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Liz Mclellan

Liz McLellan is trained in critical theory and writing on art, architecture, design, and visual media, from her degree at McGill University. She has written for publications and worked as an editor and graphic designer. From a young age, she fell in love with interior design, and has been commissioned to renovate and style apartments to be put on the market. In the other half of her time, she works as a silversmith, and reads about the history of design.

Shailesh Devi’s Coolest Buildings

Shailesh Devi has created incredibly inventive and visually interesting buildings, in every type from residential to temple. Most 0f his projects have remained in India, staying adapted to, and interacting with the environment and culture of his home land to create structures that are so much more than that.    Who is Shailesh Devi?  Shailesh …

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The Most Spectacular Public Bathrooms Around the World

When we think of public restrooms, we rarely think beautiful architectural creations that we seek out to visit. Architects around the world are challenging this status quo, and creating public restrooms that are artworks in themselves.    The History of Public Restrooms  Public toilets were part of the sanitation system of ancient Rome. These latrines …

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OPEN Architecture Studio’s Most Incredible Projects

OPEN Architecture is a studio that has pushed their work into the future with creations like the MARS house and Chapel of Sound. Both on the cutting edge of sustainable design, and thinking forward into the conceptual needs of the humans of the future, they have made a name for themselves with their thoughtful and …

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The 20 Coolest Staircases in the World

The architecture of the staircase combines form and function, upper and lower space. It can represent power or status, or symbolise spiritual elevation and the climb to knowledge. Join me in discovering the 20 most spectacular staircases around the world.    From the simple, straight-flight steps of the Mayan pyramids, to the radical spiral ramp …

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The Story of Chinatown Designs in North America

Chinatowns are a vital and rich part of most major cities, yet their history and inception are fraught and painful. Join me in discovering the story of North American Chinatowns, and how they have evolved to present day.    At their height, there were dozens of Chinatowns, in big metro areas like Los Angeles and …

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Jacques Couelle’s Most Spectacular Interiors

It is quite common to receive inspiration from the organic forms and beauty of nature, but self-taught French architect Jacques Couëlle took this inspiration one step further than most. His work on the Castellaras estate in Mouans-Sartoux, France blurs the line between nature, architecture, and sculptural art– hence the unique architectural style he is said to …

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What is Mingei? Who invented it?

Mingei, a traditional Japanese folk art, is rooted in an appreciation of the handcrafted utilitarian object, and a recognition of its innate beauty. In part a reaction to Japan’s rapid modernization at the turn of the century, Mingei is a practice and a philosophy that instills value in the everyday.    The word mingei, meaning …

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Stéphane Beel’s Most Interesting Buildings

Stéphane Beel’s architectural style is simple, paired down and yet always intriguing and visually appealing. Join me in discovering some of his most interesting buildings over the years.    Stéphane Beel is a Flemish contemporary architect and founder of the firm Stéphane Beel Architects. Graduating from his architecture studies in Ghent in 1980, Beel and …

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The 20 Most Incredible Cinemas Around the World

Cinemas have been around since the dawn of film, in 1895. A relatively recent invention, the buildings themselves are also only from the last 130 years, yet many of them are important historical time capsules. With Netflix changing the way we view, cinemas are a precious remaining architecture: so, let’s discover some of the most …

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The Fascinating History of Flashlights

Flashlights, like electricity, transformed our capabilities, illuminating the world and making things like camping and travel so much more accessible and easy. The tool has a unique and interesting history, and has evolved over time. Join me in discovering the history, and how flashlights actually work.    The History of Flashlights The first dry cell …

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Who Invented the Toilet? Fascinating Toilet History

It goes without saying today that a toilet is an essential, yet given, tool in our daily lives. At a certain point in history, however, toilets did not exist. Let’s dive into the fascinating history behind the invention of the toilet, and how it has progressed and evolved over time.    The word toilet derives from …

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20 of the Most Incredible Pool Designs Around the World

Pools can range from Olympic size lap pools to floating lounge pools in the depths of the rainforest. From public to private, from natural to high-tech, and from ancient to modern, we’ve got a list of the most spectacular pools in the world.    The History of Pools The “Great Bath” at the site of …

