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A crash course in the haute couture.

"Couture [...] represents the fusion of fashion [...] and costume." The Metropolitan Museum of Art and its Costume Institute present designs by Charles Frederick Worth, Cristóbal Balenciaga, Christian Dior, Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel (see also), Paul Poiret, and other designers such as Lanvin, Vionnet, Schiaparelli, Givenchy, and Yves Saint Laurent.
posted by bijou on Aug 5, 2007 - 15 comments

The Graphical Underground

The maps of the London Underground and the Washington Metro are iconic in their cities and a favorite of experts on information graphics. They share a similar philosophy: sacrifice geographical accuracy in order to clearly illustrate the system. What if the New York Subway map were drawn the same way? What about the Interstate system?
posted by silby on Jul 24, 2007 - 85 comments

The Buckminster Fuller Institute Challenge

The Buckminster Fuller Institute is now accepting submissions for it's new, annual design challenge contest. Submissions must be applicable with real-world technology, solving real-world problems with a minimum of ecological impact. The offered prize is $100,000, on par with some of NASA's challenges. ( Buckminster Fuller on Wikipedia, and E2 )
posted by loquacious on Jul 20, 2007 - 9 comments

If the iPhone had been made in the 80s

The son of industrial designer Hartmut Esslinger (creator of the distinct styling of the Apple IIc and subsequent products, as well as founder of frog design) shares memories and photographs (auf Deutsch; Google cache) of Apple's early attempts at an iPhone.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jul 18, 2007 - 6 comments

Skull-a-Day

Noah Scalin explores different media and techniques to come up with a Skull a Day. Yes, there are pancakes. via Neatorama
posted by hydrophonic on Jul 10, 2007 - 12 comments

House Of The Sizing For One

Dirk Dieter, an industrial and exhibit designer, paid $101,000 in 1999 for a 250-square-foot house built on a triangular lot at the end of a dead-end street in Pacifica. Built in 1954, the little house was probably a warming shed for local fishermen, but Dieter's modest yet dramatic renovation has transformed the house into a marvel of space-saving design, inspired him to formulate strategies and design furniture for streamlined living, and brought a recent appraisal of $375,000. Previously on MetaFilter: Tiny Footprints.
posted by fandango_matt on Jul 1, 2007 - 30 comments

shelf life

A few cool shelves: a skull shelf and another, made of books by Jim Rosenau, invisible shelf, secret stash shelf, accordion shelf by Thut Möbel, maze shelf and broken shelves.
posted by nickyskye on Jun 29, 2007 - 27 comments

Art Maps and Walking Tours of 22 Cities

Bugaboo Daytrips is a gorgeous site featuring 22 strollable daytrips in major cities worldwide (not just US Only), all laid out on beautiful artistic (yet still helpful) maps with downloadable PDFs for taking with you on your wanderings. For those terrified of being marketed to, it should be noted that Bugaboo is a baby stroller company, although the site is by no means of restricted interest to parents only, and bugbaoo's presence on the site seems confined to the URL. Also note that unfortunately for those alergic to it, the site is designed entirely in Flash. On the other hand, the maps & art are really awesome, so you should do yourself a favor & get over it this time. Via.
posted by jonson on Jun 26, 2007 - 16 comments

Flying High

London Flyers. Paris Flyers. Punk Flyers. More UK Flyers. Belgian Flyers. German Flyers. Greek flyers. Academic Flyer. Flickr Flyers.
posted by desjardins on Jun 26, 2007 - 16 comments

Tons of Concert Posters

Mefite Fans of rock concert posters are probably familiar with gigposters.com, but here's an interesting list of over 20 other individual designers concert posters sites with tons of designy goodness.
posted by jonson on Jun 21, 2007 - 21 comments

The entire sequence takes 26 seconds. There’s too much to take in. Or, you don’t know what you’ve taken in, and how deep the impression has been.

The Flow, by Paul Myerscough
That image gives way, quickly and successively, to a series of others: a young black woman smoking, smiling at the camera through a reinforced glass window; three teenage girls in a car, laughing, filmed through the windscreen; a whip-pan to the American flag, pierced by sunlight, drifting in the breeze; a DIY programme on a pixellated TV screen; a ride-along shot of a family in an oversized golf buggy; two different angles of a man alone in a lecture theatre; two more of traffic at night; a woman, suspicious of the camera, wearing a polka-dot dress and partly obscured by glassy reflections; a blurry shot of a long windowless corridor; a man wearing shades in a crowded street; a woman pursued down the cosmetics aisle of a supermarket; and, as Curtis comes to the end of his three short sentences, a woman seen jogging in the wing-mirror of a moving car. The entire sequence takes 26 seconds. There’s too much to take in. Or, you don’t know what you’ve taken in, and how deep the impression has been.

posted by acro on Jun 20, 2007 - 18 comments

The Carrotbox - a site about rings

Grass rings, lace rings, rock rings, bunny rings...The Carrotbox has month after month of posts about odd and unusual rings. Alice is allergic to metal so focuses in her own collection on "glass, lucite, resin, plastic, jade, wood, bakelite and even stone — anything, as long as it's not metal!" She even provides a timeline of plastic history. [via FunForever]
posted by mediareport on Jun 18, 2007 - 19 comments

Office Inspired by 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

I'm officially jealous of the people who get to work in this office workspace custom designed to look like Captain Nemo's Nautilus, from 20,000 Leagues. Via.
posted by jonson on Jun 14, 2007 - 30 comments

Favorite website logos.

