Episode 48

123: Snowflake

Well before the early 1500s, when Sir Thomas More first coined the term "Utopia," people have been thinking about how to design their ideal community. Maybe it's one that doesn't use money, or one that drops traditional family ...

Episode 23

121: Cold War Kids

During the 1961 Berlin Crisis—one of the various moments in the cold war in which we came frighteningly close to engaging in actual war with the Soviets—President John F. Kennedy vowed to identify spaces in "existing ...

Episode 6

120: Skyjacking

The term "Hijacking" goes back to prohibition days, when gangsters would rob moonshine trucks saying "hold your hands high, Jack!" However, in the early days of commercial air travel, the idea that someone would hijack a ...

Episode 7

119: Feet of Engineering

As a fashion object and symbol, the high heel shoe is weighted with meaning. It’s also weighted with the wearer’s entire body weight. The stiletto might be one of the only designs that is physically painful ...

Episode 12

118: Song Exploder

A song is a product of design. It's difficult to create an original melody, but that's only the blueprint. Every element of a piece of music could be produced any number of ways,  depending on which instrument plays at what time, ...

Episode 23

117: Clean Trains

In just about every movie set in New York City in the 1970s and 80s there's an establishing shot with a graffiti-covered subway. Saturday Night Fever That graffiti was like illegible technicolor hieroglyphics—a language that even most New Yorkers couldn't ...

Episode 14

116: Breaking the Bank

In 2011, architect Armin Blasbichler asked his 21 architecture students at the University of Innsbruck to plan bank heists because, as he says, "architects have a specific view on buildings and organizational structures—on how things relate ...

Episode 30

115: Cow Tunnels

The westernmost part of Manhattan, between 34th and 39th street, is pretty industrial. There’s a bus depot, a ferry terminal, and a steady stream of cars. But in the late 19th early 20th centuries, this was cow country. ...

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