This review will focus on the synthesis, arrangement, structural assembly, for current and future applications, of 1D nanomaterials (tubes, wires, rods) in 2D and 3D ordered arrangements. The ability to synthesize and arrange one dimensional nanomaterials into ordered 2D or 3D micro or macro sized structures is of utmost importance in developing new devices and applications of these materials. Micro and macro sized architectures based on such 1D nanomaterials (e.g. tubes, wires, rods) provide a platform to integrate nanostructures at a larger and thus manageable scale into high performance electronic devices like field effect transistors, as chemo- and biosensors, catalysts, or in energy material applications. Carbon based, metal oxide and metal based 1D arranged materials as well as hybrid or composite 1D materials of the latter provide a broad materials platform, offering a perspective for new entries into fascinating structures and future applications of such assembled architectures. These architectures allow bridging the gap between 1D nanostructures and the micro and macro world and are the basis for an assembly of 1D materials into higher hierarchy domains. This critical review is intended to provide an interesting starting point to view the current state of the art and show perspectives for future developments in this field. The emphasis is on selected nanomaterials and the possibilities for building three dimensional arrays starting from one dimensional building blocks. Carbon nanotubes, metal oxide nanotubes and nanowires (e.g. ZnO, TiO2, V2O5, Cu2O, NiO, Fe2O3), silicon and germanium nanowires, and group III–V or II–VI based 1D semiconductor nanostructures like GaS and GaN, pure metals as well as 1D hybrid materials and their higher organized architectures (foremost in 3D) will be focussed. These materials have been the most intensively studied within the last 5–10 years with respect to nano–micro integration aspects and their functional and application oriented properties. The critical review should be interesting for a broader scientific community (chemists, physicists, material scientists) interested in synthetic and functional material aspects of 1D materials as well as their integration into next higher organized architectures.