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September 2012

Smithsonian September 2012


Contributions, From the Editor, From the Castle, Discussion



This month's theme is invisibility, from hidden codes to covert gorillas


How She Overcame, Planet Fever, The Martin Chronicles

By Various Artists


Style & Design:A Special Issue

Keep It Simple

Passionate to the point of obsessive about design, Steve Jobs insisted that his computers look perfect inside and out

By Walter Isaacson

Better Living Through Imitation

Creative minds are increasingly turning to nature-banyan tree leaves, butterfly wings, a bird’s beak-for fresh design solutions

By Tom Vanderbilt

China’s Most Dangerous Man

Recently named the world’s most powerful artist, Ai Weiwei is best-known for daring works that are highly critical of the government

By Mark Stevens

Overnight Sensation

Once a rarely used key on the typewriter, the graceful @ character has become the very symbol of modern electronic communication

By William F. Allman

Extreme Pogo

How three lone inventors took a classic toy that had changed little since it was invented 80 years ago and transformed it into a gnarly, big-air machine

By Ariel Sabar

Koolhaas Country

Age has not tempered the Dutch architect, who at 67 continues to shake up the cultural landscape with his provocative designs

By Nicolai Ouroussoff

National Treasure & Columns

The pink flamingo lawn ornament roosts in the iconography of American pop culture

By various authors