When the Twin Towers were completed in 1973, the oil crisis of that year rendered them seemingly impotent. The skyscraper ceased to be a symbol of power and business efficiency and became one of waste.

An antidote to the streets this is where defunct industry and martial arts meet with a social conscience.

Television meant that you didn’t have to leave the house to be entertained – the remote control meant that you didn’t have to leave the sofa. For our increasingly sedentary, lazy society, the remote holds a promise of the ultimate in convenience – everything within arm’s reach, no effort required.

LA architecture practice Morphosis has created an intimidating landmark on the edge of the city's business quarter.

Manufacturers don't count - "curators and designers hold all the power in these pages".

Urban Think Tank is a group of architects and researchers based in Caracas and New York. The practice spoke to icon about “urban acupuncture” in the slums of developing-world cities, and the exhibition it curated for the Rotterdam biennale.

"It's impossible to look bad in this building," announces UN Studio co-founder Ben van Berkel as he stands at the top of the spectacularly pink stairwell of the Theatre Agora in Lelystad. "Everybody looks good here."

Rubber gloves, plastic combs, bottle tops, sunglasses, doll hands and feet... These are some of the items lining the drawers and cabinets in the east London studio of British designer Stuart Haygarth.

Périphériques designed a music centre in Nancy inspired by a concrete bunker. The Paris-based architecture practice wanted to give the clear impression to local people that L’Autre Canal was an effective soundproof box.