Utopian Christians, despisers of all ornament, in some rough sense protomodernists, the eighteenth- and nineteeth-century millenarian cult known disparagingly as the Shakers
has had an impact on the history of design far in excess of its size. (At most, there were only ever a few thousand, and it's easy to understand why, given their emphasis on "perfection" to the point of celibacy.) Key to the Shaker world view was the perfectability of the material world
- its purgation of all decoration, artifice and frippery - as an act of worship. This ethos of design, summarized in these theses
toward the improvement of the domestic environment, has gifted us with a legacy of highly esteemed craft objects
. None has been more celebrated than that canny apotheosis of domestic utility, the Shaker rail
, which survives here
in a particularly nice contemporary interpretation. If only half the artifacts we're currently offered were as thoughtfully designed...
posted by adamgreenfield
on Sep 29, 2004 -
The Index of American Design
The National Gallery of Art is showing some amazing watercolors commissioned by the Works Progress Administration between 1935 and 1942 to document a uniquely American cultural heritage of primarily traditional folk art (and employ out-of-work artists). I thought the textile reproductions
were particularly stunning in their detailed exactitude (rendering the thread count!) and really put to shame the so-called trompe l'oeil paintings
in the east gallery :D
posted by kliuless
on Dec 4, 2002 -
99.9% of Websites Are Obsolete
An excerpt from an upcoming book by Mr. Zeldman in which he continues to argue the practice of standards compliance - "Held up as a Holy Grail of professional development practice, backward compatibility sounds good in theory. But the cost is too high and the practice has always been based on a lie." I enjoy his writing but he seems to be repeating himself as usual. Still, it is a good argument: where do we focus our priorities for future development - pure standards compliant CSS models, backwards compatibility, or somewhere in between? I know this has been discussed before
but thought it postworthy due to the new book and all.
posted by poopy
on Sep 6, 2002 -
is some sort of project management company, but I'm more impressed by their whiz-bang cool design on their site. Kinda like the HabboHotel
), and k10k
aesthetic taken corporate.
posted by mathowie
on Jul 9, 2002 -
I don't know about you, but I won't feel truly secure until the Office of Homeland Security has its own logo. The White House
is still just using the presidential seal: boring. The Patent Office
entry has a nice retro feel to it, but some might find it too menacing. The USDA
's is maybe a bit too subject-specific. What do you think: should we keep it simple
, or go with something a little more strongly stated
? What sort of design would make you
posted by ook
on Jun 25, 2002 -
What constitutes a catchy flag design?
This site has assigned a letter grade to the flags of the world, with points taken off for bad color combos, trite slogans, and other flag faux pas. Which flags do you find eye-catching, and which are more appropriate as tea towels?
posted by Oriole Adams
on Mar 4, 2002 -
via Play with the Machine
) (warning: I'm no web designer, so you trendy people in black out there are free to tell me this is tired old cliche).
posted by andrew cooke
on Aug 21, 2001 -
B&O goes virtual
: Beoplayer 1.0 is a Windows application that sits on your desktop and, like everything Bang, works in a sleek, elegant, unintuitive manner (until you learn what the icons and doodads do, then you can show it off for all your friends). Guaranteed you've never seen a music player like this one.
posted by honkzilla
on Jul 31, 2001 -
“Nobody needs information architects anymore”
“His problem, he figures, is simple: Nobody needs information architects anymore. The entire discipline was overly specialized, a hologram created by temporarily explosive demand for Web-site design, which vanished last year.” (Link sometimes worked and sometimes did not over the course of ten trials in three browsers. ROBMagazine.com → Table of contents → “Crash Test Dummies”
will get you there.)
posted by joeclark
on Jun 4, 2001 -
Grrrlz R the future of computerz!
A suprisingly warm-hearted and atypically unguyish analysis of the “ridiculous” new iMac colours and what they represent for future computer use. If Apple blew it by not letting teenage boys play games, are they smart to make iMacs attractive to sensitive, design-focused people (including grrrlz) as so-called digital hubs? Or will the boyz shoot ’em up on Wintel while the grrrlz rip boy-band MP3s on groovy iMacs? (My claim: Bondi blue remains the bestest iMac shade ever. Discuss.)
posted by joeclark
on Feb 27, 2001 -
, one of the first sites about art & design, is still up and running. I remember linking to Piotr's site six years ago; at the time I had seen nothing like it.
posted by muta
on Feb 2, 2001 -
This by far
is the all-time worst use of flash ever. Boring, long, and utterly unimportant. It blows -- the competition away!
posted by rschram
on Jan 10, 2001 -
Chicago to enlist graphic designers for friendlier ballots.
[free reg may be req'd] There's been a bunch of discussion about the usability problems with various voting systems, notably punch-card ballots. Chicago didn't have anything as dramatic as a "butterfly" prexy ballot or two pages' worth of candidates, but we still had close to 120,000 discards from 2.1 million votes
-- and when compared with jurisdictions using other systems, there's little evidence to suggest that voters are skipping the presidential ballot. That's just how bad manual punch card technology is. Even if we can't get rid of them just yet, at least we can make sure they aren't confusing.
Did I just post the twenty-sixth
link on Metafilter today? GO AWAY. METAFILTER IS FULL. :)
posted by dhartung
on Nov 29, 2000 -
Did anybody else notice that?
Speaking on behalf of .com design interns everywhere, there's really no incentive to try and come up with hot graphics - ours is a thankless job. However, there's still no excuse to be completely lame.
posted by NickBarat
on Nov 15, 2000 -
DynaGirl is having a Design-A-Ballot contest. One printed form and one electronic form will win $75 worth of 'swag'
posted by Mick
on Nov 10, 2000 -
Web art is more than just pictures
- take this cool site for instance, with its strange sounds and flash movies. What I really like about this one, as well as eneri.net is the the emotional aspect, which is very rare on the net. Especially, I recommend you to check out the "contagion" link.
posted by joedrescher
on Aug 20, 2000 -
Ok, here comes the firestorm. Joel on Software
has some very good things to say -- though, like most user-interface-design mavens, I think about 50% of the time that he hasn't comprehended what the problem really is... but in this piece
, he's wrong.
posted by baylink
on Aug 7, 2000 -
balthaser has a new concept...forget jakob nielsen, THIS could be the end of web design as we know it!
posted by centrs
on Jul 28, 2000 -
Roger Black on Design.
MacAddict put up an interview with Roger Black from their August 2000 issue. There are a couple of interesting points as in his take on transitioning from print to web:
"I think that the main thing is pretty much to work as you would in print design. A good designer always focuses on the reader or the customer, the viewer, whatever the end-user is. You just have to do that on the Net the same way you do in print.... I do not believe that the technological hurdles are that big. It doesn't seem to me that big of a deal.... Most of the stuff we do on the Web is not particularly difficult. Almost anybody, particularly anybody under thirty growing up in our society has enough technological culture to work with it. Don't get scared. It’s not that big of a deal."
posted by leo
on Jul 20, 2000 -
is probably one of the best examples of bad Wed design ever, but obviously that's not the guy's bag. Apparently his bag is collecting really awesome pictures of galaxies and stars and other such spacey things. The shots aren't big enough for wallpapering, but might be neat source material for designy people. (The link isn't showing up in the preview, but here it is: http://www.cliffr.com/galaxies/banner.htm)
posted by endquote
on May 13, 2000 -