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Room to Read in a Digital World: 14 Modern Library Designs

[ By Steph in Architecture & Public & Institutional. ] Shifting from paper to digital media hasn’t diminished the role of libraries in our communities, with many modern designs expanding to serve as cultural hubs with cafes, soundproof video rooms and even lookout points with panoramic views of the surrounding city.

Fragile Cloud: 100,000 Illuminated Balloons Fill Indoor Market

[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Installation & Sound. ] Pulsing with light and life, this incredible art installation provides Covent Garden, a glass-topped marketplace, with a kind of artificial interior skyscape.

Open Competition: Redesign the World’s Largest Temporary City

[ By WebUrbanist in Architecture & Cities & Urbanism. ] Creating a one-of-a-kind opportunity for urban designers and aspiring planners, Black Rock City is soliciting fresh layouts from anyone who wishes to contribute.

Chalk it Up to Illusion: Hyperrealistic 3D Sidewalk Murals

[ By Steph in Drawing & Digital. ] Polar bears, orcas, lions and puppies stick their heads out of holes in the pavement so convincingly, you feel like you could actually pet them.

Smart Style for Small Spaces: 12 Compact Sets & Modules

[ By Steph in Design & Fixtures & Interiors. ] City dwellers are making do with smaller and smaller spaces these days, but that doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice style and function.

Car-Free Paris: French Capital Bans Motor Vehicles for 1 Day

[ By WebUrbanist in Culture & History & Travel. ] For a single day next month, locals and visitors will be able to experience Paris without motorized traffic, giving the city over to pedestrians and bikers.

Dry Doc: 10 Abandoned Walk-in Public Health Clinics

[ By Steve in Abandoned Places & Architecture. ] It’s prognosis negative (and not in a good way) for these abandoned walk-in clinics – obviously everyone within walking distance was perfectly healthy.

Lights Out: Hong Kong Bans Iconic Neon Signs from City Streets

[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Sculpture & Craft. ] In an effort criticized by local businesses as well as global visitors, Hong Kong has deemed neon signage illegal and is ramping up its systematic removal of these historic place-making lights.

Pink Marble Public Pissoir: Open-Air Urinal in Urban Zurich

[ By Steph in Architecture & Public & Institutional. ] This giant hunk of pink marble in the middle of a Zurich car park isn’t a sculpture, exactly; it’s a place to relieve yourself in the open air so you don’t go stinking up the city.

Future of Fenestration is Here: Every Window Can Generate Power

[ By WebUrbanist in Design & Fixtures & Interiors. ] Better, cheaper and easier than solar windows, this newly-patented flexible coating can be applied to existing glass and plastic surfaces, turning any aperture into a source of electricity.

City Lab: World’s Largest Urban Simulator Spans 26 Square Miles

[ By WebUrbanist in Architecture & Cities & Urbanism. ] It will be a brand-new, from-scratch American city like any other, with urban, suburban, exurban and rural zones dotted with houses, malls, power plants, police and fire stations, missing only one key ingredient: inhabitants.

Kiss Lid: Do You Love Coffee Enough to Make Out With It?

[ By Steph in Design & Products & Packaging. ] Do you love coffee enough to make out with it every time you take a sip?

Crossing the Divide: 10 Totally Atypical Bridge Designs

[ By Steph in Architecture & Public & Institutional. ] Bridges aren’t just a means of passing from one place to another along a linear path; they might offer a place for strangers to converge, provide a mostly decorative function or go nowhere at all.

Waveless Surfing: Electric Boards Power Through Calm Waters

[ By WebUrbanist in Technology & Vehicles & Mods. ] Leaving those stand-up paddleboarders in the proverbial dust, these new battery-powered boards will let you cruise lakes, rivers, cannals and other bodies of water all without that formerly-critical ingredient: waves.

Sky Swimming: Transparent Pool Bridges Two 10-Story Buildings

[ By WebUrbanist in Architecture & Houses & Residential. ] Designed to span over 80 feet and connect a pair of apartment structures in London, this remarkable see-through glass pool will give swimmers the ultimate view of the city on all sides.

Alien Architecture: Surreal Cities for Future Worlds

[ By Steph in Art & Drawing & Digital. ] Will the architecture of the distant future be recognizable to us based on what we have built up to this point in human history, or beyond what we’re able to conceive?

Reflection Perception: 12 More Mirrored Art Installations

[ By Steph in Art & Installation & Sound. ] Mirrors can disrupt our perception of our environment, especially when they’re positioned to blur the lines between land and sky, up and down, reality and reflection.

Escape Artist: Giant Ball Rolls Down Streets, ‘Round Corners

[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Installation & Sound. ] Wind and rain conspired to set loose a gigantic inflatable piece of installation art, turning it into a kind of impromptu performance piece for drivers and bystanders as one (very big) red balloon rolled by.

Artist Nikita Nomerz Gives Russian Buildings A New Look

[ By Steve in Art & Street Art & Graffiti. ] Artist Nikita Nomerz is giving abandoned buildings and structures in Russian cities a new look… and the eerily expressive edifices are looking back!

World’s Littlest Skyscraper Scam: Con Man Used Inches, Not Feet

[ By WebUrbanist in Culture & History & Travel. ] Perhaps the greatest cons of all time are those that manage to hold up in court, like the case of the world’s smallest skyscraper, a building sold to investors at 480 inches tall on a blueprint that did not convert those units back into feet.