The city is an ever changing canvas; street art is meant to be ephemeral.

Worn away by the bustle of cities, eroded by rain or painted over by real estate developers, graffiti has evolved into art—making some famous such as the elusive English street artist, Banksy. However, the internet has brought the once maligned art form to a higher level of recognition and respect by preserving it. Google Street Art Project does just that.

What some call vandalism, others call street art. Where some see criminals, others see outlaw poets, heroes of free speech taking their work directly to the people, bypassing galleries and auction houses, and democratizing the relationship between art and the public. That outlaw freedom jumped time and space last week when the Google Street Art Project announced it was doubling its worldwide database by adding 5000 new images.

Launched in June 2014, the street art database features roughly 260 virtual exhibits from 34 countries where you can browse art or hear guided tours. More than 50 organizations partnered on the project, southern California contributors being Wende Museum in Culver City, Pasadena Museum of California Art and the Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles.

 

Can design help 35 million displaced people in 126 countries?

Every day, all over the world, ordinary people must flee their homes for fear of death or persecution. Many leave without notice, taking only what they can carry. Many will never return. They cross oceans and minefields, they risk their lives and their futures. When they cross international borders they are called refugees.

The Refugee Project is an interactive map of refugee migrations around the world in each year since 1975. UN data is complemented by original histories of the major refugee crises of the last four decades, situated in their individual contexts.

Exhibited during the 2nd Istanbul Design Biennal, brooklyn-based designer Ekene Ijeoma presented “The Refugee Project,” a narrative-time map of refugee migrations since 1975. The responsive interface was developed with UN data to visualize refugee volumes over time, adding historical content to help explain some of the largest refugee movements of the last four decades. The project questions the role of design, its relationship to society, and its ability to be an active agent for change.