Collectors Weekly, a resource for vintage and antique collectors, examines the gender politics of the Easy-Bake Oven, the toy industry’s gender divide, and why ordinary things go pink. (Don't miss the Dumbest Products Made 'For Her' slideshow at the bottom of the "pink" article.)
Following on the heels of Phonebloks, a Google/Motorola formed a design group called Project Ara. The Verge recently interviewed Paul Eremenko, the project lead, about progress made towards modularization of mobile phone components, overcoming engineering issues, and the group assigning itself an ambitious timetable to succeed in delivering a sellable product within two years, or disbanding.
World's longest-running experiment captures elusive tar pitch drop fall on video after 84 years of waiting — though, sadly, too late for physicist and former pitch drop custodian Prof. John Mainstone, who passed away last year.
ALT/1977 is a series of advertising mock-ups which imagines modern products with the aesthetics and production of 1970s consumer electronics. Faux-wood paneling, angular fonts, and more orange than you can shake a stick at.
The Nordic Society for Invention & Discovery has brought never-before-seen and totally exclusive technologies into the world, such as the Aaltopuck (an ice hockey puck modeled after Alvar Aalto's Savoy Vase), the Flower Shell (a shotgun shell that shoots seeds into the ground), the Wall of Sound (an 8000-watt iPod dock) and No More Woof (a device that wraps around your dog's head and translates his or her brain waves to computerized speech).
Popular font designers Frere-Jones and Hoefler split, with one claiming the other was his "employee". "For 15 years, Frere-Jones and Hoefler seemed charmed. They made typefaces that rendered the stock charts in the Wall Street Journal readable and helped Martha Stewart sell cookbooks. They created an alphabet for the New York Jets, based on the team’s logo. And they saw their lettering chiseled into stone as part of the rebuilding of the World Trade Center. Last year, the duo won the AIGA Medal, the profession’s highest award. It seemed to be one of those rare situations whereby two successful soloists had combined to make an even better supergroup. Hoefler was asked if there were any troubles in their working relationship for a video produced for the AIGA in 2013. “We do have a longstanding disagreement over the height of the lower case t,” he said. “That is the only point of contention.” Not quite. An interesting story about a business partnership of supposed equals - or were they? - going very, very sour.
Shigeru Ban’s Pritzker win proves that building hope is finally in vogue
The architecture world has a new laureate, and he builds in cardboard. Japan’s Shigeru Ban was named this week as the winner of the Pritzker Prize, an annual award that is often called architecture’s Nobel – and his win sends a clear and timely message. Social change, sustainability and improving the lives of the many: This is what matters now to the world of architecture. With Ban’s Pritzker, the global design elite is marking that shift.Take a Tour of Pritzker Winner Shigeru Ban's Paper Tube Structures [more inside]
What did Mozart do all day? A poster breaks down the daily habits and self-reported routines of hundreds of composers, painters, writers, scientists, etc to illustrate how people find the time to construct their work.
Beer labels can be an art, which is why the New York Times asked design god Milton Glaser to critique some. If you want much more, Oh Beautiful Beer offers a wonderful rundown of great graphic design in the world of beer, and Paste produced its own list of favorites, as has the community on Gizmodo. If this is all too crafty, there is a list of the best designs of bottom shelf beer as well. And that isn't even touching the best beer names (pun warning).
The designers of the hit iOS game "Threes" reveal the complete design process behind it and their thoughts on clones.
The Uncomfortable. A treasury of poorly designed things.
Robot Jackalope -- "a blog about design, programming and general geekery" -- tackles The Geometry of Starship Design -- the USS Enterprise
A catalog of places that used to be a Pizza Hut. The iconic "Red Roof" design was the subject of a recent episode of 99% Invisible (previously).
Space Replay is a floating black sphere that follows people around and plays back ambient sounds it has recorded. It was designed and built by Francesco Tacchini, Will Yates-Johnson and Julinka Ebhardt.
"All studios have their main logo that appears at the beginning of a film, but some occasionally use custom logos that reflect the theme of the movie. When I noticed that Warner Bros. does this a lot I wanted to find out how often this happened and what these logos looked like. I couldn’t find a good overview with all logos gathered in one place, so I started to collect them myself, in 2009. Now, five years later, I think I have enough to paint a picture of Warner Bros logo design evolution. "
Reaction-diffusion reactions used to design housewares, puzzles, and more. If you want to experiment yourself, you might get some ideas from the demos at WebGL Playground or you might use this brief intro as a jumping-off point.
