The Eye
Slate’s design blog.

July 3 2015 8:39 AM

Will Self-Driving Cars Spell the End of the American Road Trip?

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 automated cars—can be played below. Or keep reading to learn more.

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July 2 2015 11:56 AM

Paris Is Building Its Tallest Skyscraper in 40 Years

The project to build Paris’ first 21st-century skyscraper and the tallest building to be erected in the city in 40 years hit a major roadblock when the Paris City Council voted it down last November. But this week, the council voted to give the Tour Triangle (Triangle Tower) project, designed by Basel, Switzerland–based architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron, the green light.

Once completed in 2017, the skyline-altering 43-story tower will stand at 591 feet, making it the third-tallest structure in Paris after the Tour Montparnasse—roundly seen as one of the ugliest buildings in Paris, if not the world—and the tallest of them all, the 988-foot Eiffel Tower.

July 1 2015 9:04 AM

The Witty, Boundary-Pushing Creations of Book Designer Bruno Munari

Pablo Picasso called the great 20th-century Italian graphic designer Bruno Munari “the Leonardo of our time.” A creative polymath of the first order, Munari painted, sculpted, photographed, taught, and designed his way through life until his death in 1998 at the age of 90.

Published last month, Munari’s Books by art historian Giorgio Maffei is a tantalizing primer of this spirited bookmaking genius who never stopped reinventing his preferred medium. The first English-language monograph to focus on Munari’s book designs over seven decades, the collection features 60 of the innovative, light-hearted, expressive, and compelling books he designed and sometimes wrote, some of which are still in circulation.

June 30 2015 11:37 AM

Designers Honor Massimo Vignelli With 53 Original Posters

The spirit of the late great designer Massimo Vignelli, who died last year at age 83, will perhaps always haunt the streets and underground tunnels of New York City, where the signage and wayfinding system he designed for the subway with Bob Noorda in the late 1960s has become one of the city’s most familiar visual cues.

June 29 2015 11:46 AM

This Simple Iron Fish Is Halving Cases of Anemia in Cambodia

This year’s winner of the Grand Prix for product design at France’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is the Lucky Iron Fish. Although it looks like a souvenir shop tchotchke, the small iron fish is actually a brilliant low-tech solution to prevent the health-destroying consequences of anemia.

June 27 2015 8:41 AM

All 468 NYC Subway Station Signs in One Nerdy Poster

In 2014, designers Hamish Smyth and Jesse Reed of New York City design firm Pentagram launched a Kickstarter campaign to reprint the 1970 New York City Transit Authority Graphic Standards Manualdesigned by Massimo Vignelli and Bob Noorda as a limited-edition book, raising $800,000 from NYC-loving transportation geeks and design lovers who wanted a piece of iconic design history at home.  

Now Smyth has created a self-described “nerdy poster” that is an amalgamation of all 468 NYC subway station graphics. The Kickstarter project, in collaboration with his girlfriend, Alex Daly, and the MTA, has already raised more than $87,000 of its $29,800 goal, with 25 days left to go.

June 25 2015 8:51 AM

Air France Flight 447 and the Safety Paradox of Automated Cockpits

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 safety paradox of airplane automation—can be played below. Or keep reading to learn more.

June 24 2015 9:14 AM

Could These Microchips That Mimic Human Organs End Animal Testing?

This year’s eighth annual Design of the Year nominees from London’s Design Museum have highlighted diverse projects that help expand the definition of what design means, from a text message system for pregnant cows to an ad campaign promoting homely but delicious vegetables to reduce food waste.

But the overall 2015 winner, announced Monday, is the first time the museum has given top honors to a medical design: human “organs-on-chips,” designed by Donald Ingber and Dan Dongeun Huh at Harvard University’s Wyss Institute.

 

June 23 2015 9:06 AM

Is This the World’s Fanciest McDonald’s?

Every time I read another news story about how McDonald’s is closing restaurants and seemingly continuing its fall from grace, I sigh a little sigh of relief for the future of mankind.

Yet what looks like the world’s fanciest McDonald’s was erected recently in central Rotterdam, Netherlands, a showy redesign of its location on Coolsingel that appears to have more in common with an Apple store than a fast food chain.

June 22 2015 9:07 AM

These Colorful 1870s Census Maps Were Remade With Current U.S. Statistical Data

When statistician Nathan Yau of FlowingData came across the 56-page Statistical Atlas of the United States, first produced by the U.S. Census Bureau in 1874 using data from the 1870 census, he was annoyed to find that publishing of America’s stats in the beautiful maps and charts that were the precursors to modern-day infographics had ceased around 1920.

“With more data than ever, it seems like there should be one,” Yau writes on his website. “Maybe that's why there's isn't one. Too much data, too much of an undertaking, and too many bureaucratic decisions to make.”

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