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Teacher: Megan Doherty

Grade Level: 10th-12th Grade

Title: Pocket Cities
Brief History and Background: Pocket Cities, which
average 4.3 x 6.7 in size, are laser cut, foldable
cardboard postcards, of over 26 different cities from
around the world. Pocket Cities are meant to be
small enough to be easily carried, as well as be
used as a travel guide, a way to raise cultural
awareness, and of course, to be used as a postcard.
As quoted from the Pocket Cities webpage, Pocket
Cities is a project for the traveler, for the explorer,
for the nostalgic...These scenarios enable us to live
in miniature the essence of each place through its
icons, its buildings and its characters.
Salsarela, the designer of Pocket Cities, is an experimental workshop
aiming to create stories as graphical works of art. The cities often display
iconic buildings from the cities portrayed, and occasionally even animals.
Salsarela also attempts to limit environmental damage by using a minimal
amount of materials in their products, as well as experimenting with raw
vegetable fibers to create materials from.
PA Academic Standards:

Production of Visual Arts

Historical and Cultural Contexts
Critical Response
Aesthetic Response

Goal: Students will use the series Pocket Cities, designed by Spanish
workshop Salsarela, to create a 5-tiered, foldable, cityscape.
Objectives: Students will
1. Analyze and discover the pocket city designs of Salsarela.
2. Design a variety of architecture silhouettes for their four tiers.
3. Practice their drawing skills through pencil drawings of architecture.
4. Exercise and be trained in the safe use of X-Acto knives.
5. Employ their critical and aesthetic response skills by self-evaluating their work in a
Requirements: At least four, 3x6 city designs, and one pocket city incorporating the four city

Resource Materials/Visual Aids:

1. PowerPoint presentation on Pocket Cities and Salsarela.
2. Handout explaining the project and goals.
3. Exemplar of pocket Pocket City.
1. X-Acto knives.
2. 22x28 mat board (thin & assorted colors).
3. Drawing paper.
4. Pencils/erasers.
5. Tracing paper.
6. Black markers.
7. Rulers.
8. Cardboard.
Teacher Preparation: Confirm that the PowerPoint presentation is complete and functions
properly on the computer being used in class. Check to see that there is enough materials to be
comfortably shared by all students and handouts have been provided to students.
Students will begin the project by discovering the experimental Spanish workshop
Salsarela and the Pocket Cities series, to determine what architectural features, city elements, and
characteristics they will eventually include in their own works. Students will be asked to
hypothesize about why they believe Salsarala created these cardboard postcards to begin with, as
well as examine the differences between a laser cut and an X-Acto blade cut. Once students have
become familiar with the project and the Pocket Cities series they will be ready to start the
Part One:
1. Create 4 city buildings drawings that could be successfully
replicated on tag board. You can have multiple buildings per
drawing (but no more than 2)*Remember, circles and small shapes
will be difficult to cut, and could rip off.
2. Once you have your 4 city buildings drawn, outline them in black
marker. This will give you a better idea of what your cut pieces will
look like.
Part Two:
1. Measure across the base of your board with a ruler and pencil, 24.
Make a mark on the 24 mark.
2. Along the base of your 24 long line, make a mark for every 6, until
you have 3 marks. These four spaces, measuring 6 in width will be
the width of each cityscape tier.

3. Draw a light line straight up from each of these 6 marks so your

tag board is divided into four equal parts, each measuring 6 in
4. Next, starting with the tallest tier, on the left hand side of the tag
board, measure up 12. Make a mark, move the ruler over and
make a second mark at the 12 line. This means your first tier will
be 6 in width and 12 in length. Draw a line across these two
marks. You will now have a rectangle measuring 12x6 (LxW).
5. For your second tier, make a mark up from the base of your board
at the 10 line. Move the ruler over and make a second mark at the
10 line. Draw a line across these two marks. You will now have a
rectangle measuring 10x6.
6. Follow steps #5 & 6 for your third, fourth, and fifth tier.
i. The third tier will measure 8x6.
ii. The fourth tier will measure 6x6.
7. Now that all of your tiers have been measure out, cut around your
lines with an X-Acto knife. Place the excess board to the side.
Part Three:
1. Using tracing paper, trace over the outlines of your 4 tier designs.
Dont shade them in, and outline both the interior and exterior of
your buildings.
2. Cut the tracing paper to size for each cityscape design.
3. Arrange the city buildings according to tier level, and tape them down
to your board. The pencil side should be facing down.
4. Transfer your cityscape designs by scribbling over your lines. This will
transfer your pencil lines to your board.
5. Carefully peel the tracing papers off, and place the tracing papers to
the side.
Part Four:
1. Carefully use an X-Acto knife to cut away the negative space in your cityscapes.
2. Gently pull the cut pieces away from your board.
3. Repeat steps #1 & 2 for all of your cityscapes.
Part Five:
1. Once your cityscapes have been cut, you will then fold your tiers, accordion style.
2. Carefully fold tier 1 over the first pencil line using a ruler to help you crease the fold.
The pencil line mentioned should be running vertically up the board (this was your tier
1, 6 line).
3. If you folded tier 1 backwards (away from you), fold tier 2 forwards (towards you). If
you folded tier 1 forward, fold tier 2 backwards.
4. Fold your tiers accordingly for all.

5. Now you have an accordion style, 4 tiered cityscape.

Critique/Evaluation/Assessment: When students have completed their Pocket City design,
students will critically and aesthetically assess their own work by using a self-evaluation rubric.
The rubric will ask the students for their intention, if they believe the work is aesthetically
successful, and determine if their project has met the criteria of the assignment.

Students may work on extra credit assignments or finish prior assignments that have not yet been
Time Budget: 3 weeks 15 class periods (45 minutes each)
Class One-Three:
15 minutes: Introduction to Pocket Cities.
25 minutes: Preliminary drawings.
5 minutes: Clean up.
Class Five-Six:
5 minutes: Discuss goals of project again.
35 minutes: Measure mat board, cut to size, and transfer preliminary drawings onto mat board.
5 minutes: Clean up.
Class Seven-Nine:
5 minutes: Discuss goals of project again.
35 minutes: Cut the design into the mat board.
5 minutes: Clean up.
Class Ten:
5 minutes: Conclusion of assignment.
20 minutes: Finish cutting the designs and cleaning up the edges/pencil marks.
5 minutes: Fold the Pocket City.
10 minutes: Self-assessment.
5 minutes: Clean up.
1. Balance:Refers to the sense of distribution of perceived visual weights that offset one
2. Cityscape: Thevisualappearanceofacityorurbanarea;acitylandscape.
3. Composition: Theplacement,orarrangement,ofvisualelementsinaworkofart.

4. Harmony: Invisualdesign,harmonymeansallpartsofthevisualimagerelateto,and
5. Negative Space: The unoccupied space in-between and around the
subject of an image.
Positive Space: The occupied space by the subject.
6. Proportion:Aprincipleofartthatdescribesthesize,location,oramountofoneelement
7. Silhouette:Thedarkshapeandoutlineofsomeoneorsomethingvisibleagainstalighter
8. Shape:Anelementofartthatpertains to the use of areas in two-dimensional space that
can be defined by edges. Shapes can be geometric or organic.
Safety Concerns: X-Acto knives.