I moved to Barcelona in February 2014 to work for Typeform, a startup that, at the time of my moving there, was about to come out of Beta and was looking for someone to tell their story. Whilst my time at Typeform would be slightly turbulent, and end just 6 months later, my time at Barcelona left an impression on me that I had to, when I had the chance, make into art.

Barcelona, an additional dimension

My first collection of City Portraits, Berlin, saw me take iconic parts of the city and turn them into 2D representations. Something that could be spray painted onto a canvas or printed onto a poster.

With Barcelona, I wanted to add an additional dimension - by designing and printing 3D artefacts inspired by the panot tiles that can be seen throughout the historic city. These hexagonal tiles surround many of the most famous attractions in the city, so what if we could take these attractions and out them into the tiles?

With that came the idea for the second chapter of my City Portraits series - 3D-printable panot tiles based on the famous buildings and locales of Barcelona.

The Designs

The chosen designs for the panot tiles were:

The final selection was made up of designs that inspired me, but also with one or two that were voted for by my friends and fans on Instagram. It was cool to create a league using Instagram Stories to choose the design.

Torre Glòries

Torre Glòries panot tile design
Torre Glòries panot tile design

Arc de Triomf

Arc de Triomf panot tile design
Arc de Triomf panot tile design

Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia panot tile design
Sagrada Familia panot tile design

The Process and results

The process of making these tales started with pencil and paper sketches, working out which aspects would make it onto the tiles to make them iconic. Once these designs were sketched out, I brought them into Shapr3D to create the 3D files for the print.

Once these 3D files were created in Shapr3D, which is an app for iPad (!!!), they were loaded onto a Mac, where we used Ultimaker’s Cura software to slice the print and create the required GCode files for the Creality Ender-3 printer we would use to print the tiles.

Once printed, they were good to go. They could either be used as seen, painted, or turned into moulds to create ceramic or plaster tiles from.