These gorgeous paper vases are inspired by ancient Islamic architecture

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Hundreds of sheets of paper are laser-cut and meticulously layered to create these designs. For centuries, Islamic artists have adorned mosques and palaces with beautifully intricate recurring geometric patterns . Now, the founder of Abu Dhabi-based art studio Ibbini Studio , Julia Ibbini, is using modern technology to transform those centuries-old shapes into gorgeous sculptures. Read Full Story

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Designers turn architectural ruins into gorgeous public plazas

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To save the medieval town of Olot, Spain, architects revive its demolished buildings. The center of the town Olot, Spain, is almost half empty. The slow outward migration of development from the core of this 15 th century Catalonian town 70 miles north of Barcelona has shrunk the population and led to a series of demolitions of aging buildings. To try to stop the town center’s decline, a local architecture office is working with the town council, local organizations, and community members to bring life back into these emptied spaces. Read Full Story

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How creativity can help us navigate COVID-19: Lessons from the 19th century

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Abbott Thayer’s life and work underwent dramatic change after his wife died of tuberculosis. Like everyone else, artists have been challenged by new conditions and routines since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many have had to adjust what they make as well as how and where they work, coming up with innovative ways to be productive in makeshift studios with limited supplies and in relative isolation. Read Full Story

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From self-propelled mailboxes to mail-via-missile: A century of attempts at inventing drone delivery

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Drone delivery might sound new, but it’s been in the works for 100 years. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Google’s Wing delivery drones have supplied Virginia residents with toilet paper and medicine , while some grocers have turned to drones to fulfill unprecedented demand for grocery deliveries. Late this summer, Amazon moved a crucial step closer to offering consumers drone deliveries in half an hour or less when the tech giant secured a Part 135 air carrier certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration, allowing it to operate commercial drone flights. Read Full Story

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‘Rational Simplicity’: A new book celebrates an unsung hero of American Modernism

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Four major works prove Rudolph de Harak’s place in the design canon, as told by the author behind the new monograph Rational Simplicity. Between 1971 and 1997, a tubular, electric blue tunnel led to an elevator bay at 127 John Street, an office building in Lower Manhattan. The corridor’s rounded rectangular shape and vibrating neon color looked like the future. In a way, it was for designer Richard Poulin. When Poulin was about 12 years old, he walked through the tunnel to meet his mother, who was a legal secretary in the building, for lunch. Though Poulin didn’t realize it at the time, the tunnel and an oversize exterior clock were designed by mid-century modern designer Rudolph de Harak. Poulin would go on to work at de Harak’s studio for nine years. Now, he’s writing the book on him. Read Full Story

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After years of cannibalizing exercise studios, ClassPass realizes it can’t survive without them

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Most of the 30,000 studios on ClassPass’s platform are shuttered. ClassPass has for years cannibalized local fitness studios’ customers: Exercisers who might otherwise pay $100-$250 in monthly studio membership fees instead drop in to local studios with ClassPass reservations, sometimes paying as little as $4 a class—which is split between ClassPass and the studio. Owners of small studios complain of plummeting class prices, crippled income, and little negotiating power with the unicorn tech app. Read Full Story

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