Tag Archives | Design

IKEA: The Architecture Of Consumer Confusion

Via Information Aesthetics:

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.

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The Architecture of Control

Presidio ModeloArchitecture 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 :

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.

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In Support Of Octagon Houses

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.

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‘Non-Visible’ Art Sells For $10,000

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.

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How To Destroy Your Laptop In A Pinch

1Attention 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, 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.

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What Walkable Los Angeles Would Look Like

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:

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Japanese Love Hotels

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.

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Joint Stockings Are Eerie

joint-stockings-are-creeping-me-out-20203-1309986702-9As 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 a robot/figurine attempting to mimic a human being. Asiajin provides some explanation and unsettling photos:

Kyutai Kansetsu Sutokkingu (Spherical Joint Stocking) is a coterie stocking sold at Bungaku Furima (literature flea-market), a dojinshi sale dedicated for literature-related things only, by circle Ojosama Gakkou Shojo Bu (preppie school girls section). The stocking has globe joint painted on knees, to make your leg like real figure.

The stockings, 2,000 yen(US$25) seems sold out on their online shop, currently on order.

But why? I guess some people might love figures too much so that now they want to become like that. It is interesting because those joints originally showed their incompleteness of mimicking human beings.

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Band Presses Vinyl Record On Chocolate

1The glitch-y electro tunes by Scotland’s Found seem perfectly fine, but the real treat is their groundbreaking edible, playable vinyl pressing. Ah, art meant to be consumed with all five senses — is this the future of physical product for the music industry? Via DesignTAXI:

This record can easily go from turntable to coffee table. Scottish band Found, looking for an inventive new way to release a new single, baked up a sugary idea: to press the 7” record on chocolate.

The band enlisted the help of a friend, baker Ben Milne who, after several failed attempts, managed to successfully created the Willy Wonka-like treat; the entire record, including the paper label, is edible. While not audiophile quality by any stretch, the chocolate disc plays a decent version of the band’s “Anti-Climb Paint” single.

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An Origami Phone You Can Fold And Use

Photo: Weii Designs

Photo: Weii Designs

Via Inventor Spot:

The Origami Handset is a sublime expression of lightness crafted by Chengyuan Wei (魏呈远) of Weii Design.

Currently living and working in the city of Hangzhou, Wei has been putting his education at Zhejiang University to good use, designing a number of esthetically pleasing items such as a self-balancing, Segway-style scooter for the INNO company and the eco-friendly, solar powered Light Gap clock.

It’s Wei’s minimalist telephone handset, however, that perhaps most succinctly expresses the artist’s rejection of “a unified system… created by big commercial corporations.” After disassembling a telephone handset one day, Wei discovered that “all the functional parts only took a small space inside the handset. So I thought maybe I can design a unique handset which has a light and material-efficient structure.”

Looking at the Origami Handset, you can see that these kinds of electronic devices really have very few parts and most of those are comprised of thin, flat circuit boards.

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