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Threadneedle Street, London, 2012. Photo by Trent Parke/Magnum

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Cities
City on mute

When you stare at your phone or use Uber to navigate your neighbourhood, you flatten the rich texture of urban life

Kathleen Vandenberg

Photo courtesy the Wildlife Conservation Society (formerly the New York Zoological Society)

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Animals and humans
Prison, spectacle, refuge

Modern zoos are proud of their contribution to animal conservation but will always be haunted by their histories

Nigel T Rothfels

Photo courtesy fabrikbrands.com

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Design and fashion
The universal design ideal

At every turn, the design of our environments either creates barriers or opens doors. Let’s design a more humane world

Anna Leahy

The labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral, France. Photo by Sylvain Sonnet/Getty
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Architecture
Be amazed

Before it became a staple of videogames, the maze was a test of reason and courage, a way to find yourself by getting lost

James McConnachie

The Thomas Paine monument in New Rochelle, New York. Photo by Getty
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Religion
Monuments to unbelief

Atheist museums, Satanic temples and Thomas Paine statues: how secularists push back against religion in the public sphere

Leigh E Schmidt

Photo by Eve Arnold/Magnum

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Architecture
Intimate spaces

In his Poetics of Space, Gaston Bachelard created a philosophy of at-homeness, rich in emotion and memory

Gillian Darley

Peregrinations. A Samuel Beckett mural, Notting Hill, London. Photo by Carlos Sanchez Pereyra/Getty
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Stories and literature
Walk the lines

Can walking the city streets still be liberating, when every path is paved with literary quotations and artistic prefiguring?

Will Wiles