Cool Spaces! is a TV series and website that showcases what's new and exciting in the world of architecture and design.
National premiere on public television: April 2014.

A Noted Wright House is Bach in Business

For the architecture aficionado who has ever dreamed of staying overnight in a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home, good news: The fully restored Emil Bach House along Chicago’s lakefront has reopened for business and is available for rental. Harboe Architects was enlisted for the...

Furniture From Milk Bottles and Other Recycled Products

In their groundbreaking book, Cradle-to-Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, architect Bill McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart called for a new industrial revolution that challenges the notion of how we design, manufacture and consume products. They argue that we should...

Furniture for Bookworms

We’re avid readers — not to mention keen on libraries — so when the Cool Spaces! team comes across furniture for book lovers, we have to share it. How about curling up in the Bookworm seating and storage solution from Atelier 010 (shown above)? This whimsical piece is as...

The Future of Solar Energy Is Transparent

Despite the fact that solar power is one of the cleanest forms of alternative energy available, it represents only about 1 percent of the nation’s electricity generation and is still rife with problems. Photovoltaic (solar) panels — a common green fixture on buildings, for...

Exhibit: Designing for Disaster, National Building Museum

April 2014 represented the largest tornado outbreak in U.S. history, with a record-breaking 190 of them touching down within a 24-hour period on April 27, according to Weather Underground. Further, natural disasters were reported to have caused $192 billion in damage worldwide —...

School’s IN for Summer

If you haven’t been paying attention in class lately, you may have missed the fact that online education hasn’t just rapidly gained in popularity — it’s created a virtual paradigm shift in the university model, as one New York Times article notes. In short, MOOCs (massive open...

LEED: 3 Billion and Counting

As we touched on in a recent post, green design is big business that is permanently altering the way the buildings we live and work in are designed and built. What was a grassroots movement less than two decades ago has become a bona fide force in the world of architecture. Need...

The Art of the Fan

Blades swirling above. A breeze saunters through the room. Big Ass Fan is on. We’ll freely admit that we’re no experts in the Japanese art of haiku, but we do know a good product when we see one. And the Haiku ceiling fan from Big Ass Fans is a case study in refinement and...

Reopened to the Public: The Washington Monument

The Washington Monument, one of the nation’s most iconic landmarks, has officially been reopened to the public after repairs were completed to restore its structural integrity following a 5.8 magnitude earthquake that damaged it more than three years ago. Designed by architect...

A Space Divided: Can These Products Make for a Better Workplace?

As the open plan office has dismantled the once-ubiquitous cubicle, the workplace has become something of a fishbowl leaving employees totally exposed — a phenomenon that has led some to find creative ways to go back into hiding. But as research suggests, people don’t need to be...