Design

How Charlotte Perriand Defined Modern Design

The pioneering French designer and architect is the subject of a new retrospective at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris.

The Buoyant Ecologies Float Lab

Designing the Floating Future

A prototype in the San Francisco Bay is testing a vision for floating buildings built to withstand sea-level rise. And it’s distancing itself from some other utopian visions for floating cities.

Charles Jencks and the Architecture of Compassion

The celebrated architectural theorist, who died this week, left a down-to-earth legacy: thoughtfully designed buildings and landscapes for people with cancer.

People sit on the lawn area of an urban park in the sunshine.

This Conservative City Built a $132 Million Park Using One Weird Trick

Oklahoma City’s new Scissortail Park is a serious investment in the public realm, paid for by the city’s special sales tax for capital projects, called MAPS.

Small brick townhouses surround a small courtyard.

A 'Modest Masterpiece' of Public Housing Wins Top Design Prize

Goldsmith Street, a publicly funded development of 105 homes in the U.K. city of Norwich, is a “modest masterpiece,” has won the RIBA Stirling Prize.

A semicircular "agora" made of wooden crates and plywood walls in a design exhibition.

An Activist Architecture Stirs in Chicago

Chicago Architecture Biennial participants are focused less on physical buildings than on laying the foundations of an overtly political approach to design.

a photo illustration of a pictorial map of Los Angeles

The Amazing Pictorial Map That Captured the Soul of Los Angeles

Meet Joseph Jacinto Mora, the king of California pictorial cartography.

a photo of bikes on a bridge in Amsterdam

Street by Street, Amsterdam Is Cutting Cars Out of the Picture

Armed with a street-design tool called the knip, the Dutch capital is slashing car access in the city center, and expanding public transit hours.

a photo of Hunt Library at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C.

The Unnecessary Reinvention of the College Library

While many schools outfit their libraries with 3-D printers, virtual-reality gear, and escape rooms, students would rather just have books (and good Wi-Fi).

Aerial view of a tall concrete building surrounded by science research buildings.

The Eccentric Design and Cutting-Edge Science of Fermilab

The idiosyncratic design of a hub of Cold War physics research, the Fermi National Accelerator Lab in Illinois.

Uncovering the Seeds of a Post-Lawn Future

Two artists are on a mission to replace the monoculture of the turf lawn with “leafy green goodness” from seeds that lie dormant in the soil.

a photo of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.

The World’s Largest Refugee Camp Is Becoming a Real City

Two years into the Myanmar refugee crisis, life for the Rohingya trapped in Bangladesh has improved, thanks to infrastructure and design improvements.  

Portrait of the architect Alejandro Aravena.

How an Architect Who Designs ‘Half-Houses’ Rebuilt a City

Alejandro Aravena, who helped a city recover from an earthquake and a tsunami, says participatory design is not just inclusive but “more efficient.”

Two people walk through the decorated front gates of a squatter community.

First, There Was Artwashing. Now There’s … Squatter Chic?

Will developers start to copy the look of urban squatter and protest communities? London’s Nomadic Community Gardens suggests they might.

an illustration depicting Tel Aviv in the 1920s

Mapping My Life Through a Changing Tel Aviv

Growing up in Israel, I relied on landmarks to navigate; today’s residents rely on smartphones. But what are they missing?

A crane in the San Francisco sky

What the ‘Crane Index’ Says About Your Changing City

In some cities, a skyline full of construction equipment has become synonymous with change and displacement. But there are things cranes can’t tell you.

Saving 20 Sites That Tell the Story of American Women

The sites that get the most public votes will win a total of $2 million from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and American Express.

100 Years of Designing for U.S. National Parks

A new book of vintage brochures, maps, and other park ephemera doubles as a whirlwind tour of American graphic design.

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.   

A Love Story in Three Maps

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

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.