Slate’s design blog.

Dec. 5 2014 1:35 PM

This Home-Swapping Site Offers Access to Artists’ and Designers’ Gorgeous Homes—With One Catch

Barcelona-based Behomm bills itself as “the first home exchange community only for designers and visual artists.” The invitation-only site was launched by graphic designers Agustí Juste and Eva Calduch, longtime home exchangers who were tired of wading through the dregs of cluttered home swap sites and decided to create a space “to connect like-minded people with a similar love of tasteful things and interest in a more enriching travel experience.”

Video Advertisement

Dec. 4 2014 10:48 AM

These Grand Skyscrapers Will Never Reach Their Planned Heights

 

“Without big dreams, there would be no tall buildings,” researchers from the Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat write in a new report. “Conceiving, financing, designing, and constructing a skyscraper is no simple feat, even under the best of conditions.”

 

 

Alas, every grand architectural dream does not come to fruition, and not all skyscrapers end up reaching their ultimate heights. The researchers say that some projects suffer from “torturously slow gestation periods; many more have failed to start or were interrupted and cancelled. Naturally, we began to wonder how many tall buildings were started and not finished, and which held the records for longest construction time.”

 

Dec. 3 2014 11:45 AM

The Caribbean Origins of the Dancing Inflatable Man

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 inflatable men—can be played below. Or keep reading to learn more.

Dec. 2 2014 11:44 AM

A Facebook Director Explains Why the Best Modern Design Is Invisible

Make Your Mark: The Creative’s Guide to Building a Business with Impact from the folks at 99U bills itself as a business book for makers. In the following excerpt, Facebook’s Julie Zhuo makes a brief case for why in a time when innovation is often about experience rather than looks, the best design just might be invisible.

Dec. 1 2014 11:15 AM

Is This the Last Toothbrush You’ll Ever Need?

The average person will use up and throw out some 300 environmentally unfriendly toothbrushes over a lifetime, producing hundreds of pounds of plastic waste. Engineer and industrial designer Patrick Triato of the Portland, Oregon–based Goodwell Company has developed a new product to change the way that people buy and use toothbrushes.

Nov. 28 2014 10:16 AM

How the Oscar and Moonman Statues Are Made

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 trophies—can be played below. Or keep reading to learn more.

Nov. 25 2014 1:00 PM

Avoid Overeating at Thanksgiving by Ditching Your Serving Tongs and Good China

Thanksgiving is the most gluttonous day of the year. Gathering for a feast to celebrate thankfulness has turned into a national eating contest, with the average American scarfing down 4,500 calories of turkey dinner with all the trimmings. Can a Thanksgiving meal be generous without going overboard?

Brian Wansink is a nutritionist, the director of Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab, and a leading research expert on eating behaviors. His recently published book, Slim by Design, includes practical tips for designing homes, restaurants, supermarkets, workplaces, school lunch trays, and more that can help people lose or maintain weight by redesigning environments to subtly cue us to make healthy choices instead of relying on our finite powers to resist temptation.

Nov. 24 2014 11:14 AM

Ikea Jumps on Retro Furniture Trend by Reissuing Its Own Designs

Midcentury modern and Scandinavian furniture designs seem as ubiquitous, relevant, and on trend as they did in the middle of the 20th century, and even more so as our gadgets get more futuristic and our interiors have gone decidedly retro (helped along no doubt by a glamorous boost from the Mad Men effect).

Now under the guise of celebrating 70 years in business, Ikea has launched the limited-edition Argang collection, 26 reissued designs from the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s that include furniture, lighting, textiles, and tableware from its archives (available only in select Ikea stores).

Nov. 21 2014 11:41 AM

Will Paris’ First Skyscraper in 40 Years Be a Giant Triangle?

Any skyscraper built in Paris is bound to be controversial. The human-scaled, largely horizontal 19th-century skyline is what defines the city, and 20th-century efforts to modernize it—the charmless 59-story Tour Montparnasse built in central Paris in 1973 and La Défense, a business district of high-rises pushed to the western edge of the city—are both seen as eyesores.

Paris’ first attempt to build a 21st-century skyscraper is known as the Tour Triangle (Triangle Tower) designed by Basel, Switzerland-based architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron. According to the architects, the shape of the proposed building is “a singular form, an irregular pyramid based on a trapezoid” that would provide “multiple and dynamic” views depending on the angle.

Nov. 20 2014 12:10 PM

What Would a Redesigned U.S. Dollar Look Like?

Recent posts on Norway’s vibrant, dynamic new banknotes and passport stirred up feelings of design envy among some readers, who questioned the aesthetics of our own staid government-issued currency and documents. American designer Travis Purrington asked himself a similar question when he moved to Switzerland to study design in 2009. Designboom recently featured a look at his master’s thesis, a proposed redesign of U.S. banknotes that swaps historical figures for a focus on America’s technological and environmental achievements and brings the overall design aesthetic firmly into the 21st century.

READ MORE STORIES