Power-pylons that look like looming giants


Choi + Shine, an architecture firm, has proposed modifying Iceland's existing power-transmission pylons to turn them into looming giants whose arms are poised to reflect their positions -- pylons ascending a hill will be posed as though they were scaling its slopes. Read the rest

CC-licensed design resources


Sam writes, "I've been releasing a lot of graphic design resources, turning the plants and animals I see into colour palettes and web or print design textures. (Disclaimer: no animals were harmed in the making of these pixels. I ate some of the plants afterwards. They were tasty.) Read the rest

How do you design 2-sided dice that aren't flat?


Here's the rule: design a 2-sided die that is not coin shaped. Many people have tried, with varying degrees of success. Core77 has a gallery of some attempts. Here are a few: Read the rest

World's largest collection of coffee cup lids

Architects Louise Harpman and Scott Specht own the world's largest collection of disposable plastic coffee cup lids, a seemingly simple product that raises myriad design questions and challenges.

From their 2005 Cabinet magazine essay:

Although the earliest examples of drink-through lids were designed for cold beverages, the true efflorescence in drink-through lid design and production can be traced to the 1980s, when we, as a culture, decided that it was important, even necessary, to be able to walk, or drive, or commute while drinking hot liquids. A quick survey of the US patent registry reveals nine patents for specialty drink lids in the 1970s, jumping to twenty-six individual patents in the 1980s. 

We began our collection during college in 1984 when the purpose-built cup lids began to appear with some frequency. Up until that time, coffee drinkers who wanted a drink-through lid had to go DIY: beginning from two points along the outer edge of any flat plastic cup lid, the drinker would peel back the plastic rim along two radial axes toward the centerpoint of the lid, creating a jagged wedge of an opening. This operation yielded a reliable aperture, but also a triangular bit of garbage which design writer Phil Patton (RIP - ed.)

calls the “guitar pick.” The strategy was serviceable, but inelegant. Some degree of improvement was surely mandated, though not the “dizzying array” of lid designs that we now see. “There is no coffee lid that occupies the same status as the paper clip,” agrees Patton. Read the rest

Grids and Guides – An ideas book for makers, engineers, and creative types of all stripes


See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Grids & Guides is an ideas book as suitable for engineers and makers as it is for visual artists and other artsy types. Rather than the usual lined pages, this notebook – or self-described journal – offers eight different repeating patterns, such as a dotted point grid, a triangular isometric grid, and a diamond pattern grid. Very similar to the first Grids & Guides notebook we reviewed last summer, this latest edition is updated in several ways: 1) Red cover instead of black; 2) Mostly new patterns on the pages; and 3) New interspersed infographics pages, including a unit equivalents table, a knot tying chart, a world map, a lesson on perspective projection, and lots more. This notebook works as both a repository for new ideas as well as a springboard that inspires out-of-the-box thinking. And it makes a great gift for anybody with a creative thought at their fingertips.

Grids & Guides: A Notebook For Visual Thinkers Princeton Architectural Press 2015, 160 pages, 6 x 8.5 x 0.6 inches From $13 Buy one on Amazon Read the rest

OZ: page designs from the most beautiful psychedelic 'zine ever


Dig these covers and spreads from OZ, the psychedelic magazine launched in Australia in 1963 and reborn in the UK in 1967 under the visionary editorship of Richard Neville, Martin Sharp, and Richard Walsh. Far fucking out. From Wikipedia:

The original Australian OZ took the form of a satirical magazine published between 1963 and 1969, while the British incarnation was a "psychedelic hippy" magazine which appeared from 1967 to 1973. Strongly identified as part of the underground press, it was the subject of two celebrated obscenity trials, one in Australia in 1964 and the other in the United Kingdom in 1971. On both occasions the magazine's editors were acquitted on appeal after initially being found guilty and sentenced to harsh jail terms. An earlier, 1963 obscenity charge was dealt with expeditiously when, upon the advice of a solicitor, the three editors pleaded guilty...

Several editions of Oz included dazzling psychedelic wrap-around or pull-out posters by Sharp, London design duo Hapshash and the Coloured Coat and others; these instantly became sought-after collectors' items and now command high prices. Another innovation was the cover of Oz No.11, which included a collection of detachable adhesive labels, printed in either red, yellow or green. The all-graphic "Magic Theatre" edition (OZ No.16, November 1968), overseen by Sharp and (filmmaker Philippe) Mora, has been described by British author Jonathon Green as "arguably the greatest achievement of the entire British underground press."

