"The Synth Kit that just hit the market originated a year ago, at a TED conference where Bdeir and comedian/musician Reggie Watts met backstage after giving talks, and started discussing the idea of littleBits musical instruments."
Mike Tanier of Sports on Earth discusses poorly designed sports team logos throughout history.
Unleashing Genetic Algorithms on the iOS 7 Icon - In the pursuit of something just a bit tighter than Marc Edwards' superellipse approximation, Mike Swanson applies genetic algorithms to the task of making a better button-making script.
How The Economic Machine Works by Ray Dalio actually makes a case against austerity and for redistribution, but also for money printing (and, arguably, for bailouts), while stressing the need to keep making productivity-improving public and private investments. However, it could be equally entitled: How The Industrial Age Political-Economy Doesn't Work Anymore, viz. Surviving Progress (2011)... [more inside]
In 1999, officials in Vienna, Austria, asked residents of the city's ninth district how often and why they used public transportation. "Most of the men filled out the questionnaire in less than five minutes," says Ursula Bauer, one of the city administrators tasked with carrying out the survey. "But the women couldn't stop writing."
Untold Riches: An Analysis Of Portal’s Level Design, from RPS, who have been looking at level design in their Level With Me series of interviews. Meanwhile Valve will be announcing something Monday morning - probably not Half Life 3.
Once upon a time, typographical practice was anarchy. Printers put in all sizes of spaces in haphazard ways, including after periods. Then, a standard emerged: the single space after a period. Unfortunately, the evil typewriter came along, and for some unknown reason, people began to put wider double spaces after periods. Typographers railed against the practice, but they could do nothing. [more inside]
Artist Juan Ortiz has gone back to all eighty episodes of the original Star Trek series and created retro posters/book covers for each of them. He naturally has a full color book available for purchase, but you can also browse through them on his tumblr, which also contains posters for all twenty-two episodes of the animated series.
Phonebloks suggests a different way for dealing with obsolescent hardware, through modular design on a common base
Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer discusses how she redesigned the new Yahoo! logo over a weekend.
By now, the story is well known. A man sits in the backseat of a cab, sketching on a notepad as night falls over a crumbling city. He scribbles the letter I. He draws a heart. And then an N, and then a Y. Right away he knows he’s got something. This is it, he thinks. This is the campaign. The man was a designer named Milton Glaser. The city was New York. The year was 1977. [more inside]
An amazingly-designed article about R&B performer Janelle Monae. And an interesting article too!
"The owners of the 37-story tower known as the Walkie Talkie in the City of London financial district are investigating a light beam cast by the building that’s so intense it melted parked cars." Jaguar owner Martin Lindsay was none too pleased by this evidence of the laws of physics. And architect Rafael Vinolyapparently hasn't learned from his previous hair-scorching design error in Las Vegas.
IS ☻ JAPAN COOL?! The International Olympic Committee votes in 15 days on whether Tokyo, Istanbul or Madrid will host the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, and major efforts are underway to cajole the committee. Promotional videos have been released, royalty, major sports figures, and robotic cats have been dragged out. A few nasty remarks have been flung, which were subsequently dismissed. Meanwhile, activists, petitioners, protesters, and economic instability are potentially hurting the Olympic bids in Madrid, Istanbul, and Tokyo, Turkey has experienced a major doping scandal, and radiation continues to leak from Fukushima. And what would the Olympics be without a logo design failure?!
NY Magazine picks the 22 Ingenious Ways to Improve the Subway from this tumblr list (some more practical than others).
After a series of death threats led her to quit blogging in 2007 (previously), the brilliant writer/UX designer Kathy Sierra is back with a new blog, and an excellent new post: "Your app makes me fat." In typical Sierra fashion, it's personal, entertaining, research-derived, and provocative. (An archive of old Sierra posts can be found either on her old blog, Creating Passionate Users, or in this 400-page-long fan-made PDF.)