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The Architecture of Amsterdam: 20 Must-see Buildings

Amsterdam is best known for its luxurious canal houses and charming gabled facades, but the city has enough architectural treasures to keep design lovers busy for weeks. From windmills and drawbridges to the Amsterdam School and cutting-edge modern design, learn the stories behind Amsterdam’s most memorable structures. Amsterdam is one of the most beautiful cities …

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10 of the Most Iconic Chair Designs

Chairs hold a special place in the history of design: they embody a synthesis of creativity, functionality, art and engineering. Some have even taken on cult status, and become art objects in themselves. Let’s take a look at the 10 most influential and iconic chairs throughout history.    The History of Chair Designs   Chairs …

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The Most Beautifully Designed Train Stations Around the World

While trains may seem like an outdated form of transportation, they can be a highly effective and sustainable option. From historical stations that are grand and ornate, to modern feats of engineering, they are a beautiful building that makes the form of transportation all the more enticing.  The History of Train Stations The world’s first …

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The Best Eco Resort Designs Around the World

While travelling across oceans can have a serious carbon footprint, there are ways to make sure your travel is as responsible and sustainable as possible: all without losing luxury and style. To help you with the matter, I’ve curated a list of the best designed eco-resorts around the world.  Research shows that global interest in …

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The 20 Most Incredible Libraries Around the World

While for many people libraries may seem like an outdated institution, they still serve a significant role in our society, as both a public space, and space of archival collection. While you may not even be interested in taking out a book, there are many libraries around the world that are worth visiting just for …

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An Architectural Tour of Glasgow

Glasgow, Scotland is home to a diverse range of historic and contemporary architecture, making it a unique and fascinating place to tour. If you can’t make it there in person, I created this virtual tour to give you a taste of the cityscape.  The city of Glasgow, Scotland is particularly noted for its 19th-century Victorian …

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Renzo Piano’s Most Iconic Designs Around the World

Renzo Piano is a famous Italian architect, perhaps best know for his design of the Centre Pompidou in Paris. His buildings are a blend of high technology and futurism: producing a unique innovative design style that has made him famous around the world. Let’s discover some of his most iconic buildings!   Renzo Piano’s Life …

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Wallmakers Design Firm’s Top 10 Buildings

Wallmakers is an architecture firm based in Kerala, India. led by Vinu Daniel, the studio has devoted itself to the cause of using mud and waste to make structures that are both utilitarian and alluring. Join me in discovering some of their most spectacular designs!   As humans, all of our earlier settlements have always …

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What is the Experimental Desert Community in Arizona, and Who Designed it?

Arcosanti is an experimental desert community located 70 miles outside of Phoenix Arizona. The town was conceived by visionary architect Paolo Soleri, proposing an alternative to urban sprawl that is more sustainable and community centred. Join me in discovering how it came it to be, and some of its most exciting design details.  Built on …

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20 of the Best Designed Boutique Hotels Around the World

While Airbnb has taken over the gravel industry, boutique hotels are a wonderful way to experience a place, with top notch service and a curated experience. There are some spectacular hotels around the world that will immerse you into the environment while providing a respite to relax and unwind at.  So, what exactly makes a …

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Berlin’s 15 Most Spectacular Buildings

Berlin‘s history has left the city with an eclectic assortment of architecture. The city’s appearance in the 21st century has been shaped by the key role the city played in Germany’s 20th-century history. From historic buildings to stunning contemporary ones, Berlin is filled with buildings worth the visit.  Germany is a country with a war-fraught …

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12 of the Most Spectacular Spa Designs Around the World

While spas may seem like a place to just relax, they can also be architectural and design marvels. The history of spas proves very interesting, in understanding how we came to the culture of spas we have today. Join me in discovering the most incredible spas around the world! A spa is a location where …

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The Architecture of Greek Islands, and How it Came To Be

If you have ever been to a Greek island, or even seen photos, you will probably be familiar with the classic white washed walls that spot the cliffside. Greek islands have a unique and uniform architectural style, yet how did it come to be this way? Join me in discovering the fascinating history behind the …

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Mexico’s Augustin Hernandez: 10 of his Most Awe Inspiring Designs

