Design

Re-imagining the demise of buildings

The construction of an exciting new building is a spectacle of optimism, and we tend to assume that once completed, a given structure will last forever. It never does, of course, but planning for the end of buildings remains rare. A new book, Buildings Must Die, sets out to change that.

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Telling stories for a better China

If rampant consumerism is a cultural — not just economic — phenomenon, can a culture be deliberately changed to minimize its effects? Peggy Liu leads China Dream, a project that aims to achieve nothing less with the world’s most populous nation and oldest civilization. SCOPE asks her how she plans to succeed.

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Learning from Kigali

One of the fastest-growing cities in the world is Rwanda’s capital Kigali, and its challenges are as complex as any other urban centre’s. Guillaume Sardin explains how a new documentary research project led by his think tank and a team of Rwandan architecture students hopes to unveil the inner dynamics of one of its most diverse neighbourhoods.

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A world of icons, not alphabets

Reviving a dead language is not normally a recommended practice in communications: road signs in Latin (say, NON DEXTER VICISSIM instead of “No Right Turn”) are certain to cause more accidents than not, and billboards written in runic Old Norse

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Remembering el payador perseguido

The picture above is a striking and beautiful tribute to Atahualpa Yupanqui, one of the most prominent Argentinian folk musicians of the 20th century. Yupanqui was persecuted by the government of Juan Perón for his Communist Party membership–his 1972 book

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Interesting and ambitious

Worth checking out: ZAM, a high-energy magazine about Africa with a cheeky sense of style, some great art direction, and a focus on the continent’s most interesting and ambitious designers, artists, musicians, and writers. Published in the Netherlands, with editorial

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Irish eyes aren’t smiling

One of the archetypal title sequences in television produced in the British Isles is comprised of shots of a 1930s automobile trundling up and down the gravel-paved roads of the Yorkshire Dales in the BBC’s long-running adaptation of James Herriot’s

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The social Noguchi

Before social media made staying in touch with acquaintances on a mass scale a trivially easy exercise, human beings had to do sordid-sounding things like “meeting for drinks” and “working together” in order to achieve the same end. For all

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From paper flowers to platonic kisses

Having graduated with an electrical engineering degree, Suhasini Paul decided that toys were her real future — and, after a 2005 post-grad at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad, India, she began designing them with abandon. Her toys are

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More than intellectual eye-candy

A recent trend in publication design is the filling of surplus page space with boxes containing over-sized numerals which are in turn followed by text in a smaller font, the pair in combination relating a statistical fact of potential interest

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There is no simple

Keep it simple, stupid. “KISS” is one of the most commonly referred to principles in modern business, and its spirit permeates everything from the carefully-considered design of Apple’s sleek user interfaces to the unchecked frustration of a customer returning a

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