Dreamlike depictions from a Prix Pictet winning photographer

“My work helps me understand life better and understand myself. It allows me to heal and grow as a human being, and to connect with others without having to talk,” explains Joana Choumali. The Ivorian photographic-textile artist depicts life in African cities with embroidery, creating dreamlike scenes that allow her work to comment on mental health, trauma, and hope through a comforting guise.

Born in 1974 and based in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, Choumali began experimenting with photography as a child. She has always used the medium as a meditative and intimate form…


Remembering the architectural visionary and expressive forms of Walter Förderer

Arising ruthlessly from the mountainous formations of the Swiss Alps is a cascade of concrete which Walter Maria Förderer considered one of his greatest architectural accomplishments. St. Nicolas Church is a modernist vision and remarkable architectural statement that leaves the public in awe, whether viewing from the facade or interior.

Born on March 21, 1928, Förderer was one of Switzerland’s most iconic architects and a formidable sculptor who envisioned an avant-garde fate for the religious buildings of his homeland and in Germany. In 1946, an earthquake severely damaged the Swiss…


Rising ranks and challenging stereotypes that are decades-old

Badal Patel was halfway to becoming a Biochemistry graduate when she had a moment of reckoning, knowing that she had been lying to herself about which career path she ought to follow. In a moment of shock to her Indian-American family, she mustered up the courage to tell them that she wanted to become a graphic designer.

Patel was a high-energy teenager always looking for something to create. “You could find me creating wooden boats out of fallen branches in the backyard, sewing my purses, or taking ‘artsy’ photos on my camera…


In the first of a two-part installment, Yoko Choy interviews one of China’s most fascinating architects

At the turn of the millennium, a new wave of studios focused on modern vernacular architecture began to emerge in China. This shift presented a return to localism and valued design tied to cultural tradition. Pritzker Architecture Prize winner Wang Shu has been at the forefront of this movement since founding Amateur Architecture Studio in 1997 with his wife, Lu Wenyu. …


Writer Steph Wade reflects on how a pioneer of Pakistani architecture uses design for humanitarian causes and inclusion

From monumental corporate buildings to humanitarian work in flood-prone rural villages, Pakistan’s first prominent female architect Yasmeen Lari has demonstrated how both education and simple design interventions can empower communities to live better lives.

The Finance and Trade Center in Pakistan’s largest city Karachi stands as an enormous commercial monument; its staggered facade of interconnecting blocks creates a visually commanding structure. Not far away lies the Pakistan State Oil House, a hefty concrete building that serves as headquarters to a petroleum corporation…


A modern branding boom

Branding isn’t just what something looks and feels like, it is how it works and how a vision or message can touch someone emotionally. When executed perfectly, branding is storytelling, and storytelling is creative work. There is an art to standing out in an ocean of competition, especially for new brands hoping to make a name for themselves or undergoing a makeover. Instead of running with the crowd, Brand New Brand explores a new crop of designers who reach for the stars to set themselves apart.

“In the cities in which we live, all of us…


The Mexican minimalist with an eye for color

Volumes of color meet monolithic shapes in the experimental work of Luis Barragán, one of the most influential architects of the 20th-century. The first Mexican to win the Pritzker Prize, Barragán is an emblematic figure who contributed to Latin America’s Modernism movement with his minimalist, spiritual architecture. His designs are expressive releases of emotion and exuberance, they are places of contemplation and musing. While respected by his peers at the height of his career, his legacy has taken on an iconic status since he passed away in 1988. …


Rebecca Flint Marx explores the artistry of ceramics for Story on A Plate

Ceramics and tableware play an important role in plating presentations. They’re part of each plate’s story and can allow customers to interact with food in unexpected ways. Let it be said that there is nothing wrong with the round white plate. It has long been a stalwart presence at restaurants across the world, serving as an innocuous, agreeable backdrop for any number of cuisines. The round white plate demands nothing-it does not ask to be admired or even considered. Its story is that it has no story…


A measured masterpiece of nature and light, step inside this viridescent oasis from Kientruc O architects

In 1999, Ho Chi Minh was a modest city with a population of 3.95 million inhabitants. Today, Vietnam’s second-city has swelled to over 10 million people and has an average population density of over 4,500 per square kilometer-higher than Shanghai. The city is decorated with history and still carries architectural scars from its colonial past. It has become the symbolic face of modern Vietnam-an omphalos of culture and design in a forbiddingly ferocious humid climate. Despite its megacity status, the city limits high-rise residential…


Few would recommend running through the favelas of Rio de Janeiro after dark, but Christian Näthler writes about how Ghetto Run Crew is changing that

Cops can get testy when youths run through the famous favelas of the city at night. All the more reason for Júnior Negão and his crew to occupy the streets. “We are not a club, we are a crew, a cultural resistance,” announces Negão, who founded Ghetto Run Crew in Rio de Janeiro after a late-night run with his wife, Gisele Nascimento, in 2013. Today, many in the crew run after midnight. “Running at night…

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