The web. In logos. Categorized. via.
posted by signal on Jun 12, 2007 - 23 comments

The Future: Apparently It's Much More 80s Than You Anticipated

The British Olympic Committee unveiled the logo and branding for London 2012 today, at a cost of £400,000 (USD796,000). Reaction has been swift - a petition to change the logo or go back to the old one has already reached 10,000 signatures.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Jun 4, 2007 - 149 comments

Future House Now

"Future House Now is dedicated to exploring ideas about better living in family homes that are affordable, modern, efficient, healthy, environmentally responsible and available today."
posted by dobbs on Jun 4, 2007 - 8 comments

TypoWiki

Fontfilter -- ever wondered what font a logo uses? Wonder no more. (site's in German but the chart is simple--there's also a reversed one, by font instead of by company)
posted by amberglow on May 29, 2007 - 14 comments

An innovative design for an office building - No screwing around

Helix — a 1D skyscraper with a single corridor. The principle is a cylindrical building with a helical shape for the floor. The slope of the floor is 1.5% (it rises by 1.5 cm every meter), thus hardly noticeable. The height of each ’storey’ is 3 meters, so that when you walk 200 meters along the corridor, you have walked a full circle, but you end up one ’storey’ above or below your starting point.
posted by psmealey on May 21, 2007 - 50 comments

Charles Bronson, Henry Fonda and the Arcade Fire

Chicago based designer & music fan J Tyler took it upon himself to craft a music video for The Arcade Fire song "My Body Is A Cage" using clips from the classic Sergio Leone film Once Upon A Time in the West. The clips evoke the elegaic, reflectively somber beauty in the song remarkably well - so well that the video reached the attention of someone in the Arcade Fire's camp, who emailed Tyler and requested his permission to post his work on their official site. If you have the bandwidth, I highly recommend this direct download link to a high-res quicktime version, it's much, much better than streaming flash.
posted by jonson on May 20, 2007 - 72 comments

Tidningar. It's a funny name.

Magazine fetish? Like flipping thru mags when you're bored? Tidningar lets you look thru a bunch of Swedish mags, page by page, ads and all. Neat if you're into design. (The link on the left under each mag is full screen--on the right is regular.)
posted by dobbs on May 18, 2007 - 12 comments

Russian Book Jackets, 1917-1942

Russian Book Jackets, 1917-1942, courtesy of the NYPLDG. [Via Growabrain]
posted by Alvy Ampersand on May 16, 2007 - 6 comments

So, which way is up?

Innovation, originality, revolution... Oh.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on May 14, 2007 - 23 comments

Guides from Design*Sponge.

Yesterday, Design*Sponge added a city guide for Toronto to their small but growing list of Guides. The list also includes a Letter Press Guide, an Affordable Art Guide, a Gift Guide (2006), and guides for Brooklyn and LA.
posted by dobbs on May 12, 2007 - 9 comments

The Secret of Apple Design

"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 - 26 comments

Lettermade

Lettermade This ongoing project, started in 1998, is aimed at documenting, appreciating, and recontextualizing vernacular letterforms and typography. (Design dorks rejoice!)
posted by ColdChef on May 7, 2007 - 7 comments

Socially responsible design

Socially responsible design.
posted by dhruva on May 3, 2007 - 79 comments

Soviet Era Art

Metafilter's own Fake, Dan Reetz, recently spent several months in the former Soviet Union; while there he managed to round up this great selection of Soviet Movie posters from 1921-1973, as well as this interesting 1952 set of food drawings from the government produced book "Tasty & Healthy Eating." Finally, bonus content for anyone jonesing for more soviet content, this Russian Winnie the Pooh cartoon from the 1970s is fantastic. (via)
posted by jonson on May 2, 2007 - 29 comments

...when there is nothing left to take away.

The website of London's Design Museum contains a wealth of resources. Explore the illustrated history of architecture and design, from the Anglepoise lamp to Buckminster Fuller. Read an interview with Dan Houser of Rockstar Games. Ponder the evolution of the humble chair.
posted by nasreddin on Apr 30, 2007 - 4 comments

My white block is different from your white block.

What if Apple is bad for design? Or at least not good?
posted by Extopalopaketle on Apr 27, 2007 - 83 comments

The labyrinth made simple

Getting around underground in NYC is no longer only for people who already know how to get around underground in NYC. Graphic Designer Eric Jabbour has been spending his free time obsessively redesigning MTA transit maps. And the results are striking. Non-New Yorkers will undoubtedly be able to figure out what's what. Cleaner lines and neighborhood boundaries are just a few features. Also, one can clearly see and understand transfer points and more street names.
posted by sneakin on Apr 26, 2007 - 91 comments

OOOMS Design.

