written by:
September 13, 2013
You might have come to know and love Dwell through the stunning modern homes featured throughout the magazine's 12-year history but interspersed between the interiors stories and idea books are informative pieces on design history and critical pieces on contemporary issues. Take a deeper dive into modernism in via this collection of essays.
Girl talk essay on modern toys

The world’s most popular doll, dressed in architect’s garb: friend or foe to a profession already suffering from a pronounced gender gap? Critic Alexandra Lange examines Architect Barbie. Photo by: Bartholomew Cooke

Photo by 
Courtesy of 
Copyright: 2009 Bartholomew Cooke
Originally appeared in Girl Talk
1 / 7
First Unitarian Church by Louis I. Khan in Rochester, New York. Image courtesy the Louis I. Kahn Collection, University of Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

The cathedrals, mosques, and synagogues of the Old World still occupy the most hallowed ground of ecclesiastical architecture, but a rather unorthodox American sect can lay claim to the best in modern sacred space design: the Unitarian Universalists. Journalist Drew Himmelstein takes a look at Sunday styles. Image courtesy the Louis I. Kahn Collection, University of Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

Originally appeared in Sunday Styles
2 / 7
The Micro Compact Home was one of five prefabs constructed in an empty lot adjacent to MoMA.

In "The Prefab Decade," founding Dwell editor-in-chief Karrie Jacobs visited MoMA's Home Delivery exhibition and finds that prefab might not change our homes, but it could change our architects.

Originally appeared in The Prefab Decade
3 / 7

The impending demolition of Kisho Kurokawa’s Capsule Tower strikes a nostalgic nerve in writer Tom Vanderbilt, who travels to Tokyo for a look at a future that never was. Illustration by: Nigel Peake

Originally appeared in Time Capsule
4 / 7

As the war-torn city of Kabul, Afghanistan, is transformed into a maze of blast walls, military checkpoints, and foreign bases, Charles Montgomery asks: How might security architecture be changed to foster psychological stability? Illustration by: Amze Emmons

Originally appeared in The Good Earth
5 / 7
Building a Urban Electric Company lighting fixture

How do American companies maintain handcrafted detail while producing fast enough—and in large enough quantities—to satisfy profit margins and consumers accustomed to instant gratification? Caroline Tiger finds an answer.

Originally appeared in Homeland Ingenuity
6 / 7

Many architects and designers, when talked down from the theoretical towers of “sculptural forms” and “floating volumes” and made to speak of their craft in humbler terms, are apt to use a phrase as naive as it is loaded: “good design.” Former Dwell editor Aaron Britt asks: What do we talk about when we talk "good design"?

Originally appeared in When We Talk About Good Design
7 / 7
Girl talk essay on modern toys

The world’s most popular doll, dressed in architect’s garb: friend or foe to a profession already suffering from a pronounced gender gap? Critic Alexandra Lange examines Architect Barbie. Photo by: Bartholomew Cooke

Photo by Bartholomew Cooke. Image courtesy of Copyright: 2009 Bartholomew Cooke.

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