The quest for the well-labeled inn

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I have a first-world problem: I stay in a lot of hotels.

Beautiful Japanese "minimalist survival kit" that fits in a tube you wear on your back

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The Minim+Aid is a "minimalist survival kit" from Japanese design firm Nendo that features "a whistle to alert others of one’s presence, a radio [that can also charge your phone], raincoat, lantern, drinking water and a plastic case, all packaged inside of a 5cm wide tube that is waterproof and floats." Read the rest

Treescrapers are bullshit

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Architects love to render their buildings covered and ringed in trees: trees that sprout from balconies, dot roofs, climb walls. Read the rest

Hammock-headrest, with blinders, for aviation

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Dutch designer Manon Kühne won a Crystal Cabin Award for her "Headrest," which was her Delft University of Technology thesis project, created with Zodiac Aerospace’s Human Factors and Ergonomics Lab. Read the rest

Why we need a new kind of design discipline for on-demand platforms

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Over at Medium's WTF? Future of Work publication, our pal Marina Gorbis, exec director of Institute for the Future, and IFTF's Devin Fidler write about why we need new design principles for on-demand work platforms.

Their creators have mastered the discipline of interaction design and brought it to new heights… when it comes to consumer experience. Uber, Munchery, Postmates, and many apps are exquisitely designed, sometimes even addictive for users. They make previously laborious processes effortless and seamless. No hassles with paying, calling, talking. Swipe your phone with a finger and voila: your ride, your meal, your handyman magically appear.

But the apps are not only platforms for consumption. They are quickly becoming our entry points for work, gateways to people’s livelihoods. In this sense, whether or not platform creators realize it, they are engaging in another kind of design, socioeconomic design, the design of systems that people will rely on to structure their work, earnings, daily schedules. And here we find ourselves in the same phase as interaction design was decades ago — the inmates are running the asylum. The stakes, however, are much higher; instead of just convenience, we are talking about people’s livelihoods.

"Design It Like Our Livelihoods Depend on It: 8 Principles for creating on-demand platforms for better work futures" Read the rest

Optical illusion hanging lamp

Glen Lewis-Steel's "Lee Light" is an excellent illuminated optical illusion.

Read the rest

HP's new logo a hit

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Flagging computer company HP hasn't had a great decade, but for the new Spectre laptop it reintroduced a daring minimalist logo that's been spotted once or twice before, but is only now hitting products. Everyone loves it! So do I.

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Studio sculpts giant coin, photographs it alongside normal objects to make them look tiny

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In 2011, the Norwegian design studio Skrekkøgl scuplted a massive 50-Euro-cent coin and shot it from above with a tilt-shift lens alongside numerous full-sized objects to make them seem to be cunning miniatures. Read the rest

New trends in Chinese mobile UIs for 2016

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Dan Grover has updated his excellent annual survey of UI trends in Chinese mobile apps with a new installment that covers the t-shirt icon, the happy shopping bag, the moving SEND button, the rise of data-management apps and chatbots, and more. Read the rest

Killer "Arrest Records" logo from the 1970s

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"The best record label logo of the 70s?" as posted to Instagram by the fantastic reissue label The Numero Group. Read the rest

The Electric Pencil – A man draws for 37 years from the State Lunatic Asylum No. 3

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See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Back in the 1970s, a 14-year-old boy walking down a residential street in Springfield, Missouri found a cool-looking handmade, hand-bound book in a pile of trash. He opened the book to find 283 drawings, each on a ledger sheet with either “State Hospital No. 3” or “State Lunatic Asylum No. 3” printed at the top. The drawings depicted people in 19th-century clothing, Civil War soldiers, steamboats, antique cars, animals, and brick institutions. The boy held on to the book for 36 years.

In 2006, the boy (now obviously a man) decided to unload the art portfolio. He also wished to remain anonymous and, after contacting a retired professor of Missouri State University about the book, he vanished from this story without a trace. After a couple of bounces, the book ended up in the hands of art dealer and artist (fabulous sculptor!) Harris Diamant, who researched and traced the mysterious art book back to its original owner.

The creator of the book was James Edward Deeds Jr., born in 1908 and raised on a farm in southwestern Missouri. He resisted working on the farm, butt heads with his authoritarian father, and by the time he was 28 he was labeled as “insane.” He was admitted to the State Hospital No. 3 and stayed there for 37 years.

The Electric Pencil, the name of this book as well as the name given to Deeds before his identity was discovered, is a complete collection of Deeds’ artwork. Read the rest

Tube map of "lost" London

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London is a ghost of all the things that were once there, and The Lost London Tube Map shows off some of the most famous forgotten landmarks. Biscuit Town and Bedlam are long gone, but others (like Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens) are still around to be rediscovered.

Some losses are definitely for the best. Few would welcome back the public horror of Tyburn gallows, or the miserable Marshalsea Prison. Other losses are a cause of some regret: Euston Arch and the Astoria, for example. Imagine a city where Whitehall Palace still stands, and Old London Bridge yet straddles the Thames. Of course, we're barely scratching the surface. We've not included the Overground or DLR, and have limited the scope to (roughly) zone 1. A whole heap of buildings such as Watkin's Folly and the White City Olympic stadium are left out, and we don't have room to include all the important stuff lost from central London.

Read the rest

Incredible Hollywood home with outdoor movie "theater"

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Belzberg Architects built the magnificent "Skyline Residence" on a ridge in the Hollywood Hills. The 5,800 home consists of two separate structures, a main house and guest house, with a gathering space between them to watch a film outside.

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Every cool placeholder website ever

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If your website looks like the above, it just got old. HEY LOOK, IT'S EVERY BOOTSTRAP WEBSITE EVER [adventurega.me]

Want to make an original website yourself? Forget that! Who would ever want to put in all of that effort for a website? Just open up your web browser and type "bootstrap template" into your favorite search engine, like Yahoo! or Bing, and you're on your way! There are hundreds of templates to choose from, but go ahead and pick this same exact template from the first result on google, edit a few lines, and you're on your way! No one will notice!

GOOGLE THAT SHIT

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Things Organized Neatly: a book of knollish greatness

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The Things Organized Neatly blog (previously), which celebrates the kentucky art of knolling, is now a gorgeous, essential book filled with photos of meticulously arranged wonders of all description. Read the rest

Office chairs made out of old Vespa scooters

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Barcelona design firm Bel & Bel makes chairs out of the front farings of old Vespa scooters, with the option of working turn-signals (no side-mirrors in sight, alas). Read the rest

Before emoji, there were Wingdings

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From Vox:

Two people made Wingdings happen: Charles Bigelow and Kris Holmes (proprietors of the firm and husband-and-wife team). As designers of the font Lucida, they crafted pioneering type uniquely suited to the digital era... They were protégés of legendary designer Hermann Zapf, whose own Zapf Dingbats font, another collection of odd symbols, broke ground when it was distributed with Apple Printers in the mid-1980s.

With Lucida, Bigelow and Holmes were at the vanguard of digital type designers. But to be complete, their font needed complementary characters that worked well with letters, so they designed them in 1990.

Originally three separate fonts called Lucida Icons, Lucida Arrows, and Lucida Stars, the fonts that became Wingdings were crafted to harmonize with text and made with similar proportions to Lucida. Users could then pluck the appropriate icon, by typing the letter assigned to it, to ornament, animate, or otherwise adorn their documents without worrying about file size or poor quality.

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