Ikea makes pizza table that looks like the little plastic table inside pizza boxes

Ad agency Ogilvy Hong Kong teamed up with Ikea and Pizza Hut to create a life-size table, the Säva, that looks just like the little plastic "tables" inside pizza boxes. (Those little tables are officially called "pizza savers.") From Hypebeast:

Each table arrives in a humorous package that resembles a pizza box and, like other products, comes with details on how to assemble the product. IKEA illustrates a step-by-step process on unpacking the different parts, assembling the legs, calling Pizza Hut, receiving the pizza and placing it on the perfectly-sized table.

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Books sold by the linear foot

I'm a big fan of the Cosy Places subreddit, but quickly learned a key tell that a lovely room isn't lived-in: libraries of uniformly handsome or antique books that tell you you're looking at a set, or the corner of a furniture store.

The reality is that books tend to be a "noisy" presence, designed to advertise themselves and exhibiting loud and trendy design fads. Ready sources of cheap books -- library clear-outs and estate sales -- only reflect this state of affairs in bulk.

So it turns out there's an entire industry of books hand-picked and organized to look good, sold in bulk according to a variety of visual or conceptual themes. Color gradients is a hot trend in the world of books sold by the linear foot.

Just a few stores I found: Books by the Foot, Zubal Books, Read the rest

Instead of plastic bottles, here's drinking water in an edible blob

Notpla is an edible material made from seaweed and plants that can encapsulate drinking water other edible materials, eliminating the need for plastic packaging.

From Fast Company:

The designers used a technique from molecular gastronomy to create the package—if you dip a sphere of ice in a mixture of calcium chloride and brown algae extract, an edible membrane forms around the ice, holding everything in place as the ice melts back to room temperature. A small version of the package is designed to break open inside your mouth. “It’s a bit like a cherry tomato,” says Paslier. “You put it in your cheek and bite on it. It explodes, so it’s quite a surprising experience.” The startup partnered with the Scottish whisky brand Glenlivet last year to make a “glassless cocktail” capsule that customers can imbibe along with whisky. The seaweed coating, which is tasteless, can either be eaten or composted.

Image: Ooho Read the rest

For 13 years, this photographer has been building an incredible 3D digital model of Athens

Starting in 2007, photographer and visual effects artist Dimitris Tsalkanis has been building a digital 3D model of ancient Athens. The result is an immersive historical recreation where everyone online is invited. How did Tsalkanis handle this Herculean (rather, Heraklean) task? He learned as he went. From Sarah Rose Sharp's article about Ancient Athens 3D in Hyperallergic:

“I had no previous experience on 3D and I started experimenting in my spare time,” said Tsalkanis in an email interview with Hyperallergic. “I always liked archaeology and since I am from Athens, I was always interested in its monuments and history. During my research, I realised that up until then no one had attempted a complete 3D reconstruction of ancient Athens..."

Tsalkanis stays up to date with his fantasy city, updating reconstructions constantly for better quality of models and better archaeological and historical accuracy...

Visitors to the site can browse reconstructions that date back as early as 1200 BCE, the Mycenaean period — or Bronze Age — through Classical Athens, featuring the rebuilds made necessary by the Greco-Persian War, and ages of occupation by Romans and Ottomans.

"Explore Ancient Athens Online Through 3D Models, Created by One Animator Over 12 Years" (Hyperallergic, thanks Mark Dery!)

Images below: "Aerial view of the Library of Hadrian" and "Panoramic view of the Acropolis," Dimitris Tsalkanis/Ancient Athens 3D

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Fantastic social justice hoodies and t-shirts featuring black activists and leaders

I first learned of Philadelphia Printworks because of a sweatshirt they designed for the Brooklyn Museum's showing of Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963–1983, an absolutely essential exhibition of black artists' work at the intersection of activism, empowerment, and cultural pride. (The exhibition is currently on view at San Francisco's de Young Museum.) Philadelphia Printworks describes itself as "a social justice heritage brand and screen printing workshop."

I bought the "Soul of a Nation" crewneck and also the "People's Free Food Program hoodie" celebrating the Black Panthers' influential community program launched in 1969 that fed thousands of children every day.

"Soul of a Nation"

"Octavia Butler" by Nick James

"Freedom Trail/Freedom Summer" Read the rest

This wood-fired hot tub is $20,000

This is the Tubmarine, a wood-burning hot tub. According to the company, the tub takes less than two hours to heat up and comfortably seats four adults. It's built from sustainably-sourced Kebony timber, 80% recycled stainless steel, and outfitted with a Kirami wood-fired water heater from Finland. The starting price is £15,450.00 (US$20,070). If you prefer a classic 1970s style tub though, Kirami has those for sale at around $4,000.

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Shake: a typeface of letters written by someone with Parkinson's disease

Designer Morten Halvorsen created Shake, a typeface of letters written by someone with a tremor caused by Parkinson's disease. The handwriting is that of Halvorsen's mother.

"My mother was diagnosed with Parkinson's eight years ago," Halvorsen writes. "And her handwriting has changed in the years since. I created this font to preserve her handwriting, and enable her to continue to write with her own letters."

All funds from purchases of Shake go to research on Parkinson's. You can also commission Halvorsen to make a typeface from your own loved one's handwriting.

