The Eye
Slate’s design blog.

Aug. 31 2016 8:50 AM

A Digital Waterfall and a Flock of Flying Birds Revive the Lobby of a Denver Skyscraper

My fourth-grade teacher showed us a futuristic movie in which people were no longer able to go outside. As a consolation, giant movie screens acted as windows on the inaccessible world, allowing you to change seasons and vistas with the click of a remote, summoning fall foliage, crashing waves, fields of flowers, or mountains covered in pristine snow. Maybe that’s why I am both delighted and spooked every time I encounter a project that brings a virtual representation of the outside indoors—like the wall of hyperrealistic clouds at the Amsterdam airport; an interactive installation of cherry blossoms blooming in a historic building in downtown Washington; or the eight-story digital waterfall, 86-foot-tall trees, and flock of flying birds that have given the lobby of Denver’s third tallest skyscraper a new lease on life.

Aug. 30 2016 8:48 AM

China Built the World’s Longest, Tallest, and Most Terrifying Glass Bridge

A vertiginous new glass pedestrian bridge claiming to be the world’s longest and tallest opened earlier this month in China. The 1,410-foot-long Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge is but a relative whisper of glass panels and steel beams suspended 984 feet above the Grand Canyon of Zhangjiajie.

Aug. 29 2016 8:52 AM

A Dutch Designer Fills the Amsterdam Airport With Clouds

Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport continues to tap top-tier Dutch design talent to salve the drudgery of airport travel. After designer Maarten Baas helped the weary traveling masses pass the time by installing a 10-foot performance art clock in Lounge 2 featuring a man painting the passing minutes by hand, on Saturday the ever-innovative Daan Roosegaarde introduced a new permanent artwork that has turned an empty 328-foot-long wall inside Departure Hall 3 into a modern-day Dutch landscape painting of a cloudy blue sky.

Aug. 26 2016 10:26 AM

A New Dubai Hotel Will Have Its Own Private Rainforest

Dubai seems to be in a competition with itself to become the capital of world records, man-made firsts, and showy gimmicks—such as the world’s largest indoor ski resort and a nearly opened indoor theme park poised to become the biggest on the planet—to distract visitors from the punishing weather.

Aug. 25 2016 8:47 AM

The Library of the Future Is in Denmark

Around the world, architects and communities are grappling to define the 21st-century library, representing a paradigm shift from the hushed repository of physical books to a tech-savvy, inclusive space to unite people around learning, shared interests, and exploration in an ever-lonelier digital world.

Aug. 24 2016 8:51 AM

This Blood Drive Campaign Drops the A’s, B’s, and O’s From Global Brands and Landmarks

Last year the U.K.’s NHS Blood and Transplant launched the Missing Type campaign in England and North Wales to help sign up new blood donors and reverse a steep decline in donations by removing the A’s, B’s, and O’s from corporate logos and familiar landmarks.

Aug. 23 2016 8:47 AM

Here’s What the U.S. 50-State Flag Could Have Looked Like

The late Robert G. Heft—the man credited with designing the 50-state American flag—was a 17-year-old boy fulfilling a class assignment when he came up with the winning design. The Illustrated America: Old Glory is a new book that features 50 American flag designs submitted by U.S. citizens to President Dwight D. Eisenhower that incorporated Hawaii and Alaska as the 49th and 50th states.

Aug. 22 2016 1:04 PM

A British Designer Curated a Contemporary Art Exhibition for Dogs

British designer Dominic Wilcox is a master of the whimsical. His childlike imagination has created inventions such as a stained-glass driverless car and a helmet with a crane that serves cereal. He has brought children’s inventions and imaginary friends to life, and last weekend in London, he created a contemporary art exhibition for dogs.

Aug. 19 2016 8:44 AM

Terra Is Literally a Lawn Chair—a Chair That You Grow in Your Yard

Back at the turn of this century, Torino, Italy–based design and art collective Nucleocame up with an eccentric idea: to grow a sustainable lawn chair made of living grass that you could plant in your backyard. Terra was a design-world hit, winning an award and exhibited at museums like Paris’ Centre Pompidou.

Aug. 18 2016 8:41 AM

To Read This Book, You Have to Solve a Mechanical Puzzle on Each Page

Beautifully produced books have become coveted objects in a digital world. But young industrial designer Brady Whitney has taken the idea of book as object a step further with Codex Silenda—an intriguing wooden book whose pages you can turn, and story you can unlock, only after solving a different mechanical puzzle on each of its thick, laser-cut, hand-assembled pages.