Soviet concept vehicles.
"GAZ-A-Aero, designed by Alexei Nikitin Osipovich, 1934" is the first in the line-up, but I like the "Cyclops-like ZIS-112 with a single headlamp and an experimental 6005 cc engine, that could run the car with 126 mph (204 kmh) in 1951," and the Moskvitch G2, which once reached the speed of 139 mph and looks like it will bite whatever's in front of it. [more inside]
posted by goofyfoot
on Jul 7, 2014 -
Forgotten 1960s 'Thunderbirds' projects brought to life.
The "Multi-Unit Space Transport and Recovery Device" (MUSTARD), the "Jumping Jeep", and the "Intercity Vertical-Lift Aircraft". "British arms company BAE has recently been through its archives and publicised some of the projects dreamed up in the glory days of the 1960s, when designers' imaginations were allowed to run riot with little consideration of practicality or budget." From The Economist magazine,
which has period sketches of the designs.
posted by alasdair
on Jun 22, 2013 -
At Apple's keynote presentation
at the WWDC yesterday, scorn for Scott Forstall – their recently-fired
VP of iOS software – ran rampant. His preference for skeuomorphic design (calendars that look like leather and so-on) was mocked repeatedly by Craig Federighi
: “Look! Even without all that stitching, everything just stays in place.” But the real shocker was the completely redesigned iOS 7
, created under the supervision of Jonathan Ive, who prior handled all of Apple's hardware design and none of its software. Previously Ive and Forstall were much at odds, reportedly refusing to even meet with each other
—and it should be noted that Ives' famous idol
, the legendary industrial designer Dieter Rams, famously rejected artificial wooden furnishings with his breakout design, the record player that was nicknamed "Snow White's Coffin"
for its transparent lid. Forstall's ousting placed Ive in charge of interface as well as industrial design
, and it was expected that the shift would lead to a change in iOS design philosophy. But the change was perhaps more radical than expected—a complete overhaul that looks simple to the point of cartoonishness
, with abstracted icons and stark layouts. Some critics are already complaining that iOS 7 goes too far in the other direction
; others note the deep rigor of its new rules-based design
. You can hear Ive talk about his design here [warning: obnoxious Apple promo video]
. And Apple threw its support behind Ive with an unexpectedly lovely short video about the design process [warning: possibly also obnoxious]
: "We start to confuse convenience for joy, abundance with choice. There are a thousand no's for every yes."
posted by Rory Marinich
on Jun 11, 2013 -
Bill Moggridge, 1943-2012
"I think it's always wise to remember to use the dirtiest method you possibly can at the time. Use the quickest thing and the simplest thing for the stage you're at." Bill Moggridge, designer, co-founder of IDEO and director of the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum, died after a battle with cancer on September 8 2012. [more inside]
posted by running order squabble fest
on Sep 9, 2012 -
Prototypes are usually the missing links in the evolution of human technology, the dead-ends of ideas that give way to the refinement of the final physical product. Prototypes aren't just for Darth Vader
. While the legal back and forth between Apple and Samsung continues, a treasure trove
of prototype designs
for Apple devices has been released to the public, showing insights into various design approaches and feature enhancements, including larger form-factor
and without kickstands
and landscape ports
and iPhones that parody the Sony logo
, show a different layout for camera elements
, and look remarkably like fourth-generation models
, as far back as 2005. On the other hand, some have made prototypes into the end goal itself, such as the folks at Dangerous Prototypes
, a site which features a new open-source electronic hardware project
each month. Some are just gratuitous fun
, while others are a bit more practical, such as one project that recycles old Nokia displays
and another that provides access to infrared signal
, useful for hacking together remote controls for all sorts of IR-based devices. Other prototypes of tomorrow's technology
are less concerned with shrinking down the guts of the invention itself, to make it disappear, but rather on how
with and integrate
physical representations of these ideas into our daily lives. Above all else, prototypes are always forward-looking and are therefore inherently optimistic expressions of human creativity: Even children
are getting into imagining the world of tomorrow.
posted by Blazecock Pileon
on Aug 1, 2012 -
If you can make it through the glacially paced intro and can put up with the typically clunky, often laughable and jingoistic fifties-style narration, this 1958 film from Chevrolet, The American Look
is worth viewing. Chock full of futuristic telephones, toasters, blenders, office machines, architecture and more, it's a mid-century design lover's dream. The film is visually striking and elegant, and presented in widescreen format. Here's part 2
and part 3
. Or see it here in its entirety
. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite
on May 12, 2008 -
"The difference between BJ and AJ, Before and After Jobs, is not the process," [Don Norman] continues. "It is the person. Never before did Apple have such focus and dedication. Apple used to wobble, moving this way and that. No more.
posted by Blazecock Pileon
on May 8, 2007 -
Razzle Dazzle Camouflage
"During World War I, the British and Americans faced a serious threat from German U-boats, which were sinking allied shipping at a dangerous rate. All attempts to camouflage ships at sea had failed, as the appearance of the sea and sky are always changing. Any color scheme that was concealing in one situation was conspicuous in others. A British artist and naval officer, Norman Wilkinson, promoted a new camouflage scheme that was derived from the artistic fashions of the time, particularly cubism. Instead of trying to conceal the ship, it simply broke up its lines and made it more difficult for the U-boat captain to determine the ship's course. The British called this camouflage scheme 'Dazzle Painting.' The Americans called it 'Razzle Dazzle.'"
posted by hall of robots
on Nov 4, 2005 -