Quick, now's your chance! Before the holiday dishes start to pile up, grandma begins her week-long residency in the backyard yurt and you become otherwise distracted, take a few moments to revisit some of the best and brightest design, innovation and architecture stories published on MNN in 2014. (After all, you want to share your thoughts on the link between peer influence and residential solar installations with your extended family while sitting around the dinner table, don't you?)

This year was a particularly busy one and, as always, there's been some strong reoccurring topics: Compact living spaces, waste-to-energy schemes, far-out urban farming concepts, and the works of Frank Lloyd Wright. Water conservation, light bulbs, London and urination were also big players in the 2014 news cycle. Seriously, potty talk was unavoidable in 2014.

In addition to checking out the links to 2014's most popular and provocative posts, feel free to drop a line or tweet me with any comments, questions and concerns. What trends and individual stories from 2014 stood out to you? What would you like to see covered more of in the new year? Don't be shy ... I'm all ears.


Quiet Treehouse

Escape from life's most irritating noises in this sound-blocking retreat. (Rendering: Blue Forest)


Brighton Waste House

Brighton Waste House, the first permanent structure in the U.K. to be constructed with household rubbish and plastic refuse. (Photo: University of Brighton)


Anacostia Crossing, the (winning) entrant in Washington D.C.'s11th Street Bridge Park Design Competition.

Anacostia Crossing, the winning entrant in Washington D.C.'s 11th Street Bridge Park Design Competition. (Rendering: OLIN/OMA)


Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

A look back at 2014's standout design stories
From floating saunas, 3-D printed houses, park-topped bridges and vegetation-clad public restrooms, there was never a dull moment in 2014.