Agustín Hernández Navarro, born February 29, 1924, is a Mexican architect and sculptor. The leading exponent of “emotional” architecture, Hernandez has fused elements from Mexico’s Pre-columbian past in his contemporary architecture. Join me in discovering some of his most awe-inspiring designs.  Agustin Hernandez Navarro’s buildings connect the interdisciplinary realms of archaeology and philosophy with architecture, linking …

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The Story of the Lotus Temple in Delhi

Lotus Temple, Bahāʾī Faith house of worship, in New Delhi was designed by Iranian architect Fariborz Sahba and completed in 1986.  A stunning creation of expressionist architecture, the building is symbolic, functional, beautiful and integrated with its natural environment. Join me in discovering everything there is to know about this marvel of modern architecture.  The temple …

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The Architecture of Kenzo Tange, and it’s Impact on Japanese Design

Kenzo Tange was a Japanese architect, and winner of the 1987 Pritzker Prize for architecture. He was one of the most significant architects of the 20th century, combining traditional Japanese styles with modernism, and designed major buildings on five continents. Discover how he earned these accolades, and what makes his design so impactful.  His career …

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The Story of Rewi Thompson’s Iconic House Design

Rewi Thompson was a Māori architect, who had a major impact on New Zealand, and wowed people with the design of his own home. Join me in discovering his life, career, and some of his most impactful designs. Rewi Michael Robert Thompson, architect and adjunct professor of architecture, was born in 1953 to Bobby and …

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Who was Angelo Mangiarotti and What was his Impact on Design?

Discover Angelo Mangiarotti, the Italian architect, designer and urban planner famous for his dedicated and revolutionary research on different production materials. From his impactful Milanese architecture that shaped the history of the city to his iconic product designs, Mangiarotti’s touch is still present today in our cultural landscape and industry practices. Sinuous curves and unexpected …

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Discover Paolo Portoghesi’s Out of This World Buildings

Paolo Portoghesi is an Italian architect, theorist, historian, whose buildings merge a training in classical architecture with an attention to nature and a push towards modernism. His creations combine geometry with organic shapes to produce an incredible and unique type of structure. Join me in discovering his most incredible works. Portoghesi’s activity took place in …

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The History of Organic Architecture, From Past to Present

Organic architecture is a philosophy of architecture that promotes harmony between human habitation and the natural world. This is achieved through design approaches that aim to be sympathetic and well-integrated with a site. There is a long history of this practice, however, that is perhaps less acknowledged that some contemporary examples.  The term “organic architecture” was …

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Who was Otto Prutscher and What was his Impact on Design?

Otto Prutscher was a Viennese designer, part of the famed Vienna Secession Movement, whose beautifully detailed designs range from flowing organic lines to strict geometrical forms. Prutscher had a massive impact on the progress of design in Vienna and Europe. Join me in discovering some of his most exciting designs! People may not queue up …

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Discover Juan O’Gorman’s Fantastical Mixture of Painting and Architecture

Juan O’Gorman was a Mexican painter and architect: a mixture we don’t often see. His unique skillset produced a fantastical oeuvre of works that blend detailed painting and large scale buildings. Join me in discovering his life, and some of his most interesting creations.  Juan O’Gorman was born on 6 July 1905 in Coyoacán to an …

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10 of Juliaan Lampens’ Most Iconic Designs

Juliaan Lampens was a brutalist architect from Belgium, who had a major impact on the field, and yet remains a less spoken about figure. He created a modest yet impactful oeuvre of distinct and sharp buildings that are a delight to rediscover. Join me in looking at some of his most striking designs.  The Belgian …

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Discover Carlo Scarpa’s Unique and Surreal Architecture

Influenced by a confluence of Japan and Venice, Carlo Scarpa created a distinct architectural and design style. Scarpa translated his interests in history, regionalism, invention, and the techniques of the artist and craftsman into ingenious glass and furniture design. Join me in discovering some of his most unique pieces, and how he created them.  One …

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Who was Alvar Aalto and What was his Impact on Design?

