The Eye
Slate’s design blog.

June 1 2015 12:39 PM

This Portuguese Street Artist Turns Old Tires and Busted Appliances Into Stunning Animal Sculptures

Street art has become such familiar urban wallpaper in cities that it’s sometimes easy to bypass without much of a second thought. But these striking street sculptures from Lisbon, Portugal–based Artur Bordalo (who goes by the name Bordalo II) are impossible to ignore.

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May 29 2015 9:03 AM

Why Do Airplane Windows Have Tiny Holes?

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

May 28 2015 9:13 AM

The Grand, Eerie, Forgotten Architecture of Cuba’s National Art Schools

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 Cuba's National Art Schools, known today as the Instituto Superior de Arte—can be played below. Or keep reading to learn more.

May 27 2015 11:54 AM

Live Anywhere in This Portable, Egg-Shaped Tiny Home That Runs on Renewable Energy

The Ecocapsule is an egg-shaped, wind- and solar-powered microdwelling from Bratislava, Slovakia–based Nice Architects that is billed as a portable tiny home, cottage, pop-up hotel, or emergency shelter that doubles as a charging station for electric vehicles.

The Ecocapsule’s original design has evolved since 2008, the designers write in a project description, when they first came up with the concept of a tiny, self-contained unit as a “frontier dwelling” for scientists, photographers, rangers, or extreme tourists who wanted to set up camp in the great outdoors.

May 26 2015 9:26 AM

MailChimp’s New Atlanta Office Brings Street Art Indoors

When online email marketing company MailChimp recently moved into a new 126,000-square-foot office space in Atlanta’s Ponce City Market, its employees found themselves staring at a lot of blank walls. So it did what many young companies these days are doing: It filled its large industrial office space with gigantic street-style works of art.

But instead of commissioning individual artists, the company hired Mónica Campana, executive director of Living Walls—a local nonprofit that recruits nationally and internationally renowned artists to paint public murals in Atlanta—to curate the MailChimp walls. The company gave Campana carte blanche to select a group of American and international artists to paint eight individual murals on the cavernous interior of what is part of a redeveloped 1920s Sears, Roebuck, & Co. store and warehouse distribution center.

May 22 2015 9:04 AM

This New Service Wants to Be the iTunes for Fonts  


The cost of buying multiple fonts can be prohibitive for designers and type nerds. Launching on Friday, Netherlands-based Fontstand from independent type designers Peter Biľak (who is also the editor of Works That Work magazine), Andrej Krátky, and Ondrej Jób is a new service that says it wants to be the iTunes for fonts.



Fontstand has created a Mac OS X app that allows users to test drive thousands of fonts from 20 international type foundries and independent designers for an hour at no charge. Fonts can then be rented for 30-day periods at 10 percent of the purchase price.


May 21 2015 10:40 AM

This Is What Sweden’s Most Statistically Sought-After Home Looks Like

The ideal home is an elusive concept that changes with time and place. But Sweden’s most popular online property site Hemnet decided to employ a new model to determine an up-to-the-minute archetype of Swedish residential architecture. They analyzed user data to see what kinds of properties were attracting the most attention, then commissioned architects Tham & Videgard to design a prototype of what the architects are calling “Sweden’s statistically most sought after home.”

May 19 2015 12:09 PM

This “Bonkers yet Dignified” U.K. Vacation Home Is an Eccentric Shrine to a Fictional Saint

The latest project from U.K.-based Living Architecture, an organization founded by writer Alain de Botton that commissions leading architects to design out-of-the-ordinary holiday rentals in the U.K., is the House for Essex, a collaboration between FAT Architecture and award-winning, cross-dressing English artist Grayson Perry.

May 18 2015 11:31 AM

Groceries Often Reject Ugly Carrots and Grotesque Apples. This Campaign Celebrates Them.

A campaign starring imperfect fruits and vegetables is the winner in the graphics category for Design of the Year 2015 from London’s Design Museum. To help raise awareness about food waste, Inglorious Fruits & Vegetables uses clean graphics and brightly lit photos that celebrate the imperfections of ugly carrots, grotesque apples, disfigured eggplants, ridiculous potatoes, hideous oranges, and unfortunate clementines.  

May 15 2015 11:24 AM

Help Save Endangered Species by Tweeting These Emojis

Today is Endangered Species Day, and the WWF is celebrating with a social media campaign to encourage people to save wild animals by making a microdonation every time they tweet emoji depicting giant pandas and other endangered species.

“The idea for the #EndangeredEmoji campaign was sparked by the discovery that 17 characters in the emoji alphabet represent endangered species,” reads a WWF press release.