Despite the exaggerated news of the untimely 'death of the detail' by Greg Lynn, the architectural detail is now more lifelike and active than ever before. In this era of digital design and production technologies, new materials, parametrics, building information modeling (BIM), augmented realities and the nano-bio-information-computation consilience, the detail is now an increasingly vital force in architecture. Though such digitally designed and produced details are diminishing in size to the molecular and nano levels, they are increasingly becoming more complex, multi-functional, high performance and self-replicating. Far from being a non-essential and final finish, this new type of highly evolved high-tech detail is rapidly becoming the indispensable and critical core, the (sometimes iconic) DNA of an innovative new species of built environmental form that is spawning in scale and prominence, across product, interior, urban and landscape design. This issue of AD re-examines the history, theories and design of the world’s most significant spatial details, and explores their innovative potentials and possibilities for the future of architecture. Contributors include: Rachel Armstrong, Nic Clear, Edward Ford, Dennis Shelden, Skylar Tibbits. Featured architects: Ben van Berkel, Hernan Diaz Alonso, Peter Macapia, Carlo Ratti, Philippe Rahm, Patrik Schumacher, Neil Spiller.