From highbrow art to mass-market gewgaws, transparency--a visual trend popularized earlier by Apple's coveted iMacs--was the year's clear (ahem) buzz word. Some of the year's top buildings played with teasing, gauzy see-through effects, and you could scarcely buy consumer goods not skinned in Technicolor plastic: the Handspring Visor personal digital assistant, the Power Mac G4 Cube, translucent trash cans and toilet-brush holders from the likes of Ikea and Target. And magazines and books were rife with die-cut covers. The luminous transparent things of 2000 thrummed with Jell-O-colored energy, as if so jazzed they could hardly contain their insides. Now you see...

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