John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
And you can have one customized for your location, too.
Here's one of the stranger skydiving simulators out there: "Landcarpets," bespoke textiles modeled on satellite images of city blocks and farmland. Leap off your sofa and feel the wind in your face as you plummet downward—at least for the second it takes to hit the plushy rug.
"Landcarpets" are the work of Beijing-based architect Florian Pucher and graphic designer Sophia Liu Bo, who make each one in a process that can take weeks. "As each culture deals with landscape and farming in a different way LANDCARPET comes in various series, each of them representing a different continent or country," writes Pucher. "In the first edition Europe is held in warm green and brown colors, USA comes in very fresh green colors, Africa in a series of earthen tones, and Netherlands as a colorful array of flower fields."
The duo make their ersatz fields, rivers, and roads from wool of different thicknesses, creating a sculptural quality that recalls an actual landscape. The technique allows them to mimic a number of environments, from the terraced rice paddies of Yunnan to the sunken canal systems of the Bahamas. The cost for their limited-edition designs like the U.S. and Europe is $1,200 to $2,100 depending on size (the larger ones measure about 6 by 8 feet). But in a nifty touch, if you're willing to pay a bit more they'll make an exclusive rug based on your favorite place; just forward them some aerial maps.
Please, step onto the wing of this imaginary Cessna and gaze down upon a few "Landcarpets":