While they clearly did not hire a graphic designer to lay out the type, this sign cost the city money to design, produce, distribute and install. The entire point of these two symbols… …is that they don't require an explanation and can be understood by those who cannot read
The makeshift sidewalk lounge I wrote about earlier, sited on Baxter Street, is apparently experiencing growth in its numbers of patrons. The unseen people who populate this lounge--I've yet to catch them in the act, as I only pass this way in the morning--have amassed more furniture, including two rolling
Situated at an intersection of two streets that each have a slight grade, this restaurant has angled sidewalks on both its south and east faces. The restaurant owner had custom benches made to compensate for the grades on each side. But every morning when they open, the guy who pulls
Spotted in Chinatown, placed out on the curb as garbage. Some chef or butcher definitely got his or her money's worth out of this butcher block.
Sustainable Surf is a California-based nonprofit that seeks to use surf culture to get people interested in environmental issues concerning our oceans. When they recently teamed up with Mafia Bags, an upcycling bag manufacturing company, to create a useful backpack, they found the perfect designer for it: Yves Behar.
The reliability of New York City's overtaxed, delay-ridden subway system has declined precipitously in recent years. Individual tales of woe abound on social media; after a recent three-hour delay, this student even missed his own graduation. One of the worst commutes is the morning crush from overcrowded Williamsburg to
A fishing town in Ísafjörður, Iceland is experimenting with a way to get drivers to pay attention to the road. What they've come up with is this optical illusion: Artist Jenny McCracken did something similar in New Zealand: As did the New Delhi Municipal Council in India:
One of the best parts of camping is sitting around a fire with your friends--unless you're in that position where the wind is blowing the smoke directly in your face. BioLite has solved this with their FirePit, an intelligently-designed sort of floating hearth that uses 51 air jets to
Maybe you buy a backpack for your new camping hobby, then discover you hate camping. Or there's a two-year-old jacket in your closet that you hardly ever wear because it looked better on you in the store. Maybe you received a better bike light as a birthday gift, and now
Modernist Studio focuses on strategy and design work for big brands. In working with these companies, we've seen a theme around "owning the consumer." Each company is fighting to become front and center in people's lives, with a particular focus on the home. Big companies speak about locking in customers
For anyone who has experienced it firsthand, a visit to the gynecologist can easily be a dreaded one. Some purport the experience to be so awkward, they skip the opportunity to visit a doctor entirely, which can be seriously detrimental to a woman's overall health. Last week designers at frog
In this tutorial, I'll show you how to make a variety of useful zippered gear bags that are incredibly tough, lightweight and waterproof. This tutorial is intended for someone like me: familiar with rapid prototyping tools like 3d printers and laser cutters, reasonably competent with hand tools, but pretty clueless
Rapid prototyping is a core human-centered design skill. Design that Matters uses prototypes to better communicate with stakeholders across languages and cultures, quickly testing assumptions to efficiently converge on a final solution. This essay includes six examples of insights we gained using prototypes and how we taught these methods to our social enterprise partner, MTTS.
On Wednesday, Earther.com ran an article pointing out that with its power grid mostly destroyed, Puerto Rico has "an opportunity to completely transform the way electricity is generated [locally]." It described a local woman who had solar panels on her roof, granting her with electricity, unlike most of her neighbors
As designers, we naturally think of what systems could be devised to prevent tragedies like the mass shooting in Vegas. Realistically it would require a cocktail of procedures well beyond the scope of mere design, but let's go through some ideas here, some supplied by readers, as a mental exercise.
