I’m going to go ahead and invent a term, right here, right now…
Urban sky frame: a worm’s-eye view centring around the sky, almost seamlessly framed by urban structures.
OKAY, LET ME EXPLAIN.
It all started with the arrival of the swifts, to their summer stomping grounds in Madrid. Did you know that they think our buildings are mountains and our streets are valleys? So cute.
These tiny-screaming migratory birds have had me constantly cricking my head up to the sky and I’ve accidentally found myself studying the configurations of our streets. Noticing how beautifully our buildings frame the sky has led me to a rather profound, slightly bizarre conclusion: I’m an urban worm!
Further solidifying my arrival to this ‘low’ point (get it?) was the discovery of the term, worm’s eye view:
A view seen from below or from a more lowly or humble point.
To put it more simply, it’s the opposite of a bird’s-eye view, which is exactly where urban sky frames belong –both physically and metaphorically.
MADRID’S URBAN SKY FRAMES
My discovery of Madrid’s urban sky frames stems from my obsession with urban exploration. I’m not talking about sneaking into off-grid territories within the city, however much fun that may be – I’m talking about seeing our cities from a different perspective: from below.
Most of us spend the vast majority of our lives in built-up urban environments and, no matter how much we may thrive in cities, we instinctively remain hooked up to the natural world – one that is increasingly difficult to get a dose of.
Our sprawling cities are lengthening our trip to the surrounding greenbelt and our high-rise developments are distancing our view up to the sky. Nature is being pushed further and further away from us in every dimension, but it’s also creating a stunning phenomenon…
Whenever I look up, I imagine all the other people around the world with their eyes locked onto the same sky – billions of us gazing up at the exact same view at the exact same time and, in this moment, we’re united.
So, while some spend their life trying to climb up to rooftops to look back down below, you’ll find me happily waving up at them because I have the best view: a worm’s-eye view from the city streets, which I can share with everyone in cities all around the world.
Share your urban sky frames with me by using the hashtag #urbanskyframe.