Origami lounge-chairs that flat-pack to the size of a briefcase

The Flux chair is a $130, 12lb "origami-style" polypropylene lounge chair designed by Douwe Jacobs; it sets up in minutes and is stable and lovely (there's also a $65 kids' version and a whole range of furnishings including a bar, coffee table, countertop, end-table, etc). (via Yanko Design) Read the rest

Find out what makes things cool

Think you know how to make something cool? Mid-century industrial designer Raymond Leowry sure did. He's behind some of the most iconic pieces of American culture, including the Coke bottle and the Shell logo.

In this video, Derek Thompson of The Atlantic shares Leowry's effective MAYA (Most Advanced. Yet Acceptable) principle. The trick is this, Thompson says:

To sell something surprising, make it familiar. To sell something familiar, make it surprising.

Science even backs him up. Read the rest

3D-printed garment with motion-detecting LED lighting

Benhaz Farahi continues to experient at the intersection of technology and fashion, this time with Bodyscape, a sculpted form that's underlit with LEDs. As the wearer moves, the lights shift around the garment. Read the rest

José Bernabé's organic geometry

Graphic designer José Bernabé explores a lot of wonderful concepts as part of his work, including this standalone project titled Organic Geometry. Note: if you click this link to see more, there's a supremely annoying autoplaying song embedded. Read the rest

Fascinating look at high-tech fashion design

This short documentary on the creative process behind Iris van Herpen's Spring/Summer 2017 line is really cool. So many possibilities! Read the rest

Monument Valley 2 has finally arrived

Monument Valley is one of the most beautiful and soothing mobile games I have ever played. At long last, the sequel is here! Read the rest

These three very different structural elements were designed to carry the same load

Dinotopia artist Jim Gurney says: "Computer modeling tools such as ZBrush and Maya have made it easier to visualize whatever form that a human designer imagines.|And 3D printing has made it possible to translate that design into physical form."

The generative process yields dozens or even hundreds of options, and the human can select which one to produce.

This new enterprise is variously called "deep-learning generative design," "intuitive AI design," and "algorithmic design." New plugins for Maya have already made such technology available.

The designs generated by this process look like something out of Art Nouveau.

They look biological, resembling skeletal architecture, with curving shapes. As with biological forms there are no straight lines and no right angles. There's no consideration of style. They're not made to look beautiful but rather to be efficient. Generative designs are vastly lighter and stronger than human designs.

The forms are often surprisingly complex, apparently more intricate than they need to be. They're not necessarily easy to produce without a 3D printer.

Read the rest

Vintage Air India route map on a souvenir hand fan

Everything about this 1960s combination map and fan is fantastic: the Asia-centric map, the gold foil edges, the delicate wooden handle, and the beautiful illustrations. Lovely and doubly practical! Read the rest

Check out Frederik Vanhoutte's experiments in generative graphics

Frederik Vanhoutte describes himself as a creative coder who works in the field of generative art. His site W:BLUT has lots of cool little experiments. Above, Big Red I, a longer fractal experiment that evokes FRank Lloyd Wright. Read the rest

Designer Marc Newson makes a $12,000 hourglass

I love hearing Marc Newson talk about why his hourglass is worth $12,000. Hurry, it's limited to 100 units!

[via] Read the rest

Vintage isochrone maps show 19th-century travel times

In the late 19th century, travel times became a thing of fascination as modes of transportation improved by leaps and bounds (e.g., Around the World in 80 Days, published in 1873). Great thinkers of the day like Francis Galton even devised isochrone maps, which showed how long it would take to get from a central point to other points of interest. Read the rest

Here are the favorite book designs of master book designers

I've bought an awful lot of books just because I liked the cover. I don't regret it. It's like buying an art print that you can pull from your shelf an admire at any time. In this Magenta article, Belinda Lanks asks noted designers about their favorite book covers.

If you ask me who my favorite book jacket designer of all time is, it’s Alvin Lustig. If you ask me which of his jacket designs is my favorite, it’s impossible. It’s most certainly one of the jackets he designed for New Directions’ New Classics. Lustig essentially branded the New Direction series with a modern look that was reminiscent of what was going on in the fine art world. It’s as if he translated a Calder sculpture or a Joan Miro painting into a book cover. Each book is reduced to color, line, shape, and type to reflect the feel of the book rather than the literal content. The geometric shapes, the bold color palettes, the freeform lines still feel modern today. -- Rex Bonomelli

Read the rest

Watch how this app uses AI to colorize vintage photos

This fancy interactive deep colorization software harnesses AI to fill in colors on a black and white photo with just a few inputs. Watch this cool demo. Read the rest

Inexpensive keyboard has two settings: “OFF” and “NO”

The mechanical Royal Kludge keyboard (Update: in stock here) seems to do well with Amazon reviewers, but there are no guarantees you'll receive one with the coveted OFF/NO switch. Read the rest

Minimalist tattoos drawn with one continuous line

Berlin-based artist Mo Ganji creates deceptively simple tattoos using a continuous line. Read the rest

Media logos were originally physical sculptures

This behind-the-scenes look at the giant practical set built for HBO's 1983 station identification sequence is impressive. It inspired Christopher Johnson at Colossal to dig into the archives for more great examples, including a vintage logo created 63 years ago for Eurovision: Read the rest

Chanel now sells a very expensive boomerang

Iconic high fashion house Chanel is now selling a branded boomerang. It's part of a line of lifestyle sport items including a beach racket, tennis racket and balls, and a paddle board. The boomerang is wood and resin and, of course, emblazoned with the Chanel logo. It is $1,325. Chanel Boomerang (via Uncrate) Read the rest

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