Where does the Apple 'command' icon come from? Would you believe... a Swedish castle?

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At Tested, exploring the origins of a keyboard symbol familiar to Apple computer users. Turns out it traces back to Borgholm castle in Sweden. In Sweden, the shape of the castle became a symbol used in street signs to indicate a point of interest or attraction. [via Buffer]

Toilet paper wedding dress

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Susan Brennan won the $10,000 first prize in a toilet paper wedding dress contest where the entire garment had to be constructed only from toilet paper, glue, and tape (or it can be sewn).

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Dream Cars: the lost wonders of the automotive age


Dream Cars, an exhibition at Atlanta's High Museum, features the most amazing, doomed, gorgeous automotive designs of the automotive age. Streamlined or blobby, three-wheeled or magnificently finned, these are the cars that leapt off the cover of popular science pulps and into the showrooms, where they died an obscure death. The museum's site has some beautiful photos and curatorial notes on each of the cars in the exhibition, which runs to Sept 7.

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Museum of patent models

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The Rothschild Petersen Patent Model Museum in Cazenovia, New York is the world's largest publicly-viewable private collection of models made as part of patent applications. The museum's new book, Inventing a Better Mousetrap, is due out later this year.

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Photographer Nick Meek's gorgeous flower petal volcano explosions

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Photographer Nick Meek produced the video and images shown here as part of a promotional campaign for Sony's new 4K televisions, through the McCann global ad firm. From DesignBoom:

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Inside the design of 3D printed back-braces and fairings

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Joris writes, "I did an interview with Scott Summit who designs beautiful 3D printed fairings and back braces. 3D printing lets the customer customize them and makes the orthopedic implant become much more a part of themselves and their lives."

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Cool gallery of vintage Japanese movie posters

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Over at 50 Watts, a must-follow tumblr (and everything else), a splendid collection of 30 Japanese movie posters from the 1930s to the 1970s.

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Solidwool: Mid-century modern chairs made from wool-based fiberglass


Solidwool is a company from Devon, England that mixes traditional Devon wool with bioresins to make a wool-based, fiberglass-like composite that can be use in furniture construction. I've just seen some of their midcentury modern Hembury Chairs at the Contemporary Craft Fair in Bovey-Tracey, and they're really beautiful, swirling with abstract fibers and pleasingly smooth and solid. They're finely built, comfortable, and extremely handsome.

Hembury Chair

Jews and midcentury modern design

The Atlantic's Steven Heller's feature about the Jewish designers at the forefront of mid-century modernism, from George Nelson to Saul Bass to Alvin Lustig is pegged on a new exhibition titled Designing Home: Jews and Midcentury Modernism at San Francisco's Contemporary Jewish Museum.

US Army selects new camouflage pattern

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"The U.S. Army is quietly putting the word out to commands that it is replacing its current Universal Camouflage Pattern with a pattern the service has owned for more than a decade," reports military.com.

Senior leadership chose 'Scorpion,' a pattern similar to the MultiCam pattern designed circa 2002. The story behind how these patterns are designed, how they're selected, and what the design contractors charge (or try to get away with charging!) the military is very interesting.

More at Army Times.

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Images: Military.com.

HT: @robertcaruso

Design as parameterization: brute-forcing the manufacturing/ design problem-space

Here's something exciting: Autodesk's new computer-aided design software lets the designer specify the parameters of a solid (its volume, dimensions, physical strength, even the tools to be used in its manufacture and the amount of waste permissible in the process) and the software iterates through millions of potential designs that fit. The designer's job becomes tweaking the parameters and choosing from among the brute-forced problem-space of her object, rather than designing it from scratch.

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Hack Circus, Brighton: fantasy technology and everyday magic

F writes, "The third Hack Circus event will take place in Brighton on June 14th and the theme this time is Access All Areas. The event will feature former social engineer Nick Drage sharing true stories of breaking into computers, banks, offices and even airports. Artist Sinead McDonald will 3D print the audience's brainwaves live, and transport historian Dr Ralph Harrington will talk about the cultural and military impact of the humble bulldozer. Sci-fi author Chris Farnell will question scientist Alexandra Pohl about a laser-deflecting forcefield that she has helped develop, in theory at least, at the University of Leicester. Hack Circus is a magazine and event series founded by Leila Johnston, creator of parody gamebook Enemy of Chaos and popular geek podcast Shift Run Stop. It's being developed during her residency at Lighthouse Arts in Brighton. Arts organisations are embracing the creative in creative technology! The third issue of the magazine will be launched at the event."

Video: stunning art installation of thread and light

Video of a magical architectural installation of an illuminated web of threads, titled "Line Segments Space" (2013), by Seoul design studio Kimchi and Chips.

Mary Blair and the World's Fair: Rolly Crump describes the birth of "it's a small world"

Yesterday, I posted about the publication of More Cute Stories, Volume 4: 1964/65 New York World's Fair, an audio memoir of Disney Imagineer Rolly Crump. I've been listening to it today, and enjoying it immensely. I wrote to Bamboo Forest, the publishers, and secured permission to share a couple of MP3s from the collection with you.

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Space-age refrigeration, 1968


Frigidaire's commitment to modernism waned in the product-development phase, as can be seen from the wood-grain on this "space-age refrigerator."