The Eye
Slate’s design blog.

May 23 2016 8:52 AM

Paper Cutout Models Put a Playful Spin on Brutalist Architecture in Paris

Poland-based studio Zupagrafika has a thing for modernist and Brutalistarchitecture. And to share that passion, it has created playful illustrated paper cutout models of Brutalist buildings in London; modernist buildings in Warsaw; and a new series, Paris Brut, featuring Brutalist architecture from the 1950s–70s located in the city center and outlying banlieues.

May 20 2016 8:48 AM

Can a Dinner Plate Inspired by a Sponge Actually Help Reduce Calories?

Ad agency BBDO Bangkok created a prototype for the Thai Health Promotion Foundation to create a new kind of dinner plate designed to help extract excess calories from greasy Thai dishes. Inspired by the surface of a sponge, the AbsorbPlate is perforated with 500 holes that its creators claim can collect and hold micropuddles of oil, siphoning up to 7 ml (about 0.24 ounces) of grease from a serving of food, shaving a potential 30 calories from every meal.

May 19 2016 8:42 AM

This Portland Tiny House Can Rotate 359 Degrees to Follow the Sun

The 359 from Portland-based PATH Architecture is a 144-square-foot tiny house that can be manually rotated to chase the light, regulate heat, or change the view.

PATH owner and principal Benjamin J. Kaiser wrote in an email that he first had the idea five years ago. He built a rotating bezel mechanism that would allow the house to be spun around. But it languished, “waiting for the right owner to come along,” he said. “Last year I mentioned the idea to friends of mine who have a triple lot in downtown Portland. They said that they’d love to have 359 land on their property.”


May 18 2016 8:43 AM

A Designer Wants to Build a Companion to the Montreal Biosphere From the 1967 World’s Fair

Next year marks the 50th anniversary of Expo 67 in Montreal, the World’s Fair that included an R. Buckminster Fuller geodesic dome at the U.S. Pavilion located in theParc Jean-Drapeau on Saint Helen’s Island. Donated by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1968, the structure is still standing. A 1976 fire left the site dormant for many years, but it was reborn as a museum dedicated to the environment and is currently called the Biosphere.

May 17 2016 8:43 AM

Google Is Decorating Its Nondescript Data Centers With Colorful Murals

The cloud where our personal data lives is more than a nebulous metaphor. Our paperless photos and documents are warehoused on servers in nondescript industrial buildings. Google has decided to shine a spotlight on these overlooked structures with its Data Center Mural Project, which commissions artists to paint the humble façades of cloud storage facilities scattered around the world.

May 16 2016 9:19 AM

France Decks Out Its National Railway Cars to Look Like the Palace of Versailles

The SNCF, France’s national rail network, is a fine piece of infrastructure. But unlike the taxis of Mumbaior the long-haul trucks of Spain, French SNCF trains generally have an unremarkable décor that is more about efficiency than inspired design. But in 2012, the SNCF in collaboration with 3M launched Art in Transit, an ongoing project that has redecorated banal train car interiors with recreations of Impressionist art and stained glass from Paris’ Musée d’Orsay, a train station turned art museum. The latest installment features a second edition of Versailles-themed décor inside five cars on the RER C train line that runs between Paris and Versailles.

May 13 2016 8:58 AM

Mesmerizing Maps of the World’s Tangled Highway Interchanges

Chicago-based web developer and artist Nicholas Rougeux has created a series of 60 mesmerizing color maps of the world’s spaghetti junctions that transform nightmarish highway interchanges into fluid rainbow-hued abstractions.

May 12 2016 8:41 AM

These Japanese-Designed Fishbowls Are Cooler Than Anyplace You’ve Lived

We’ve seen classy feline furniturearchitect-built cat shelters, and designer dog houses. Now Japanese designer Haruka Misawa (who worked at award-winning Japanese design firm Nendo before starting Misawa Design Institute in 2014) has created Waterscape, a series of stunning translucent square fishbowls that blow conventional aquariums out of the water with beautiful, minimalist design.

May 11 2016 8:46 AM

Google’s Method for Testing New Ideas Includes a “Magic Clock” Invented for a 4-Year-Old

Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days by Jake Knapp with John Zeratsky and Braden Kowitz is a new book in which the Google Ventures’ design partner shares the step-by-step process behind the “sprint” methodology he created to help companies design new products and services in the space of a workweek.

They have developed a precision blueprint for how sprints should run, down to details such as start and end times, the precise hour to break for lunch, what and what not to eat for lunch, and non-negotiable rules that include banning screen-based devices from the workroom. Their favorite tools are old-fashioned office supplies like giant white boards; yellow 3-by-5-inch Post-It notes (additional colors slow down decision-making by increasing cognitive load); medium-point Paper Mate Flair felt-tipped pens (rather than thin-tipped, to help concision when writing out ideas); blue ¼-inch dot stickers; and, as he shares in the excerpt below, a nondigital device they describe as a “magic clock” that was invented for a 4-year-old.

May 10 2016 8:52 AM

How the Wright Brothers Inspired the Way Google Tests New Ideas

Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days by Jake Knapp with John Zeratsky and Braden Kowitz is a new book in which the Google Ventures’ design partners share the step-by-step process behind the “sprint” methodology that Knapp created to help companies such as Google, Slack, and Blue Bottle Coffee design new products and services in the space of a workweek. In the excerpt below, the authors detail how the Wright Brothers inspired the sprint process and how the methodology that they outline in the book is being adapted in companies, classrooms, and government agencies across the country.