A screenshot of the Google Arts & Culture app as viewed in a Web browser.
A screenshot of the Google Arts & Culture app as viewed in a Web browser.

Google is taking a day at the museum to another realm with its launch of the Google Arts & Culture app. Indexing the work of renowned artists past and present, the mobile and desktop app lets users sort and view the collections first by artist, artistic movement, depictions of historic events or historic figures, medium, or place, and then a step further by popularity, date, and color. “For instance, you can browse all of Van Gogh's paintings chronologically to see how much more vibrant his work became over time,” writer John Brownlee explains for Fast Company’s Co.Design. “Or you can sort Monet's paintings by color for a glimpse at his nuanced use of gray.” The app also includes articles about subjects related to the pieces being showcased and the works themselves, pulled from the websites of the app's more than 1,000 partner organizations and museums worldwide. Perhaps the most interesting feature for architects and architecture enthusiasts, however, is that the app integrates Google's Street View technology, allowing users to “enter” the museums and view the artwork in situ. While the app has obvious applications in the education space, there's no shame in consuming a little culture from the comfort of one's couch. [Google + Co.Design]

ICYMI: A 3D-printed mask that is (quite literally) fit for Björk. [ARCHITECT]

Tech company Nvidia, with Gensler, is using its advanced graphical processing chips to facilitate the design of its future headquarters, creating a photorealistic virtual reality “fly-though” that has helped the project team make key design decisions. [The New York Times]


Nest, the startup behind the learning thermostat of the same name and owned by Google parent Alphabet, will debut a smart outdoor security camera this fall. [Quartz]

Japanese architect Tomoyuki Tanaka’s intricate hand drawings show the graceful precision of the country’s architecture. [Fast Company’s Co.Design]

Users of smart-home products and systems are about to get a little help from the darknet in maintaining their privacy. [Wired]

Dutch architecture firm Shau designed a small public library in Bandung, Indonesia, with a steel and concrete structure whose ventilated façade is made of up-cycled ice cream cartons. How the cartons will stand up to the environment is to be determined. [Gizmag]

SmithGroupJJR named Greg Mella, FAIA, as its director of sustainable design. Mella was previously the co-director of sustainable design with Russell Perry, FAIA, who is retiring. [SmithGroupJJR]