"Liquid Sky is one of the most visually ambitious films ever made about fashion, heroin, New Wave clubs, UFO saucers, ordering Chinese food and having them put it on your tab, the Empire State Building, androgyny, neon and tin foil. The 1982 cult classic may be the perfect embodiment of camp. " The Awl talks to the director of the film about his plans for a sequel.
In 2011, the upscale White Flint Shopping mall was closed and planned for demolition, but not before someone went in and photographed the interior and food court in all its pastel-neon-plastic 80s glory.
Where I See Fashion is a tumblr which pairs fashion-related pictures with images containing art/architecture/nature/design/texture elements that could have conceivably inspired them. The "Click to Hide Text" link on the left offers more streamlined viewing experience, or check them out on Instagram. Via: 1, 2
AIGA, the American Institute of Graphic Arts, is celebrating its centennial year in 2014 with a microsite called 100 Years of Design. It highlights the intersections of design and society through exemplary works from the AIGA Design Archives, interviews with living masters, quotes from leading designers and significant moments from the organization’s history. Together, these elements form a narrative about the impact of design; how it connects, delights, influences and assists us.Via
Entrance worthy of...? SLYT. Lingering in the doorway not advisable.
Walking City - "Referencing the utopian visions of 1960’s architecture practice Archigram, Walking City is a slowly evolving video sculpture. The language of materials and patterns seen in radical architecture transform as the nomadic city walks endlessly, adapting to the environments she encounters."
"Last week I saw two visions for the future. The first is Her...and the other was this Infinity Augmented Reality concept video which had me in fits of laughter because it was so… well, just watch it for yourself. I liked seeing both. However accurate or ridiculous (and how can we truly know until the future is here?), the act of inventing is what sparks the realities of tomorrow." - Julie Zhuo imagines The Future.
The design studio Kerozen has melded body horror with font design and produced a human flesh font. Not safe for anyone, really.
Transmediale keynote Art as Evidence by Trevor Paglen (recently), Jacob Appelbaum (recently), and Laura Poitras (previously), moderated by Tatiana Bazzichelli. Also, Bruce Sterling gave the opening ceremony, perhaps more to come.
How to wear Native fashions without committing cultural appropriation. Also included: a photo album of gorgeous Native designs. (via)
Interview with illustrator Philip Castle about producing the iconic film posters for Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket and Clockwork Orange [more inside]
Designer furniture for felines. Suspension bridges and artificial "Pride Rocks."
"If there is an assassination planned for the meal, then it is seemliest that the assassin should be seated next to he who is to become the subject of his craft" - Leonardo da Vinci: head of the kitchen, designer of horse-pulled nut-crushers, inventor of napkins, and assassination etiquette expert.
Risk: Legacy, released in 2011, adds an interesting twist to the classic boardgame: it introduces permanent, game-changing modifications to the board and game pieces every time it is played. Last year, the designer of the game, Rob Daviau, gave a fascinating talk on the design challenges inherent in such a game. The video of that talk is now freely available to watch. [more inside]
The Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum's collections, now searchable in color. Colors? They got colors. All kinds of colors. My god, it's just full of colors. But wait, there's even more inside... [more inside]
The Eggnog Project is the collection of Madeleine Eiche. "The peculiarities of the packaging range from festive to banal, minimal to unappetizing, and each seem to be printed with complete disregard for color alignment. It is precisely these things that make for such compelling kitsch."
Wow! Microsoft is thinking about bringing back the Start Menu and Modern apps on the Desktop. This is perfect timing! Here you’ll why it’s a good idea and how they should do it.
Unbrella is everything bad about umbrellas, improved. Once you see its innovations (dry side out when closed, water repelled away from you as you close it, stands on its own) you'll wonder like I did why no one thought of this decades ago. [more inside]
Honest Slogans is graphic designer Clif Dickens' take on popular brands and what their slogans really should be. Highlights: Sperry ("You probably haven't even been on a boat"), Web MD ("Convince yourself that you have a terminal illness"), Netflix ("Spend more time searching than actually watching"), and Ticketmaster ("Yeah ... we're going to charge you whatever we want").
Dear Spike Lee: Juan Luis Garcia has a bone to pick with the agency who (apparently) boosted his designs for the posters promoting the Oldboy remake.
LogoThief is a new blog that "exists to name and shame logo thieves and all others who plagiarize the work of logo designers." Some are more subtle copies of form and/or color, some are minimally altered, and some are pure photocopy jobs. Some mix parts of two other logos into a rip-off hybrid. And then there are the multiple offenders, where logos are so good that they get stolen by many copycats or coffee copiers or just hand/eye appropriators.
The Douglas Fir Plywood Association presents Second Homes for Leisure Living . . . here are 18 new leisure-time homes, built with fir plywood for comfort and economy. [via]