cities like these. It’s a fascinating balance to have all these peoples and all these lives on the one hand, and the challenge to keep these cities liveable on the other.
It is this sense of balanced massiveness of these cities that I want to express through my work. Row after row of similar slab buildings, a typical sight in Chinese cities, are fascinating to me, even though I find them ugly and never would chose to live there. I look at the city from above, both literally and figuratively. More than the individual lives, I take an interest in humanity as a whole, and how we, almost out of necessity, tuck people away in gigantic cities. Naturally the skyscraper plays a substantial role in all this as they intensify and deepen the city by adding an extra dimension. But I also enjoy grabbing small bits of the city, like the canal bridges in Amsterdam, and present these in a similar style.
I’m also inspired by the greatness of future cities as portrayed in science fiction, such as Coruscant, an ecumenopolis (city-planet) in the Star Wars saga, but also by the work of Fabio Giampietro, Romain Trystram en Michael Wolf.
Coen’s work can be found at at Bēhance!
Isometric Hong Kong
City Life by night