• How retailers are cashing in on the pop-up phenomenon

    While retailers are well versed in making their stores interesting and welcoming, the popup store phenomenon – that’s been here for a decade so far and looking like continuing – with its short lifespan and limited budget can bring a whole new set of challenges to effectively promoting a brand, says Stuart Geekie

  • if only...

    Japanese onsen could be easily assembled in the world’s natural environments...

  • Keeping it real: the craft skills renaissance

    Craft skills are riding a wave of appreciation at present, which is only to be welcomed, says Veronica Simpson. But while handcrafted goods are being snapped up, often at eye-watering prices, where’s the recognition (and generous reward) for the craftsman and craftswoman creating them?

  • Read a good book lately?

    Libraries have seen some changes since they first caught the public’s imagination towards the end of the 19th century, thanks to early philanthropists such as Andrew Carnegie and Florence Boot, of Boots the Chemists. Now new libraries are being designed to serve a whole new generation with a whole new clutch of requirements, of which books are only a part. Stephen Hitchins reports

  • Erik Spiekermann on 30 years of Blueprint

    Looking back at Blueprint after 30 years provides a reminder both of what has been achieved over the past three decades and just how slow progress can be. But then Rome — or should that be London — wasn’t built in a day

  • SSHHH! Designers at work

    Spaces are saturated with noise or moving imagery, which is pushing consumers to seek solace in soothing environments with limited distractions. Katie Baron, senior editor of retail and spaces at Stylus, investigates noise-management systems, contemporary cocoons and sound-absorbing materials fuelling the desire for quiet

  • Designer furniture for leaner times

    Despite the tough economic conditions, companies are increasingly specifying designer items when refurbishing their workspace. Companies in the new Media City development at Salford Quays are some of the latest to choose this route after fitting out offices with furniture from a well-known furniture designer. Perhaps this is not surprising, but given that companies are operating on tighter budgets than ever before, there is a desire to get the designer look for less and maximise available budget.

  • Owen Hatherley on Britain's 'bland' Olympic legacy

    Aside from a few swooping sports structures, the architectural legacy of the Olympics is predominantly bland or oppressive. But that’s OK if the people of Newham are getting something out of it, isn’t it? Would that they were

  • Innovation Stations

    As more and more companies are waking up to the realisation that their staff don’t need to be sitting at a desk to be productive, design practices are delivering increasingly unique and stimulating work environments, reports Helen Parton

  • Time traveller

    After 20 years with the same company, Paul Finch has witnessed numerous configurations of the workspace, with the latest one – the most efficient to date, he says – dovetailing with a move to PaddingtonCentral

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  • The Importance of lighting in retail design

    Lighting designer Mihaly Bartha on the almost symbiotic relationship between lighting and retail design

  • Foster + Partners' raised cycle paths for London? Great idea, in theory

    Blueprint editor and cyclist Johnny Tucker on SkyCycle, a new idea by Foster + Partners that could see a network of raised cycle paths across London

  • Susan Tomlinson: why I started a women-only networking group

    Susan Tomlinson, marketing manager at K+N, has spent her entire professional life in the male-dominated construction and design and build industries. Last year she fulfilled a long-held ambition to establish a series of women-only networking events. They have been a huge success, but as Tomlinson herself says, there’s still plenty of work to do.

  • John McRae: Inside Battersea Power Station

    After several failed schemes, Battersea Power station finally looks set to begin its new life as a mixed use office, retail and residential development with a scheme designed by WilkinsonEyre.Architects. John McRae of Orms, one of the last public visitors to the site before it closed for redevelopment recalls the thrill of going inside one of London's most iconic structures - and hopes the new development won't be too exclusive

  • Activist Trenton Oldfield on the reality of life in a British prison

    During his incarceration in HMP Wormwood Scrubs for disrupting the Oxford and Cambridge boat race, Oldfield wrote to Blueprint about life 'inside'

  • Urban hotels strive to offer unique design

    Christina Zimmer, principal at Stonehill & Taylor Architects in New York on the trend for uniqueness in urban hotels

  • A building that resembles a vagina? It's only natural

    One of Zaha Hadid's latest designs has been the talk of the internet due to what some people see as a resemblance to female genitalia – but as architecture leaves the straight lines and rigid materials of the past behind, it’s only natural our buildings are going to look, feel and function more like our bodies.

  • Inside Ernö Goldfinger’s Haggerston School

    Nearly 50 years after it was built and with a recent renovation by Avanti Architects, Haggerston School in London, architect Ernö Goldfinger's only education project, is still very much fit for purpose, says James Borley

  • Core blimey

    The concrete core of Building 7 rises above its neighbours at Chiswick Park, west London.