The Eye
Slate’s design blog.

April 27 2015 1:05 PM

Tokyo’s New Low-Cost Airport Terminal Uses Running Tracks as Wayfinding Guides

Tokyo isn’t hosting the Olympics until 2020, but the Japanese are getting a running start on the upcoming event with the recently opened Terminal 3 at Narita International Airport dedicated to low-cost carriers.

The project is a collaboration between Nikken SekkeiRyohin Keikaku, and creative lab Party based in Tokyo and New York. Building a low-cost airline terminal meant that the designers had half the usual budget for the project, but they managed to produce a clever, minimalist space that has an industrial feel and includes a signature piece of witty, cost-effective design.

Video Advertisement

April 27 2015 9:26 AM

This New Workspace Pod Will Help You Focus in Distracting Open-Plan Offices

The decadeslong trend toward open office plans that foster spontaneity and collaboration among colleagues has proven counterproductive for individuals struggling to find focus. The ensuing backlash against open-plan office spaces has created a thriving subgenre of office furniture designed to compensate for all the ways in which open-plan spaces are no good for workers. It seems ironic that we have torn down all the office and cubicle walls only to find new ways to rebuild them.

For their latest piece of office furniture, researchers at Steelcase took inspiration from cognitive neuroscience about how our brains function, including studies on the myth of multitasking and the apparently 23 minutes it takes to regain focus after an interruption. They combined this science-based common sense with their own observations of the relaxed, lounging postures of both students and people at work to create the new Brody WorkLounge.

April 24 2015 11:40 AM

What Would FedEx or YouTube Logos Look Like if Drawn by Hand?

Brand by Hand from Auckland, New Zealand–based Sara Marshall is a student lettering project that reimagines the logos of faceless corporate brands using hand-lettering. Marshall has recently completed her bachelor’s in graphic design at the Auckland University of Technology and is now working as a freelance lettering artist and graphic designer.

April 23 2015 9:26 AM

These Artists Helped Win World War II With Inflatable Rubber Tanks and Fake Artillery

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.

April 22 2015 10:45 AM

What Are the Orange Markings on NYC’s Sidewalks and Streets?

It’s time for another edition of What’s That Thing, Slate’s column that examines the details of the visible world that are hiding in plain sight. Send ideas for future columns, along with photos if possible, to

Ever stop to wonder about those scrawled mashups of lines and letters marked out on the road in front of you? Many of these urban hieroglyphics indicate the underground presence of various telecommunications cables and conduits. They are easily overlooked visual reminders that our communications networks—which we increasingly access wirelessly—have an elaborate and often pervasive physical form.

April 21 2015 10:25 AM

Are These the Ugliest Houses in Belgium?


Hannes Coudenys is a 33-year-old Belgian freelance “digital creative” whose hobby is to publicly shame the architects and residents of dwellings he finds aesthetically displeasing on Instagram and an Ugly Belgian Houses Tumblr. The Tumblr is now also a book of the same name (tagline: “don’t try this at home”). For the past four years, he has collected photos of more than 500 offending residences online, posting them without permission and landing himself in occasional hot water with offended parties. For the book, a small team of photographers visited 400 houses and were granted permission to include 50.



But the book, which should be on a blog devoted to Ugly Book Layouts, doesn’t include names of residents or locations of the houses, nor does it include interviews with architects. Instead, Coudenys tells a rambling tale of his passion to chronicle the poorly conceived, awkwardly formed residential eyesores of his native country, while acknowledging that ugliness is in the eye of the beholder.


April 20 2015 11:16 AM

How I Became a Guerrilla Furniture Designer

Will Holman’s new book, Guerilla Furniture Design: How to Build Lean, Modern Furniture With Salvaged Materialsis a manifesto and a how-to manual for building cool DIY furniture and household objects from paper, wood, plastic, and metal (like the lounge chair above, a new design that didn't make it into the book but can be accessed along with other work by the designer on Instructables and OpenDesk).

In the book, Holman offers an outline of the history, sustainability principles, and philosophy behind his DIY ethos. In the following excerpt from the book, he talks about how his personal narrative of being an itinerant young designer in search of a job shaped his guerrilla design view. 

April 16 2015 1:04 PM

Dior and I Gives Seamsters a Starring Role in the Behind-the-Scenes Fashion Documentary

Fashion designer Raf Simons is a reluctant leading man in Frédéric Tcheng’s Dior and I, a new documentary that chronicles the Belgian designer’s arrival as artistic director of Christian Dior in 2012, where he was charged with creating a haute couture collection for the legendary Paris fashion house in just eight weeks (a process that routinely takes six months).

But Simons is not the only star of this elegantly crafted documentary about the collaborative creative process of making wildly expensive garments in the high-stakes world of art and commerce that is haute couture. “I consider the film to be an ensemble piece,” Tcheng says in a director’s statement.

April 15 2015 11:26 AM

The Locksmith Who Picked Two “Unbeatable” Locks and Ended the Era of “Perfect Security”

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

April 14 2015 11:30 AM

Why Do So Many NBA Logos Feature Basketballs but Few NFL Logos Have Footballs?

James I. Bowie is a sociologist at Northern Arizona University whose Emblemetric blog examines patterns and trends in logo design using quantitative analysis of data from the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Here at The Eye, Bowie shares a recent Emblemetric post about the Milwaukee Bucks' new logo.

On Monday, the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks unveiled a new logo. Like the team’s old emblem, it is a depiction of a fierce stag, but the new mark contains an image of a basketball, cleverly hidden in the negative space of the antlers. By switching from a logo without a basketball to a mark with one, the Bucks have joined 21 other NBA teams with basketballs in their primary logos. Seventy-three percent of NBA teams’ symbols now include basketballs.