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Car-Free Cities: “Gridlock Sam” and the Drive to Reclaim Urban Roadways [ARTICLE]


The city of Paris recently held its third iteration of a “Day Without Cars,” this time banning vehicles from around 40 square miles of the city.

Hero Props: Graphic Design in Film & Television [EPISODE]


When a new movie comes out most of the plaudits go to the director, the producer and the lead actors, but there are so many other people involved in a film, and a lot of them are designers.

Rainbow Sideboys: Color-Coded Outfits Set Aircraft Carrier Personnel Apart [ARTICLE]


A distinguished visitor arrives on a carrier deck, a call is made to “muster the rainbow sideboys,” and a colorful gauntlet of U.S Navy personnel assembles in response — but what do those colors mean?

Biomimicry: How Designers Are Learning from the Natural World [ARTICLE]


In 1989, Japan’s Shinkansen Bullet Train had a problem. It was really fast, pushing 170 miles per hour.

Dollhouses of St. Louis [EPISODE]


Back in the 1950s, St. Louis was segregated and The Ville was one of the only African-American neighborhoods in the city.

Crappy Cities: Urban Planning and the Great Horse Manure Crisis of 1894 [ARTICLE]


In 1894, a writer for the Times of London estimated that within 50 years the streets of England’s capital would be buried under nine feet of horse manure.

Prop Town: The Fake Rooftop Suburb that Hid a Whole WWII Airplane Factory [ARTICLE]


Boeing’s aircraft manufacturing facilities were critical to the World War II efforts of Allied forces.

Oyster-tecture [EPISODE]


Standing on the sidewalk in Manhattan’s financial district in the shadows of glass skyscrapers, it is easy to forget how close you are to the water.

Branching Out: Sustainable Wood Skyscrapers Continue to Reach New Heights [ARTICLE]


A wave of fires swept through major cities in the United States through the 1800s and early 1900s, leading wood-framed architecture to be deemed unsafe for increasingly dense urban environments.

Smooth Operators: Mesmerizing Videos of Machine-Aided Road Painters [ARTICLE]


The first documented use of a hand-painted center line in the United States dates back to 1911. As the story goes, a Board of Roads chairman in Michigan named Edward N.

Muriel Cooper: Designing a Bridge Between the Bauhaus & the Digital Age [ARTICLE]


If you “take all the strands that define contemporary media, technology, and design, and follow them back in time to their source,” suggests Pentagram’s Michael Bierut, “to your astonishment, you will find all the strands converge in a single person: Muriel Cooper.

La Sagrada Família [EPISODE]


The line to enter Barcelona’s most famous cathedral often stretches around the block. La Sagrada Família, designed by Antoni Gaudí, draws so many people to see it that the neighborhood is congested with tour buses and taxis and scooters.

Fruit Walls: Before Greenhouses, Walled Gardens Created Urban Micro-Climates [ARTICLE]


Imagine being able to plant things in your garden that would normally never grow in that climate, all without any electricity or technology.

Vintage Skynet: AT&T’s Abandoned “Long Lines” Microwave Tower Network [ARTICLE]


Between early wired networks and today’s fiber optics sat a system of microwave relay towers transmitting information from coast to coast across the United States.

Half Measures [EPISODE]


Back in the late 1990s, NASA launched the Mars Climate Orbiter to further explore the mysteries of the red planet.

Lane Ends, Merge Right: 10 (More!) Redesign Ideas for the W4-2 Road Sign [ARTICLE]


A while back, we took a look at how the design of the W4-2 (Lane Reduction Transition Sign) has been improved over time while also asking: could its message be further clarified?

Uncomfortable by Design: A Series of Deliberately Inconvenient Everyday Objects [ARTICLE]


Designers are regularly called upon to develop innovative products for everyday problems. Thinking even further outside the box, one designer is working in reverse on innovative ways to problemitize existing solutions with results that are “designed to annoy you.” “This project started after I failed to finish my studies in industrial design around 2011,” explains Athens-based architect Katerina Kamprani, “and it has continued to grow ever since.” Forks, mugs, keys, watering cans, wine glasses, chairs, even staircases and doors — no household object is safe from her frustrating manipulations.

The Containment Plan [EPISODE]


It’s hard to overstate the vastness of the Skid Row neighborhood in Los Angeles. It spans roughly 50 blocks, which is about a fifth of the entire downtown area of Los Angeles.

Boundary Stones of D.C.: The Oldest National Monuments in the United States [ARTICLE]


The Residence Act of 1790 called for the creation of a new capital city for the United States. Dividing up land previously belonging to Maryland and Virginia, a diamond spanning ten miles on each side was marked at each mile with a similar stone.

Changing Lanes: Watch Median Movers & Cone Collectors Rapidly Modify Roads [ARTICLE]


From everyday lane switches to periodic construction detours, being able to modify lanes quickly, easily and safely with machines helps both drivers and road workers alike.


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