Design

The Zany, Playful Brilliance of Will Alsop

You knew a building was his the second you set eyes on it and yet he still managed to surprise.

The Malcolm X Murals of America

Thirty years ago, his likeness could be found in many poor, minority communities. Today, these images are disappearing as the buildings they were painted on have either collapsed or have been demolished.

This Estonian Town Just Made the Cannabis Leaf its New Logo

Kanepi, Estonia’s new symbol is pretty dope.

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama, which opened last month.

How to Mark an American Atrocity

At the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama, the pain and horror of racial violence assume physical form.

A Loving Glimpse of an Aging Concrete Utopia

A new documentary charts the recent history of Basildon, one of Britain’s first post-war new towns.

A 1970s abstract transit map made entirely of dots in four different colors

The D.C. Metro Almost Had a Very Cool Abstract Map

A series of modernist transit design gems were discovered last week inside Massimo and Lella Vignelli’s archives.

Boston Wants People To Build Tiny Houses In Their Yards

The city is showing off a prototype for “pop-up” affordable housing—and easing rules on accessory dwelling units.

A giant sculpture of a foot sits on a pedestal under banners and a lot of red umbrellas

The Tube Gets In Touch With Its Feminist Side

A new program sponsored by the London Underground will feature female artists in public transit spaces.

Britain Wants to Protect Its Postmodernist Architecture

Following an announcement by Historic England, 17 buildings, the youngest of which was designed in 1991, will be preserved. It’s not hard to see why the newly listed buildings caught conservationists’ eyes.

A set of multi-storied building with open balconies and lots of garden space below.

What the Future of Affordable Housing Already Looks Like

An exhibit on selected projects across Europe offers a few ideas for a U.S. audience.

Inside the Secret Cities That Created the Atomic Bomb

The Manhattan Project, the program that developed the first nuclear weapons during World War II, worked out of three purpose-built cities in Tennessee, New Mexico, and Washington state. A new exhibition considers their design and legacy.

MapLab: Nerds Shall Inherit the Earth

A biweekly tour of the ever-expanding cartographic landscape.

How to Kill a Bike Lane

In cities nationwide, efforts to redesign streets for bikes and pedestrians can face stiff resistance.

A colorful modern high school that occupies a former Kmart in Waukegan, Illinois

Blue Light Special: The Chicago-Area High School in an Old Kmart

In the suburb of Waukegan, Illinois, the design firm JGMA has turned an abandoned Kmart into a bright new home for Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep.

An empty underground metro station with platform walls and a large screen.

The Metro Stations of São Paulo That Read Your Face

As a Personal Data Protection Bill sits in Brazil’s congress, a privately operated transit line debuts a product that has privacy advocates worried.

D.C.'s "sliced-off" skyline

The Case for D.C.'s Flat Skyline

Some Washingtonians complain that the city’s height limit has resulted in lookalike, boxy buildings. But creativity can emerge from constraint, a West Coast critic argues.

An aerial view of Babcock Ranch near Fort Myers, which is projected to have 50,000 residents by the time it’s completed

Can a New 'Solar City' Make Suburbia Green?

People are starting to move into Babcock Ranch, an ambitious development in Florida more than a decade in the making. With a solar field and self-driving shuttles, it’s a suburb that its creators hope will be revolutionary.

Houses along the river in Castres, France.

France Plans an Extreme Makeover for Struggling Small Cities

Action Coeur de Ville aims to undo the damage of urban sprawl in more than 200 city centers across the country.

The Miseducation of Kanye West

Kanye West wants to develop cities. Don’t let him do this.

Copenhagen Mastermind Jan Gehl Isn't Sold on 'Smart' Cities

Architect and planner Jan Gehl looks back on how he helped transform Copenhagen into one of the world’s most livable cities and talks about how people can reclaim the streets.

Aerial view of abandoned, unfinished homes in a barren landscape.

A Drone's Eye View of Spain's Housing Bubble

“We need to remember these places, what we did here and what we should learn for the future,” says photographer Markel Redondo. “We need to know that these buildings are still there.”