Design

Pioneering designer Clara Driscoll conceived this indelible lamp around the turn of the 20th century—with help from her fellow "Tiffany girls."

These Women Were the Real Geniuses Behind the Iconic Tiffany Lamps

A chic light fixture reveals how female designers remade the Tiffany brand—and went largely uncredited for nearly a century

An original Michtom teddy bear once held by two of Teddy Roosevelt’s great-grandchildren, Mark and Anne.

The Teddy Bear Was Once Seen as a Dangerous Influence on Young Children

Inspired by a moment of empathy from President Theodore Roosevelt, the huggable toy had a rocky start before it became the stuff of legend

The Dallas County Administration Building, formerly the Texas School Book Depository, as photographed in 2015

The Architectural History of the JFK Assassination Site

How November 22, 1963, changed Dallas' Dealey Plaza forever

In an exhibition on ancient Egyptian-inspired fashion at the Cleveland Museum of Art, a relief depicts the wife of Amenhotep wearing a kalasiris, or long linen dress, juxtaposed with a white jersey gown designed by Karl Lagerfeld in 2019.

Was Ancient Egypt's Most Lasting Influence in the Field of Fashion?

An exhibition in Cleveland showcases millennia-old designs and the more modern creations they inspired

A tattooed devotee prays at the annual tattoo festival at Wat Bang Phra in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand.

The Worldwide History of Tattoos

Ancient ink exhibited religious faith, relieved pain, protected wearers and indicated class

Sphere lights up during its grand opening on September 29, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

The Sphere Is Here. Are We Ready for More High-Tech Architecture?

The new Las Vegas performance venue challenges musicians and visual artists to produce content for its demanding format

Consumer products made from carbon capture can't undo the damage we’ve done to our planet—but each of them exists thanks to innovations that could. 

Little Luxuries Made With Captured Pollution Hint at Big Frontiers in Climate Science

Entrepreneurs are using jewelry, fragrances and clothing to demonstrate what’s possible with repurposed carbon—and environmentalists have questions

Sholes and Glidden gussied up an early model with floral ornaments, in imitation of sewing machines.

Where Did the QWERTY Keyboard Come From?

From laptops to iPhones, the first successful typewriter’s keyboard layout lives on

A Fuller-style geodesic dome known as Weatherbreak is gradually rising 25 feet in the air in the Flag Hall of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History on the National Mall.

The Architectural Genius of the Geodesic Dome and the Challenge of Putting It All Back Together

A new exhibit at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History puts the engineering innovation back on display after decades in storage

Though stationary, fibers of different colors and textures are combined in ways that suggest water or air in motion and subject to the whims of turbulence.

Material Wealth

The Deep Cultural Significance of the Art of Felt

A river of fabric? Janice Arnold’s installations, inspired by the people of Central Asia, go to great lengths to evoke wonder

Fiber-weaving expert Marques Hanalei Marzan.

Material Wealth

This Hawaiian Artist Weaves Contemporary Style With Ancient Tradition

Fiber artist Marques Hanalei Marzan carries on the artistic customs of his ancestors

Bisa Butler selects fabrics that symbolically honor and protect her subjects.

Material Wealth

The Genius Behind Bisa Butler's Vibrant Quilts

The renowned artist's exuberant portraits celebrate Black history and take the form to a new level

Left to right, Butler’s larger-than-life fabric depictions are inspired by African American stories she’s compelled to share. Marzan links fibers from plants indigenous to Hawaii and other Pacific islands into astonishing shapes. Arnold builds on thousands of years of felt-making in creations that allude to community and nature, such as a flowing river.

Material Wealth

Meet the Artists Reinventing American Fiber Art

These innovative creators are quilting, weaving and felting dramatic pieces that bring American fiber arts to unexplored heights

Barbie’s first swimsuit, in 1959, was a stylish, zebra-striped one-piece.

A Cultural History of Barbie

Loved and loathed, the toy stirs fresh controversy at age 64

The adaptive lighting cooked up by Camilla Rathsach and Mette Hvass would automatically adjust to the availability of moonlight, tweaking this church’s lighting automatically to balance visibility and darkness. This mock-up shows how the church would be lit under a full moon.

This Danish Church Is a Beacon for How to Protect Wildlife From Artificial Light

A proposed design looks to automatically adjust the exterior lighting on the Anholt Island building to the moonlight

Many immigrants sought to preserve their cultural heritage while at the same time embracing their new identity as Americans. Manfred Anson did so in designing this Hanukkah lamp to mark the centennial of the Statue of Liberty in 1986. 

Celebrate Hanukkah the All-American Way With This Menorah

In a tribute to liberty, Jewish immigrant Manfred Anson crafted a poignant masterpiece

The First Americans Museum opened in Oklahoma City this month.

A Brand-New Museum in Oklahoma Honors Indigenous People at Every Turn

The team behind the First Americans Museum in Oklahoma City incorporated the traditions and spiritual beliefs of 39 tribal nations into its design

Oceanix is gearing up to build a prototype of a 5-acre city for 300 residents in a yet-to-be determined location.

Innovation for Good

In the Face of Rising Seas, Are Floating Cities a Real Possibility?

A scale model of Oceanix City, a concept capable of supporting more than 10,000 residents, will be featured in the Smithsonian's upcoming 'Futures' exhibit

Were it not for tuberculosis, artist and furniture maker Daniel Mack writes, “It’s unlikely that there would have been an Adirondack chair.”

How the Adirondack Chair Became the Feel-Good Recliner That Cures What Ails You

The furniture piece has gone through countless permutations, but it all started at a time when resting outdoors was thought to be a matter of life or death

A mural in Munich's former Olympic Village features Otl Aicher's pictograms.

The Tokyo Olympics

This Graphic Artist's Olympic Pictograms Changed Urban Design Forever

Having lived through Germany's Nazi regime, Otl Aicher went on to pioneer democratic design

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