Unmaking Things: A Design History Studio is a creative space for exploring innovative approaches to the study of design and objects. The site is founded, edited, and run by students on the Royal College of Art / Victoria and Albert Museum History of Design MA course and covers a diverse range of topics – from product design to critical theory; from the history of decorative arts to analysis of space. The student editors and site design change annually. New articles are posted every Monday and Thursday.
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.)
Bill Moggridge, 1943-2012 "I think it's always wise to remember to use the dirtiest method you possibly can at the time. Use the quickest thing and the simplest thing for the stage you're at." Bill Moggridge, designer, co-founder of IDEO and director of the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum, died after a battle with cancer on September 8 2012. [more inside]
"Here come the inevitable Freudian references: the Solo Traveler lid is a substitute for a mother’s breast – what we might call nature’s original travel lid. The flat covers with the tear-back openings offer no such metaphoric representation. Instead, spout = nipple. Paper cup = warm skin. Coffee, tea or soy = mother’s milk. Ergo the lid is a nurturing apparatus. It provides comfort and joy as well as nourishment." [via] [more inside]
Paint or Die But Love Me. Buoy Chair. Tilted Soup Plate. The art, furniture, and accoutrements of John Nouanesing.
The birth of a gadget. [Wired]
iPod competitors talk briefly about the iPod and how they think their products and design philosophies compare to it. The comments of the CEO of Archos lives up to his country's "we are right and you are stupid" stereotype, saying, "I do not share the opinion that Apple's design for the iPod is any good."
The Japanese Product Design Database features old product designs from the 60's on. Stuff like Sony's Portable Record Player (1982) and Suzuki's 360cc Micro Sportscar (1971). (via)
A history of the IBM Typewriter. When in high school (ca. 1993), a room full of these was replaced with a room full of 286s.