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Southdale Center: America's first shopping mall – a history of cities in 50 buildings, day 30

Behold the shopping mall – the built epitome, according to its critics, of the mindless, car-bound consumerism of white-bread suburban America. Yet Southdale Center, the first fully enclosed, climate-controlled collection of shops from which all the 1,100 or so similarly designed malls now standing …


Antony Gormley: 'I am beginning to learn how to make sculpture'

Standing on a granite precipice, with the churning Bristol Channel stretching out endlessly before him, Antony Gormley throws his arms wide. “Isn’t it utterly magical?” he roars into a gale force wind so strong it almost knocks the breath from you. “You feel like all the silliness of the world has …


The Guardian view on reading maps: so much more than navigation

Maps were the original data visualisation tool, a way of transferring the dimensions of the physical world on to parchment or paper that could be used by anyone who had learned the language of maps and admired even by those who had not. In the words of John Noble Wilford in his history The …


Hair Metal Bands, Then and Now

They wore big hair, tight spandex and had difficulty spelling their own names. While hard rock purists grumbled about their reliance on flashy solos and heavy pyrotechnics, the hair metal bands that ruled the earth in the ’80s (and part of the early ’90s — before Nirvana showed up and made them …

Beautiful autochrome seaside photos from 1913

These evocative photos by Mervyn O’Gorman were taken in 1913, just before the dawn of World War I, yet they look so timeless.<p>O’Gorman, an English engineer, was also an amateur photographer and an early adopter of the autochrome process, one of the early forms of color photography. (Fun fact: The …

Vintage NASA photos full of space firsts (pictures)

Space Science

40 years and counting: the team behind Voyager’s space odyssey

On a chilly March morning, Steve Howard, aged 65, is at work in his office on the northern edge of Pasadena, California. Two computer screens are squeezed on to his corner desk along with family photos, a tissue box and tins of Altoids Curiously Strong Peppermints. The office is in a quiet business …