Alvar Aalto was a Finnish architect, city planner, and furniture designer whose international reputation rests on a distinctive blend of modernist refinement, indigenous materials, and personal expression in form and detail.  His impact ranges from innovating the use of bent plywood to developing the field of modernism.  His work includes architecture, furniture, textiles and glassware, …

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10 of Albert Frey’s Most Spectacular Designs

Albert Frey was a Swiss-born architect who established a style of modernist architecture centered on Palm Springs, California, United States, that came to be known as “desert modernism”. Even if you’re not familiar with the term, you’ve probably seen the aesthetic. Join me in learning about Albert Frey, and some of his most spectacular designs.  …

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Who was Sori Yanagi, and What was his Impact on Design?

Sori Yanagi is one of the most influential and prolific creators of his time : he became director of the Museum of Popular Arts in Tokyo in 1977. His work spans from industrial design to craft, and perhaps is most recognized for his butterfly stool. Let’s discover the intriguing story of his life and career, …

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Who is Bjarke Ingels and What is he Famous for?

Bjarke Ingels is a Danish architect, who has become well known for his sustainable designs. Bjark Ingels Group, the firm he founded, has grown immensely over the years and won many awards and competitions. Join me in discovering some of his most famous designs, and what makes them so special.  Bjarke Ingels has, in some …

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The Top Ten Design Museums Around the World

If you want to learn about the history of design, going to a design museum is a great way to immerse yourself in the beauty of the best design in the world. The buildings themselves are a marvel, and they are filled with incredible collections of everything from furniture to ceramics. Let’s look at the …

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What are the Best Architectural Styles for a Cold Climate?

Designing and building, whether its residential or commercial, always needs to be adapted to the climate of the area. There are many historical and innovative new techniques for building for cold climates. Join me in discovering some of the main architectural styles that are best for the snowiest places on earth.  The History of Building …

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What is Unique About Iranian Architecture?

Persian buildings vary from peasant huts to tea houses, and garden pavilions to some of the most majestic structures the world has ever seen. If you’ve never been to Iran or that region in Asia, join me in discovering the history and rich beauty of the buildings and infrastructure that make up Iran.  Traditional Persian …

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Who Was Jane Jacobs and What Was Her Impact on Cities?

Jane Jacobs was an American-Canadian journalist, author, theorist, and activist who influenced urban studies, sociology, and economics. She advocated for the needs of people in urban development, and had a massive impact on the way we think of city planning today.    Jacobs organized grassroots efforts to protect neighborhoods from urban renewal and slum clearance …

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10 of Gio Ponti’s Most Incredible Designs

Gio Ponti was truly a renaissance man: his work spanned architecture, design, art, philosophy, and advocacy. He is perhaps most famous for his buildings and furniture, but his entire life and oeuvre of work is worth looking at. Join me in discovering some of his most famous, and perhaps most forgotten designs.  During his career, …

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The Architecture of Milan: Top 10 Buildings to See

Milan has an ancient history of architecture, combined with some incredible and innovative contemporary buildings. The city’s urban landscape, therefore, is a unique mixture of styles that makes Milan very worth a visit! The fashion capital of Italy, Milan is home to an incredible number of architectural riches that range over a thousand years of …

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10 of Sou Fujimoto’s Most Awe-Inspiring Designs

Sou Fujimoto is a Japanese architect, Born in Hokkaido in 1971, who is noted for delicate light structures and permeable enclosures. His creations are out of this world, while addressing concerns that are deeply grounded in our human lives and the environment we live in.  Sou Fujimoto’s Career When Sou Fujimoto moved from the pastoral …

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Who Was Gae Aulenti and What Was Her Impact on Design?

Gae Aulenti is one of the most influential architects and designers of the post-war period. As early as the 1960s, her iconic creations – such as her Locus Solus series (1964), the Pipistrello (1965) and King Sun (1967) lamps – played a vital role in Italy’s global dominance within the field of product design. Join …

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The Story Behind the Architecture of Dubai

Dubai has become known for towering shiny new developments: hyper-modern and set against the sparkling teal water. The history of the place, however, includes buildings that date back from the beginning of the 19th century. Let’s discover the full story behind the architecture of Dubai! Located in the eastern part of the Arabian Peninsula on …

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