Most Beautiful Items: May 11 - May 17, 2013

Another week on the books means another week's worth of beautiful items. From structures made out of salt to Venice's beautiful beachfront facades, here are some of our favorite architecture and design posts from the past seven days.


Most Beautiful Items: May 11 - May 17, 2013

The simple form and function of a Zippo lighter has made it an incredibly iconic design. But it could soon be supplanted by Alessi if the Italian houseware manufacturer prices its new Sushi lighter to compete with the Zippo. That, or convince a Hollywood producer to have an action hero prominently use it in an…


Most Beautiful Items: May 11 - May 17, 2013

Last week, when Smith + Gill Architects unveiled its design forImperial Tower, which will become Mumbai’s tallest building (by a lot!), their description of the project confounded many critics. “The building,” the architects explained, “is designed to confuse the wind.” Huh?


Most Beautiful Items: May 11 - May 17, 2013

Water and electricity: historically, not a great combo! But Antonin Fourneau, a French artist and engineer, combines both to remarkable ends in his installation, Water Light Graffiti, which landed in New York this week.


Most Beautiful Items: May 11 - May 17, 2013

Candles are low tech by definition. We've been using them forthousands of years. But designer Zelf Koelman put a more modern spin on them by whipping up an auto-lighting candle rig that even has a dimmer switch. It's as neat as it is totally absurd.


Most Beautiful Items: May 11 - May 17, 2013

"I'm just completing a new house that is a mechanical masterpiece,” writes Popular Mechanics editor Thomas Stimson in a 1955 article proudly titled I Chose a Steel-Frame House. “The house has a steel frame like an office building. To a large extent it was put together with a welding torch instead of hammer and nails."


We lead such sedentary lives, parked all day at a desk. But what if your desk furniture could double as workout equipment? Meet No Sweat, an awesome three-piece set designed by Darryl Agawin, you instantly offset the negative affects of eight hours' worth of sitting on your butt.


Most Beautiful Items: May 11 - May 17, 2013

Escalators that curve. Escalators that glow. Quadruple-decker, gold-plated, Tron-themed escalators. The moving staircase may have been an American invention, but it's the Japanese who have really perfected them. Read…


Most Beautiful Items: May 11 - May 17, 2013

It can take months for a cargo ship to cross from China to Europe. Over the course of the journey, it’s increasingly common for companies to transform ships into floating factories, where workers take advantage of the long crossing to complete a contract en route.


Most Beautiful Items: May 11 - May 17, 2013

Illustration and science have always gone hand in hand. If you want to understand something, drawing it is a good place to start. Macoto Marayama, a 29-year-old botanist and designer, goes even further: he carefully dissects and models flowers using 3D drafting software.


Most Beautiful Items: May 11 - May 17, 2013

Is it possible? Yes it is. Using special salt mixes, builders in countries from Bolivia to Poland have been building with sodium chloride for centuries.


Most Beautiful Items: May 11 - May 17, 2013

Art installation? Trick photography? Nope, just a little restoration project going on at Utah's Provo Temple, which was badly damaged in a fire in 2010. Thankfully, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) is salvaging the 112-year-old building with a little architectural levitation.


Most Beautiful Items: May 11 - May 17, 2013

Venice's Beachfront Balconies Look Like Boxes of Candy

"Behind the Edge" is an eye-popping series by photographer Luigui Bonaventura, who shoots the brightly-hued balconies of hotels in Jesolo Beach, a small coastal town outside of Venice, Italy. The pastel facades look like meticulously arranged boxes of salt water taffy.