Museum of Feelings
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Finding disappointment at New York’s Museum of Feelings

Open from November 24th to December 15th, the Museum of Feelings has been generating buzz recently as New York’s latest pop-up, announced with a mysterious website and slick series of subway ads that made me want to visit if only to find out what the hell it is. The resulting trip gave me feelings, sure, but not the kind I was hoping for, and probably not those the organizers were going for either. When I first arrived outside the Museum of Feelings earlier this week, I was greeted with a line and display reminiscent of the Apple Store. Fitting, given that I…

temporallead
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How temporary structures inspire architectural innovation

In many ways, the architecture of modern metropolises largely consists of simply lining each city block with minor variations on the same massive, contemporary rectangle of a skyscraper. The sheer size of these structures is impressive at first but, after a while, their similarity can leave a city feeling drained of personality. It’s difficult to blame corporations for choosing “safe” designs on multi-million dollar buildings that are meant to last decades, but once the initial impact of their size wears down, these soulless monoliths fail to leave much of an impression. So what happens when architects are given the freedom…

minimetrolead
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Learn the science of the subway in Mini Metro

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. Mini Metro (PC, Mac)  BY Dinosaur Polo Club New York City admits now that it made a mistake when first rejecting Massimo Vignelli’s subway map back in 1972. It had a modernist design that favored clarity over the clutter of trying to be geographically correct. This meant a preference for turning the urban sprawl into a series of straight lines and bold colors. This visual design is something we’ve come to expect of subway maps these days. And it’s what Mini Metro, a strategy game about…

guggenheim_bilbao
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It’s time to start thinking about public squares as democratic tools

First there was the Bilbao Effect, a quasi-spiritual conviction that erecting architecturally compelling museums would bring in droves of tourists and revitalize woebegone industrial cities. Now we’re starting to what you might call the High Line Effect (after New York’s High Line park). The Bilbao Effect is a quasi-spiritual conviction  This is perhaps a touch unfair: Parks are not museums and landscape architect James Corner’s recent works shouldn’t all be labeled High Line 2.0 just because he designed the original. Nevertheless, consider the dek for Eric Jaffe’s “Reclaiming the Public Square,” which appears in the July/August 2015 issue of The…

2917751014_4d38240258_b_1
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Decaying New York Pavilion reminds us of the 1960s vision of the future

In 1964 and 1965, people flooded into the newly built, brightly-coloured New York State Pavilion in Queens, N.Y., to get a glimpse of new innovations, like telephone modems and computer terminals with keyboards, for the 1964 World’s Fair. Today, the New York State Pavilion resembles the ruins of an amusement park. The colours of the Tent of Tomorrow have faded to an eerie murk of “what-used-to-be,” the roof, which used to resemble the interior of a 1960s home, has been completely blown off, the world’s largest map of New York sprawled across the floor has been obliterated and the space…

wtc
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At 1 World Trade Center, history and elevators make for an awkward pairing

There are things you want to see while locked in an elevator. And then there’s the sight of the neighboring skyscraper suddenly disappearing from the skyline. The elevators leading to 1 World Trade Center’s observatory offer both. This is not a malicious prank. As they ascend to the 102nd floor, the building’s five elevators display a carefully rendered time lapse of New York City’s rise. That ascent, like the elevator’s, is a linear progression. Thus, at ground level, the elevator’s show the city’s first buildings rising out of the dirt. Single story buildings grow into multi-story buildings, which, in turn,…