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The Butterfly Bridge: Wright’s Unbuilt Bay Crossing for Cars & Pedestrians [ARTICLE]


In another timeline, some alternate city of San Francisco is filled with iconic structures by Frank Lloyd Wright, including his first skyscraper (designed for a prominent downtown location along Market Street) and the Butterfly Bridge, stretching across the water to Oakland.

Miss Manhattan Redux [EPISODE]


All over New York City, there is a woman in various states of undress, so baked into architecture that we barely even notice her.

Fordlandia [EPISODE]


In the late 1920s, the Ford Motor Company bought up millions of acres of land in Brazil. They loaded boats with machinery and supplies, and shipped them deep into the Amazon rainforest.

Shopping Around: How Folding Basket Carriers Became Modern Nesting Carts [ARTICLE]


The shopping cart has become an icon of consumer culture, a ubiquitous symbol of retail in physical stores as well as online.

Ancient Thresholds: Classical Welcome Mats & Protective Medusa Mosaics [ARTICLE]


As protective symbols go, a Gorgon with snakes for hair that might turn you to stone is a pretty compelling choice, particularly when embedded in motifs designed to daze and confuse.

Blood, Sweat & Tears (City of the Future, Part 2) [EPISODE]


The Bijlmermeer (or Bijlmer, for short) was built just outside of Amsterdam in the 1960s. It was designed by modernist architects to be a “city of the future” with its functions separated into distinct zones.

Unité d’Habitation: Le Corbusier’s Proto-Brutalist Urban Sky Villages [ARTICLE]


In the wake of World War II, architect Le Corbusier finally got an opportunity to put some of his lofty urban design visions into practice.

Ville Radieuse: Le Corbusier’s Functionalist Plan for a Utopian “Radiant City” [ARTICLE]


Designed in the 1920s by Le Corbusier, one of Modernism’s most influential architects, the “Radiant City” was to be a linear and ordered metropolis of the future.

Bijlmer (City of the Future, Part 1) [EPISODE]


In 1933, a group of architects boarded a ship and set sail from Marseille, France to Athens, Greece. On board were several of the world’s most famous modernist architects and artists, including Erno Goldfinger, Le Corbusier, Alvar Alto, and dozens of others.

Machines for Living In: Le Cobusier’s Pivotal “Five Points of Architecture” [ARTICLE]


Le Corbusier was a painter, writer, architect and planner, but he was also an adept promoter of novel designs and theories.

Concrete Airmail Arrows: Accessing the Bay Area’s Unique ‘Double Arrow’ Set [ARTICLE]


From New York to San Francisco, often in remote locations, the remains of a series of huge concrete Transcontinental Airway System arrows can be found.

Making a Mark: Visual Identity with Tom Geismar [EPISODE]


The Chase logo was introduced in 1961, when the Chase National Bank and the Bank of the Manhattan Company merged to form the Chase Manhattan Bank.

Circling the Square: Designing with “Squircles” Instead of Rounded Rectangles [ARTICLE]


To a casual observer, the difference between a squircle and a rounded square can appear negligible and sound semantic.

Hostile Architecture: ‘Design Crimes’ Campaign Gets Bars Removed from Benches [ARTICLE]


Hostile urban designs can look innocuous, like “armrest” bars dividing up a public bench to prevent rough sleeping.

Border Wall [EPISODE]


When current President Donald Trump took office, he promised to build an “an impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful, southern border wall.” The first part of this episode by Radio Diaries tells two stories of what happens when, instead of people crossing the border, the border crosses the people.

Unpleasant Design in Disguise: Bike Racks & Boulders as Defensive Urbanism [ARTICLE]


A lot of so-called “defensive design” is explicit and easy to spot, like sloped benches or anti-homeless spikes to prevent rough sleeping.

Last Straws: Inventing the Modern “Drinking Tube” & Flexible “Bendy Straw” [ARTICLE]


No one knows for sure just how long ago humans first developed “drinking tubes” to aid in beverage consumption, but a Sumerian tomb from around 3,000 B.C.E.

Managed Retreat [EPISODE]


Off the coast of North Carolina, there’s a thin stretch of islands called the Outer Banks. It spans 200 miles.

Undriven Snow: Activists Trace Winter Car Routes to Reshape City Streets [ARTICLE]


Urban planners can learn a lot simply by observing where cars actually drive (or don’t) after a fresh snowfall.

Beyond Biohazard: Why Danger Symbols Can’t Last Forever [ARTICLE]


The world is full of icons that warn us to be afraid — to stay away from this or not do that. And many of these are easy to understand because they represent something recognizable, like a fire, or a person slipping on a wet floor.


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