Design

'Get Lost, You Little Bastard': Brussels and Paris Locked in a Hilarious Insult Throwdown

Is the capital of the EU really just Europe’s capital of ugly? French writers say yes; Brussels fires back.

Photos
Ryann Ford

A Disappearing American Original: The Roadside Rest Area

Photographer Ryann Ford has been traveling around the country documenting roadside rest areas before they're gone for good.

Trust for Public Land

What We Can Learn About a City by Mapping Its Parks

New data from the Trust for Public Land illuminates which neighborhoods offer excellent green space access ... and which really don't.

Reuters

A Short History of the World's First Retractable Stadium Roof

In 1989, Toronto unveiled the SkyDome to much pomp and circumstance.

Maps
Library of Congress

'Staaten Eylandt' and Other Awesome Spellings on Original Maps of New Netherland

A look at early renderings of the U.S. East Coast, courtesy of the Dutch.

Kobi/Arik/Q-Fog Team

Just in Time for Summer, a Bicycle That Sprays You in the Face With Water

The Q-Fog handlebar system splurts cooling jets of water onto overheated cyclists.

Photos
Rice+Lipka Architects

Designing Libraries That Encourage Teens to Loiter

An open, airy floor at the New York Public Library offers kids spots to play Wii and Guitar Hero, along with books and homework help.

Maps
Matthew Picton

These Funky 3D Paper Maps Bring a City's History to Life

Artist Matthew Picton evokes specific historical events or time periods with the art, text, even paper he chooses to use.

A Vibrant Peek Inside 1939 New York

A pina colada was 5 cents and everyone wore hats.

Mark Byrnes

Detroit's Famously Decaying Old Train Station Has 5 New Windows and No One Knows Why

You have to start somewhere, we guess?

Kaid Benfield

A Second Life for Some of Baltimore's Vacant Properties

The city has about 16,000 empty buildings, and it's developed a unique program to rehab a small number of them.

Anthony Flint

China's Eco-Cities: Substantive and Skimpy at the Same Time

For now at least, the country's most sustainable form of urbanism is relegated to pilot projects.

Photos
Colin Selig

Sustainable, Stylish Furniture Made From Cut-Up Propane Tanks

Using a plasma cutter, Colin Selig makes couches that would make Hank Hill jump with joy.

Library of Congress

A Charming Look Back at the Opening of the 91-Year-Old Lincoln Memorial

"This memorial is less for Abraham Lincoln than for those of us today and for those who follow after."

Photos
Koichi Shimano

Gorgeous, Surreal Photos of Mount Fuji Show Why It Deserves UNESCO's Respect

Photographer Koichi Shimano portrays the godlike volcano in the grips of seriously profound and weird weather.

Detroit Institute of Art

Under Threat of Municipal Bankruptcy, the Detroit Institute of Arts Readies for a Fight

The museum is threatening to play hardball if it's ordered to auction off its assets to help the city pay off its massive debt.

Photos
Stereotank

World's Tiniest Library Pops Up In New York City

The "inhabitable" library looks more like a weird robot or a doughnut on stilts.

Vicki Moon

Finding the Hidden Beauty in Liquor Stores and Cheap Motels

A photographer seeks out L.A.'s less glamorous side.

Photos

Finding Playful New Uses for Boring Street Infrastructure

Designer Thor ter Kulve transforms garbage cans into communal fire places, lampposts into swings, and more.