Ellen Raskin (1928-1984) is best known as a writer, author of The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon (I mean Noel) and the Newbery Award-winning The Westing Game. But she always considered herself an artist first. Raskin designed over 1,000 book covers, including the iconic original cover of A Wrinkle In Time, the edition of Dubliners you probably read in college, and the New Directions edition of a Child's Christmas in Wales (Raskin did the woodcuts on the inside, too; further appreciation here.) More Raskin covers are collected in this flickr set from Bennington College. [more inside]
"What do you do when you're tired of the prospect of dating?" Jessica Walsh and Timothy Goodman, both designers in New York City, found themselves single at the same time. Thus was born 40 Days of Dating, an experimental relationship being chronicled daily from July 10 to August 18, 2013.
The American Institute of Architects’ Code of Ethics [pdf] states that “Members should uphold human rights in all their professional endeavors." Raphael Sperry, president of Architects, Designers and Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR), wants to amend the code further so it reads "Members shall not design spaces intended for execution or for torture or other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, including prolonged solitary confinement." From Architect Magazine: “Should Architects Design Prisons?” [more inside]
“What I wanted was for kids to see a movie where they don’t need to aspire to be in an army to aspire for an adventure. And I used very deliberate language that is a reference to westerns. I don’t have captains, majors, generals. I have a marshal, rangers . . . it has the language of an adventure movie. I want kids to come out of the movie and say, I want to be a Jaeger pilot! I really think that would be my dream come true.” - Guillermo del Toro on being a monster loving pacifist. Designer Wayne Barlowe talks about Pacific Rim's creatures. But has maneuvering at Legendary doomed the film before it has even opened?
"In the interests of art, they seek to substitute the luxury of taste for the luxury of costliness; to teach that beauty does not imply elaboration or ornament; to employ only those forms and materials which make for simplicity, individuality and dignity of effect." Every issue of Gustav Stickley's influential journal of the American Craftsman movement,The Craftsman.
"Polish architect Jakub Szczesny claims to have built the world's narrowest house, just 122 centimetres across at its widest point."
The Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum is the only museum in the nation devoted exclusively to historic and contemporary design. While its home, the grand Andrew Carnegie mansion in Manhattan, is currently undergoing a major renovation, you can still experience the richness of the collections through its Object of the Day blog. Recent highlights range from scratch & sniff wallpaper to the elegant simplicity of an Eames dining chair.
Le Corbusier: An Atlas of Modern Landscapes runs from 15 June - 23 September 2013 at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City. It is the museum's first comprehensive exhibition on Le Corbusier (Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, 1887-1965), and is billed as "the largest exhibition ever produced in New York of [his] protean and influential oeuvre"; in 2014 it will travel to Madrid and Barcelona. Exhibition curator Jean-Louis Cohen, an architectural historian at New York University, gave a tour of the exhibition as part of the "Le Corbusier/New York" symposium at the Center for Architecture on June 8. World-Architects was in attendance, so here we present some insight into the exhibition, accompanied by highlights from the symposium at right.
The Memory of the Netherlands is an image library making available the online collections of museums, archives and libraries. The library provides access to images from the collections of more than one hundred institutions and includes photographs, sculptures, paintings, bronzes, pottery, modern art, drawings, stamps, posters and newspaper clippings. In addition there are also video and sound recordings to see and listen to. The Memory of the Netherlands offers an historic overview of images from exceptional collections, organized by subject to provide easy accessSearch 833928 objects from 133 collections from 100 institutions.
During my service in the Korean military, I worked for two years as special intelligence personnel for the NSA, learning first-hand how to extract information from defense targets. Now, as a designer, I am influenced by these experiences and I have become dedicated to researching ways to “articulate our unfreedom” and to continue the evolution of my own thinking about censorship, surveillance, and a free society.ZXX is a disruptive typeface designed by an ex-Korean intelligence officer to prevent automated text processing. ZXX Type Specimen Video. Project site offers a free download (.zip, 77 KB).
The Accessible Icon Project seeks to change public perception of the disabled by subtly redesigning the traditional blue-and-white accessibility icon. New York City is one of the first to embrace the new design.
Also: OpenDyslexic, a free font designed to lessen confusion between visually similar letterforms.
Also: OpenDyslexic, a free font designed to lessen confusion between visually similar letterforms.
