The Design Dispatch offers expertly written and essential news from the design world crafted by our dedicated team. Think of it as your cheat sheet for the day in design delivered to your inbox before you’ve had your coffee. Subscribe now.
A new series of stained glass landscapes by Darryl Westly creates a serene tableau in the Long Island Railroad Westbury station. As commuters rush to and fro, the New York artist and curator presents Illuminations: a series of dreamlike scenes inspired by archival photography of Westbury citizens and landmarks. He uses stained glass, illumination, shadow, color, and cast metalwork to nod to Wampum belts, Tuskegee Airmen, farm stands, civic architecture, and floral skies that reference the sprawling gardens of the historic Orchard Hill Estate. —Jenna Adrian-Diaz
Google has canceled its $15 billion development deal with Lendlease for building properties in Silicon Valley, citing mutual agreement and changing market conditions. While Google remains committed to its housing initiative in the Bay Area, it will now collaborate with multiple developers and capital partners rather than working exclusively with Lendlease. This decision comes at a time when Google is implementing cost-cutting measures and the commercial real estate sector is facing challenges due to shifting dynamics and rising interest rates.
In Odesa, Russian airstrikes on November 5 injured at least eight people and caused damage to the Ukrainian city’s Fine Arts Museum. While no one inside the building was harmed and no art was affected, images reveal shattered windows, damaged walls, debris-strewn floors, and a canvas amidst the rubble. The museum has postponed all upcoming events and temporarily closed. Odesa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, condemned the attack, which is part of a pattern of damage to cultural institutions in the region. The UN reports 327 damaged cultural sites in Ukraine since Russia’s invasion in 2022.
Though the stylish medical uniform purveyor Figs has primarily operated through its e-commerce channel, the company recently opened its first physical store at the Westfield Century City shopping center in Los Angeles and is planning a second store in Philadelphia early next year. These stores aim to serve as community hubs and offer more than just clothing by hosting events and discussions on important healthcare topics. Figs has experienced significant growth, becoming a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange in 2021, with net revenues reaching $505.8 million last year.
OpenAI, known for its ChatGPT AI chatbot, is launching a platform for creating customized versions of ChatGPT for specific purposes without coding requirements. These custom AI agents, called GPTs, will be available through the GPT Store soon. OpenAI intends to compensate creators based on usage. The platform allows users to tailor interactions, specify behavior, and grant access to various tools and data, furthering OpenAI’s goal of advancing towards artificial general intelligence (AGI) and potentially boosting its revenue towards a valuation of up to $90 billion from investors. The platform arrives as ChatGPT surpassed 100 million weekly users and two million developers currently building on the company’s API.
WeWork, the real estate company known for providing office space to startups and individuals, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as part of a comprehensive reorganization effort. The filing comes after WeWork struggled for years and reported debts exceeding $18 billion. The company plans to reduce its portfolio of office leases; its actions will not affect WeWork franchises outside the United States and Canada. WeWork’s demise reflects the challenges faced by landlords who relied heavily on the company, especially as the pandemic reduced office occupancy and caused disruptions in commercial real estate.