Google just announced their new Google Pixel Buds, which are way more exciting than they appear. About halfway through Google's product presentation, it was revealed that the buds are live-translating, meaning they allow seamless face-to-face communication between people that speak different languages. The presentation is the only demonstration out at
Humans will always invent mechanical contrivances that help them solve particular problems. By shaping materials and assembling parts in novel ways, these contrivances increased efficiency, whether they're eggbeaters, deli slicers or something more nefarious. Here we're going to look at the bump stock, which Stephen Paddock used to murder 58
As authorities search to find a motive behind Sunday's horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas, others are re-examining security measures. The police now state that 23 firearms were found in Stephen Paddock's suite, and it seems incredible that he was able to transport that amount of guns and hundreds of
There are things that we design to keep us safe from those who would do us harm: Pylons and cordons, bulletproof vests, security checkpoints, facial recognition software, personal firearms, criminal databases. But the tactics used by last night's mass killer in Las Vegas defied all of them. At 10:08pm
Engineer Nigel Gifford, who has completed over 1,000 parachute jumps, had a job you've probably never heard of: As a Captain in the British Army Catering Corps, his job was to feed soldiers in hostile environments. Given his specialty, after retirement he was approached by the British military and asked
Delivering crucial supplies to people on the ground is a logistics problem faced by both military and humanitarian organizations. One way to do it is via air drops, and we showed you some awesome footage of that here. But "The biggest problem we have with dropping relief supplies is, they
Over the summer, I read a moderately terrifying article in the Economist on what would happen if America lost electricity for a long period of time. If, say, hackers managed to infiltrate the system, or North Korea detonated a nuke 40 miles above Nebraska, or if a solar flare acted
Here's your chance to contribute to a Kickstarter where you can not only get some sweet product, but you can also support a company that harnesses the power of design to save babies' lives. Design That Matters, Tim Prestero's nonprofit design firm (which produces our Design Experience That Matters
HSD Ventures is currently developing LOA™, a lightweight and innovative full-face CPAP mask and app aimed at providing simplicity, comfort, and optimized airflow to people living with Sleep Apnea. Unlike traditional masks, which typically involve tubing extending from the front of the face, LOA’s pressurized air flows from the nose cup through tube channels flanking the patient’s cheekbones. The tube channels comfortably route around the user’s ears and terminate in an easily accessible location
Imagine living millennia ago, in a time when you've never seen a horse. Everywhere you and your tribe go is by walking. Then one of you discovers horses and figures out how to ride one. Now you've discovered the perfect sustainable transportation system. Horses eat grass, which is free. That
Designers have a critical role to play by envisioning products made with safe materials that can be perpetually cycled, and that eliminate the concept of "waste". The C2C Product Design Challenge enables current, emerging, and future designers to learn and apply critical strategies for envisioning products for the circular economy,
Nike's Flyknit has become synonymous with the brand, now used in everything from sneakers to sports bras. The knit material is more sustainable than many materials used in footwear and fashion, mainly due to its minimal waste production. But since Flyknit's conception in 2012, Nike has been more focused on
Homeless people need help, and in New York City they are not getting it. Our homeless population has exploded in recent years; last year the number hit a record-breaking 60,000. This has led some business owners in my downtown Manhattan neighborhood to hack their outdoor furniture. The streets immediately around
What happens when you plug your Prius in? Are you ultimately drawing power from coal, nuclear, wind, biomass? It depends on where you live. Most of us know that America generates its electricity from a multitude of sources, as shown in this graphic: However, that pie chart doesn't accurately represent
As we recently learned, much of our planet's supply of drinking water is infested with plastic microfibers. Single-use plastic items like shopping bags and drinking straws are some of the culprits. To combat the impact of discarded plastic bags on the environment, an Indonesian company called Avani has created
In the upcoming movie Downsizing, filmmaker Alexander Payne, the guy who did Election, Sideways and About Schmidt, has come up with a way to address the world's overpopulation crisis: Use science to shrink people down to just five inches in height. Think about it: You can have a huge house
Performance sneakers made from wool sound too warm and itchy to be true, so we were intrigued when Allbirds took to Kickstarter to pitch their Wool Runners to the world back in 2014—and reached their maximum target in just five days. When you think about this classic example of an
If you were my boss at an animal design firm and I submitted you this proposal sketch for a climbing animal, you'd probably think about firing me. There's nothing in the structure of this animal that suggests it would be good at scaling things. Well, maybe you've seen these photos that National Geo ran last year by photographer Adriano Migliorati:
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