Design

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.”

A rendering of a future floating city.

The Floating City, Long a Libertarian Dream, Faces Rough Seas

The Seasteading Institute wants to construct a network of ocean structures to liberate humanity from state control (and taxes).

Buildings in downtown Houston reflect the light of the setting sun.

Street Grids May Make Cities Hotter

By comparing buildings to water molecules, researchers found that the form of a city can intensify the urban heat island effect.

MapLab: The Cartography of Chaos

A biweekly tour of the ever-expanding cartographic landscape.

Modernist housing towers at night.

The Slow Decay of Japan's Modernist Dreams

The country’s postwar housing complexes were intended to represent a bold new era. Cody Ellingham’s eerie photographs emphasize their fading might.

A sububan office park

Can Detroit's Suburbs Survive a Downtown Revival?

The city is experiencing a sustained real estate boom, poaching employers—even pro sports teams—from surrounding municipalities. Places like Southfield, Pontiac, and Dearborn will have to find ways to keep up.

Sikh devotees crowd outside a holy Sikh shrine.

What Would a More Ethical City Look Like?

Being a city dweller in an increasingly urbanized world will mean learning how to share space with very different people, says planner and urban scholar Richard Sennett.

A mobile home park.

The Case for Preserving Mobile Homes

Preservationist and landscape architect Eduard Krakhmalnikov thinks these places are overlooked in the national conversation on affordable housing.

A woman talks on her cell phone in front of a window displaying many skyscrapers

Does a Higher Building Elevation Lead to More Risk-Taking?

A new study suggests that being on a higher floor in a building increases a person’s willingness to take financial risks.  

Europe Was Once Obsessed With Fake Dilapidated Buildings

Decadence, awe, and jealousy inspired a strange 18th-century architectural trend.

A large apartment building cleanly divided by a gaping hole in the middle.

Dead Brutalist Buildings

A new show uses photographs of concrete buildings in their final days to argue for their preservation.

A Milwaukee household getting evicted.

How 'Evicted' Became an Exhibit

The National Building Museum brings Matthew Desmond’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book—and the American housing crisis itself—to life.

A plain-clothed police officer mans a position behind the counter at the Starbucks that has become the center of protests in Philadelphia.

Suspiciously Black in Starbucks

Starbucks doesn't need to close its stores for bias trainings. It needs to change its entire design so that it doesn’t merely reflect the character of host neighborhoods, especially if that character is racist.

Peter Calthorpe

Peter Calthorpe Is Still Fighting Sprawl—With Software

In an interview, the leading New Urbanist Peter Calthorpe discusses autonomous rapid transit, Buckminster Fuller, NIMBYism, and his new urban-planning software.

Atrium of modernist office park.

A New Urbanist Developer Gives Saarinen a Reboot

A suburban megacampus for corporate giant Bell Labs makes way for a more diverse second life.

A green roof in Springfield, Ill.

Can We Make Green Roofs More Biodiverse?

A study of decades-old German green roofs found that they don’t support a wide range of animal and plant life. But researchers and designers are trying to change that.

MapLab: Airports In Abstraction

A biweekly tour of the ever-expanding cartographic landscape.

Mel Chin, standing with his work  Sea to See, two large glass blue globes.

Mel Chin's Look at Destruction and Hope

The artist’s new show at the Queens Museum manages to put a spotlight on community chaos and create seductive objects out of it.