Yes, the Arctic permafrost is thawing, Tea Party talking points notwithstanding, as sinkholes and capsized houses provide some very obvious visual evidence of a changing landscape. But what kind of structures should be built, then, when the ground is unstable in unpredictable ways? This question led the Toronto-based architectural firm Lateral Office, run by Mason White and Lola Sheppard, to offer a potential solution by building a model Arctic city on top of thousands of wooden dowels, high above the land.
It’s no secret that the Galapagos Islands are one of the world’s most zealously guarded nature preserves: they are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a national park, and occupy the second largest biological marine reserve on the planet, after Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. But after 400 years of colonization, the islands are as carefully managed an ecosystem as New York City’s Central Park, as eradication programs compete with preservation initiatives, species are introduced to kill off others, while the world waits for a mate for Lonesome George.
Still in need of the perfect gift for the intuitive thinker in your life? From creative geniuses to crafty entrepreneurs to cycling urbanists, this year's design books have got you covered. Head down to your local bookstore and pick up one of 2009's best design and architecture tomes, many of them written by our own esteemed Expert Design Bloggers.