Design

A man and a woman operate machinery inside a modern factory.

Can Silicon Valley Disrupt How We Build?

Flush with venture capital, the startup Katerra wants to revolutionize the construction industry. But as history shows, it’s harder than it looks.

A 1990s Preview of a ‘Gateway’ for Cleveland

A local celebrity, dark backgrounds, smooth jazz, and a mysterious set of eyes surely sold the region’s corporate class on what’s now known as “The Q.”

A photo of high-rises in Songdo, billed as the world's "smartest" city.

Sleepy in Songdo, Korea’s Smartest City

The hardest thing about living in an eco-friendly master-planned utopia? Meeting your neighbors.  

In Mumbai, a Push to Recognize the Successes of ‘Informal’ Development

An area made famous by Slumdog Millionaire might look crammed and chaotic to outsiders, but a local urbanist group shows the intricate, valuable complexity that exists there. Can that save the neighborhood from demolition?

MapLab: The Voice of a Map Generation

A biweekly tour of the ever-expanding cartographic landscape.

A Russian World Cup Stadium Plays With the Past

Reading the complex history of Yekaterinburg, Russia, in its Constructivist-Stalinist-Classical-Postmodern Central Stadium.

A stained glass artwork depicting two owls and geometric patterns

The Brilliant Artist That Chicago, and the World, Nearly Forgot

The idiosyncratic art of Edgar Miller (1899-1993) has long been hidden behind closed doors. Finally, Chicagoans are getting more opportunities to see it.

A Motel Gets a Noble Second Life on Route 66

The transformation of Albuquerque’s Sundowner Motor Lodge appears to be part of an emerging trend where non-profit developers are seizing opportunities in old motels to create decent housing for those living on the fringes and most in need.

The interior of an underground survival bunker for sale in Seoul, where most residents shrug off the threat of North Korean attack.

Seoul’s ‘War Preppers’ Are Still (Sort Of) Expecting the Worst

As fears of North Korean attack wane, some residents of the South Korean capital are finding it hard to maintain their emergency preparations.  

Hacker George Hotz announces Open Pilot at a Tech Crunch conference in 2016.

You’re Thinking About Autonomous Vehicles Wrong

George Hotz, the hacker-turned-founder of an open-source self-driving startup, has a different philosophy of autonomy.

Equipped with a VR headset, a viewer of "Carne y Arena" experiences the film inside a cavernous room full of sand.

The Experience Is Virtual. The Terror Is Real.

Director Alejandro González Iñárritu’s new VR film recreates the experience of crossing the U.S. border.

MapLab: Machines Are Transforming the Map

A biweekly tour of the ever-expanding cartographic landscape.

Fog is seen clearing around the Shard skyscraper in Londo.n.

The Hidden Forces That Shape Cities

It’s not always big leaders with big plans.

The Strange, Enduring Charm of Japan’s Civic Mascots

Like local sports teams or favorite regional dishes, these weird, lovable characters are now an indelible part of the identities of a generation who cannot imagine their hometowns without them.

A worker climbs among skylights on the "living roof" at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, a LEED Platinum building.

Is LEED Tough Enough for the Climate-Change Era?

Twenty years ago, the U.S. Green Building Council piloted its LEED certification, which has reshaped architecture and real estate. But how much does it dent buildings’ energy use?

In Search of the ‘Just City’

Toni Griffin, one of the leading black women in architecture and design, is leading her students at Harvard in envisioning and designing the "just city." And it looks different in Boston than it does in Rotterdam.

A city built with colorful plastic and paper

Cities Made of Dreams and Paper

Bodys Isek Kingelez built stunning, colorful models to help people see the magnificent places in his mind.

Beyond ‘Habitat’

After Moshe Safdie’s thesis project in Montreal brought him instant fame in 1967, a chance to build a new community in Baltimore turned into a reality check.

Are ‘Pee Beds’ a Fix for Public Urination?

In an effort to clean up popular sites of outdoor urination, researchers studied the mind of the man who pees in public. Their work could make stadiums and festival grounds smell a lot fresher in the future.

MapLab: The Watchdog of Gerrymandering

A biweekly tour of the ever-expanding cartographic landscape.