Sure, there are oodles of architecture-themed playing cards, holiday cards, and even “Cards Against Urbanity.” But here’s a new, more productive deck from a+t Architecture Publishers: 50 Urban Blocks. The pack of 50 cards was created as a simple tool in the process of designing a city.
Each 13 by 8 centimeter card shows a different way of organizing a city block, incorporating isometric and bird’s-eye-view diagrams, along with information about the form’s density, height, floor area ratio, coverage, and square footage. The typologies are both playful and practical, ranging from “Pixelated Tower” to “Closed Urban Block,” and even one named “Gruyere Urban Block” filled with circular voids. The front and back display the same information in English and Spanish as well as measurements in both feet and meters.
The cards were created as a thinking tool, offering up alternatives and inspiration for architecture and city planning projects. The fact that the forms are displayed on cards (as opposed to, say, the pages of a bound book) makes them easy to lay out, pin up, group, compare, and debate.