France has a gift for injecting its historic buildings with dashes of spectacular modernism, and with the freshly completed Gaîté Lyrique, in Paris, the nation has elevated this to a high art. A fussy old theater built at the height of Napoleon Bonaparte's rule and later abandoned (locals took to calling it ?The Sad Mute?), the Gaîté Lyrique has been converted into a bright, experimental funhouse dedicated exclusively to the digital arts.
This is hands-down the craziest road vehicle we've seen in a long, long time. Dreamed up by four German design students and built like a cross between a Tron Light Cycle and our childhood tricycle, it accelerates to 18.6 miles per hour, powered by nothing but a pair of Bosch 18-volt screwdrivers.
"Nobody walks in LA," sang the Missing Persons, and you know it's true if you've ever driven in Los Angeles (while everyone else also tries to drive in Los Angeles). The Texas Transportation Institute continually ranks Los Angeles as its most congested city and the city has the highest Commuter Pain Index of any U.S. city. But just how bad is the horrible traffic? A new video shows 24 hours of the city's soul-crushing gridlock:
When architect David Lamolla Kristiansen's first daughter was born, he vowed to dedicate his time to creating a special place "just for her" where "she could discover and develop without the direct intervention of her parents." The result, SmartPlayhouse, is a clutch of tres chic, modernist playhouses that are great for kids alright -- and even better for their design-obsessed parents.
My mother-in-law recently reorganized my whole apartment while I was away on a business trip. This kind of thing would make most men pop a vein, but the truth is, she improved things 1000%. The only problem? She filled our bathroom with the same old wicker-and-beige housewares that have been making men cringe since time immemorial. But what else was she supposed to do, with no other options? Well, if I'd had a magic wand and an expense account, I'd have directed her to Vipp's new line of manly-man kitchen and bath furnishings.
By now, we're all familiar with the idea of a carbon footprint -- and the fact that Americans have the largest carbon footprints in the world. But what about water? The truth is that Americans are even more wanton water-users than they are carbon emitters. To wit: Did you know that every year, Americans use three times the water as the French, even though our per capita GDP's are comparable? And it's not because the French don't bathe -- the trend holds when you compare us to almost all developed countries.
It has been thirty-three years since I was thrown head first and feet kicking from the comforts of Xerox's design lab into the world of brilliant psychologists and programmers working at Xerox PARC on the first touch-screen interface.