Slate’s design blog.

Oct. 1 2014 1:04 PM

An Architectural Crusade Against the Tyranny of Straight Lines

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

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Oct. 1 2014 9:26 AM

These Lego Masterpieces Capture the Fear and Humor of the “Dark” Side

New York City–based graphic designer and Lego artist Mike Doyle’s Beautiful LEGOwas the ultimate coffee table book for Lego nerds, with stunning photos of Lego-based creations by dozens of artists. The follow-up to that popular 2013 book is Beautiful LEGO 2: Dark, out in November, that offers a look at what happens when artists from around the world let the dark side of their imaginations run wild while playing with the world’s favorite building blocks.

Sept. 29 2014 11:57 AM

Architecture’s Greatest Hits, From Prehistory to the Present, in a Single Poster

Brooklyn-based Pop Chart Lab—makers of such visual compendia as the chart of 500 beerspasta permutation map, and The Great Gatsby as an infographic—has turned its sights toward architecture.

Sept. 26 2014 11:27 AM

How Doodles and Sketches Become Gorgeous Infographics

Infographics are a staple of modern media. At their best, they’re elegant, streamlined visual capsules of information that help us process complex data at a glance. InInfographic Designers' Sketchbooks by Steven Heller and Rick Landers, out in October, more than 50 leading graphic designers and illustrators from around the world share their creative processes behind the art and science of data visualization.

Using graphic shorthand to convey complex information has been used in magazines and newspapers since the 19th century, Heller writes, but today “a greater number of platforms and media outlets means it is incumbent on designers, who a decade ago would never have thought of themselves as ‘information architects,’ to become makers of some form of information visualization.”

Sept. 25 2014 9:37 AM

How Landlocked Dallas Once Tried to Become a Port City

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 the port of Dallas—can be played below. Or keep reading to learn more.

Sept. 24 2014 9:13 AM

A School Lunch Tray Redesign to Trick Kids Into Making Healthy Choices

Brian Wansink is a nutritionist, behavioral economist, professor at Cornell University, and the Director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab. He is the lead author of over 200 academic articles and books on eating behavior, including the best-selling Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think (2006). In his new book Slim by Design: Mindless Eating Solutions for Everyday Life, published this week, Wansink argues that 25 years of research has convinced him that "becoming slim by design works better than trying to become slim by willpower." In the book, he outlines concrete strategies for designing homes, restaurants, grocery stores, workplaces and schools in ways that surreptitiously encourage healthy eating habits. Here at the Eye, Wansink shares a brief adapted excerpt from the book that presents an idea for a stealthily redesigned school lunch tray—currently in the prototype phase—that he hopes will help kids make healthy choices without having to think twice.

Sept. 23 2014 11:33 AM

High-Concept Stuff Designed to Remind People That They Don’t Need Stuff  

The other day I received an email from Elliott Spelman, a young guy looking to spread the word about a new design-related Kickstarter project.

“It's called The RoShamBusiness,” he wrote, “and our products are literal things. That is, we take ideas from language (idioms, figures of speech, etc.) and make them into consumer items. Rock paper scissors. Falling trees that no one has heard. Sandwiches with everything.”

Sept. 22 2014 9:12 AM

What Is This Singaporean Road Sign Trying to Tell Us?

It’s time for our first Southeast Asian edition of What’s That Thing, Slate’s column examining mysterious or overlooked objects in our visual landscape. Wondering about something—on or off road, at home or abroad? Drop us an email.

Nothing awakens a traveler’s senses like their very first hours in a new place. Every time I leave Singapore’s Changi Airport by bus or taxi, I’m astounded all over again by the public greenery—the multicolored flower beds, the vine-drenched overpasses, the trees so flawlessly coiffed that from any distance at all they resemble bonsai.

Singapore’s long-standing ambition has been to be a growing metropolis in every sense; to become not a city with lots of gardens, but a city in a garden. Singaporeans are wealthier than almost anyone, and it looks to me like all that extra cash is going into landscaping.

Sept. 19 2014 12:50 PM

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Designer Dominic Wilcox has dreamed up an improbable but dazzling stained glass “Driverless Sleeper Car of the Future,” currently on display at Designjunction, part of the London Design Festival, until Sunday. The project is part of the Dezeen and Mini “Frontiers” exhibit on the future of mobility.

Sept. 18 2014 12:47 PM

How One of the Most Prolific Known Forgers in Modern History Faked Great Works of Art

For three decades, Mark A. Landis conned the art world by deftly copying works by great artists then donating his forgeries to dozens of museums under his own name and a roster of assumed names and identities that ranged from philanthropist to a priest.

But in 2008, his nonmercenary but questionable antics were discovered by a museum registrar named Matthew Leininger, who appointed himself lead detective on an obsessive quest to expose and stop Landis. (Landis has never faced prosecution for his actions, which, while clearly deceptive, have not been found to be illegal.)

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