Most Beautiful Items: July 19 - 26, 2013Leslie Horn7/26/13 8:00pmFiled to: designbeautifulartarchitecturefurniture2EditPromoteShare to KinjaToggle Conversation toolsGo to permalink From an abandoned asylum that the Department of Homeland Security is moving into, to beer labels turned into animated GIFs, we posted all kinds of lustworthy things this week. So before you head off into weekend, check out the wonders of design, art, and architecture we've got for you. There's a Beautiful Chair Hiding in Your Washing MachineYou can sit on a washing machine, but that doesn't make it a chair. A transformation like the one industrial designer Antonina pulled offdoes make it a chair, though. And there are even DIY instructions so you can try too, if you're into that sort of thing. A Rare Glimpse Inside the Research Stations at the End of the WorldWhat does it take to build a habitable structure at the bottom of the world? Quite a bit of technology, for starters. The climate of the extreme south and north poles is unlike any other. Unstable ice, immense snowfall and incredibly low temperatures can—literally, in at least one case—chew up and spit out entire… Since When Are Logitech Products So Pretty?I remember my family's first Logitech product well. It was a mouse, roughly the size of a small football and shaped like a half eaten apple and the color of dirty bones. It rolled and it clicked and did everything it was supposed to. It was not an artifact of fine design. Homeland Security Is Moving Into an Abandoned Insane AsylumDid you know that the US government's third-largest agency is ramping up a 20-year, $4.5 billion construction project that will turn the grounds of a former mental hospital into an "elaborate" headquarters for its sprawling network of agencies? It's already a decade behind schedule and $1 billion over budget. A Century-Old Roman Palazzo Grows a Faceted Glass-and-Steel ParasiteWe’ve talked about top-down demolition—where building are deconstructed one floor at a time, ending at the ground—before. But a newly-completed building in Rome, by Italian studio Fuksas, puts a twist on the concept: The old building’s facade was perfectly preserved. This Dorm Was Tailor-Made For the Deaf Students Who Helped Designed ItArchitects are bound by law to design buildings that are accessible to the disabled, but the deaf often get left out of the equation. A group of designers and deaf students are now trying to change that—and their first building, a dormitory at predominantly deaf college Gallaudet University, is their manifesto. GIF I Could Stare at These Animated Beer Labels All DayThe (figurative) craft beer explosion has provided no end of delights, be it cornucopian variety or xxxtreme hops or increasingly creative labels. But its greatest gift of all might turn out to be this ingenious Tumblr that GIFs all of the things. Get Lost In These Abstract Maps of the World's Great CitiesA city's street plan isn't just the canvas that we paint our lives on—it's a work of art on its own. This is true regardless whether the avenues and thoroughfares were meticulously arranged into an anal-retentive grid, or whether they just, ahem, happened over time as residents sprawled away from the center of town. Is the Plank Lounger the Lounge Chair's Platonic Ideal?If you stare at the low-riding wooden Plank Lounger long enough, you might feel like you're on vacation, basking in the sun beneath some beautiful mountain. That is if you have a really vivid imagination and extreme focus. But even if you don't have those things, you can probably agree that it appears to be just about … This 3D-Printed Bungalow Is the Ultimate BirdhouseWhen you ask a bunch of 3D printing nerds to design a better birdhouse, you can expect some wild and wacky offering—but this thing is perhaps the ultimate avian abode. Giant Mirror Lakes Invade Beijing To Reflect China's Water CrisisAt first glance, it looks like Beijing is being swallowed up by rising tides. But these aren't giant bottomless puddles—they're mirrors, installed throughout Beijing by the Chinese wing of advertising agencyGrey Group. The point? To draw attention to the country's rapidly-disappearing lakes.