Unfolding Urbanism: 3D Pop-Up Paper Art of New York City


Despite being (literally) three-dimensional, pop-up books rarely have this kind of layered depth – each piece in this series has both an iconographic component and an (overlapping) physical built reality, depending upon what angle you ‘read’ it from.

Daisy Lew designed each work with a piece of recognizable pop cultural, architectural or other relevant symbol that is visible when folded open and viewed from above, including the classic Big Apple, Empire State Building, ?Statue of Liberty and the ubiquitous orange taxi cab.

From the side, a city shape emerges from sets of buildings that are colored in a way that appears random without the big picture in mind. Due to the staged process of opening each page, the symbolism is the first thing to strike a reader, while other other patterns emerge after – again tapping into this particular paper-art medium in a creative-but-intentional way.

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