Brian is a Portland, Oregon-based architecture and arts writer as well as a photographer and award-winning filmmaker. He has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Architect, and Dwell, among others. His podcast and upcoming book, In Search of Portland, explore the city’s architectural and cultural history.
Brian Libby’s Articles
Human-rights activist and Pakistan native Saadia Khan had been living in the United States for more than a decade when t
In 1938, Italian architect Franco Albini received a traditional wood-encased radio as a wedding gift—and proceeded to taRadio in Cristallo, was unveiled two years later at Wohnbedarf’s modern furniture competition in Zurich, but was never put into production
While the bonnets and muskets seen in Virginia’s Colonial Williamsburg—the early American settlement turned immersive ouCraft & Forge, a wide-ranging line of spare, everyday accessories for the home that will debut at the end of the month.
Brian Eno, the British musician and ambient-music pioneer, spends a lot of time thinking about how he can impact the wor
Tumi, the travel brand founded in 1975, has long been known for its functional luggage that manages to be stylish. Its f
Artist Trevor Paglen has a talent for visualizing the invisible. He has photographed top-secret drones and bases used byEp. 49 of our Time Sensitive podcast.) Each piece encourages viewers to ponder the unseen, often disturbing realities that quietly shape our everyday lives.
In 1977, NASA launched two Voyager spacecraft into the sky with the initial goal of exploring the outer solar system. On
A Fashion Designer Transforms Deadstock Textiles and Upcycled Sleeping Bags Into Wearable Life-Saving Shelters
While producing a line of luxury outerwear, Dutch fashion designer Bas Timmer learned that the homeless father of two ofSheltersuit Foundation as a means of producing the pieces on a larger scale. Since then, the organization has given away more than 12,500 Shel
From scented candles to aerosol sprays, the home fragrance market is filled with sweet-smelling devices that have found
The façades of London’s historic buildings are often covered in decorative motifs. Among the most abundant is the cornuccornu copiae (“horn of plenty”), serves as a fitting emblem for “Sonic Bloom,” an outdoor installation by Japanese artist Yuri Suzuki that opened last week in Mayfair’s Brown Hart Gardens, near th
Hearing impairment can affect people at any age, especially musicians and fans who are regularly exposed to high-volume Crystal Guardian, aims to prevent.
The greater our technological advances, the smaller our devices—or so it seems, at least, in the case of speakers. In thLumisonic, a wireless ceiling-mounted apparatus that combines superior audio with a dimmable LED light source for a singular atmo
The Ironic speaker, produced by the Brooklyn studio Oswalds Mill Audio (OMA), looks more like an abstract sculpture than a potent delivere
Spend a few hours with the Sounds of the Forest open-source library of woodland-area recordings, and you’ll be sure to see the forest for the trees. From the Alps to tEp. 114 of our At a Distance podcast), and one of our most spiritually beloved. Be they tropical or temperate, these dense ecosystems function as the world’
Amid last year’s travel restrictions and global lockdowns, Erkam Şeker, a Turkish graduate student studying in Munich, mDrive & Listen, a website that allows visitors to do exactly that. Enter the site, and high-resolution video footage (obtained from Yo
Artisans at the Tokyo-based homeware company Sugahara have been handcrafting gracefully curvy, minimal objects from glas
“You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy ice cream,” the adage goes, “and that’s pretty much the same thing.” Like watc
Like some insatiable thirst, the global soft drink market just keeps growing, and will be worth a projected $1.4 trillion by 2027. While ubiquitous macro brands still reign supreme, tiny artisan producers are gaining momentum, fueled by consumers wh
British musician Jack Stafford likens his Podsongs podcast to the end credits of a movie, when the title song plays and keeps audiences in their seats, embodying the spirplaylist. “When I listen to other podcasts now, and there’s no song at the end, there’s this huge letdown,” Stafford says. “This
Over the past decade, German D.J. and producer Christian Löffler has enjoyed a growing audience for his distinct blend o
Late last year, park benches in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens—each with a clear view looking west—were stamped with smThe End of the Day, a meditative public audio experience created by artist April Soetarman. Her voice gently guides listeners through a 10
A New Film Highlights Fashion Designer Margaret Howell’s Admiration for Understated Japanese Objects and Materials
In 1983, the British fashion designer Margaret Howell made the first of many visits to Japan, where she discovered toolsAffinities: 50 Years of Design, a new short film directed by artist Emily Richardson that celebrates the distinctive work that Howell—now 74 and with Ep. 44 of our Time Sensitive podcast). The film is on view via the brand’s website and, along with a presentation of drawings and artifacts from Howell’s pe
Every music fan knows the roster of iconic artists who died young, particularly those who passed around age 27, and gain
Numero Group is that rare music label with levels of passion, curiosity, and risk-taking equivalent to the artists it represents. Fr
Tumultuous times often lead to creative new measures. For Ben Gorham, founder of the luxury brand Byredo, the drama of 2Mixed Emotions, a new unisex fragrance made to evoke the bewilderment of a roller-coaster year. A spritz of it starts out with the str
When Goodnight Moon was first published, in 1947, the chief children’s librarian at the New York Public Library didn’t like that its story—Goodnight Moon’s honest presentation of sleep and solicitude still resonated with readers, who’ve since purchased more than 48 million
In the United States, the market for fermented tea drinks, including the popular kombucha variety, reached $2.2 billion at the end of last year, and is expected to jump to $6.5 billion by 2026. But all such beverages are not created equal, as exemplified by BrookUnified Ferments, which concocts refreshments that offer a distinctive, and complex yet subtle drinking experience. “Most kombucha is ma
The poster child for the gray-skyed Pacific Northwest, Portland is perhaps America’s most book-loving city. Reading is a