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What makes cities tick? GenslerOnCities explores the planning, design, and the potential futures of urban landscapes.

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A Design Opportunity: Building #OurCityOakland

Image © Douglas Wittnebel

On Feb. 4-6, residents in Oakland, Calif. (from children to adults) will be able to build the future design of the city, literally. In an event that has taken place in cities across the United States, including Raleigh and San Francisco, the Our City festival is inviting Oaklanders to imagine, build, and celebrate the future of their community. To learn more about the Fair and how it can impact the future of planning and designing cities across the country, the GenslerOn editorial team interviewed Our City Co-Founders, Ray Boyle and Jake Levitas, and Gensler Oakland’s Design Director and Principal, Doug Wittnebel.

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Healthcare Is a Team Sport: Four Healthcare Accelerators Changing the Game 

The Johns Hopkins accelerator, FastForward East.

Editor’s note: This post is the first in a series on the rise of healthcare accelerators, and fostering collaborative medicine through innovation.

At TMCx, the Texas Medical Center’s coworking space in Houston, a class of health start-ups are developing life-changing technologies under one roof: An analytics company is building predictive algorithms to help clinicians improve patient outcomes; a team of neuroscientists and designers is crafting a vest allowing deaf individuals to perceive auditory information; and a biotech company is developing virus-driven immunotherapies.

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Preserving Rare, Valuable Books and Artifacts, 27 Feet Below

Libraries like the New York Public Library help democratize information, and design plays a critical role in preserving the materials these institutions provide. Image © Mike. (Image was modified fro its original version)

Beneath the buzz of winter holiday shoppers and summer movie crowds that make New York City's Bryant Park such a lively year-round destination exists a sophisticated, high-tech book storage facility. The flagship of the New York Public Library System, the Stephen A. Schwarzman Library is an iconic cultural institution served by a complex retrieval network and vast underground collection of valuable and rare books, maps, art works and manuscripts.

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Why Architects Visit Rome in the 21st Century

The city of Rome continues to inspire architects and designers. Image © Mark Andrew Kelly

Last year, Gensler’s Mark Andrew Kelly spent several months in Rome as a Giles Worsley Rome Fellow in Architecture. The fellowship, which was awarded by the Royal Institute of British Architects and the British Academy, is given to one architectural historian or an architect in practice per year. Recipients deliver an architectural exhibition in Rome and an architecture lecture in London. Kelly used the time to reflect on his chosen profession and gave a lecture at Germany's national academy Bibliotheca Hertizana on the topic, “Why architects visit Rome in the 21st century.”

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Luxury Student Living and the Rise of the Mid-Sized City

The Loft Right Fullerton Dorms. Image © Michelle Litvin

A major shift happened in the mid-1990s when luxury student housing grabbed a foothold on college campuses across the country. The notion of shared bedrooms or, even worse, shared bathrooms (the horror!), were thrown out the window. Students were demanding their own private spaces, complete with all of the amenities they were accustomed to having at home: larger beds, living rooms, kitchens with granite countertops—and full-sized fridges—and quiet places to study (this is college after all).

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