Joshua Smith, an artist from South Australia, constructs intricate worlds for a living. He claims his work focuses on “overlooked aspects of the urban environment,” including the grime, rust, and general decay found in all centres of civilisation. Before we explain more, take a look at some photos of his latest project.
In an interview with archdaily, Smith explains that he first finds a building he wants to replicate, “either in person or using Google Maps Street View.” Once found, he “reverse engineer[s]” the building and “breaks it down into components (i.e. the doors, windows, street, electrical boxes and so on). Corrugated card, for example, for roller doors,” Smith continues.
Once he’s chosen a location and materials, he works almost exclusively in a 1:20 aspect as he finds the mathematics easier to work with.
“I usually go off one small aspect, such as a door or a brick, and using Adobe Photoshop I work out the scale for the rest of the building.
“In terms of the main materials I use: MDF for the base, 1mm-thick cardboard for window frames, black card for more detailed areas, and 0.25mm-thick plastic card for windows.”
Each project varies in length, taking from a day or so for the smallest ones, up to three months of non-stop work.
“I strive to create a reality. I take as many reference photos as possible to mimic every single streak of rust, grime and chipping of stonework. I want viewers to be fooled, if I take a photo of the completed work in sunlight, to think it is the real thing,” said Smith.
He did consider becoming an architect, only to reason that the role he wanted to fulfil was that of an engineer. Instead he chose to study Graphic Design.
Here’s the result. We’re impressed!
You can view more of Joshua’s work by visiting his website.