Design

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In 1986 as an independent clothing designer new to the world of retail, I was looking for ways to market my one-of-a-kind designs. Noticing an ad for a craft show in Lexington, I attended not knowing what to expect. I was definitely not a stranger to craft shows but this was a different model...
Although he neither directs, paints, nor performs, Bing Thom has influenced more musical performances, theater productions, and visual arts exhibit than perhaps can be tallied. Since founding Bing Thom Architects in 1982, the Vancouver-based architect has designed a slew of cultural projects around...
One of the neatest things about working at the NEA is seeing how many different ways a dollar can be transformed into art. For instance, the $4.725 million we awarded to our 2013 Our Town grantees will eventually be turned into a mural festival in Honolulu, public opera programs in Nashville, and a...
When I was in school back in the 1970s and 80s, industrial design meant creating mass-manufactured products. The prevailing question was How do you make the perfect cup or chair or sports car? The challenge was clear: make better, more efficient, more beautiful stuff. That kind of design still...
What do you imagine when you think of the suburbs? Tract houses? Strip malls? Subdivisions that look numbingly alike? A new breed of architect is imagining a totally new vision for suburban life. From ways to use setbacks as sites for additional housing stock to a renewed emphasis on shared public...
To celebrate our latest round of Our Town grants to support creative placemaking projects, we asked our Twitter followers and Facebook fans to tell us what creative placemaking means in their communities. Read what they had to say and then add your own definition in the comments! "Through art...
As we recently announced our newest round of NEA Our Town grants to support creative placemaking projects across the country, we thought it would be fitting to take a look back at one of the projects that received support when the program debuted in 2011. In that inaugural round of funding, the...
World Maker Faire 2011 at the New York Hall of Science. Photo by Reuters/Andrew Kelly
Creation surrounds us. For years, people around the country have been crafting, tinkering, and making exceptional works that range from fire-breathing dragon sculptures to 3D printing to entire villages made...
Group of modular backyard second units in "Sited in the Setback: Increasing Density in Levittown," a winning proposal by Meri Tepper from the Build a Better Burb competition. Sited in the Setback, from Designing Suburban Futures, Island Press, 2013
For much of its existence, American suburbia has been considered an architectural wasteland. From shopping malls to McMansions to residential developments, suburbs from Connecticut to California look eerily similar and...
Today we announced the third round of Our Town grants . These will bring us up to 190(!) grants in all 50 states plus DC, with all shapes and sizes of communities doing creative placemaking. Some very cool new types of projects popped up this year. For the first time ever we're funding an opera...

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