Art II - Pocket Cities By: Megan Doherty

Art II - Pocket Cities
By: Megan Doherty
About the Project
Pocket Cities, which average 4.3” x 6.7” in size, are
laser cut, foldable cardboard postcards, of over 26
different cities from around the world. Pocket Cities
are meant to be small enough to be easily carried, as
well as be used as a travel guide, a way to raise
cultural awareness, and of course, to be used as a
postcard. As quoted from the Pocket Cities webpage,
“Pocket Cities is a project for the traveler, for the
explorer, for the nostalgic...These scenarios enable us
to live in miniature the essence of each place through
its icons, its buildings and its characters.” Salsarela,
the designer of Pocket Cities, is an experimental
workshop aiming to create stories as graphical works
of art. The cities often display iconic buildings from the cities portrayed, and occasionally even
animals. Salsarela also attempts to limit environmental damage by using a minimal amount of
materials in their products, as well as experimenting with raw vegetable fibers to create materials
Objective of the Lesson
Students will use the series Pocket Cities, designed by Spanish
workshop Salsarela, to create a 5-tiered, foldable, cityscape that is
well balanced and aesthetically pleasing.
Requirements of the Lesson
 4 – 3”x6” city designs.
 1 Pocket City, with 5 tiers of cityscapes.
1. Balance: Refers to the sense of distribution of perceived
visual weights that offset one another.
2. Cityscape: The visual appearance of a city or urban area; a
city landscape.
3. Composition: The placement, or arrangement, of visual elements in a work of art.
4. Elements of Art: Color, line, texture, value, space/shape.
5. Harmony: In visual design, harmony means all parts of the visual image relate to, and
complement, each other. Harmony pulls the pieces of a visual image together, and can be
achieved through repetition and rhythm.
6. Principles of Art: Movement, unity, harmony, variety, balance, rhythm/repetition,
emphasis, contrast, proportion, pattern.
7. Proportion: A principle of art that describes the size, location, or amount of one element
to another (or to the whole) in a work. It has a great deal to do with the overall harmony
of an individual piece.
8. Shape: An element of art that pertains to the use of areas in two-dimensional space that
can be defined by edges. Shapes can be geometric or organic.
Creating Your Sketches
1. Create 4 city buildings drawings that could be successfully replicated on tag board. You
can have multiple buildings per drawing (but no more than 2)*Remember, circles and
small shapes will be difficult to cut, and could rip off.
2. Once you have your 5 city buildings drawn, outline them in black marker. This will give
you a better idea of what your cut pieces will look like.
Example of a tier
Prepping your Board
1. Make sure the tag board you are working with is at least 22”x 24”.
2. Along the base of your 24” long line, make a mark for every 6”, until you have 3 marks.
These four spaces, measuring 6” in width will be the width of each cityscape tier.
3. Draw a light line straight up from each of these 6” marks so your tag board is divided into
four equal parts, each measuring 6” in width.
4. Next, starting with the tallest tier, on the left hand side of the tag board, measure up 12”.
Make a mark, move the ruler over and make a second mark at the 14” line. This means
your first tier will be 6” in width and 12” in length. Draw a line across these two marks.
You will now have a rectangle measuring 12”x6” (LxW).
5. For your second tier, make a mark up from the base of your board at the 10” line. Move
the ruler over and make a second mark at the 10” line. Draw a line across these two
marks. You will now have a rectangle measuring 10”x6”.
6. Follow steps #5 & 6 for your third and fourth tier.
i. The third tier will measure 18”x6”.
ii. The fourth tier will measure 6”x6”.
7. Now that all of your tiers have been measure out, cut around your lines with an X-Acto
knife. Place the excess board to the side.
Transferring Your Designs
1. Using tracing paper, trace over the outlines of your 4 tier designs. Don’t shade them in, and
outline both the interior and exterior of your buildings.
2. Cut the tracing paper to size for each cityscape design.
3. Arrange the city buildings according to tier level, and tape them down to your board. The
pencil side should be facing down.
4. Transfer your cityscape designs by scribbling over your lines. This will transfer your pencil
lines to your board.
5. Carefully peel the tracing papers off, and place the tracing papers to the side.
Laying out the tier
designs for the
final cityscape.
Cutting Out Your Designs
1. Carefully use an X-Acto knife to cut away the negative space in
your cityscapes.
2. Gently pull the cut pieces away from your board.
3. Repeat steps #1 & 2 for all of your cityscapes.
Folding Your Cityscapes
1. Once your cityscapes have been cut, you will then fold your tiers,
accordion style.
2. Carefully fold tier 1 over the first pencil line using a ruler to help
you crease the fold. The pencil line mentioned should be running
vertically up the board (this was your tier 1 6” line).
3. If you folded tier 1 backwards (away from you), fold tier 2
forwards (towards you). If you folded tier 1 forward, fold tier 2
4. Fold your tiers accordingly for all.
5. Now you have an accordion style, 4 tiered cityscape.
More Examples of Pocket Cities