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Latest Articles in Urban Planning

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Friday Finds 09.13.13

From a tranquil tree museum to embroidered paintings to a medium format digital back for your iPhone, hop on in to see what our editors found this time around. Happy 13th!
September 13, 2013
dwell monstrum sdr boulevard1

Imaginative Playgrounds by Monstrum

Designers often talk about the importance of play, emphasizing its power to create creative breakthroughs. Design firm Monstrum, based in Denmark, took that idea one step further and decided to devote their entire practice toward building fun, innovative, well-designed playgrounds.
September 9, 2013
signage for new york city WalkNYC program by Pentagram

How New York City Developed its Wayfinding Signage

Our City Living issue, due out on newsstands September 10, focuses on design and architecture in urban locales. Here we turn our eye to the challenges of navigating a city and how graphic design can improve the experience, especially when it comes to walkability. As more cities seek to encourage multi-modal transportation—walking, biking, public transit, etc.—the need for good signage to make those activities easier becomes more and more apparent. At its simplest, wayfinding is defined as spatial problem solving—knowing where you are, where you want to go, and the best route to get there. Cartography, or mapmaking, has existed for thousands of years, tracing its roots to cave paintings, but the demands of modern cities and diverse populations call for more than a sign emblazoned with compass rose and a few street names. Today, effective urban maps require layers of information relayed in a clear, consistent, and concise manner so that anyone can quickly assess how to get from point A to point B. The New York Department of Transportation launched its WalkNYC program in the summer of 2013 to "provide a clear visual language and graphic standards that can be universally understood, encourage walking and transit usage by offering quality multi-modal information, and provide consistent information across a broad range of environments in the city." Lauded design firm Pentagram's PentaCityGroup developed the identity. We sent a few queries to Michael Bierut, a graphic designer and partner at the firm, to lean more about the program, what it means for the city's identity, and how technology does and doesn't factor into the program. "I feel strongly that one of the best things about the signs are that you don't need a smart phone to access them: they're right there on the street, as democratic as can be," he says. Read on for more.
August 29, 2013

Friday Finds 08.23.13

A folding car inspired by an armadillo, typography flashcard game, and vintage snaps of San Francisco? All that and more in this installment of Friday Finds!
August 23, 2013
ff erika endless stairs

Friday Finds 08.16.13

Art is where the heart is. This week: meditative ink line drawings, temporary tattoos for adults, a continuously reconfigured staircase installation, and so much more. Click through to see the Dwell staff's top internet finds this week. Happy Friday!
August 16, 2013
cloud city

Visionary Architecture: Chris Bosse on Cloud City

When German architect and LAVA co-founder Chris Bosse was asked to conceive The City of the Future for the CUSP: Designing Into the Next Decade exhibition at the Australian Design Center, it was like letting a racehorse out of the gates. Even before his visionary work on the unforgettable Watercube of Beijing Olympics fame, Bosse had been applying his Frei Otto sensibilities to lightweight, revolutionary, futurist architecture with signature glam and vigor. The City of the Future brings the thinking of several individual projects into a galloping whole: we see in this exhibition the culmination of years of innovative philosophical and developmental research aimed at giving birth to buildings that look pretty and really perform. We caught Bosse on Skype while he was en route from Honk Kong to Sydney, to get his thoughts on the future urban jungle, a place he calls Cloud City.
July 20, 2013
barcelona cityscape

A Five-Act History of Urbanism in Barcelona

Labyrinthine alleys, majestic avenues, meandering parks, and pristine beaches—this is the urban fabric of modern Barcelona, a city 2,500 years in the making. We've traipsed the Catalonian capital's streets this past week and to provide orientation and context to the photos shared via our Instagram feed, here's a brief history of the city divided into five acts.
June 9, 2013
uli spring meeting

Innovation Hub: ULI Spring Meeting in San Diego

'Innovate' was the buzzword at the Urban Land Institute’s spring conference in San Diego, May 15-17, where some 3,500 planners, developers, and real estate and land use professionals gathered to look at new models for growth, share best practices, and learn how to proceed in an uncertain economy.
May 20, 2013
never built lax

Never Built: Los Angeles at A+D Architecture & Design Museum

Never Built: Los Angeles, an upcoming exhibition at the A+D Architecture and Design Museum Los Angeles (on view from July 28 through September 29) will highlight radical projects that would have deeply changed Los Angeles—but for one reason or another never got off the ground.
May 17, 2013
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