Design

What One Chicago Magazine Reveals About Gentrification

North is an expensively produced lifestyle magazine along the lines of Kinfolk or Monocle. Except it’s published by a Chicago real-estate developer.

The Rise and Fall of the Exuberant Airline Map

A new book reveals how airline flight maps have evolved over the past century, from exoticizing to stylish to more basic.

The Map That Unlocked the Mysteries of Pittsburgh

To untangle the roads of Allegheny County, a 1940s traffic engineer devised an ingenious way to help people like me find their way around.

CityLab University: Tax Increment Financing

Behind the dry-as-dust name is a powerful (and controversial) tool for financing urban redevelopment. Here’s a quick guide to understanding TIF.

The New MoMA Is Bigger, More Diverse, and More Open to the City

The renovated and expanded Museum of Modern Art looks to connect the museum to New York City while telling a fuller story about modernism.

a photo of the Maryland Renaissance Festival

The Utopian Vision That Explains Renaissance Fairs

What’s behind the enduring popularity of all these medieval-themed living-history festivals?

Two men look over city plans at a desk in an office.

The Doomed 1970s Plan to Desegregate New York’s Suburbs

Ed Logue was a powerful agent of urban renewal in New Haven, Boston, and New York City. But his plan to build low-income housing in suburbia came to nought.

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.”