CityWood – beautiful, custom 3D wooden map that tells a story about a city you love. Perfect to style a home or office.
Maps are a visual representation of our world. For centuries they have helped us navigate through the unknown, invoke memories from the experiences we have encountered, and allow us to visually comprehend vast worlds with ease. And for some reason, they have this undeniably alluring aesthetics when laid out in front of us. However, traditionally a map is still only a map; it is practical, it has a purpose, and it is limited to this functionality. So where can we go from here with this simple day-to-day object?
Enter Hubert Roguski, a young architect, artist, designer, and self-confessed “cartophile”, ie. a lover of maps, who has taken the ordinary and elevated this into a piece of art. His impeccable taste of design and obsession to his craft has allowed us to reshape the way we think about maps. Traveling and studying around Poland, the United States and Japan, Roguski has developed a fascination for urban planning, wooden craftsmanship and intricate design, as well as a deeper understanding for the emotional impact that stunning visuals can invoke.
Over the last decade, Roguski has transformed hundreds of different city maps into works of art. Remarkable attention to details and persistent need for achieving excellence, haven’t gone unnoticed for long. Today, he is one of the best-known cartography artists from Eastern-Europe, and the creator of CityWood in 2017, a personal project that came to fruition shortly after years of exploring technologies within art graphic maps. “I have always been fascinated with the intricacy and elegance of wooden carvings, new and old”, recalls Roguski. “I imagined the maps coming to 3D as a layered composition. With this thought in mind, I’ve spent countless nights designing and prototyping wooden maps that would bring my ideas to life with a quality I wanted”. As a result of these sleepless nights, he came up with an idea of crafting outstanding, custom made, multidimensional wall art. And needless to say, Roguski’s obsession has not gone unrecognized, with CityWood already picking up internationally coveted awards including the Gold A’ Design Award (2018) and the German Design Award Special
CityWood maps are reflecting the artists love for minimalism and elegance in design. Roguski takes city data, and combines his artistic talents with his passion for the latest technologies to construct amazingly meticulous wooden reproductions. The process to create each piece of art is exhaustive – sheets of highquality plywood, that are only 3/32 inch (3mm) thick, compose different layers depicting roads, landscape and waters, creating further depth to these designs. Each one of them is then cut separately using cutting-edge 3D laser technology to an incredible one hundredth of a millimeter precision. These are then polished with sandpaper and assembled by Roguski’s hands, with each creation being a uniquely crafted pinewood map due to the individual grain of the wood. The artwork is varnished for material durability and customized to bring each piece to life, with options ranging from a clear coating, black stain, walnut or mahogany. Finally, CityWood’s wall art is professionally framed and protected with high quality plexiglass to preserve the map.
Personalization is at the heart of CityWood’s service. “Of course, each client has a unique taste, so whilst some prefer the minimalist hand-crafted wooden finishing, there are many who additionally love a burst of indigo blue which highlight the various lakes, rivers and seas within their maps”, says Roguski. “An increasingly popular option as well for many individuals is the inclusion of a red love heart in a specific location on their artwork. They like to remember where they have fallen in love with their partner, their current home, where their child was born, or even a favorite restaurant – the possibilities are endless when it comes to love and memories.
” And the possibilities remain endless for CityWood’s designs, with no request off limits. As such, CityWood extends its boundaries towards crafting maps small and large, whether it’s the intricacy of a small town, or designing the incredible scale of continents. For many of his clients as well, they may ask for a piece for a place they have never even visited. “Sometimes it is created as a memory or a constant reminder of a promise made to themselves that they will one day travel to this place they hold dearly”, he says with a smile.
Roguski’s inherent love and passion for cartography has sensationally transformed the way we all view maps, by turning the ordinary into hugely popular, remarkable creations. It is therefore no surprise at all that global success has come naturally for CityWood, with requests from customers coming all over the world. The artist has a simple yet powerful rationale for the desirability of these pieces. “The beautiful thing about cartography”, Roguski reflects, “is that a map is a cognitive content of the world. It can be individually understood by each of us – that’s why it is so unique”.