OOOMS is a Dutch design company with interesting products. Anti-Gravity Machine, Lo-Res Chair, Rebellious Desk and Golden Staples are among my favorites. Slightly NSFW for the very small thumbnailed image of some stylish sex toys. Via
posted by lazaruslong on Apr 25, 2007 - 26 comments

Designing for Fun

Super(-expensive) Playgrounds are nice to look at, but what makes a playground fun? Experiments in play: Snug & Outdoor (1, 2, 3) Mcdonald's (1, 2, 3) KaBOOM! (1, 2, 3) Boundless Play (1, 2, 3)
posted by anotherpanacea on Apr 22, 2007 - 34 comments

Helvetica: The Apotheosis of the Invisible Art

In 1957, Swiss typographer Max Miedinger invented "the official typeface of the 20th century" -- Helvetica [previously discussed here, via Arts and Letters Daily].
posted by digaman on Apr 21, 2007 - 44 comments

Make the Logo Bigger

Make the logo bigger. (mp3) The fine folks at Speak Up provide a bit more explanation. One can only assume that the follow-up hit will be entitled either 'Split the Difference' or 'The Client Loved It, But They're Changing Everything.'
posted by ba on Apr 20, 2007 - 44 comments

Funky Furniture

The Obselisk. The bastard child of a Mensa quiz and rattan furniture. Getting apart is probably ok, but I don't want to put it back together - particularly after drinky-poo's. But certainly a talking point - particularly at $9,890 . Via
posted by ninazer0 on Apr 19, 2007 - 19 comments

Design like you give a damn.

The Open Architecture Network "is an online, open source community dedicated to improving living conditions through innovative and sustainable design." {via Cameron Sinclair's Ted Talk}
posted by dobbs on Apr 14, 2007 - 6 comments

It's alive!

Gary Stasiuk's beautiful Digital Creatures pulls the curtains on the kinematics of geometric objects, after which he plays with the mathematics and user interactivity of generative art and shows how to build the appearance of AI behaviors into Flash objects.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Apr 11, 2007 - 14 comments

blinded me with (beautiful) science

"To determine whether a diagram is good or bad, one needs to determine for what context it was designed for." PingMag (1, 2) interviews Andrew Vande Moere of infosthetics . A quick, informative read which includes pretty pictures of some MeFi faves.
posted by oneirodynia on Apr 9, 2007 - 11 comments

If You're Into Colors Check Out Kuler

Everyone needs more Kuler. There a lot of color pickers out there...and I generally like all of them...but Kuler takes things a step further by making a community of color and color themes. Of course it's tied with their products but that doesn't distract from the usefulness of this free online application. It is also a beautifully designed website both in form and function.
posted by rmmcclay on Apr 9, 2007 - 14 comments

Rethinking Software Look&Feel

Magic Ink - Information Software and the Graphical Interface
posted by Gyan on Apr 7, 2007 - 29 comments

Tonight We're Gonna Design Like it's 1999

Where is Kai Krause? If you were a web designer back in the day, you probably used Kai’s Power Tools (my how web design has grown). A user interface visionary, Kai bailed at the dot.com peak (just in time) and retired to Byteburg, a 1000 year old castle in Bonn, where he peacefully lives and works today.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Apr 6, 2007 - 46 comments

Rolling bridges and other discontinuities

The Rollling Bridge is one of many interesting public art projects produced by Heatherwick studio.
posted by Burhanistan on Apr 3, 2007 - 7 comments

Free PDF Magazines

PDF-Mags.com. "Free PDF mag's from all over the world with main focus on art, design, illustration and life."
posted by Burhanistan on Mar 26, 2007 - 8 comments

Language in Common

Language in Common thinks about quitting[pdf]. Or starting a new job at your old job[pdf]. Or becoming a better lover[pdf]. At work. And they notice that others are thinking too.
posted by mendel on Mar 14, 2007 - 2 comments

Extra space

This apartment is so cramped. I wish I could find a little extra space. (previously)
posted by caddis on Feb 28, 2007 - 22 comments

Idiocratic Design

Idiocratic Design. A look at the signs and logos that litter the world in Idiocracy.
posted by chunking express on Feb 28, 2007 - 53 comments

The Money Maker

The Money Maker :"On the 1000 guilder note, it became a “sport” for me to put things in the notes that nobody wanted there! I was very proud to have my fingerprint in this note – and it’s my middle finger!"
posted by dhruva on Feb 26, 2007 - 33 comments

A glossary of famous brands

A glossary of famous brands
posted by deern the headlice on Feb 26, 2007 - 24 comments

Gems of 19th and early 20th century penmanship

Gems of Penmanship, Penman's Leisure Hour, Ninety-five Lessons in Ornamental Penmanship, The Champion Method of Practical Business Writing and other Rare Books on Calligraphy and Penmanship from the 19th and early 20th centuries. Lots of neat tidbits. [via mlarson.org]
posted by mediareport on Feb 24, 2007 - 12 comments

Space 199NOW

We could wait for NASA to build that permanent moon base they keep promising. Or we could just turn our apartments on earth into our own moon bases, space ships, or spy pads.
posted by Astro Zombie on Feb 19, 2007 - 12 comments

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