The Eye
Slate’s design blog.

Feb. 13 2015 12:39 PM

Can Cheerful Décor Help Kids Heal? A London Hospital Recruited Designers to Test It Out.

Nobody likes hospitals, least of all children. Most are scary, sterile, and depressing, making a grim experience even grimmer. But sometimes design can play a role in distracting patients from the distressing business of being sick. We’ve seen design used to help children get over their fear of MRIs. And Vital Arts, the arts organization for Barts Health NHS Trust, a charitably funded program to improve the well-being of patients and hospital staff, has spent the last two years inviting designers to inject the pediatric ward of the Royal London Hospital with cheerful, life-affirming, brightly colored art and design.

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Feb. 12 2015 12:14 PM

Japan’s Spiraling Ribbon Chapel Finds Romance in Minimalist Design

In the lead-up to Valentine’s Day, the world is awash in heart-shaped clichés of what romance is supposed to look like. But this arresting, minimalist Japanese wedding chapel designed by architect Hiroshi Nakamura uses love as a metaphor and delivers a building that is anything but corny.

Feb. 11 2015 11:11 AM

This Guerrilla Public Servant Forged an L.A. Freeway Sign to Help People Avoid Getting Lost

Roman Mars’ podcast 99% Invisible covers design questions large and small, from his fascination with rebar to the history of slot machines to the great Los Angeles Red Car conspiracy. Here at The Eye, we cross-post new episodes and host excerpts from the 99% Invisible blog, which offers complementary visuals for each episode.

This week's edition—about guerrilla public service—can be played below. Or keep reading to learn more.

Feb. 10 2015 10:58 AM

Neil Armstrong’s Widow Finds His Moon Purse Stashed in a Closet

When Neil Armstrong’s widow, Carol, was sorting through his closet after his death in 2012, she stumbled on a sack of moon landing artifacts. The bag was meant to be left on the lunar surface, but Armstrong had brought it back down to Earth, stashing it in his closet until his death.

Carol Armstrong turned the purse over to the National Air and Space Museum in Washington for further examination. According to the museum’s space history department curator Allan Needell, the so-calledMcDivitt purse was named after Apollo 9 Commander James McDivitt, who suggested a solution for temporarily stowing objects when there wasn’t time to return them to fixed stowage. Officially called a temporary stowage bag, or TSB, the purse opened and closed like a clutch, was stowed in the lunar module during launch, and was fitted with pins to attach it to sockets in front of the commander’s station to the left of the lunar module hatch.

Feb. 9 2015 1:15 PM

Can You Identify These Western Corporate Logos in Chinese?

Our visual landscape is littered with corporate logos so seared into our brains that we barely have to glance in their direction for them to register.

Istanbul-based designer Mehmet Gözetlik decided to imagine how Western brands might adapt their corporate logos for the world’s 1.3 billion Chinese speakers with “Chinatown,” a series of Chinese-style neon signs based on familiar Western logos.

 

Feb. 6 2015 11:39 AM

Drink Your Pumpkin Peach Ale in This Handblown Pint Glass Featuring a Replica of Mount Hood

America’s crowdfunders are thirsty for craft beer this winter. Currently popular on Kickstarter is the Oregon Pint, a hand-blown beer glass designed to hold local brews, with a replica of Mount Hood rising up from its bottom.

Feb. 5 2015 10:10 AM

What Is That Hole in the Tail of an Airplane?

What’s That Thing is Slate’s column examining mysterious or overlooked objects in our visual landscape. Submit suggestions and pics for future columns to whatisthat@markvr.com.

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s … actually, it’s just a plane. But what’s that hole in the tail? A giant screw hole for towing the aircraft? An exhaust system? A rocket assist, à la Knight Rider, to be deployed on takeoff or to make up a few minutes of flight time en route?

Feb. 4 2015 11:58 AM

How a French Opera and Sesame Street Inspired the Birth of the Philly Phanatic

Roman Mars’ podcast 99% Invisible covers design questions large and small, from his fascination with rebar to the history of slot machines to the great Los Angeles Red Car conspiracy. Here at The Eye, we cross-post new episodes and host excerpts from the 99% Invisible blog, which offers complementary visuals for each episode.

This week's edition—about mascots—can be played below. Or keep reading to learn more.

Feb. 3 2015 1:04 PM

How Earthquakes, Consumerism, and Social Upheaval Drive California’s Offbeat Design Legacy

The recently published Earthquakes, Mudslides, Fires & Riots: California and Graphic Design, 1936-1986, edited and designed by graphic designer Louise Sandhaus, is a spirited, subjective, willfully undefinitive book that highlights some 250 examples of groundbreaking, off-beat 20th-century design from the Golden State.

Feb. 2 2015 12:14 PM

A Typeface Designer’s Illustrated Tour of How to Create a Font

New York City–based Hoefler & Co., headed by award-winning type designer Jonathan Hoefler, has designed typefaces for magazines such as Rolling Stone and Sports Illustrated, and its Hoefler Text family of typefaces has been included in Apple operating systems. Its newest font is Obsidian, a contemporary typeface that mimics the elaborate decorative typography of the Industrial Revolution. Obsidian is derived from Surveyor, a font inspired by type used on engraved maps and charts; it’s also part of a dispute between Hoefler and type designer Tobias Frere-Jones.*

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