The 39 Steps

On the heels of the previous sustainability-heavy newsletter, I’ll be leading with a few things on that topic once again this week. But before I get into it, I’d like to take care of a little housekeeping first. Shortly after sending out the last newsletter, I realized I forgot to acknowledge the contributors who sent in links, so I’d like to take a minute to do that now. Thank you Maria, Sven, Daniel, and Su for your suggestions. And thanks to Daniel, Johan, and Mateo for a few of this week’s links.

I also want to announce there will not be a newsletter next week as I will be off-the-grid for a few days. Additionally, I’d like to take this opportunity to share an article about the invention of Thanksgiving as well as info on the National Day of Mourning. I encourage you to click these two links whether you plan to celebrate Thanksgiving next week or not. Thank you. Now on to the links.

This downloadable guide provides a concise overview of sustainable house design for those interested in renovating or building a home that is energy efficient, and adaptable for the future

In the UK, the government has rejected a proposal for a “tulip” tower in London over concerns about the tower’s carbon and design quality negatively affecting the surrounding architectural heritage

US architecture firm unveils concept for “forests” of buildings which sequester carbon and produce biomaterials to support a new carbon economy

Living roofs can absorb excess rainwater, increase the thermal and acoustic insulation of a building, reduce the urban heat island effect, and enhance the air quality. So how do they work?

How emerging practices approach sustainability in architecture

Sustainable materials to now know

Japanese recycling center incorporates 700 windows donated by the local community

Understanding how urban design makes Tokyo work

New project calls to reclaim New York’s courtyards and give them new life

20 examples of successful public spaces

Perfecting the New York street

This affordable micro-home is designed to be replicated for people who lack housing

How to decorate your home for happiness and mental well-being

Thoughts on decoration

What is Japandi style?

An apartment in Taipei with an understated design ethos

A small apartment in Barcelona with enveloping curves

A reinvigorated French apartment with arched elements and pops of green

A high contrast turn-of-the-century Swedish home

This dark wood kitchen renovation highlights 19th-century Scandinavian architecture

A Belgian designer’s color-blocked kitchens channel the De Stijl movement

A Melbourne residence draws on the original crafted details

This inner-city Melbourne home unfolds like a garden path

This architect-designed family home is for sale in Melbourne

A loft in London was once an industrial bakery

An abandoned home is restored in Spain

A Spanish apartment renovation in a 1930s building

A particularly eccentric apartment building on NYC’s Upper West Side

An East Hamptons home designed by an iconic Fire Island architect is for rent

A seaside villa in Stockholm with a private pier and helicopter pad lists for $17.5M

Brutalist Belgian home by Juliaan Lampens can be yours for $680K

A concrete home in Switzerland

A Mexican home buried into the landscape

These fantastical houses were built by financing from Mexican immigrants in the US who send money home

The unknown brutalist architecture of Cairo

These printed city guides serve as travel companions for architecture enthusiasts

Eames Office celebrates 80 years with exhibition in Japan

Everything you need to know about authenticating vintage furniture

This master stone carver was Isamu Noguchi’s most trusted collaborator for decades

A window into lunchtime at the Tom Sachs studio

On a dare from his son, Roy Lichtenstein unwittingly invented Pop art

6 reasons why making art is so good for you

11 influential Native American artists

A new documentary is out about a formerly incarcerated artist who produced and smuggled out numerous bodies of work exploring how the media reinforces societal mechanisms of power and control

Jean-Michel Basquiat: ‘Painter to the core

Warhol’s portrait of Basquiat garners $40M at New York sale

Recent 35-lot auction delivers an eye-popping $676M at Sotheby’s, making it the most valuable sale in company history

After disappearing for decades, a van Gogh watercolor sold under duress and then stolen by Nazis may fetch $30M

Vermeer's Girl With a Pearl Earring’s lavish jewel may be a fake

A rare series of watercolors by Hilma af Klint is now on view in Manhattan

Jackson Pollock Splashed Paint And Wasn't Sorry is a great children’s book

The New York Times & New York Public Library have just announced the best illustrated children’s books of 2021

This new elementary school library in China was inspired by the forest

Scenes of reading around New York City (seen above)

Jon Ronson and Adam Curtis discuss the culture wars

New study shows we enjoy deep conversations with strangers much more than we expect to

Stranger Studies 101: Cities as interaction machines

This short film explores a possible future where modern tech hits a breaking point

AI researchers are spooked by their success

Science proves it: Most NFTs are worthless

And with that, I’ll close out this week’s newsletter. I want to thank you for allowing me into your day. I’m extremely grateful to have you all as readers. Please take care of yourselves and your loved ones over the next coming weeks. And please do share any articles that you found interesting. As always, I can be reached at if you’d like to send me a note. Thank you.