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With dense urban centers and housing that was built hundreds of years ago, Europeans have long known how to make their tiny spaces feel triumphant. But this apartment in the Montparnasse neighborhood of Paris is an above-and-beyond exemplar of hyper-efficient, micro-urban living. Architects Marc Baillargeon and Julie Nabucet carved a 130-square-foot space out of a Hausmann-style building to create a flexible yet utterly comfortable pied-à-terre. “Our approach to architecture is that the house is not so much a machine for living, but a tool for living well,” says Baillargeon.
Nowadays it’s hard to imagine a time when graphic design didn’t involve sitting in front of a computer screen. Perhaps that’s why it is so intriguing to look through this collection of vintage Chinese graphic designs from the 1920′s and 1930′s. The illustrations come from the book Chinese Graphic Design in the Twentieth Century by Scott Minick and Jiao Ping. Lu Xun , who introduced modern woodblock techniques to China, influenced many of the design artists at the time. See Also IN THE HEIGHT OF THE DEPRESSION: VANITY FAIR MAGAZINE According to 50 Watts, “Lu Xun taught many Western techniques [and] he always encouraged designers to seek inspiration in Chinese design history.”
by Maria Popova From visual puns to the grid, or what Edward Tufte has to do with the invention of the fine print. Design history books abound, but they tend to be organized by chronology and focused on concrete -isms.
The bathroom is one place in the house where you can decorate it in an understated sexy way. The new line of shower collections from Graff aims to redefine high-end design with home luxury by introducing a steel rain shower with body level sprays, all while looking sleek and chic. The main attraction of the Ametis collection is the shower fixture itself, which features an incomplete O-shape that can be adjusted to different water settings, from rain to waterfall. Two body sprays are also placed along the shaft for extra cleaning and water pressure.
It’s a straightforward little device but may appeal to some photographers using more advanced cameras — we’re talking about the Flash Dock, a new hot shoe smartphone dock that enables easy access to a number of apps designed to help improve your photography and add functionality to your camera set-up. But is it really a helpful photographic accessory or merely a simple smartphone holder that allows you to speak hands-free or play a game of Draw Something while you wait for your subject to strike the right pose? You be the judge. Developed by France-based Pocket Demo, founder Bruno Rousseau explained the idea behind Flash Dock .
You’d think that in the second decade of the 21st century, cords, wires, and antennas would be rendered obsolete. While we’re still on our way to a completely wireless lifestyle, IKEA has come up with an immediate solution to our hatred for cables with the UPPLEVA entertainment system that can discreetly hide your wires so you can enjoy a sleek and clutter-free room. The UPPLEVA system contains a smart TV that has all the outlets, USB, and HDMI slots along the sides, so it maintains a thin exterior. All the cable wires can be stored in the back of the television stand to keep them out of sight. And a universal remote control will be able to access all of these devices, sending sensor through the doors so you can keep everything looking minimal.
Pringles are pretty delicious. Where I used to work, the HR person will often restock the kitchen’s snack table with various goodies and Pringles were always the first to run out. But the tall, narrow tube design is difficult for sharing, and the more you munch into the chips, the deeper you have to reach into the tube. That’s awkward design. In comes the redesigned packaging for Pringles by young interior designer Dohyuk Kwon who created a way for the chips to be more shareable.
Dyson , the company that makes all those expensive and attractive vacuums and fans, has done it again. That is, it's rolled out another vacuum cleaner you might not buy but sucks up dirt in novel ways. The Dyson DC39, unveiled today, looks similar to the company's previous compact cylinder vacuums , but it's actually quite different. The DC39 reinvents the Dyson Ball design that's in some of Dyson's stand-up models and modifies it for the small form factor of a canister vacuum.
by Maria Popova A lucid reflection on the role and culture of design by one of the most iconic and influential designers of all time. Legendary design duo Charles and Ray Eames shaped the mid-century modern aesthetic and influenced the voice of design for decades to come.
by Maria Popova Paul Rand (1914-1996) — design legend, professional curmudgeon, uncompromising businessman . He is best remembered as the author of Thoughts on Design (1947), one of the most important design books of all time , but nearly half a century later, he produced another indispensable tome: From Lascaux to Brooklyn , published mere months before his death, gathers his life’s wisdom on the basic principles of design, creativity, and timeless visual communication. From it comes this absolute gem, which echoes Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, and Anne Lamott’s sentiments on intuition vs. rationality , succinctly captures Steve Jobs’ famous advice on dot-connecting , and reflects my own philosophy of combinatorial creativity : The role of the imagination is to create new meanings and to discover connections that, even if obvious, seem to escape detection. Imagination begins with intuition, not intellect.”
H60 x W80cm A road map made up of 390 song titles: from Highway to Hell to Penny Lane, Itchycoo Park to Heartbreak Hotel. The print, which was inspired by our own unhealthy obsession with music, is for fellow music geeks and includes an A-Z key listing all featured songs along with the names of who sang them.
Designers come from every background imaginable. They teach themselves, go to art school, or even begin as developers, business owners, etc. But no matter how a designer gets started, somehow the lure catches their eye and ropes them in permanently. If you’re hooked, there’s typically no going back.
by Maria Popova Unpacking the secrets of happiness and creativity one poster at a time. What better way to kick off the new year than with words of wisdom from those who have threaded before us? That’s precisely the premise of advice to sink in slowly , a wonderful project enlisting design graduates in passing on advice and inspiration to first-year students through an ongoing series of posters — part Live Now , part Everything Is Going To Be OK , part Wisdom , part something completely refreshing, based on the idea that we all have subjective wisdom we wish we’d known earlier, but often don’t get a chance to pass it on to those who can benefit from it in a way that makes them pay heed. Advice is subjective. But, by passing on advice in a creative way, it is possible to create something that lasts, that people will want to live with and which can let the advice sink in slowly and help out later on.”
“Q Confucius No.2″ by Chinese artist Zhang Huan is a massive, life-like statue of Confucius . Crafted from steel, silicone, carbon fiber, and acrylic, the statue is animatronic—its chest rises and falls to simulate breathing. The statue is part of Zhang Huan’s “Q Confucius” exhibition at the Rockbund Art Museum in Shanghai. “Q Confucius” is open through January 29, 2012. via designboom Here are some other posts from our archives you might find interesting.
For many Arabs, 2011 has been spent peacefully resisting police brutality, or watching events unfold through Twitter streams and grainy YouTube footage. As the Arab Spring enters its second year, the initial shock has begun to die down, and Arab artists have begun to reflect on the incidents of the past year. Memories will perhaps consist of YouTube clips of shaky mobile phone footage, strung together over the nostalgic music.
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