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Victor Gruen was an avant-garde European socialist who inadvertently designed that all-American creature, the mall. But, as Steven Johnson reveals, his master plan was way grander — and one we might want to build today

Dom McKenzie

This year has been marked by upheaval on a global scale — and many of us are wondering: What will happen next? Satellite archaeologist and TED Prize winner Sarah Parcak shares three examples from the ancient past that offer lessons for today.

Jorge Otero-Pailos, “The Ethics of Dust: Old US Mint, San Francisco” (2016). Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. (Photo courtesy of Jorge Otero-Pailos). The installation is made of conservation latex that has been used to ‘clean’ the chimneys of the Old US Mint, where the gold from the California gold rush was turned into coins. As one of the only buildings surviving the 1906 earthquake, the pollution from the US Mint is some of the oldest pollution in San Francisco.

Pollution is a blight, right? Not so fast, says architect Jorge Otero-Pailos, whose projects invite us to consider the important history lessons provided by layer upon layer of dirt.

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When artist JR started a project about the 1.2 million people held in limbo at the Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital in the early 20th century, he couldn’t help but notice ghosts of the present.

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Professional aphorist and all round word nerd James Geary shares his list of must-read books from authors covering literary life, proverbs, aphorisms, and the art of being quoted.

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At the end of 2014, find repose by exciting the mind. 52 of the world’s leading thinkers offer the books that inspired them and their work.

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As the Cooper Hewitt opens its doors after a three-year renovation, we take a look at what the curators have put together — including an exhibit put together by Maira Kalman and technology from Local Projects.