Slate’s design blog.

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.

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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.

Nov. 19 2014 11:59 AM

A Futuristic Café Inspired by the Literary Arts and the Science Lab

The phenomenon of the science café has been around for a long time, an ad hoc gathering in a pub, bookstore, coffee house or local library where strangers come to explore an interest in science.

But if an award-winning designer set out to specifically design a café inspired by science, what would it look like? The recently opened Café ArtScience in Cambridge, Massachusetts is one answer to that question. A collaboration between American scientist and Harvard professor David Edwards and French designer Mathieu Lehanneur, it’s part of a U.S. offshoot of the Paris-based science-inspired art and design center Le Laboratoire, founded in 2007.

Nov. 18 2014 12:08 PM

An Artist’s Tribute to the Obsolete Gadgets That Fill Our Trash Dumps

Last weekend, just ahead of Art Basel Miami Beach, visitors to the Locust Projectsexhibition space got a glimpse of Welcome to the Future, artist Daniel Arsham’s ode to an archaeological dig full of reproductions of 20th-century media devices that clog our 21st-century landfills.

Nov. 17 2014 11:20 AM

Norway’s Sleek New Passports Contain a Surprise Design Feature

On the heels of a its new pixelated banknotes, Norway has now overhauled the look of its passport with a minimalist redesign that has a surprise design feature on the inside.

Nov. 14 2014 11:55 AM

This Dreamy, Glow-in-the-Dark Bike Path Was Inspired by Starry Night

Here at The Eye, we love a glow-in-the-dark sidewalk. This week in the Netherlands, artist Daan Roosegaarde’s design studio inaugurated the Van Gogh–Roosegaarde bicycle path, a dreamy version of Vincent van Gogh’s famous painting Starry Night come to life on a stretch of land in Nuenen, Netherlands, where the artist lived from 1883 to 1885 (before painting his universally loved version of a swirling night sky in 1889 in Provence, France).

Nov. 13 2014 11:16 AM

This New TV Show Experiments With Design to Deter Speeding, Jaywalking

Can design help solve social problems across America? Crowd Control—a new TV series hosted by best-selling author and popular speaker Dan Pink—features more than 40 experiments across the country that use low-cost, high-impact design, technology, and behavioral science principles to try to solve a host of issues big and small.

Nov. 12 2014 11:42 AM

Portland’s Quest for a Better City Flag

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

Nov. 11 2014 11:16 AM

What Do These Mexico City Sidewalk Markers Mean?

It’s the first south-of-the-border edition of What’s That Thing, Slate’s column examining mysterious or overlooked objects in the built environment. Wondering about something you’ve seen, at home or abroad? Drop us an email.

Nov. 10 2014 11:12 AM

A Typeface Designed to Help Dyslexics Read

Dutch designer Christian Boer created a dyslexic-friendly font to make reading easier for dyslexics like himself.

“Traditional fonts are designed solely from an aesthetic point of view,” Boer writes on his website, “which means they often have characteristics that make characters difficult to recognize for people with dyslexia. Oftentimes, the letters of a word are confused, turned around or jumbled up because they look too similar.”