More at Stoned Immaculate Vintage: "Return To Oz" (via Jux)

Read the rest

History of the hoodie


From Champion's creation of the hooded sweatshirt in the 1930s through Rocky Balboa to today's high-end cashmere designs to Trayvon Martin, writer Gary Warnett explores the cultural history of the hoodie.

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McDonald's Japan's straws: designed to mimic experience of nursing at your mother's breast


According to McDonald's Japan founder Den Fujita, the design brief for the company's straws specified that they pass liquid at a rate comparable to the rate at which breast milk flows to a nursing baby, "the speed that produces the most delicious feeling." Read the rest

Photos of sweet treats carefully arranged into pyramids and abysses


Photographer Sam Kaplan organized candy, cookies, sandwiches, and other tasty snacks into astounding architectural forms and wondrous wormholes of food. The series is titled "Pits & Pyramids." (via Laughing Squid)

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Liartown USA's "Apple Cabin Foods" calendar, to benefit Reading Frenzy


Original Crap Hound and Internet graphic sarcasm sultan Sean Tejaratchi is back with his annual calendar, sold to benefit Reading Frenzy, Portland, Oregon's world-beating zine store and independent publishing emporius. Read the rest

Magnificent mountaineering museum embedded in a summit

Above, a balcony jutting from the Messner Mountain Museum Corones that's carved out of the summit of Mount Kronplatz in Tyrol, Italy, 2,275 meters above sea level. Zaha Hadid Architects designed the mountaineering museum that is built entirely of concrete on steel scaffolding. More photos and construction time-lapse video below.

"The idea is that visitors can descend within the mountain to explore its caverns and grottos, before emerging through the mountain wall on theater side, out onto the terrace overhanging the valley far below with spectacular, panoramic views," Hadid says.

(via Uncrate) Read the rest

Nutty vintage ads for drug paraphernalia

Far out vintage ads for drug paraphernalia, from a water pipe that looks like a set of bathroom fixtures to "The Boosters," a brand of additives that moisten weed and act as a desiccant for cocaine. Read the rest

Survey: most designers still brainstorm on paper


The most exciting news out of last week's Apple event was its 12.9" iPad Pro, complete with Wacom-style stylus for artists and designers. Turns out, though, that many of us still prefer paper.

Photo: Paul Hoi, from the BB Flickr Pool Read the rest

3D printing beautiful glass structures


MIT researchers developed a new system for 3D printing transparent, colored, and strong glass structures from digital files. Read the rest

Wonderful alphabet of superhero letters


Australia-based illustrator Simon Koay reimagined the letters of the English alphabet as superheroes. Read the rest

The Book Cover in the Weimar Republic reveals a society's struggle for its identity

Books about book covers and jackets have long been a favorite of publishers, in part, I’m assuming, because the subject is at once self-congratulatory and economical. There are books devoted to American modernist covers, Penguin paperbacks, and covers designed by individual artists, such as the recent title on Edward Gorey. The Book Cover in the Weimar Republic, though, which focuses on covers and jackets created in Germany from 1919 to 1933, is unlike any of those tidy projects. Edited by book collector Jürgen Holstein, The Book Cover in the Weimar Republic is comparatively messy, revealing a society’s struggle for its identity after a humiliating defeat in the Great War, but before a new regime would rise up and instigate a conflict that would prove far, far worse.

Filled with 1,000 or so covers from Holstein’s collection, Weimar Republic is not designed merely to be a premonition of World War II. Instead, thanks to its thematic and publishing-house organization, we learn about the role of publishers in Germany, as we witness a young democracy trying to figure out everything from the limits of taste to the emerging prominence of film. Some covers depict Berlin’s notorious nightclubs. Others describe life in newly Soviet Russia. Naturally, considering his stature at the time, Upton Sinclair’s work figures prominently, including a 1930 Elias Canetti translation of Sinclair’s 1911 novel, Love’s Pilgrimage, whose cover features a disturbing photomontage of abortion forceps paired with a rose, the work of the great German artist John Heartfield. Read the rest

NYC to-do: "Art, Design, and The Future of Privacy," Sept 17

A night of talks and conversations about privacy and tech, centered on humane design and user-experience -- I'm speaking there! Read the rest

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