Urban Giants

A short historical documentary about the intertwined telecom history of the Western Union and AT&T Long Lines buildings

Children of the Drone

Marcel Duchamp had his urinal. Andy Warhol had his soup can. James Bridle has his . . . drone? With his first major U.S. museum exhibition opening this week at Washington’s Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art & Design, the young British artist is spearheading a conceptual-art movement—“the New Aesthetic”—through Tumblr, Twitter, and Instagram, […]

TED Talk: What is the Internet, really?

When a squirrel chewed through a cable and knocked him offline, journalist Andrew Blum started wondering what the Internet was really made of. So he set out to go see it — the underwater cables, secret switches and other physical bits that make up the net.

Don’t Be Fooled by the Cloud

The fantasy of “the cloud” creates an obfuscation that threatens the health and future of the real, physical network. To imagine a future for the network that isn’t only blisteringly fast but also brazenly free requires knowing something of its existing structure — knowing where our internet comes from.

A Dive Into the Digital Deep

If the Internet is a global phenomenon, it’s because there are tubes at the bottom of the ocean. A look at the undersea cables that connect us.

Netscapes (WIRED)

The Internet surrounds us like air, saturating our offices and our homes. But it’s not confined to the ether. You can touch it. You can map it. And you can photograph it. Here are five postcards from the journey of a single bit, as data flashes from sea to wired sea.

Redesigning the Sky (WIRED)

Nearly all US flight delays can be traced to the snarl of jets over New York City. How do you squeeze more efficiency out of an archaic air traffic control system? Redesign the sky.

James Corner: The Long View (Metropolis)

Corner has spent the last 25 years becoming that guy in a deliberate attempt to reinvent the field of landscape architecture by pushing aside its second-fiddle status and antiurban tendencies and claiming a more ambitious agenda: to design the postindustrial city.

Saint Brad (Metropolis)

“So you’re a design junkie too?” Brad Pitt said to me, leaning out the door of an RV parked in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans one evening in December.

The Ultrabuilder (WIRED)

“It’s not just that Bill is a brilliant engineer — which his buildings are demonstrating,” says Carol Willis, director of the Skyscraper Museum in New York City. “He’s posing new structural approaches rather than reworking old ones, and that’s what it takes to build something unprecedented.”

Local Cities, Global Problems: Jane Jacobs in an Age of Global Change

Jacobs fought modernist urban planning’s “dishonest mask of pretended order,” and what concerns me today about cities is a corollary: Call it the dishonest mask of pretended localism.

Rare Bird (The New Yorker)

For all its eccentricities, bird-watching is a respectable hobby, practiced by psychiatrists, kings, and forty-six million Americans. But plane spotting—which also entails tramping around swamps to watch flying objects—somehow lacks the same cachet.