Book chronicles artists' calling cards over the centuries

Oracles is a new book that presents 123 notable calling cards in an interesting way: as facsimiles of the originals, inserted into a two-page spread giving context. Read the rest

Gallery of computer interfaces from science fiction movies

sciencefictioninterfaces.tumblr.com is exactly what its name suggests. I am envious of the people who make computer interfaces for movies. Their designs just have to look pretty.

If you like this kind of stuff, I recommend the book, Make It So: Interaction Design Lessons from Science Fiction, by Nathan Shedroff and Christopher Noessel.

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Gorgeous aviary of hundreds of papercraft birds

The Paper Aviary just completed a successful free exhibition of beautifully-crafted paper birds. Let's hope it travels following its inaugural success! Read the rest

"Hole Roll": blackout curtains with trompe l'oeil cityscapes cut into them

Hole Roll is (was? the post dates from 2014 and their website is down) a Ukrainian blind company that published some early designs for blackout curtains cut into intricate nighttime cityscapes that let you create the illusion of being in a skyscraper penthouse after dark in the middle of the day in a suburban tract home. (via Colossal) Read the rest

Gallery of science fiction interfaces

Science Fiction Interfaces, gathered by nnkd, represent the myriad yet curiously familiar systems of control found in other worlds and times.

Previously: Chris Noessel: lessons of science fiction computer interfaces User interfaces in sf movies and tv Read the rest

Collapsible wooden seat parametrically designed via implicit programming

SWISH is a lovely portable stool created by feeding inputs into design software and seeing what the software generated. Carlo Ratti Associati debuted this prototype at Milan Design Week 2017. Read the rest

Watch "Extrapolate," a trippy animated visual palindrome

What starts as a live action hand extrapolating a line along a grid gets real trippy real fast, but the fanciful hand-drawn extrapolations follow a discernible mathematical pattern. Read the rest

Cool cover for a 1974 hobbyist electronics magazine

I'd not heard of Elektor magazine until today, when I came across this photo of the cover from a 1974 edition. I assumed it was fake. Everything about it seemed like it was created this year - the typeface, the names of the projects, the tagline ("up-to-date electronics for lab and leisure"). Someone has uploaded the issue in PDF format.

Such a groovy magazine!

Joint smoking transistors:

Trippy traces:

Elektor is still around, but the design is vastly different:

From Wikipedia:

Elektor is a monthly magazine about all aspects of electronics, first published as Elektuur in the Netherlands in 1960, and now published worldwide in many languages including English, German, Dutch, French, Greek, Spanish, Swedish, Portuguese (European and Brazilian) and Italian with distribution in over 50 countries. The English language edition of Elektor was launched in 1975 and is read worldwide.

Elektor publishes a vast range of electronic projects, background articles and designs aimed at engineers, enthusiasts, students and professionals. To help readers build featured projects, Elektor also offer PCBs (printed circuit boards) of many of their designs, as well as kits and modules. If the project employs a microcontroller and/or PC software, as is now often the case, Elektor normally supply the source code and files free of charge via their website. Most PCB artwork is also available from their website.

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Vintage Chicago street gang business cards

Before the internet, even before desktop publishing, gang members who wanted calling cards headed to a printer with their idea. The results are collected in Brandon Johnson's Thee Almighty & Insane: Chicago Gang Business Cards from the 1970s & 1980s. Read the rest

New documentary on the history of graphic design and technology

The long-awaited documentary Graphic Means just premiered at the ByDesign film festival, describing a half-century of world-changing analog-to-digital shifts in how graphic designers worked. Here's the trailer. Read the rest

Classic songs of love and heartache if they were Stephen King novels

Artist Butcher Billy brilliantly reimagined 1970s and 1980s songs about the dark side of love as if they were Stephen King paperback covers from the era. The series is titled Stranger Love Things.

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Watch these glassblowing experts make enormous glass cocoons

It's fascinating to watch the trial and error as artisans led by Anna Miasowsky try to blow enormous cocoon-shaped sculptures large enough to fit a person inside. Read the rest

You can live in a giant cowboy boot for $40 a day

If Huntsville, Texas sounds like the kind of place you'd like to kick your boots off and sit a spell, you might rent this beaut of a boot, featuring two bedrooms, a bath, and an open-air deck on the top.

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This sky pool lets you walk on air (in water)

At a Houston apartment complex called Market Square Tower, residents can walk on air (in water) via a glass-bottomed pool suspended 500 feet in the air.

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New cars that look like old classics

I like modern Mini Coopers, but whenever I see a one of the originals (like the one I saw in Japan a few weeks ago, below) I wish they would have made the new ones look exactly like the old ones.

I suppose there's a bunch of safety regulations that make it difficult to build exact reproductions of old cars (I wouldn't want my kids driving the no-front-end 1971 VW camper van I drove in high school). But I should have known that there are companies making near-faithful replicas of classic cars. They cost a fortune, but they look great. Core77 has an article about this trend, titled, "Beyond Retro Design: People Want New Things That are Old, or Old Things That are New."

Core77 wishes that this trend could take off in the consumer products space, too.

Snip:

While these cars are obviously out-of-reach by folks of average income, I wouldn't mind seeing this new-old or old-new trend applied to other original designs in the consumer products space. For example, after writing the History of Braun Design series some years ago, I became so smitten with their 1962 Sixtant SM 31 electric razor that I had to have one.

I tracked down and found one on the secondhand market that had been shipped from Italy. It's heavy and substantial, has an internal voltage converter so works on 110V and despite being over 50 years old it still works like it's brand-new. It's one of my favorite possessions. I paid $23 for it and I will keep it forever.

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A beautifully illustrated edition of Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen

The Hans Christian Andersen classic, The Snow Queen, is a quick and enjoyable read, made all the more so with printmaker Sanna Annukka’s gorgeous illustrations. You’ll likely recognize the textile designer’s aesthetic from Marimekko and, not surprisingly, many of her illustrations make full use of her bold, geometric patterns through the characters’ dress. Her landscapes look like fabrics, too. A panel that shows a wintry countryside looks like it could be a weaving and I wish I could buy another, a garden in full bloom, by the bolt.

The story itself is not what I had expected. In many ways, the titular character is a minor player. The heroine is a young girl, Gerda, who journeys bravely and earnestly, escaping numerous villains by virtue of her devotion to her young friend and playmate, Kay, who has been lured away by the Snow Queen. Kay first fell victim to the heart-numbing trickery of the devil himself, who had accidentally broken an evil mirror crafted to reflect and amplify only the most wicked and ugly things in the world. When the mirror breaks, pieces “smaller than a grain of sand” are sent flying around the word, one of which sticks in Kay’s eye, and another which pierces and chills his heart. As the Snow Queen further freezes Kay’s heart with a kiss, Gerda braves witches, haunts, thieves, and icy winds to save her friend.

Maybe it’s because I’m a mom who is worn out on Frozen, the Disney smash hit (which refuses to die, despite every parent’s best efforts) that was loosely based on the fairy tale, but I wish that the movie more closely echoed the actual story. Read the rest

Check out this new Mario-themed pop-up bar in DC

To celebrate Cherry Blossom season in Washington DC, Southern Efficiency created a Japanese-themed pop-up bar. Cute video is starting to emerge of people who braved the long lines. Read the rest

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