the man who once said, "there is nothing more aerodynamic than a wiener," created the iconic Wienermobile ,
but was also responsible for many other innovations in industrial design. He put the first window in a clothes dryer
, built a land-yacht and streamlined train
, developed an important precursor to the SUV
, and designed the wide-mouth peanut butter jar
and an aerodynamic vacuum cleaner
. More lastingly, he also created the idea of planned obsolescence
, the "desire to own something a little newer, a little better, a little sooner than is necessary."
posted by blahblahblah
on Aug 2, 2006 -
The Jackie Robinson of architecture.
An orphaned African American boy from downtown Los Angeles, Paul Revere Williams
wanted to be an architect, and when he mentioned his career goal the high school guidance counselor ”stared at me with as much astonishment as he would have had I proposed a rocket flight to Mars... Whoever heard of a Negro being an architect?
”. Therefore, Williams learned to read and draw upside down -- he knew that white clients would not sit next to him -- graduated from USC
and in 1924 became the first certified African American architect west of the Mississippi. In a 50-year long extraordinary career,
he designed landmarks like the Theme restaurant
at Los Angeles International Airport
(with Welton Becket
), the LA County Courthouse
, the Hollywood YMCA
, Saks Fifth Avenue
in Beverly Hills
, restored the Beverly Hills Hotel. Some of his most interesting buildings, like the La Concha Motel
in Las Vegas
have either been razed
to the ground
or, like the "Batman house
", aka 160 S San Rafael mansion
in Pasadena, have been destroyed by fire. Now, Williams' historic Morris Landau House
has been cut into 21 separate pieces
and sits in a Santa Clarita storage yard, rotting away
. More inside.
posted by matteo
on Jul 2, 2006 -
Meet the new New York Times.
After five years
, the most popular newspaper on the web has gotten a facelift. Joining a recent web design trend towards optimizing for wider screens
, they've gone for no fewer than six columns on the front page. And while I wouldn't look for a wiki any time soon, they seem to be giving a nod to the web 2.0 crowd with javascipty scrollable image bars and prominent links to recent video
(hello, YouTube) and current rankings of their most popular, most emailed and most blogged articles
(hello, Technorati). The new Times Topics
aggregate articles (and multimedia) from across the site, along with background info (hello, Wikipedia). All the more impressive, considering the head of their design team (who also redid The Onion!
) was hired just three months ago
. Of course, Mickey Kaus will still see this as proof that Sulzburger should be fired.
posted by gsteff
on Apr 3, 2006 -
The Vinyl Enthusiast. The Poet. The Dinner Guest. The Bass Player. The Showman. The Search Party. The Grandfather. The Tourist. ... The Regulars.
posted by dobbs
on Mar 14, 2006 -
50% of all product returns are due to poor design. Well color me surprised, kids.
It seems as though we always take for granted the products we use on a regular basis. But most things I use just plain suck due to the design and resultant user experience. How often do you find yourself fighting with your mobile phone, DVD player, 80-button AV receiver and 15 component TV systems? Which products are paragons of good design, and which should be thrown away with the dishwater? What's the most infuriating product you've ever used? My choices for bad design: BMW's iDrive. Good design: iPod.
posted by tgrundke
on Mar 7, 2006 -
: A sketching interface for 3D freeform design (in Java). Noodle around with the online applet
(see the tutorial
for instructions; there's also a demo
in .avi format), or download the program so you can save your creations. An even niftier upgrade is available, SmoothTeddy
), but SmoothTeddy doesn't have an online version to play with.
posted by Gator
on Feb 22, 2006 -
The Alvin Lustig Archive
- "Alvin Lustig's contributions
to the design of books and book jackets, magazines, interiors, and textiles as well as his teachings would have made him a credible candidate for the AIGA Lifetime Achievement award when he was alive...Lustig created monuments of ingenuity and objects of aesthetic pleasure." The archive collects over 400 examples of his book, architectural, and ad-design work (see also AIGA's list of Lustig's Top-10 designs
). Via HOW magazine
posted by tpl1212
on Dec 20, 2005 -
The Bugatti Veyron
, according to Jeremy Clarkson on last night's Top Gear
, may well be the Concorde of cars. So Clarkson is a man prone to hyperbole, but this time the facts might just back him up. A throw-away remark from VW boss Ferdinand Piëch became the informal design brief. A 1000 horsepower car capable of the north side of 400kph/250mph. It looks futuristic
, but has the stats to match
. 0-60mph in 2.5 seconds. In an acceleration race with a McLaren F1 (the previous fastest supercar), the Veyron can give the F1 a head-start to 120mph, but will still beat it to 200mph. At 250mph, the 100 litre fuel tank will empty in 12 minutes, and you can brake to stand-still in just ten seconds (albeit covering the length of four football pitches in the process). The car will set you back most of UK £1,000,000 but that's barely an indicator: the few that exist are being sold at loss because they "just wanted to see if they could". With an industry facing shifting priorities, there may never be another super-car quite like this.
posted by nthdegx
on Dec 12, 2005 -
Just another blog, sure, but a good one. 3quarksdaily is a filter blog much like our very own, but with only 15 users (and an editor). As they say on their about page "On this website, my guest authors and editors and I hope to present interesting items from around the web on a daily basis, in the areas of science, design, literature, current affairs, art, and anything else we deem inherently fascinating."
The do an admirable job.
posted by panoptican
on Dec 6, 2005 -
Students shape Ferrari's future
- The 4 winners of the Ferrari design competition have been announced. If these designs are anything to go by, there are exciting times ahead.
Now if I could only win the lottery so I could afford one of these...
posted by SharQ
on Nov 21, 2005 -
Traces of this epic masterpiece of creation can be found in all religious writings and traditions. It is to them that Moses, Jesus, Buddha and Mohammed referred. It is now time to welcome them. To your child's classroom.
posted by Otis
on Nov 18, 2005 -
is a software+video project by media-theorist Lev Manovich
, which 'mines the creative possibilities at the intersection of software culture, cinema, and architecture.' While perhaps more intriguing in prospect than in practice
, it seems at least a noteworthy attempt at making something new. A DVD version
of the project was released earlier this year.
posted by misteraitch
on Nov 17, 2005 -