The Amazing Pattern Library is an ongoing project which compiles patterns shared by designers, available to be freely downloaded and used without restriction.
The pointe shoe in ballet is a piece of technology critical to the performance of dance. While mechanically tough, its design is simple and flexible enough for personal modification and tailoring to the individual dancer's needs. Spanish artist Lesia Trubat has taken the pointe shoe into the 21st century, sewing in LilyPad Arduino controllers and sensors and integrating their operation with iOS, allowing the dancer to turn pressure and motion into a dynamic and novel expression of this centuries-old art form.
Who designed the tricorder, the flip-top communicator, the Vulcan lute, the the Romulan Bird-of-Prey? Wah Chang. Who made the Gorn and the salt vampire from M-113? Who commissioned the first 500 tribbles? Wah Chang. Who made Tarantula take to the hills? Who built the prototype for the time machine and created a monster too terrible to show on television? Who animated dinosaurs and adorned Cleopatra? Wah Chang, Wah Chang, Wah Ming Chang. [more inside]
Do you have fond memories of afternoons spent making geometric patterns and designs with your Spirograph? If so, enjoy Inspirograph, a digital version. [more inside]
Paul Klee: The Silence of the Angel (2005; 51:14) is a documentary about the painter whose lectures/notebooks, The Thinking Eye and The Nature of Nature, have been called "the most complete presentation of the principles of design ever made by a modern artist ... it constitutes the Principia Aesthetica of a new era of art, in which Klee occupies a position comparable to Newton's in the realm of physics."
Norway, which is not part of the Euro currency cooperation, has new design for its bank notes. Whereas the older note design from the 90s featured prominent Norwegians, the theme for the new currency is the ocean. One side features a pixelated motif from design giants Snøhetta, and the other side features detailed nautical images designed by The Metric System. Visual News has some coverage here, and you can look through all the submissions, including the discarded ones, in a Norwegian language PDF from Bank of Norway here. The winning design will be worked over slightly to incorporate security features, and the new bills will be in circulation from 2017.
Interested in art, architecture, design, numismatics, software? Then you will be fascinated by Dutch artist Stani's detailed description how he won the competition to design the 2008 commemorative 5 Euro coin themed "Netherlands and architecture". A brilliant insight into the designer's thought process and the technology used to implement his concepts.
The Victoria & Albert Museum is hosting Disobedient Objects, an exhibit on 'out-designing authority.' [more inside]
Tony Zhou (previously) has created another great video essay on filmmaking techniques: "A brief look at texting and the internet in film" (also previously).
Automatic gear shifting, auto-adjusting lights, built-in fenders and platform rack, an electric motor (with detachable rechargeable battery) for pedaling assist, and a detachable handlebar that turns into a bike lock: "The Denny," designed in Seattle, has won a nationwide design contest and will be produced by Fuji.
On 28 June, Santa Cruz typographer Adam Lewis Greene submitted his Bible-as-literature project Bibliotheca to Kickstarter for one month of crowdfunding. Within 27 hours, the project had attained its $37,000 funding goal. People kept pledging support. By 26 July, following publication of a Verge article about the project, backing passed the $1 million mark. Two days later, when the fundraising period closed, the project had raised $1,440,345 from 14,884 backers. "No notes, no chapter numbers, no scripture verses. Just the text." What the Success of Bibliotheca Tells Us About the Future of Publishing. [more inside]
Why R.E.M.’s Out of Time Is the Most Politically Significant Album in U.S. History (Hint: It's not the music).
Korean fashion and design is having a moment, but what is fueling it? It's complicated. Let's explore the K-wave. [more inside]
Chocolate Mill was comprised of a giant cylindrical chocolate block that was carefully organized in 10 stacked layers, with flavored shapes used to create different geometric patterns. As a crank-turned blade similar to a cheese slicer grazed shavings off the top, the hidden layers were slowly revealed.
