Most Beautiful Items: October 19 - 26, 2013

A new week brings new questions. Like, how would one recreate the iOS 7 homescreen in Microsoft Word? Or should spires count toward a building's total height? If you've found yourself pondering these things, you can find your answers within the most beautiful items of the week.


This Lexus Paints Your Portrait Based On How You Drive

Car aficionados will readily defend their favorite vehicles as rolling works of art, but art collector Walter Vanhaerent might be the only driver on earth who can definitively make that claim. Because his new Lexus IS 300h hybrid actually paints his portrait every time he hits the road.


Haunting Aerial Photographs of Drowned Villages in Canada

Most Beautiful Items: October 19 - 26, 2013

Photographer Louis Helbig is archiving aerial views of Canadian villages drowned by the construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway on his website Sunken Villages. The photos are haunting and gorgeous, almost emerald-like, but often difficult to read. Outlines of houses and roads barely emerge from the silt like scenes…


Watch Molten Steel Run Through This 19th Century Welding Workshop

Most Beautiful Items: October 19 - 26, 2013

A few weeks ago, a tiny gallery in London was transformed into a scene straight out of the 19th century. Amid piles of sand, a worker donned a silver apron and safety helmet and poured molten hot steel down a track to create long slabs of metal. The man in the apron was Raphael Hefti—not an industrial worker, but an…


7 Artists Who Create Strange New Worlds Using Nothing But Thread

Most Beautiful Items: October 19 - 26, 2013

There's something otherwordly about the optical illusions a single string—or 3,000 of them—can conjure up in our brains. It's almost as if a simple fiber installation holds a gateway to a whole other dimension—when, in fact, we're just looking at lines in space. Here, we take a closer look at seven visionaries who can…


Modern Day China Painted By North Korean Propaganda Artists

Most Beautiful Items: October 19 - 26, 2013

At first glance, The Beautiful Future—a series of paintings made in Pyongyang, North Korea—looks like standard propaganda fare: Happy citizens, lush farmlands, and bustling industry. Except something's amiss: In the background of each painting stands an iconic piece of Beijing architecture—from the CCTV building to…


Amazon's Gigantic Biodomes Have Been Endorsed By Seattle

Most Beautiful Items: October 19 - 26, 2013

Amazon has somehow gained initial approvalto build a huge series of greenhouses slap-bang in the middle of Seattle so it's employees need never leave work.


Inside the NYC Super-Factory Building America's Tallest Prefab Tower

Most Beautiful Items: October 19 - 26, 2013

In a corner of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, on a factory floor that resembles an oversized assembly line, workers are building entire apartments in days. Most New Yorkers might not realize it, but the tallest prefab building in the country—and maybe the world—is currently taking shape not far from where they live. Gizmodo…


Watch This Madman Recreate the iOS 7 Homescreen in Microsoft Word

Observe, citizens, as this delightfully talented and probably unhinged gentleman recreates the iOS 7 from scratch using only the tools in Microsoft Word. There is no good explanation for this, but I still can't tear my eyes away from it.


NYC's Gas Stations and Warehouses Are Being Replaced By "Palaces"

Most Beautiful Items: October 19 - 26, 2013

An anything-goes approach to development is a time-honored tradition in New York (see: this plan to fill in the East River). But developers may be reaching a breaking point in Manhattan, where warehouses are being bought to build $100 million single-family homes.


12 Postcards From When NYC Was the Skyscraper Capital of the World

Most Beautiful Items: October 19 - 26, 2013

New York City was a different place in the 1940s. It was a time before video billboards andLED lights, and skyscrapers were still a source of city-wide awe and pride. Everyone who lived in this glamorous city (and everyone who visited) wanted to show those architectural marvels off—and postcards were a perfect…


10 Secrets About L.A.'s Disney Hall on Its 10th Anniversary

Most Beautiful Items: October 19 - 26, 2013

Happy birthday, you old crumpled wave of steel, you! L.A.'s signature building opened to the public 10 years ago today, giving the city's downtown a much-needed civic boost and cementing architect Frank Gehry's status as a metal god. I wrote a story for this month's Los Angeles Magazine about the building's…


Should a Skyscraper's Spire Count Towards Its Total Height?

Most Beautiful Items: October 19 - 26, 2013

It's a hotly contested issue amongst architects and designers. Does a building's height stop at the highest usable floor, or should the spire above it count, too? What's the difference between a spire and an antenna? Does it really matter? Well, it does to the developer of the 1,776-foot-tall Freedom Tower.