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.
Back in the 1950s, St. Louis was segregated and The Ville was one of the only African-American neighborhoods in the city, filled with the lovely, ornate brick homes the city has become famous for. Now the homes are being stolen brick by brick.
The unexpected attack on Pearl Harbor stoked fears of potential aerial assaults by Japanese forces. So the US Army Corps of Engineers crafted an entire faux neighborhood on top of the Boeing Plant 2 in Seattle.
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? A set of alternatives was proposed based on the visual language of other W-series signage.
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, forming the boundaries of Washington, DC.
Before 911 (or even household telephones), roughly 500 American cities relied on specialized call boxes tied into police and fire stations for everything from officer check-ins to emergency reports.
Strange structures start to appear all around as one drives toward the DMZ from either side of the border.
Launched last year and continuing into next year, a pilot program in London is testing the efficacy of a peculiar new traffic calming measure — one that uses tricks of perspective to slow drivers.
What strikes us about today’s surrealist depictions of the built environment is precisely that their execution in the real world is, unlike the work of Escher and Dalí, often entirely plausible in today’s realm of mega-projects.
The W4-2, also known as the Lane Reduction Transition Sign, is one of the most ubiquitous road signs in the United States — historically, it has also been one of the most confusing.
Despite years of careful design and engineering, skyscrapers too often end up causing serious problems for their surroundings.