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There really is a flag design rule book, and radio host Roman Mars abides by its principles religiously. Well, perhaps not all the time. Some flags are apparently too excellent to obey the rules …

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British designer and architect Thomas Heatherwick describes how to bring a human scale and whimsical sensibility to urban life, to create a fabulous future fit for us all.

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Supertall buildings have become just another part of the urban scenery. They are, writes science fiction writer Bruce Sterling, “stunningly factual, immediately obvious, impossible to overlook.” But what of the unbuilt towers of the future? What might *they* look like. With his customary lyricism, Sterling describes four classes of future skyscraper.

Plunge into the deep Balinese jungle and you might suddenly find a bamboo building soaring above you. Made from a frankly unlikely building material, the ethereal structures are the brainchildren of designer Elora Hardy and her team. Take a look.

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You don’t need to be a designer to appreciate how things are created and how they function in the world. You just have to be interested. And yes, you have to judge, often based on a first impression. Here, designer Chip Kidd shares some examples of objects and places that form his ideas about design and how it can work — or not.

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Human beings have made enormous changes to Earth, reshaping it, developing it and generally altering it so much that in many cases its pre-human condition has become unrecognizable. In this far-ranging conversation, ecologist Erle Ellis and landscape architect Bradley Cantrell discuss what this means for ecology and architecture … and how we might think about protecting our planet.

Get an inside look at the design process behind Fuji Kindergarten, a school where trees grow through classrooms and the roof is another place to play.