For nearly a century, a vast system of underground pipes run by the London Hydraulic Power Company pumped water to power hotels, shops, offices, mansion blocks, hotels, docks, factories and more.
in recent years, large established companies as well as smaller startups and innovative entrepreneurs in the kosher gadget industry have begun to rethink cars, phones, alarms, microwaves, lamps, coffee machines and other everyday gadgets and technologies.
In cities with high costs of living, every inch counts — floor space can costs hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars per square foot.
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.
Shopping carts revolutionized the way people shop, but they weren't an instant hit. The creator of "folding basket carriers" actually had to hire people to push them around his store to get shoppers using his novel invention.
After World War II, a group of city planners decided to build a new neighborhood, close to Amsterdam, that would be the perfect encapsulation of Modernist principles. It was called the Bijlmermeer, and it tested these ideas on a grand scale. When it was over, no one would ever try it again.
To a casual observer, the difference between a squircle and a rounded square can appear negligible and sound semantic. But "once you know how to spot it on products, you're likely to start seeing it (or more likely the lack of it) all around you."
Urban planners can learn a lot simply by observing where cars actually drive (or don’t) after a fresh snowfall.
Ever noticed how the bricks on newer British buildings are bigger, or stopped to appreciate hand-stenciled wallpaper, or enjoyed a sip from a fancy hollow-stemmed glass? If so, you may well be admiring a product of regulation and taxes as much aesthetic tastes.
From Arctic Village, Alaska to Houlton, Maine, the border between Canada and the United States is the longest in the world. Much of the surrounding landscape is relatively wild and untouched. But extending out ten feet from the line on either side along much of its length is what’s known as "the Slash."
The idea of packing people into close self-contained quarters or interconnected structures is not strictly dystopian — indeed, many visionaries have imagined hyperdense projects along similar lines but with more utopian outcomes in mind.
In the imaginary world of "Ready Player One," a shared cyberspace is the only escape from "the Stacks." But visions of vertical mobile housing weren't always so dystopian.
Nestled into the steep slope of a mountain, this remarkable thousand-year-old village in northern Iran has evolved an unusual approach to open space: its rooftops double as public lanes and gathering places.
In the early morning of August 5, 2001, artist Richard Ankrom and a group of friends assembled on the 4th Street bridge over the 110 freeway in Los Angeles. They had gathered to commit a crime — one Ankrom had plotted for years.
The P-38's creator probably never imagined that the little can opener he devised during World War II would go on to become one of the 20th century's most useful and portable multi-tools.
David Meslin gathered a group to create a set of temporary curb extensions. The main ingredients: a one-to-one ratio of cornstarch and water for the solid white lines plus leaves from area yards. The guidelines helped direct cars while leaf piles visually reinforced them, encouraging vehicles to follow a modified path.
No one is quite sure what shape the shift will take, but if the past car-driven century of sprawl has taught urbanists anything it's that change isn’t always good.
All over London, upcycled stretchers from World War II can be found on public display — not as monuments or memorials, but as everyday elements of urban infastructure.
Staffed with hundreds to thousands of crew members, there is a lot to keep track of on aircraft carriers. In response, the United States Navy has evolved a handy visual system for identifying different deck personnel using brightly colored jerseys, float coats and helmets.
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.