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The 16 Best Lines From New York's Fall Design Issue

New York magazine's epic biannual design issue dropped this week, and as usual design editor Wendy Goodman gives us an heaping portion. Titled "Urban Design," the issue begins with the following premise: cities, so hot right now. "Endless commutes, gasoline addiction, and the toxic effects of having nowhere to walk—these suburban discontents have helped make the study of high-density living a hotter field than ever," writes Goodman with architecture critic Justin Davidson. "The intellectual atmosphere resembles the city itself: creative, exciting, contentious, and loud." With this in mind, the mag goes on to explore all of the following in one breath: architecture after the financial crisis, the newest cool city-dwelling buildings on Earth, what NYC can learn from other cities, a pied-à-terre in Warsaw, an air-raid bunker in Berlin, a cement compound in Barcelona, a house on the highway in L.A., track housing in Copenhagen, and lots more. And let's not forget the piece on futurist decor: soon, beds will be expandable à la an accordion, closets will be two-dimensional, and drains will be clear. While we give our brainwaves the opportunity to recover, do have a look at the best lines of the issue (quotation marks designate the sparkling direct quotes from those interviewed):
16: "I think the house is like living in a cloud.” [link]
15: The exterior concrete walls bloom with life, as plants are able to grow through a system of irrigation using recycled rainwater and groundwater. [link]
14: As for living in the house—1,400 square feet of totally camouflaged concrete—“it’s either someone’s dream or their nightmare!” [link]

13: In 2003, art collector Christian Boros bought a 1942 air-raid bunker as a private museum and storage facility, and then decided—hey, why not?—to build a penthouse for his family atop it. [link]
12: “But also I feel it is important for affordable housing to declare itself in the community, both for the neighborhood and for the residents who take pride in living in a space that has been thought out for their needs.” [link]
11: "Originally the experiment was to find the most ugly thing in the world—this cement factory that is creating pollution, creating dust, a horror story for any sort of ecological-minded person—and figure out how to transform it." [link]
10: "Our idea was to create an inhabited arch." [link]
9: At its widest point, the house will measure just four feet; at its narrowest, 28 inches. And until Szczesny procures a housing permit, it’s for now technically considered a temporary art installation, not a residence. [link]
8: "8 House is a three-dimensional neighborhood rather than an architectural object. An alley of 150 rowhouses stretches through the entire block and twists all the way from street level to the top and down again." [link]
7: Part port-o-let, part interactive art, Monica Bonvicini’s “Don’t Miss a Sec” is a public toilet encased in one-way mirrors. [link]
6: "Copenhagen’s next garbage facility will be an incinerator on the inside, a ski run outside." [link]
5: “In general I am not one for architecture trying to emulate, reflect, or mirror old surrounding architecture. But there is something perversely provocative about the Elbe Philharmonic’s quasi-postapocalyptic presence, like Mad Max meets Brazil.” [link]
4: If the suburban model of single-family houses has imploded, economically and environmentally, why not try something that’s both more urban and more rural? The complex would include waterfalls and farms. [link]
3: Wow. Say you’ve got guests crashing for the weekend—just take your full-size daybed and stretch it, accordion style, to fit a queen-size airbed. [link]
2: “If you drop a diamond earring down the drain, it gives you a chance to see where it’s at before you go and make a mistake and just run the water." [link]
1: "It goes from a console all the way up to a twelve-person dining table." [link]
· Fall Design 2011 [NYMag]
· Design: City as Lab [NYMag]