Urban Giants

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

Office Upgrades

The Workplace of the Future Design Competition revealed a wealth of fresh ideas and a bit of uncertainty about exactly where we’re headed.

Technology and the City: Chattanooga

Investments in street-level urbanism and digital infrastructure are helping to turn a once-blighted industrial town into “Gig City,” a haven for businesses and a magnet for young professionals.

Shigeru Ban’s Soho Shoebox

The Japanese architect’s new store for Camper is a crisp reflection of the global brand’s anywhere aesthetic. As a work of architecture, it’s an unusually muddled New York typology: a single-story, freestanding pavilion of the type sometimes called a “taxpayer”—a placeholder for a future, bigger building. But as an expression of pan-global design, it’s sharp as a tack.

Acting Like a Start-Up

After designing offices for a veritable who’s who of Silicon Valley tech firms, Studio O+A has a new challenge: bringing the behemoths back to their renegade roots. What was once an out-of-the-way corner of American industry dominates the popular imagination. And O+A finds itself at its center, designing work spaces for an endlessly renewing list of hot start-ups.

Here but Not Here

Architecture has yet to acknowledge the impact of social media on our experience of physical space. Our experience of the world around us has changed to a degree not seen since the arrival of trains and cars. But it’s not clear to me that the process of design has meaningfully acknowledged that.

Cold Comforts

A look at the latest research bases housing Antarctic scientists.

Metaphor Remediation: A New Ecology for the City (Places Journal)

Confronting climate change and ecological collapse, environmentalists increasingly see urban areas as the most promising engines of sustainability. Two converging realizations — the efficiency of cities, and the global demographic trend towards urbanization — are inspiring a new generation to focus on urban and technology-based solutions to environmental problems.

Roman & Williams (Metropolis)

Anachronistic tastes land Roman & Williams two of New York’s hottest hotels—and a quiet, little brick apartment building that looks like it might be more than a century old. ( On a cool, damp morning in New York, Roman & Williams—the noms de guerre of the husband-and-wife designers Stephen Alesch and Robin Standefer—stand on a […]

The Big Apple Store (Metropolis)

New York tourism gets a 21st-century interface. (link) (Photo Albert Vecerka/Esto/courtesy NYC & Co) The challenge of being a tourist is getting a map of the city inside your head. This is easier in New York than in most places—thanks to the grid—but in January it became easier still, at least for visitors to the […]

Infrastructure: Tracking the Future (Metropolis Mag)

The city begins crumbling as soon as it has been constructed. Beneath every new project lies the rubble of another. In the United States today, that’s an important insight. Infrastructure is being revealed, in the sense that it’s attracting more attention than it has in decades. But that attention is divided between repair and renewal, despair and hope.

In Praise of Slowness (Urban Omnibus)

The city is slow, and we write too fast. Hollywood marketers talk about “eventizing” a movie, and architecture marketers have caught on to the strategy as well.