a composite image of metropolis covers for the year 2022

15 Essential Architecture and Design Reads for 2023

Living through 2022 felt like living in a kaleidoscope. The Metaverse, the war in Ukraine, supply chain challenges, the global economic slowdown, and an insipid UN Climate summit—each development in the world seemed to shift our attention and our priorities. As six principals at leading North American firms opined mid-year, no area of architecture and design remains untouched or unchanged.

So, to help you navigate the coming months, we’ve gathered some must-reads from Metropolis‘s coverage. Our stories have tracked the A&D professions’ growing commitment to public good—engaging and serving communities even as we address the climate crisis. They have also examined and explained new phenomena, from the virtual allure of the Metaverse to the shifting landscapes in midsized American cities. And our readers have responded—eager to dive into projects that push the limits on sustainability, adaptive reuse, and urban renewal. Equity has been a strong focus for us this year, with an issue dedicated to inclusive design and the release of the Design for Equity primer—and will continue to inform our work.

The new year lies ahead, full of promise, with challenges and opportunities to suit every need and every mindset. Here’s wishing you a year full of creative breakthroughs, inspiration, purpose, and impact!

Design for the Public Good

Healthcare facilities and gathering spaces—two of the biggest priorities to emerge out of the pandemic—drove the conception of the most ambitious, community-driven international projects. Mexico City gathered some of the most talented architects in the world to create community centers in underserved neighborhoods, and Ghana sought to supercharge its healthcare delivery with the creation of 101 new district hospitals designed by Adjaye and Associates. Here in the United States, libraries find new purpose in bringing people together, while also revitalizing old building stock.

For more related to this topic, you might be interested in our articles on architect Mariam Kamara, the design of recreation centers, and a new wave of retirement communities.

Virtual Possibilities

Wave after wave of virtual disruption hit the architecture and design industry this year. Web 3.0, NFTs, and the Metaverse heralded the first wave, raising questions about how and why spaces are created. Experiments in AI followed closely, flooding Instagram and Pinterest with buildings born out of the machine mind. These influences and technologies will only continue to evolve and grow, so read up and get ready!

For more on this topic, dive into our Design Guide to the Metaverse.

American Cities: Past, Present, and Future

Deserted downtowns and a ravaged commercial real estate market drove some American cities to reinvent themselves, others were motivated by reckoning with past injustices and future challenges. Change is coming to American cities, and it will transform our way of life—hopefully, into something more just, convivial, and sustainable.

Dive deeper with our July/August 2022 issue, themed around Reinvention, Reuse, and Renewal.

These projects reflect some of the most important themes in architecture and design practice today—climate action, adaptive reuse, and community engagement. They prove that responsible, sensitive design can also be beautiful, inspiring, and welcoming.

Inspiration for Equity and Reuse

Our story on contemporary quilters holds deep lessons for how history, sustainability, culture, and craft are inextricably intertwined in the act of reuse. The Design for Equity Primer gathers the best resources to guide your practice towards equity and justice.

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