50 Watts has a jaw-dropping collection of seemingly hallucinogen-inspired illustrations culled from 1970s science textbooks, revealing striking new ways of understanding biology, psychology, and sex ed concepts. School was truly trippy back then. Most of the art come from materials published by Communications Research Machines, including their titles Life and Heath, Psychology Today, and Developmental Psychology Today.
Tag Archives | Design
Pasta&Vinegar on a fascinating 10,000-year design conundrum: how to house our radioactive waste in such a way that the next 400 generations will understand the danger, and not try to tamper or remove the markers. One would assume that over that period, most of our civilization, language, symbols, and physical structures as we know them will cease to exist:
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“Permanent Markers Implementation Plan” is a project initiated in 2004 by the U.S. Department of Energy in order to provide a permanent record which identifies the location of nuclear waste repository and its dangers.
This report described the task handled by one of the expert group made of an anthropologist, an astronomer, an archaeologist, an environmental designer, a linguist, and a materials scientist. The brief for them was basic:
“The site must be marked. Aside from the legal requirement, the site will be indelibly imprinted by the human activity associated with waste disposal.
In 1977, Swiss graphic designer Hans-Rudolf Lutz conducted an interesting experiment by stripping all language from a daily newspaper — I’d like to try this process with some contemporary publications:
This book consists of an inventory of all the non-verbal information contained in a daily newspaper. All of the words have been cut out of the Edmonton Journal of 16 August 1977 (the day on which Elvis Presley died). How do we ‘read’ pictures with no verbal context or information? What is the informative value of typographical structures and orders when stripped of meaning? The visual material in this publication provides a basis for the debate on these questions.
Normally architects organize space to make the experience as efficient as possible. At IKEA though, however, the (almost 'urban') designers deliberately set out to confuse people. See this phenomenon analyzed [with] various (heat)maps, 3D reconstructions and other illustrations, in a talk (the IKEA case in starts at the 24:30 mark), by Alan Penn (University College London). The presentation focuses on how architects use space to sell things, by demonstrating how space creates patterns of movement, bringing people into contact with goods. It starts off with how spatial quality influences spatial behavior, which is then applied on urban environments, retail and shopping spaces in general.
Architecture and design made specifically to control and easily subdue populations is nothing new; architects and urban planners have long recognised the inherent ability of design to affect mood, temperament, and even the physical and social properties of people. Prison design is one such exercise that directly engages the dialogue between space and social control. Via Web Urbanist :
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Should architecture be used as a punishment in itself, made as harsh and cruel as possible in a bid to make inmates sorry for what they’ve done, or should it uplift and rehabilitate them, showing them that there’s more to the world than a life of crime?
While some architects boycott prison design altogether so as not to participate in what is often seen as a corrupt and immoral system, others produce (often controversial) designs that revolutionize prisoners’ relationships with their environment, each other and the world at large – for better or worse.
Break free from the tyranny of the square! The pleasingly odd Octagon House Inventory is “a permanent record of locations and histories of all known octagon houses (nearly 1000) built in the U.S. and Canada between 1848 and 1920″ with photos, descriptions, blueprints, and newspaper clippings (although many of the links are dead). Here’s hoping that octo-houses, which offer panoptic views and the ability to be clustered in all sorts of formations, will someday return to their rightful place in the architectural vanguard.
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:
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Your laptop, with all its sensitive data and/or ill-gotten gains, is about to be confiscated by the authorities, who are banging on the door. There’s no time to reformat it—you’ve got to destroy it, fast. This sticker will help you do just that, provided you’ve a drill by your side. (And which self-respecting cyber criminal wouldn’t?)
Meant to be placed directly above your laptop’s hard disk, the sticker sports a crosshair with which you can accurately destroy any digital evidence the cops are after.
Randy Sarafan, who created the stickers, advises to “research the build of your laptop and locate the position of your hard drive…The hard drive should look like a rectangular box with a centered circle somewhere upon it,” he said.
Stick the sticker’s drill guide slightly off center of the hard drive (see first image below) so that you’ll drill the platters instead of the motor.
Suppose Los Angeles were like Paris, New York, et cetera, with dense, narrow, two-lane streets rather than wide, barren five-lane ones? Artist David Yoon conducted a “fantasy urban makeover in photographs” to show exactly this. On Narrow Streets LA, click on (actual) shots of Japantown, Santa Monica, Downtown, Melrose Avenue (below, real on left and photoshopped on right), and tons of other locations to reveal the far more pleasing, charming, and inviting narrowed versions — a fantastical vision of the non-car-dominated Los Angeles that never was but could have been:
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 are where all romantic activity will be conducted:
The Love Hotel is an intensely unique Japanese institution. The themed rooms [are] rented by the hour. There are an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 of them in the country and they are so prevalent that the Japanese take them for granted.