The art of go-kart racing dates back to the late 1930s, when various small, open-wheeled race cars were first developed and used in organized races around oval tracks. The sport caught on, peaking in the 1950s, but eventually faded out over the following decade. It's an art that Douglas Varey,
If you've been following the elections in any way this year, you, too, might have found yourself ruminating on the apocalypse, and any number of routes that might take us as a society toward our inevitable demise. I know I sure have. From the wrong man getting his tiny, grubby
If I had to pick a favorite material, it would be aluminum foil—hands down. Great for everything from perfectly packaging a slice of leftover pizza to creating impenetrable hats and even keeping aliens from reading your brain waves, the malleable, silver material is pretty fantastic. Chris Shanck agrees. In
Perfection is overrated. In a world of mass production and assembly lines automated down to the smallest rote task, discovering imperfections or mistakes can feel refreshing. It's those imperfections that Camilla Wedelboe Monsrud is interested in exploring, and what set the groundwork for Inside Out, a series of objects
Never Too Much is the name Swiss designers Sarah Kueng and Lovis Caputo gave to a series of leather bowls they created last year—a name that immediately suggests the wide-brimmed, candy-colored vessels are nothing short of just right. Crafted from hand-painted leather and completed in 2015, the collection resembles something
Material choice is a critical decision for every product, an essential phase of the design process defined by material swatches and samples, perhaps a few prototypes, all to ensure that the final product will convey the perfect look and feel. But for Qualities of Material, the latest collection to come
As I sit on my couch writing what's sure to be another titillating session of In the Details, I can't help but turn my neck every time I catch—or think I catch—the flicker of my glowing rectangle. I turned off vibration mode because I began to sense its familiar
Plenty of people tout innovative uses for recycled plastic, from vertical gardens made out of discarded plastic bottles to this unnecessarily robust coin purse. But, at the end of the day, many of these designs fall short because they're not creating a product that is desirable when divorced from the
When I first stumbled upon Jongjin Park's Artistic Stratum series, I thought I was looking at giant, deformed sponges, not a series of delicately fired ceramics. The beautiful pieces, glazed in pastel pinks and cobalt blues, are a far cry from the typical pottery porn that has been making the
Summertime is already in full swing in New York, and with that comes the dreaded air conditioner install: first dragging it from the depths of the closet (if you're fortunate enough to have one), then struggling to get it into your window, mounted and sealed—all without dropping it out the
My body now reacts in a visceral, often painful way to any product with the word 'smart' slapped in front of it, but the SMART SLAB from SapienStone is actually pretty smart—in concept, at least. Debuted at Milan Design Week earlier this year, SMART SLAB is a table from SapienStone
Here's a strong statement: One of the chairs that made its debut at Clerkenwell Design Week in London might actually change lives. Unveiled alongside abstract panel discussions and amorphous pavilions, experience design agency Layer announced the world's first 3D-printed consumer wheelchair. The GO wheelchair was presented as a prototype, and
Rainy days are a bummer enough without having to slosh around in a frumpy raincoat and boots. That's why The Arrivals' latest take on the waterproof poncho feels like a ray of sunshine, providing super stylish yet functional garb to combat anything Mother Nature might send your way.
Impossible Project has long been working to breathe new life into instant film photography since Polaroid announced the end of instant film back in 2008. Since stepping in to buy the last remaining Polaroid factory only days before it shut its doors, the company has been committed to reinventing instant
There's something almost accidental about Sebastian Brajkovic's distorted Lathe series—like what might happen if you were to grab the edge of a chair to move it, but instead of moving, it transformed into putty in your hands, pooling up and pouring onto the floor as it dragged across the room.