Ettore Sottsass was an industrial designer who was born in Innsbruck, Austria. Famous for his My Valentine typewriter design and his geometric enamel designs. [more inside]
At Apple's keynote presentation at the WWDC yesterday, scorn for Scott Forstall – their recently-fired VP of iOS software – ran rampant. His preference for skeuomorphic design (calendars that look like leather and so-on) was mocked repeatedly by Craig Federighi: “Look! Even without all that stitching, everything just stays in place.” But the real shocker was the completely redesigned iOS 7, created under the supervision of Jonathan Ive, who prior handled all of Apple's hardware design and none of its software. Previously Ive and Forstall were much at odds, reportedly refusing to even meet with each other—and it should be noted that Ives' famous idol, the legendary industrial designer Dieter Rams, famously rejected artificial wooden furnishings with his breakout design, the record player that was nicknamed "Snow White's Coffin" for its transparent lid. Forstall's ousting placed Ive in charge of interface as well as industrial design, and it was expected that the shift would lead to a change in iOS design philosophy. But the change was perhaps more radical than expected—a complete overhaul that looks simple to the point of cartoonishness, with abstracted icons and stark layouts. Some critics are already complaining that iOS 7 goes too far in the other direction; others note the deep rigor of its new rules-based design. You can hear Ive talk about his design here [warning: obnoxious Apple promo video]. And Apple threw its support behind Ive with an unexpectedly lovely short video about the design process [warning: possibly also obnoxious]: "We start to confuse convenience for joy, abundance with choice. There are a thousand no's for every yes."
There’s an old dream in game design. It drives the design of games like SimCity, Dwarf Fortress, Tropico, The Sims, and Prison Architect. I like to call it the Simulation Dream. - Bioshock Infinite designer Tynan Sylvester on games, complexity, stories and simulation.
Throughout human history and across the globe, whether as intimate artifacts of interpersonal relations or state-level monumental works, textiles have been imbued with political importance. Textiles can communicate and construct status, ethnicity, gender, power, taste, and wealth, and have functioned at the nexus of artistic, economic, and political achievement in human culture. As trade goods, creative medium, and social artifact, textiles have been instrumental in generating, supporting, and challenging political power.The Textile Society of America 13th Biennial Symposium (2012) will explore the crossroads of Textiles & Politics.
I’ve given a great deal of thought to the topic of different ways of thinking. In fact, my pursuit of this topic has led me to propose a new category of thinker in addition to the traditional visual and verbal: pattern thinkers. ~ Temple Grandin
The very funny design/performance art work of Phil Jones.
A couple of discussions of recent Google design trends, one in The New Yorker (via Bruce Sterling), and one from Fast Company (via waxy).
Transit Maps. Designer Cameron Booth's blog and review of transit maps, diagrams, design and artwork from all over the world. [more inside]
Today is the 10-year anniversary of the CSS Zen Garden Originally created to showcase and inspire the kind of design possible with CSS2 and standards-based design, the CSS Zen Garden is 10 years old today. [more inside]
"There isn’t a style book for this stuff," Tom Bodkin, design director of the Times explains. "There’s no consistency."
DANZA DID IT! Free Propadanza for Tony Danza. Call the hotline! "Fanza" fan art galleries. Spread Danza. Tony Danza.
Here Is Today - a simple interactive animation that helps keep things in perspective.
Endbahnhof, a collection of photographs of every U-Bahn station in Berlin, organised by line and showing the variety of architectural styles in the system. There is an interview with the photographer, Kate Seabrook, here.
Following a 1976 pipeline explosion that left nine people dead, cities adopted the color-coded spray paint DigAlert system to mark the presence of various kinds of buried municipal infrastructure. If you've ever wondered what those marks on the ground mean, the Design Decoded blog breaks it down for you. (The previous entry in their Decoding the City series explained the Fire Diamond.)
Video game character design is frequently questionable, but some designers don't like being questioned. Penny Arcade imagines equal opportunity questionability, while their reporter Ben Kuchera examines the broader issue.
The difference between (Graphical) User Interfaces in movies and in real life is that the former have to convey information to the viewer, not the user. [more inside]
How NASA brought the monstrous F-1 "moon rocket" engine back to life - "The story of young engineers who resurrected an engine nearly twice their age." [more inside]