December 26, 2023
These 15 Must-Reads Will Prepare You for 2024
Non-Designers Take Design Into Their Hands
When pop stars, minority communities, and government officials start adopt the language of architecture and design for their purposes, strange things begin to happen.
Lana del Rey sends hordes of fans hunting for forgotten episodes of Los Angeles’ urban history. LGBTQ+ communities reinvent what a bar can be. New York City Officials ban “angular,” “bubble,” and “graffiti-like” fonts in cannabis packaging and retail. Is there something for professional architects and interior designers to learn from this phenomenon? You decide.
Have You Been Inside a Gay Bar Recently?
With diverse approaches to design, politics, and history, the gay bar is undergoing an exciting creative evolution we should all be paying attention to.
What Recreational Cannabis Means for Dispensary Design in New York
Following its legalization, the city faces an identity (and equity) crisis when it comes to cannabis retail.
Lana Del Rey’s Music Has Always Taken Architecture Very Seriously
The singer-songwriter’s cultural universe includes keenly observed references to cities, neighborhoods, and buildings. And her fans are paying attention.
Architecture for the Rich and Famous
“Beautiful buildings have rich patrons? What a surprise! Their pocketbooks bend the purpose of architecture to their own ends? That’s just the way of the world!”
The ravenousness of late stage capitalism continues unabated—sometimes donning the sheep’s clothing of philanthropy, livability, and harmony. The power of the haves over the have-nots is visible everywhere, but I take heart in the words of the writer Ursula Le Guin: “We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings.”
David Adjaye’s Abrahamic Family House Is a Monument to Soft Power
The architect’s latest construction in Abu Dhabi is billed as a monument to tolerance and humanity, but a dubious human rights record hangs over the development.
“Norman Foster” Show in Paris Celebrates Architecture for the Powerful
The Norman Foster retrospective at the Centre Pompidou tracks his journey to being the architect of choice for wealthy philanthropists and Silicon Valley moguls.
Amazon’s HQ2 Conceals its Agenda with the Latest Sustainability Strategies
Phase one of the new North Virginia sister campus opened this Summer, thinly veiled in environmental and social empathy.
The Tough Path to a Low-Carbon, Circular Built Environment
We have a simple dream—buildings where nothing is wasted and no one is harmed, where everything living thrives.
Hundreds of roadblocks litter the path to that dream, and scores of questions have no satisfactory answer. But that doesn’t deter many architects, interior designers, product designers, manufacturers who continue to push past every obstacle. Detroit is a laboratory for adaptable reuse; Milan Design Week was all agog for circular strategies. So many projects in 2023 achieved the impossible that I can’t wait for what 2024 will bring.
10 Provocations for Circular Design
METROPOLIS’s editor in chief Avinash Rajagopal presents ten takes on the future of design and the circular economy.
Designed Landscapes Are Surprisingly Carbon Intensive (And They Don’t Have to Be)
Urban landscapes often include plenty of hardscape made with materials that can have significant carbon footprints.
3 Adaptive Reuse Projects Prioritize Flexibility for the Future
The bigger challenge in preserving historically significant buildings isn’t in giving them a second life—it’s preparing them for later reincarnations.
Announcing the Winners of the 2023 METROPOLIS Planet Positive Awards
Introducing the winners of the Planet Positive Awards, representing the top designs addressing climate change, ecosystem health, human health, and equity.
This Oslo Workplace Is Made of 80 Percent Upcycled Building Materials
Local firm Mad Arkitekter refurbishes an office building using demolition waste, changing the conversation around material reuse.
Pittsburgh’s Mill 19 Is a Postindustrial Innovation Hub
MSR Design transforms Pittsburgh’s last-operating steel mill into a world-class tech and manufacturing campus.
Making Architecture and Design More Just
The entire system of architecture and design—how professionals are created, projects are realized, and spaces impact people—is uneven, with bright spots for some people and dark corners for others.
Throughout 2023, METROPOLIS continued to learn how people cope with the system’s inequities and are working to correct its oversights and injustices. In addition to the three excellent pieces linked below, you might also appreciate Magda Mostafa’s work on design for autism as well as Chris Laing’s bridges to the deaf community.
Why Does Architecture Education Cost So Much?
Tuition fees have doubled, wages are still low, and many professionals are deep in debt. Can we do something about it?
David Gissen on Constructing an Architecture of Disability
The designer, historian, and educator speaks with Metropolis about his new book and the importance of centering disability in design practice and education.
Can We Actually Measure for Social Equity?
Companies want credit for their justice initiatives. We asked five insiders if that is the best path to meaningful change.
Bonus: 3 Resources and Guides from METROPOLIS
Outdoor Amenities Resource: 25+ Guides to Designing Better Outdoor Amenities
METROPOLIS gathers tools, guides, and manuals to help landscape architects, architects, and interior designers leverage the holistic benefits of outdoor amenities.
Embracing Differences: Understanding and Designing for Neurodiversity
When we design for neurodiversity—be it autism, ADHD, sensory processing disorder—we design for everyone.
What Architects and Designers Need to Know About Embodied Carbon
From complex topics such as carbon form to advice on how to specify carbon-neutral furniture, METROPOLIS provides a lay of the land for carbon and design.
Would you like to comment on this article? Send your thoughts to: [email protected]
ASU’s Fusion on First Cut Its Energy Needs—and Costs—by Half
Designed by Studio Ma, the facility proves that higher education buildings can deliver on student experience, urban connectivity, and climate action while keeping the bottom line under control.
These Two New Sustainable Products are Designed to Delight
Discover how ENESS’s solar-powered bench and Sensei’s wayfinding for the visually impaired are bringing function, sustainability, and joy outdoors and in.
Walter Hood: Facing History Through Landscapes
How the celebrated landscape architect proves the power of green space to tell new stories, communicate culture, and confront hard truths