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Architect Reimagines Ordinary Items as Unique Buildings

From books to face masks, this architect proves anything can be turned into a building.

Architect Reimagines Ordinary Items as Unique Buildings
Images provided by Felipe de Castro

When approached with a great deal of imagination, ordinary items can turn into sources of extraordinary magic. Some artists take their inspiration from the peculiarities of everyday life, but we don't really choose what gets our juices flowing.

Felipe de Castro is a 33-year-old Brazilian architect and urban planner who finds his inspiration from almost everything that surrounds him. The face mask you've become accustomed to throughout the pandemic becomes a unique piece of architecture in the hands of this artist.

Architect Reimagines Ordinary Items as Unique Buildings
Images provided by Felipe de Castro

Castro draws buildings as you've never seen before by turning, for example, a USB stick or a pile of biners into a grand mansion or an office building.

Architect Reimagines Ordinary Items as Unique Buildings
Images provided by Felipe de Castro

"Since I was a child, I've always played with taking objects and transforming them into constructions. I would imagine the object on a much larger scale, but I would never put that design on paper," Castro told Interesting Engineering. "It was only in 2018 that I decided to put these ideas on paper. I was sitting at my desk and looking at a pencil holder. I saw a building loud and clear, and for the first time, put it on paper."

Architect Reimagines Ordinary Items as Unique Buildings
Images provided by Felipe de Castro

His imagination enabled him to see a microphone as a hotel or a stamp as an Apple office, so his portfolio grew. He told IE that the ideas come naturally, with two forms of process happening sometimes at the same time. He either looks at an object and already can create a construction on a larger scale.

Architect Reimagines Ordinary Items as Unique Buildings
Images provided by Felipe de Castro

Or sometimes, someone sends him a photo of an object as a challenge. "When I have to create out of something someone else chose, the challenge becomes greater," he said. 

Architect Reimagines Ordinary Items as Unique Buildings
Images provided by Felipe de Castro

When he is reimagining an object, he adds functionality, people, vehicles, and vegetation for it to come to life. He described all this as a "creativity exercise."

Architect Reimagines Ordinary Items as Unique Buildings
Images provided by Felipe de Castro

"I like to train my knowledge with techniques and the ability to improvise and create constructions of any volume. I love helping students in the field and people who love to draw by using this exercise."

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Architect Reimagines Ordinary Items as Unique Buildings
Images provided by Felipe de Castro

"I've had students and teachers around the world tell me they use my exercise to train their creativity, which is something I'm very happy about," Castro said.

Architect Reimagines Ordinary Items as Unique Buildings
Images provided by Felipe de Castro

The most difficult part of getting the drawings down is imagining the structural parts, he says. "This is because I want to create something that is actually possible to build. I try not to create impossible things that surpass the law of physics."

Architect Reimagines Ordinary Items as Unique Buildings
Images provided by Felipe de Castro

So yes, many of his designs can actually be built. While he has never taken any initiative to build them yet, he says that he would definitely go for it if an investor appeared and the change presented itself.

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