Design

A Love Story in Three Maps

My relationship has unfolded across three cities. But now my boyfriend and I are heading into uncharted territory.

a photo of a full parking lot with a double rainbow over it

Parking Reform Will Save the City

Cities that require builders to provide off-street parking trigger more traffic, sprawl, and housing unaffordability. But we can break the vicious cycle.   

An architectural rendering of a large new development in Manhattan, set against the New York skyline.

Why Essex Crossing Is a Model Mega-Development

With a large share of affordable housing and restrained architecture, the six-acre project seeks to fit into—rather than shake up—New York’s Lower East Side.

A view of Rikers from an airplane

Rikers Was Planned as NYC’s Kinder, Gentler Jail. What Happened?

When Rikers Island jails were designed, critics called them “palaces for prisoners.” New York City is planning replacements, but will they be any better?

A photo of President Donald Trump displaying an altered map of Hurricane Dorian's anticipated track on September 4.

Yes, Maps Can Lie. But Not Like This.

Mark Monmonier, the author of How to Lie With Maps, has seen a lot of misleading and deceptive maps. But Trump’s doctored Dorian forecast is a new one.

How Architects Are Making Concrete Walls Look Like Crumpled Paper

“We’re pushing the limits of what this material can do,” says a designer behind the Kennedy Center’s new building, describing its experimental concrete treatments.

a photo of the Gare Du Nord as it will look from Rue de Saint-Quentin after redevelopment.

Why a Train Station Addition Has Parisians Outraged

The plan for a shopping-mall-like extension to the city’s 19th-century Gare du Nord is "inacceptable," a group of 19 architects say.

A small, sculptural concrete building standing beside Washington's Kennedy Center.

The Kennedy Center’s ‘Reach’ Expansion Is a Beautiful Maze

The new addition to D.C.’s performing-arts behemoth strives to create a sense of lightness, movement, and intimacy—qualities that the original building lacks.

a photo of the interior of a vacant church in Buffalo, NY

One Solution for America’s Empty Churches: a Change of Faith

On Buffalo’s East Side, long-vacant churches are finding new uses as mosques and temples. But faith-to-faith conversions can be controversial.

an illustration depicting the 1527 "Carta Marina" map

The Renaissance Map That Filled My Childhood With Monsters

Growing up amid the political conflict in Northern Ireland, a 16th-century map that blended real and mythical monsters spoke to my fears and fascinations.

A diamond-like glass-walled church building, lit up from the inside.

How a Drive-In Megachurch Became a Catholic Cathedral

Designed by an acclaimed architect for a famous televangelist, a unique church in Southern California has been transformed.

Design by MASS Design Group, Corn/Meal is a corn maze with a twist on the classic picnic table.

A Small City Famous for Architecture Rolls Out the Welcome Mat

Columbus, Indiana—known for its modern architecture—makes it feel fresh and lived-in during a biennial festival.

What’s the Deal With AOC’s Retro-Style GND Posters?

Posters for the Green New Deal unveiled by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez strongly evoke a famous Depression-era federal art program.

On Google Maps, a Town Called Atlas Keeps Disappearing

There’s proof that Atlas, Illinois, exists, and that I was once there. But its namesake grows more appropriate as the town declines.

A residence hall at the University of Southern California

College Dorms Are Getting Way Too Nice. Here's Why.

Many of today’s students are living in far better-appointed accommodations than now-graying alumni did.

a map comparing the sizes of several cities

The Commuting Principle That Shaped Urban History

From ancient Rome to modern Atlanta, the shape of cities has been defined by the technologies that allow commuters to get to work in about 30 minutes.

Montreal Gets a 'Remarkable' Chance to Build a New Neighborhood

A historic brewery on the St. Lawrence River will become a new mixed-use district, with a large share of subsidized and below-market-rate housing.

a photo of the Jewerl Changi Airport in Singapore

Why Singaporeans Really Love Their Airport

The Moshe Safdie-designed addition to Changi Airport allows even more Singaporeans to do their favorite thing: Hang out at the airport.

A building resembling stacks of metal blocks with round windows, in a commercial district.

Time Is Running Out for Tokyo’s Nakagin Capsule Tower

The famous example of Japanese Metabolist architecture was headed for demolition—but a reprieve may be on the horizon.

A rendering of a community room with a circle of chairs and people writing on a whiteboard.

Oakland’s Restorative-Justice Hub Wants to Redefine Public Safety

Restore Oakland provides a home for nonprofits that seek to resolve conflict, reduce incarceration, and empower low-income people.

The Children’s Book Map That Led Me Out of Depression

As a child, I loved the fantastical lands from The Phantom Tollbooth. As a troubled college student, I used them as a roadmap to self-acceptance.