67 Years of Lego Sets
I started to wonder how Legos evolved from the sets I remember from my childhood to what they are today. As an analyst, I turned to data for answers. I used Plotly and Mode Python Notebooks to explore the data.
"I am my own muse, I design for myself," says Suket Dhir, this year's winner of the International Woolmark Prize. And, according to one style editor, "he could be the first Indian designer to conquer the world of Western menswear." [more inside]
Users come in all shapes and sizes; some tall, some short, some seated. Since the user interacts in a room-scale VR space with a realistic approximation of their body, the physical dimensions of both the space and the user matter. Depending on the design of the space and the dimensions/limitations of that user, they may not be able to interact with the space in an ideal fashion, if at all.
Accessibility in VR: Head Height, first in a continuing series of articles.
Accessibility in VR: Head Height, first in a continuing series of articles.
The Subtle Genius of Elena Ferrante’s Bad Book Covers by Emily Harnett [The Atlantic] With their sandy beaches and windswept women, the U.S. editions of Elena Ferrante’s novels look familiar even if you’ve never seen them. That’s because they look like virtually every other book authored by a woman these days—not to mention like bridal magazines, beach-resort brochures, and even “Viagra ads.” On Twitter and beyond, readers have described Ferrante’s covers as “horrible,” “atrocious,” “utterly hideous,” and as a “disservice” to her novels. At Slate, one commenter approvingly mentions a local bookstore’s decision to display one of Ferrante’s books in plain brown paper, reviving a practice used for Playboy and the infamous issue of Vanity Fair with a pregnant Demi Moore on the cover. The implication, of course, isn’t that Ferrante’s covers are obscene in the traditional sense—just obscenely bad. Previously.
Maybe people have changed, and today we want different things from games than the ancient Egyptians wanted from Senet. Maybe they found the shuffling rhythms of the game of passing to be thrilling, or at least true: the smallness of human life captured against the unchanging vastness of the landscape of the gods.
Video tour of legendary designer George Lois's Greenwich Village apartment. Also in the series so far: Florence Welch, Glenn O'Brien, others.
Here's The Problem With Jeep's Recalled Gear Shifter (David Tracy, Jalopnik). See also Consumer Reports' YT video (published May 19, 2016), Fiat Chrysler Recalls Confusing Shifters.
City Objects catalogues tiny thoughtful features of various cities around the world, from clocks to ticket machines. In the same spirit as the also great littlebig details, which covers the digital world.
De-dimension, the graduation project of Design Academy Eindhoven student Jongha Choi, is a different take on flat-pack furniture. It's a bit more practical than his Cigarette Chair.
How Technology Hijacks People’s Minds — from a Magician and Google’s Design Ethicist (Medium, 12min) I learned to think this way when I was a magician. Magicians start by looking for blind spots, edges, vulnerabilities and limits of people’s perception, so they can influence what people do without them even realizing it. Once you know how to push people’s buttons, you can play them like a piano. [more inside]
The history of the wafuton goes back to ancient times more than three centuries before the Common Era. Considered to be good for the health, yet convenient to roll, store, and air, the Japanese futon is rather a different beast from that more familiar convertible futon common in the West. William Brouwer is credited with the original concept and industrial design of the wooden structure, while in Japan, it is master craftsmen like Hisayoshi Nohara, Grand Champion of Futon Making, who are revered for their work. You can try one out in a ryokan.
People living with dementia do not expect web designers to cure the symptoms, and many people recognize that it isn’t always possible to apply each dementia-friendly web design lesson when building a site. But the combined use of some of these lessons can help many people live well with their conditions. It is important to remember that dementia presents in many different forms, its symptoms are varied, and many of these symptoms are also common to other degenerative illnesses, in particular, conditions which hinder the social inclusion of the elderly.[more inside]
Akvariums! Robot-Hund! Star Wars merchandise! A sort of mail-order Sharper Image kind of store, www.ARNGREN.net offers many, many products and rejects modern design sensibilities by putting quite a few of them on their front page in a vast, scroll-requiring field of boxes.
"Although it will seem remedial to mention this, all Breakout-style games have at least three things in common – each contains paddles, balls, and target objects for the balls to hit." -- Lego Bricktopia level designer, Mark Nelson, shares his vast of knowledge of Breakout-style games (previously 1, 2) in Breaking Down Breakout: System And Level Design For Breakout-style Games. [more inside]
Happy Vintage Pyrex Addiction / Rare Vintage Pyrex (Pinterest) | Vintage Pyrex Kitchenware (article, Collector's Weekly) | Pattern Reference and This Is NOT Pyrex (blog posts from Pyrex Love) | How to Tell Old Pyrex from Really Old Pyrex (blog post, Cara Corey) | 3 Reasons I Love (and Collect) Vintage Pyrex (The Kitchn) | Previously: now we're cooking with glass, American Pyrex Less Resistant to Thermal Shock
The Evolution of the Petrol/Gas/Filling/Service Station Gas stations might be boring or even ugly places, but for the most part, you can’t avoid stopping by one on a long trip. However, they have been so many more beyond the basic design of columns, roof and shop over their history. The following 60+1 filling stations encompass almost a century of architectural progression, showcasing some of the best Art Deco, Bauhaus, futurist, brutalist, minimalist, modernist, Googie building designs of the motorist history. Enjoy the ride!
A friend of mine pointed out how all anthropology textbooks have these "exotic" images of others on the covers and never an image of "white women eating salad". Me, being Dr. Smarty Pants, said, "Wouldn't it be great to replace those exotica images with those of middle class American/Australian Caucasians doing stuff, maybe even using stock photos?" Anthropologist Dori Tunstall and her students de-exoticize Anthropology.
