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Dwell November/December 2020

Dwell is the unique modern architecture and design magazine for people who believe that good design is an integral part of real life. Get Dwell digital magazine subscription today.

United States
6 Issues

in this issue

2 min
the right to a home

When we started planning our annual Made in America issue, we decided that the most important thing being made here right now is affordable homes. Even before the pandemic, 38 million households in the United States—nearly one in three—spent more than 30 percent of their income on housing costs (a common benchmark for affordability), and the number of people without housing of any kind had been growing in cities across the country. Now, the economic fallout from Covid-19 could leave millions facing eviction in just a few months. Add to that the people displaced by storms, wildfires, and other climate change–related disasters, and you have an unprecedented housing crisis. This year, we’re telling the stories of architects, developers, policymakers, and activists fighting to provide people with houses. In “How to Build an…

2 min

“I absolutely love Schoonschip! I live in Amsterdam and had no idea this existed. Very cool.”—SJK Fine Art & Design, via Dwell.com Feedback Flipping through the September/October issue, I came across One Last Thing. It was about a bowl, nature’s perfect shape. It made me think about how nearly every home in Dwell seems to contain nothing but sharp angles, when nature is filled with nothing but curves. Curves are the strongest and most efficient shape—not to mention that in this world so divided, the curve is naturally calming to our psyches. DONNA ANJO, MAPLE RIDGE, BC In “Hillside Hideaway” [September/October], I don’t understand how the ceiling is insulated. From the interior, the joists are exposed, and the roof profile is very thin on the exterior, so it doesn’t look like it’s built up…

1 min
20 years modern


2 min
what is the quintessential american design object?

There are few things more American than Levi’s jeans. Maybe a Jeep is on par. @irvinschmirvin The flashy, bold cars of the ’50s and ’60s. They reflected postwar optimism and flourishing industry. @nicodicodesign The Eames lounge—it doesn’t try hard, yet it commands your attention. @gigamegablaster The fast-food burger, because it reflects the very nature of American culture: taking an idea, streamlining it, and selling it into the mass market. @tom.w.zarb The Weber grill is colorful, bulbous, and functional. It makes kings and queens of every American. @orrdelnorte The Schwinn Aerocycle is the perfect symbol of freedom, prosperity, and mobility on one’s own. @awall692 The light bulb, because it so fundamentally changed how we live. @nancyjbrandt The iPhone, because of its painstaking attention to form and function. @themarmaladesky When I think of American design, I think of midcentury modern, and the Noguchi coffee table is one of…

2 min
cat tricks

“We wanted the cat element to be subtle, something you’d never know was there until you saw the cats moving through the space.”Nathan Cuttle, designer Brooklyn’s Prospect Heights may not be the first neighborhood that comes to mind when you hear the words “concrete jungle,” but the metaphor fits in a new way if you consider the penthouse home of Abigail and Max Frumes. High above the neighborhood’s tree-lined streets and handsome brownstones, two exotic felines prowl the couple’s new, 1,420-square-foot condo. The cats—a pair of Bengals named Hobbes and Agnes—share the space with their human owners and the couple’s daughter. Their paradise is the brainchild of Studio Nato’s Nathan Cuttle, who tailored the design to the cats’ nature. Understanding Bengals’ proclivity for acrobatic heights and greater need for exercise and play compared…

2 min
the table’s all set

Fort Makers New York City “We’ve been making our glasswork at UrbanGlass in Brooklyn since it opened its new studios in 2013. Right now, we’re making a Sunrise Sunset cup. It’s a 12-ounce drinking glass that features a fade from an intense color density to near transparency. Well, it’s actually a reverse fade, so you have to make the gradient first and then make a separate cup that you stuff the colored glass into—you can’t really replicate that with a machine. Then we add a solid orb on the side that creates a subtle indentation in the cup and also acts as a grip, or holder. We designed them to be kind of Surrealist cups. So the orb on the side has this nice optic quality that creates a kind of lens.…