Design

fracsGenius or madness? Surly acting hunk James Franco sold an intangible, undetectable work of conceptual art, created in collaboration with the design duo Praxis, to a Montreal collector for $10,000. Paste reports that the masterpiece is titled “Fresh Air” and is described as thus:

A unique piece, only this one is for sale. The air you are purchasing is like buying an endless tank of oxygen. No matter where you are, you always have the ability to take a breath of the most delicious, clean-smelling air that the earth can produce. Every breath you take gives you endless peace and health. This artwork is something to carry with you if you own it.

Because wherever you are, you can imagine yourself getting the most beautiful taste of air that is from the mountain tops or fields or from the ocean side; it is an endless supply.


Attention cyber criminals, subversives, and ne’er-do-wells: place this handy sticker in the correct spot on your computer, just in case. Via DesignTaxi: Your laptop, with all its sensitive data and/or ill-gotten gains,…



Via Trendland, photographer Misty Keasler examines the strangest places on Earth, Japan’s themed love rooms, which resemble everything from gigantic bird cages to outer space to subway cars. In the future, they…


As androids/dolls/CG figures become more lifelike, flesh-and-blood humans may desire to head in the other direction. Girls (and boys) can now pick up chic joint stockings to give themselves the look of…




Trying to cultivate a traveler-from-another-era aesthetic but concerned that the look is ruined every time you pull out your Blackberry? Designer Ivan Mavrovic has a line of frightening steampunk cellphones to help…


Did you know that the iPod is basically a ripoff of a German transistor radio from the 1950s? Via the Atlantic, selections from Bill Buxton’s collection of little-known gadgets (such as early…



The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is into historical inventions, including the revolutionary, strange, and ill-conceived — everything from primitive 45 rpm record players to radiation monitors. However, some items…


In need of a massive crowd of people, but don’t have thousands of adoring followers at your disposal? Why not go with Inflatable Crowd? The company rents out blow-up versions of giant masses of…


Completely real and available for purchase now from Japanese startup outfit Neurowear. Being a bionic cyber-feline has never looked cuter. Via Wired UK:

The ears twitch through a range of different positions, which correspond to different brain activity. So when you concentrate, the ears point upwards and when you relax the ears flop down and forwards. Mind control isn’t new, but lately advances have been made to make mass market control devices at affordable prices.





A video in which fashion designers circa the 1930s were asked to design clothing as they predicted it would look in the year 2000. More fun than accurate (“transparent nets to catch males”, “an electric belt will adapt the belt to climatic changes”, “a dress of aluminum”), although their vision of the tie-less, goateed 21st century male — with his portable phone/radio and pockets for “keys, coins, and candy for cuties” — is fairly prescient.


Perhaps they were conceived as toys for children, but video games of the 1970s, 80s, and 90s are significant artifacts of 20th-century technological, cultural, and design history. Much of that history is…




Lost a limb, but dissatisfied with the normal prosthetic options? Recent University of Washington industrial design graduate Kaylene Kau built a functioning prosthetic tentacle. Powered by an internal motor with control buttons,…


Initially produced by designer Pierre Stephane Dumas, “bubble tents” are now available for use at a growing number of campsites across France, the Daily News reports. Equipped with wardrobes, shelves and electric…


fabricanltd-comDon’t have time to deal with negotiating tricky sleeves? Just pick up a Fabrican aerosol and spray a t-shirt onto your torso. In all seriousness, the spray-able fabric has all sorts of applications (spray-on bandages, for instance), but I like the idea that in the future, this is how we will get dressed.


Via Mediapunk:

If you haven’t heard, information technology iconoclast Nicholas Carr has a new book coming up called The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains. The basic case he makes is this: the Internet is altering our brains and making our thinking wider but more shallow.

Carr makes a compelling case, and it’s time for web professionals to start thinking about how we can fix the problem.

Carr lays out his argument in a new piece in the Wall Street Journal. He’s also made the case in this Wired article

The WSJ is also running Clay Shirkey’s response to Carr – or actually, they may have just asked him whether the Internet was making us stupid, because Shirkey’s piece doesn’t seem to specifically address Carr’s arguments and it doesn’t mention Carr at all…