Misplaced.Design Eleven New York City landmarks have been misplaced, their current location unknown. Photographs of unclear origin appear to show them scattered across the globe – on sand dunes, mud flats, “lunar” plains, and rocky beaches. Nobody knows exactly what happened or why
Uncube has ended. A Berlin-based digital architecture magazine that began in 2012 has concluded with issue #43, Athens. Known for its unconventional reportage and groundbreaking design, monthly themes ran the gamut from the desert to Iceland to outer space to, well, death. [more inside]
Classic Swiss design rendered as animated CSS. That is all.
Groundbreaking visionary of contemporary spatial design, Dame Zaha Hadid has passed away. The British designer had a heart attack while in hospital in Miami, where she was being treated for bronchitis. One of the most sought-after architects in the world, Iraqi-born London-based Hadid was first woman to be awarded the prestigious RIBA gold medal in her own right, and the first woman to win the Pritzker Prize.
Today, Nebraska unveiled a new license plate design to commemorate the state's 150th anniversary. It's a simple design, particularly when contrasted with past plates. The sole design feature is that of The Sower, the statue that's mounted on top of the State Capitol in Lincoln. Being the Internet, there's already reaction to the new design, particularly as to what The Sower appears to be doing with his hand.
January 2012 I received a call from Disney: The director Byron Howard, writer Jared Bush and production designer Dave Goetz pitched the premise for a movie called "Savage" (which should become "Zootopia" later) to me and I thought it was a genius idea: An animal movie with a twist: Humans have never existed and instead animals have evolved to human capacity and they had created a city built by animals for animals. Matthias Lechner, Art Director Of Environments for Zootopia, shares an extensive collection of concept art for ideas developed and discarded. A fascinating look at the creative process, showing the evolution of surviving concepts and glimpses at worlds that might have been. [more inside]
"The search for scientific bases for confronting problems of social policy is bound to fail, because of the nature of these problems. They are 'wicked' problems..."[pdf] [more inside]
Recovering the Classics is a crowdsourced collection of original covers for 100 great works in the public domain, designed to increase interest and access to classics in e-book format. [more inside]
The Incredible Machine (1960s, slyt)
The Propaganda of Pantone: Colour and Subcultural Sublimation. Pantone’s choice of “Rose Quartz” and “Serenity” as the 2016 Colour of the Year is the most insidious move by this colour-industrial-complex since “Blue Iris” in 2008. As with “Blue Iris”, Pantone has once again mined the subcultural landscape and used their monopoly within the creative industries to propagate their colour properties to the world. Previously & more.
New Zealanders have begun voting in the second stage of a referendum on whether to change their national flag. The alternatives are between the current flag, with the Union Flag emblem, and a new variant with the iconic Silver Fern. The referendum will run through March 24. Previously.
Photographer Mehrdad Rasoulifard is taking viewers on a visual journey through the history of ancient (and modern!) Iranian architecture and design. He captures the structural and artistic intricacies of iran’s most significant places of worship and cultural complexes, including the tessellated and tiled ceilings of historic mosques. [via designboom]
"The Evolution Of Webdesign is a collection and imitation of Webdesign Trends from 1991 to 2015." with a slider. and Neil Armstrong.
What is Design Fiction?
"the deliberate use of diegetic prototypes to suspend disbelief about change. That’s the best definition we’ve come up with. The important word there is diegetic. It means you’re thinking very seriously about potential objects and services and trying to get people to concentrate on those rather than entire worlds or political trends or geopolitical strategies. It’s not a kind of fiction. It’s a kind of design. It tells worlds rather than stories." — Bruce SterlingExamples of Diegetic Prototypes in Design Fiction. [more inside]
Animal Families - A collection of animal illustrations that explore the relationship of parent and child. By artist Michael Sutton.
The NYTs announces a new exhibit at the Austrian Museum of the Applied Arts on Josef Frank, architect and designer now best known for his surreal and wonderful wallpaper and fabric designs. [more inside]
Megalithic Robotics is a recent class at MIT that resulted in a very interesting object: a 2000-pound megalith that can be moved with a fingertip.
“They’re probably the most familiar interfaces on the planet: the numeric keypads on our mobile phones and calculators. Yet very few notice that the keypads’ design has remained unchanged for nearly half a century in the face of evolving global design norms and conventions. Even fewer users notice another startling design feature: the phone’s keypad is the inverted version of the calculator’s.”Graphic designer C Y Gopinath explains the science and research behind his decision to change the numeric interface layout of his calculator app, Calcuta, from square to circular.
The Paint and Sip Industry has been steadily on the rise since 2007. You bring wine or beer, there are snacks, and you tie on an apron to make some art. Yes, the paintings tend to look similar; one instructor writes that "There is real merit to what is being done, but it is a whole different animal than what some artists want or feel about art." [more inside]
GrowUp: the future of food - "The new concept of commercial aquaponics, argue Hofman and Webster, has a much-reduced environmental impact. Companion farming fish and crops dates back to the Aztecs, but it took until the 2010s, in Chicago, to move it indoors at any scale. In the UK, only eco-smallholdings have so far attempted it, and the only European aquaponics farms of note use purpose-built greenhouses. GrowUp's model, by contrast, is to fit out empty urban buildings, use no chemicals, employ LED lights, source 100 per cent renewable energy and, crucially, be based within five miles of its customer base in a dense urban area."
Chris Donovan was a telephone technician for 25 years, when in his early 50s, he decided to change careers rather drastically. He sent his designs to Polimoda in Italy to enroll in fashion design, specifically shoe design. He was accepted, and graduated at 55, and now designs high fashion women's shoes, inspired by everything from gnarled trees to hip replacements, architectural features and plumbing fixtures, as seen on his Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest accounts.
Pantone did something wild and, for the very first time, named TWO colors for 2016's Color of the Year – Rose Quartz and Serenity. [more inside]