In 1915, dissatisfied with the many competing designs for rural mailboxes, the US Post Office Department decided to specify its own box. The result, designed by postal engineer Roy Joroleman, was the iconic tunnel mailbox. Unpatented and easily manufacturable, it would be become ubiquitous along America's roadsides and would often serve as a blank canvas for homeowners' artistic expression. [more inside]
On July 21th, 1969 Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin waited within paper thin walls on the surface of the Moon. Hours ago they had made history by being the first humans to land and walk on its surface. Now the only thing left to do was take off. All that entailed was performing the final test of the Lunar Module: launching from the lunar surface with no on-site support or possibility of fixes if something failed. [more inside]
Coverjunkie celebrates creative magazine covers. Classic covers, sexiest, typographical, controversial. [more inside]
"I mean, seriously we're adorable. How could we have a blog that didn't feature us up front and center? ;)" Meet Adam and Andrew. They blog about the aesthetics of Disney. Those little details that are found in all aspects of Disney parks (and related materials): bathroom signs, murals (bathrooms again), vintage Dumbo book illustrations, Epcot's UK (part of their Shake to Randomize series), Theming At Animal Kingdom's Serka Zong Bazaar, and Six Things I DON'T Hate About The Italy Pavilion At Epcot. (In fact The whole month of June 2012 is a treasure.) There's also a podcast.
Shin-Bijutsukai, The new monthly magazine of various designs by the famous artists of to-day, 1902. View gallery of selected pages; download full PDF.
The exhibit Fashion Follows Form: Designs for Sitting, at the Royal Ontario Museum through January 25, 2015, showcases the work of designer Izzy Camilleri, whose company IZAdaptive features chic, stylish, comfortable clothing — all of it designed for seated people who use wheelchairs. [more inside]
Why Crossovers Conquered the American Highway
Last year, roughly speaking, two crossovers were purchased for every three cars. It's tough to compare apples to apples, but in April, IHS Automotive analyst Tom Libby noted that small crossovers were the single best selling segment of any type of vehicle, including midsize sedans, which are the staple crop of the automotive industry.
"If the trend we have witnessed in the first two months of 2014 continues for the remainder of 2014," Libby wrote, "it would mark the first time in recent memory—if not ever—that a car segment did not lead the industry."
“For the past 105 days, I've been tracking everything about myself.” Anand Sharma shows the progress of his life through a beautifully designed site. [more inside]
Kirlian photography techniques used to capture electrical discharges and made famous in parapsychology research are revisited in the Digital Ethereal project to manifest the ghosts of wireless networks.
A Decade of Computer Design [SL-Engadget]
The post-war boom gave rise to new concepts of modernity in domestic architecture and, of course, massive suburban development. One such concept was the California ranch-style home, pioneered by Cliff May (1909-1989). Another contemporary architect, Joseph Eichler (1900-1974), had his own vision of modernity in America's new suburbs, but both styles used similar language. At the time, these new designs for living were seen as modern and at the cutting edge of sophistication, but sophistication within reach of the average professional, middle-class family. They were designed to have a practical as well as an aesthetic value. Welcome to mid-century modern. [more inside]
Mountain Lab: An Interview With Scott McGuire
"As a form of minor architecture," the resulting short article explained, "tents are strangely overlooked. They are portable, temporary, and designed to withstand even the most extreme conditions, but they are usually viewed as simple sporting goods. They are something between a large backpack and outdoor lifestyle gear—certainly not small buildings. But what might an architect learn from the structure and design of a well-made tent?" Amongst the group of people we spoke with that day was outdoor equipment strategist Scott McGuire, an intense, articulate, and highly focused advocate for all things outdoors.
Imbued with asymmetrical charm and handcrafted whimsy, Storybook Style houses evoke the aesthetic of classic fairy tales, inside and out. [more inside]
The World's Ball - the NYT reviews the design evolution of the soccer/football from 1930 to the present
Small Cool 2014, Apartment Therapy's 10th Annual Smallest Coolest Home Contest (previously), is in full swing. The first round of voting is now open and will continue until June 13th. Voting for the grand prize will take place June 17 - June 18. To be considered, homes must be under 1000 sq ft. Awards are given out in five categories:
- Teeny-Tiny (400 sq ft and under)
- Tiny (400-600 sq ft)
- Little (600 - 800 sq ft)
- Small (800-1000 sq ft)
- International (under 1000 sq ft).
The two-day Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) graduate showcase at NYU was a madhouse, with some 100 projects on view, ranging from groundbreaking innovations to timely trinkets. But the most talked about project by far was Peiqi Su's "Penis Wall" - an array of 81 robotic phalli that rise and fall in response to the stock market. Official Vimeo account for the project - Thesis presentation - in depth How-it-was-made production blog. (Slightly NSFW if your work doesn't like white, plastic, abstract dicks.)
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.