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Way Down to Fotomo: Baby Why Don’t We Go?

April 26, 2010

Fotomo 1 Shop

Fotomo models

On a recent visit to Droog‘s Soho location in New York led me to discover the quirky Japanese book pictured on the left.

Architectural models as I know them glorify the iconic buildings in our landscape: Brunelleschi’s dome in Florence, Paris’ Arc de Triomphe or the even the Chicago skyline. While beautiful, once cut and constructed, these buildings sit in an idealized vacuum, devoid of any sense of place.  Enter Fotomo 1 Shop: the architectural model book that brings the neighborhood with it— graffiti, garbage, grit and all.  Fotomo 1 Shop provides photo-prints of real world scenes that can be cut and assembled into 3D cardboard models. Fotomo (a word standing for “Photograph” and “Model”) aims at capturing the different angles and slice of real life in urban Japan.

Kimio Itozaki

Created by Kimio Itozaki, the less-than-quirky looking guy on the right, the scenes are wonderfully chaotic and real. Garbage trucks, corner stores, arcade machines and plenty of cats; nothing is too mundane for Kimio’s camera.  The very exoticism of these every-day Japanese scenes draws our attention to the visual language of our own environments.  And though (minus the ‘3D’ on the cover) you likely won’t be able to understand a word, the book will leave you with a strong sense of place.

Scissors and incisive visual critique not included.


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