The Eye
Slate’s design blog.

Feb. 27 2015 11:49 AM

Flow Hive Delivers Honey on Tap Without Stressing Out the Bees

Humans have been keeping bees for thousands of years. The process of extracting honey from hives has always been laborious, messy, time-consuming, and occasionally painful for beekeepers. It’s also a source of stress for bees that often switch to fight mode during a hive invasion.

But a father-and-son team of second- and third-generation beekeepers from Byron Bay, Australia, has spent the last decade redesigning the beehive to make extracting honey painless for both beekeepers and bees. Cedar Anderson, 34, and Stuart Anderson, 60,  have developed an innovative beekeeping system that provides honey on tap with no need to crack open and pull apart the hives.

 

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Feb. 26 2015 11:58 AM

This Wondrous Dutch Light Installation Mimics the Northern Lights

Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde is a modern wizard of interactive landscapes. His poetic, art- and nature-inspired, high-tech light installations include a glow-in-the-dark bike path reminscent of Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night and a vibrant rainbowat the end of the train tracks at Amsterdam’s Central Station.

Wednesday night in the Netherlands, Studio Roosegaarde previewed its latest act of self-described “techno-poetry” using state-of-the-art LED technology to create a spellbinding installation that streaks across the nighttime sky like the Northern Lights.

Feb. 25 2015 12:38 PM

This Airport’s Beloved Carpet Has Inspired Foot Selfies, Tattoos, and an IPA

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 Portland, Oregon’s cult airport carpet—can be played below. Or keep reading to learn more.

Feb. 24 2015 1:15 PM

Is This Text-Message Alert System for Pregnant Cows the Design of the Year?

London’s Design Museum revealed its 76 nominees for Design of the Year 2015 on Thursday. The list spans architecture, fashion, product design, digital design, graphics, and transport, and it includes high-profile projects such as Google’s self-driving car, a French supermarket campaign to reduce food waste by sellingmisshapen vegetables, and Norway’s cool redesigned banknotes. And, as part of what the Design Museum notes is the year’s strong theme of “the desire to harness new technologies to solve long-standing problems,” an Irish birth-monitoring gadget for cows called Moocall received a nomination.

Moocall noninvasively hooks onto the tail of a pregnant cow (unlike more invasive cow birthing monitors) and sends a text message to the farmer when the cow’s about an hour away from giving birth. Dreamed up by farmer Niall Austin, Moocall was designed to free up farmers from keeping vigil over pregnant cows and to help increase live births and farm profitability. The device, which the company says can be shared among 50 to 60 cows, uses 3-D motion sensors, algorithms, and an embedded roaming M2M SIM card that claims it can pick up even weak network signals.

Feb. 23 2015 11:51 AM

How Clever Lighting and Graphics Can Give New Life to Outdated Buildings 

The design world is full of stories about buzzy new architectural builds and gut renovations of dated structures. But the American landscape is still populated with dull or otherwise tired-looking buildings.

Because it isn’t feasible to tear down or completely reimagine every building in need of an overhaul, New York City–based ESI Design has created noninvasive solutions to give the interiors and exteriors of 20th-century buildings some 21st-century game with strategic LED lighting schemes, video installations, and graphics.

Feb. 20 2015 9:44 AM

Profanity-Laden Advice From an Inspirational Poster in Apple’s Design Guru Jony Ives’ Office

While reading the new profile of Apple design guru Jony Ive in the New Yorker, I found myself yearning for visuals when writer Ian Parker described the contents of Ive’s sketchbooks. Not to mention the décor of his office inside the Apple design studio: “Overlapping framed images leaned against the wall: a Banksy print of the Queen with the face of a chimpanzee, and a poster, well known in design circles, that begins, ‘Believe in your fucking self. Stay up all fucking night,’ and ends, many admonitions later, ‘Think about all the fucking possibilities.’ ”

So I wondered about the story behind the profane pep talk of an inspirational poster on the wall of the man who makes some of the most covetable design objects in the world.

Feb. 19 2015 10:49 AM

The New York Times Magazine Relaunches With Redesigned Logos and a Focus on Digital

The nearly 119-year-old New York Times Magazine is relaunching on Sunday with new features including a weekly poem, an updated logo, a new suite of fonts, and an abbreviated logo for use on social media.

“We have used the hammer and the tongs but perhaps not the blowtorch; we sought to manufacture a magazine that would be unusual, surprising and original but not wholly unfamiliar,” Jake Silverstein writes an editor’s letter about the redesign, which launches Sunday with “The Global Issue.”

Feb. 18 2015 10:58 AM

What Happens When an Online Video Game Shuts Down?

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 apocalypse of an online video game—can be played below. Or keep reading to learn more.

Feb. 17 2015 12:11 PM

These “Introji” Emojis Capture What Life Is Like for Introverts

Designer Rebecca Evie Lynch decided to create a series of emojis after her boyfriend of three years broke up with her, saying he needed more time alone. “I was surprised, as I've always considered myself an introvert, too,” she told Fast Company, “but I realized that my enthusiasm about being in a relationship sometimes overshadows my ability to read others’ signals.”

Feb. 13 2015 12:39 PM

Can Cheerful Décor Help Kids Heal? A London Hospital Recruited Designers to Test It Out.

Nobody likes hospitals, least of all children. Most are scary, sterile, and depressing, making a grim experience even grimmer. But sometimes design can play a role in distracting patients from the distressing business of being sick. We’ve seen design used to help children get over their fear of MRIs. And Vital Arts, the arts organization for Barts Health NHS Trust, a charitably funded program to improve the well-being of patients and hospital staff, has spent the last two years inviting designers to inject the pediatric ward of the Royal London Hospital with cheerful, life-affirming, brightly colored art and design.

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