Tag Archives | Design

New tessellating pentagonal shape discovered

Image: Twitter

Image: Twitter

Ana Bezanilla via Hopes&Fears:

Mathematicians and designers are rejoicing as the 15th pentagonal tile pattern has just been discovered.

Triangles and four-sided shapes can always tile a plane, meaning that they don’t overlap or leave gaps in between each individual shape. Only 14 pentagonal tile patterns existed until this recent discovery, and the basic pentagon with all sides measuring the same length does not tile.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

From kitsch to Park Avenue: the cultural history of the plastic pink flamingo

Ryan Hyde (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Don Featherstone, the creator of the iconic lawn ornament, died in June. Ryan Hyde (CC BY-SA 2.0)

In 1957, a 21-year-old art school graduate named Don Featherstone created his second major design for the Massachusetts-based lawn and garden decoration manufacturer Union Products: a three-dimensional plastic pink flamingo propped up by two thin, metal legs that could be plunged into soft dirt.

Featherstone’s duck and flamingo ornaments sold in pairs for US$2.76, and were advertised as “Plastics for the Lawn.” They became simultaneously popular and derided in the late 1950s and remain a recognizable species of American material culture.

Featherstone died this past June, but over five decades after he submitted his design, the plastic pink flamingo continues to grace American lawns and homes. While many are quick to label the plastic ornament as the epitome of kitsch, the flamingo has actually taken a rather tumultuous flight through an ever-changing landscape of taste and class.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Death, Redesigned

How the hell do you redesign death? Jon Mooallem on how a legendary design firm, a corporate executive, and a Buddhist-hospice director take on the end of life in a very #longread at the California Sunday Magazine:

There’s an ugliness — an inelegance — to death that Paul Bennett gradually came to find unacceptable. It seems to offend him the way a clumsy, counterintuitive kitchen tool might, or a frumpy font. At first, that disgruntlement was just “a whisper in my mind,” Bennett explains. “But it’s gone from being a whisper to a roar.” The solution, when it finally occurred to him, felt obvious. “Oh,” he told himself. “You need to redesign death.”

Death

Photo: Sameer Vasta

Bennett is 51 — 30.7 years to go, if the demographic data is reliable — a blindingly energetic British man with unruly brown hair. He works as chief creative officer at Ideo, the global design firm that’s renowned for its intuitive, wizardly touch.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Urban Treehouse That Absorbs Pollution

© Beppe Giardino

© Beppe Giardino

Not only is this apartment complex badass, but it’s also good for the environment. The apartment building, 25 Verde located in Turin, Italy, contains 150 trees that absorb air pollution and noise pollution.

The building, designed by Luciano Pia, elevates the trees “off the ground in an attempt to evade Turin’s homogeneous urban scene and integrate life into the facade of the residential building.” The trees absorb about “200,000 liters of carbon dioxide an hour,” while providing insulation from the busy street and glaring sun.

© Beppe Giardino

© Beppe Giardino

What are the chances NYC would build something like this? I’m thinking slim-to-none…

Check out more photos at Colossal.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

15 Years Of Transparency

Kartell – 15 Years Of Transparency – from abstract groove on Vimeo.

15 years of Kartell transparency told through a surreal journey of light and plastic.

The protagonists: 7 icons of contemporary design.

From the lightness of La Marie to the success of Louis Ghost, all the way through to the majestic Uncle Jack (which marks yet another technological landmark for the company), the creative team at abstract:groove designed a visual path made of scenographic installations that come to life through simple creative clockworks, limiting the use of post-production to the bare minimum.

The actors in the film are extraordinary: their personality is shown through a clever use of lights, reflections and behaviours. The souls within the objects are animated by scenery and scenography, informed and mutated by the concept of “motion design”.

“Our main goal was to capture the soul of these objects through the relationship between light and plastic surfaces, trying to let them express as if they had a life of their own.”(Luigi Pane, abstract:groove creative director).

Read the rest
Continue Reading

The Wendy Carlos Multiphonic Keyboard And The Museum Of Imaginary Instruments

The altogether delightful Museum of Imaginary Instruments features not-quite-yet-real musical devices that hover at the boundaries of physical law and the human senses. Take, for instance, electronica pioneer Wendy Carlos’s dream keyboard of the new era:

Wendy Carlos is best known as a pioneer of the synthesizer who reached mass audiences with soundtrack for Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange (1971). While never-before-heard timbres were a stunning feature of these works, Carlos also pursued another avenue opened up by synthesizers: the development of new tunings. Based on a design by R. H. M. Bosanquet from 1875, her proposed generalized keyboard divided the octave into 53 equal steps, strategically arranged so as to make all regular divisions of the octave playable. Carlos wrote. Alas, like the shift to meantone Carlos expected to see as digital synthesizing equipment became more common, the keyboard was not to be.

multiphonic keyboard

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Choosing An Autonomous Ethics System For Your Robot

In ten years, how will the machines that run your daily existence respond when confronted with life-or-death decisions? Matthieu Cherubini at the Royal College of Art offers prototypes of Humanist, Protector, and Profit-Based moral parameters for self-driving cars:
Many car manufacturers are projecting that by 2025 most cars will operate on driveless systems. How can such systems be designed to accommodate the complicatedness of ethical and moral reasoning? Just like choosing the color of a car, ethics can become a commodified feature in autonomous vehicles that one can buy, change, and repurchase, depending on personal taste. Three distinct algorithms have been created - each adhering to a specific ethical principle/behaviour set-up - and embedded into driverless virtual cars that are operating in a simulated environment, where they will be confronted with ethical dilemmas.
Continue Reading

Jean Perdrizet’s Metaphysical Blueprints From The Future

Art Brut / collection ABCD on the otherworldly creations of Jean Perdrizet, who designed languages, scales, and devices bridging the gap between the human world and the realms of ghosts, aliens, and astral planes:

Jean Perdrizet (1907-1975) was employed as a combat engineer in Grenoble, then at Électricité de France from 1944 to 1949. Around 1955 he became an “inventor”. He started to invent prototypes and draw plans of machines to communicate with the ghosts or aliens : an “electric ouija”, a “thermoelectronic net for the ghosts”, a “Robot cosmonaut”, “space scale”, an “imagination cursor”, a “flying pipe”. He also invented a universal language, the so-called “T language”. He sent his studies to NASA, CNRS and the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences. His work attracted the attention of scientists but also of those who refuse the omnipotence of rationalist thought.

jean Perdrizet

Read the rest

Continue Reading

NSA Chief’s “Information Dominance Center” Designed To Look Like Star Trek

ifWe are officially living in someone else’s fantasy. The Verge writes:

Foreign Policy describes NSA head Keith Alexander’s data-processing “Information Dominance Center” in Virginia as a high-tech homage to Star Trek.

Alexander reportedly had his operations center redesigned to mimic the Enterprise bridge, “complete with chrome panels, computer stations, a huge TV monitor on the forward wall, and doors that made a ‘whoosh’ sound when they slid open and closed.”

“The Center’s primary function is to enable 24-hour worldwide visualization, planning, and execution of coordinated information operations for the US Army and other federal agencies,” says a paper by designers DBI Architects. “The futuristic Commander’s console gives the illusion that one has boarded a star ship.”

The officials and lawmakers who were apparently treated to presentations at the center, however, seemed duly impressed. “Everybody wanted to sit in the chair at least once to pretend he was Jean-Luc Picard,” says an officer who helped coordinate the visits.

Read the rest
Continue Reading