I think we can all agree that tacos are delicious. We can probably also agree that single-pod, single-serving machines like Tassimo, Nespresso and Keurig are some of industrial design's worst gifts to humanity and could be single-handedly destroying the world. Flatev is a new product soon to hit the
I first spotted the work of Samuel Amoia two years ago during New York's Design Week. Glittering and glorious, the cast crystals and coffee grounds embedded in concrete at AMMA's booth caught my eye and I've been enraptured ever since. (Great pro-tip for all you designers trying to catch the
Rarely do we sit down for a meal these days that isn't interrupted by the flickering of phones, as meal-goers look down to check various notifications and status updates. Sure, there's the phone stack or this handkerchief, but those solutions don't address the root of the problem: that constant interruption
As I draft this article, I'm sitting at my desk with the sun beating down on me from a nearby window. It's hot. I am uncomfortable. Sure, I could get up, walk over to the window and close the blinds — but shouldn't they just do that for me? Automagically?
Designers have long looked to nature as a source of inspiration, drawing upon its tried and true systems to build everything from velcro to bullet trains. But, what about when it comes to capturing the 'sense' of a plant? Or the feeling of its growth? These less tangible characteristics are
As a child, I had a mild fear of the dark. Okay, I would scream hysterically whenever left in a pitch black room. I had a Peter Cottontail nightlight for most of my childhood, upgrading to a plain white one in the hallway for a few years after that, and
Whether it's an armchair charred by a blowtorch or something that looks like it belongs in Pee Wee's playhouse, I can spot the work of Dutch designer Maarten Baas from a mile away. His strange organic forms and material experimentations demand an emotional response and can be off-putting and intriguing.
Anyone who has worked in an open office knows the distractions that can come with it, especially in the unwanted-noise department. Between endless coworker conversations and the maddening jangle of keys in someone's pocket, somewhere, an open space meant to encourage collaboration and cross-pollination can end up doing more harm
When I first heard that the musician Annie Clark, aka St. Vincent, had designed a guitar especially made for women's bodies—as has been reported on FastCoExist, Mashable, Buzzfeed and elsewhere—I was stoked to find out more. I remember when my sister went to buy her first electric guitar circa 2006,
Close your eyes. Imagine that you're on a boat, floating somewhere in the South China Sea. The feeling is calming, and probably not too far off from the sensation of soaking in a bathtub, letting the water lap around your ankles and toes. It's that image that inspired Otaku, a
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: rugs are incredibly underrated, and I'm thrilled to see more and more designers starting to pay attention to the humble textiles underfoot. This week we have another example: colorful squirted-foam rugs made by the designers at Nightshop, an experimental product studio
While I admittedly dread the seasonal turnover from tinseled holiday wreaths to heart-shaped chocolate boxes, this year I have something new to look forward to. Ti Chang and her team at Crave have recently announced the Crave Bullet, their elevated modern take on the traditional bullet vibrator. Since its
No matter where you’re from, it’s likely that your culture has a specific ritual around drinking. In Bahrain, it’s customary to drink hot tea from glass cups—and for the Miami-based designer Bradley Bowers, witnessing this simple ritual on a Persian Gulf trip sparked an idea for a set of drinkware
“The problem with existing task lights is that they are usually point-sourced and one directional—sharp shadows at weird angles—and they take up desk space. Ceiling lights provide uniform, even lighting but they are usually in the center of the room, and don’t light up your desk well unless it is right in the middle. There was nothing in between.”
The Swiss type foundry Grilli Type likes to do as much as it can to bring its letterforms to life. “For us, it's always important to also create this visual world around our typefaces, to make them more than just those black-and-white shapes that we know nobody will ever care
I'm a firm believer that rugs are incredibly underrated. All day, every day they are the subtle cushioning between us and the hard, cruel and often cold world, er, floor. Luckily, rugs seem to be enjoying a resurgence, with new inventions in a myriad of styles and techniques. One of
Inspiration can be found in the darndest places, but the spark behind Miniforms' Caruso Cabinet is one of the strangest sources we've heard of yet: clip art. Yes, those gloriously rudimentary graphics that came pre-loaded with your word processing and presentation software back in the day (or maybe still —
In my weekly In the Details column, I take a deep-dive into the making of a new product or project, always with the goal of figuring out how exactly the thing was made and why it was made that way. In 2015, I encountered all manner of innovative design and
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