Shake: The typeface with Parkinson's (writewithparkinsons.com, via Kottke) Read the rest

"The Art of Computer Designing": stark, beautiful black-and-white images from 1993

Osamu Sato is a talented polymath artist from Japan, known for his psychedelic video game scores and his pioneering work on computer graphics. Read the rest

Compare Trump's new Space Force logo with the Star Trek Starfleet Command logo

Damnit Paramount, I'm a blogger not a lawyer... but you might want to call one. Yes, that is the U.S. Space Force logo that Donald Trump just revealed. And yes, that is the Star Trek Starfleet Command logo. (NPR) Read the rest

Fancy "ambient light" projector creates illusion of window overlooking trees

Brooklyn lighting designer/artist Adam Frank's Reveal product is a projector system to create a gauzy, ethereal effect of sunlight streaming through shadowy trees. This will be ideal for my underground lair and loaning out to the neighborhood haunted house on Halloween. The Reveal is $280 for halogen $320 for the LED model. It includes five different window slides and five different tree slides. From the product description:

A light breeze appears to move through trees in the cast image. REVEAL implies the presence of a real window by simulating sunlight entering through an imaginary window.

The image projected by REVEAL is unique and cannot be recreated by any other device. Multi-plane analog images create real depth of focus. Air currents through the projector create organic, non-repeating movement in the background.

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Man insults all 50 US state flags in a 2-minute video

Here's one of the 50 insults Matt Buechele hurled towards the US state flags: "Nevada started this project, meant to finish it later, then they just had to submit it at the last second."

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The ten types of movie: orange and blue, sexy legs, blurry cop...

Lee Steffen's glorious Twitter thread about "the ten types of movies" (as determined by similarities in their poster art is quite the little design project, building on similar work from the likes of Christophe Courtois and others. (via Kottke) Read the rest

The lost Apple Store design of the 1990s

In the 1990s, Marc Newsom designed the Apple retail store concept as imagined in this presentation video by Me Company. Read the rest

Company sells square tip knives to help reduce knife violence

In 2019, knife crime in England and Wales hit record highs with police counting 44,000 offenses over a year span, half of which were stabbings. In an effort to help (and also probably to, ahem, get some press), UK cutlery brand Viners is now selling a line of knives with squared-off tips. From Insider:

Due to be released later this week, (a Viners press release states that the line) has been "repeatedly tested to ensure the tip does not pierce skin intentionally or otherwise."

"With knife-related crime incidents at a record high and a reported 285 fatalities in the last 12 months alone, the UK government has taken the decision to reclassify kitchen knives as an offensive weapon with the new Offensive Weapons Act 2019, leading some retailers to remove single knives from sale in retail stores," a press release for the knife collection stated.

"The new Assure collection from Viners has been created in response to this new legislation, with the team extensively testing a new shape knife that is highly functional for the modern cook but shaped to reduce and prevent injuries, accidents and fatalities."

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The beauty of sewers before the first flush

Our cities' sewers are some of the most incredible structures in the built environment. In a new book, "An Underground Guide to Sewers: or: Down, Through and Out in Paris, London, New York, &c." historian Stephen Halliday explores the systems (and people) that deal with our shit so we don't have to. From the book description:

Halliday begins with sanitation in the ancient cities of Mesopotamia, Greece, and Imperial Rome, and continues with medieval waterways (also known as “sewage in the street”); the civil engineers and urban planners of the industrial age, as seen in Liverpool, Boston, Paris, London, and Hamburg; and, finally, the biochemical transformations of the modern city. The narrative is illustrated generously with photographs, both old and new, and by archival plans, blueprints, and color maps tracing the development of complex sewage systems in twenty cities. The photographs document construction feats, various heroics and disasters, and ingenious innovations; new photography from an urban exploration collective offers edgy takes on subterranean networks in cities including Montreal, Paris, London, Berlin, and Prague.

"An Underground Guide to Sewers: or: Down, Through and Out in Paris, London, New York, &c." (Amazon)

More images at Smithsonian: "These Photos Capture the World’s Sewer Systems When They Were Brand New"

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The inventor of the ball pit was inspired by a jar of pickled onions

More than 40 years ago, Eric McMillan, a renowned designer of children's play areas, and his team created the ball pit, those troughs of brightly-colored plastic balls that children swim around in. (Ball pits also may be a giant petri dish of pathogens but, hell, the kids love 'em.) Apparently, McMillan--who went on to be known as the "father of soft play" for his numerous playful innovations like the "punch bag forest"--found his inspiration for the ball pit in his kitchen. From the BBC:

McMillan and his team came up with the idea for the ball pit in San Diego more than 40 years ago, when inspiration struck after looking at a container of pickled onions in the kitchen. “There was a jar of onions, and we were sort of saying: ‘wow, how about if you could crawl through those? And then – ding – we decided we’d try it,” he says.

The first ball pit, filled with 40,000 balls, opened soon after their epiphany. “People just went crazy about it. Thank God for those onions.”

More in this BBC podcast: "Pickled onions inspired me to design the ball pit"

image: "Children in ball pit in Nachshonit" by יעקב (CC BY-SA 3.0) Read the rest

Genius billboard advertising the new Dracula TV series

In this brilliant billboard for the new Dracula TV series, the 3D stakes create an ominous shadow. (And yes, there's an electric light in case the sun doesn't cooperate.)

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