We've told you before that we're serious Tolkien geeks, so it was probably inevitable that we'd get sucked into the new HBO series Game of Thrones, based on the novels of George R.R. Martin. It's been a mixed blessing.
Each year, the French Ministry for Culture and Communication invites a famous artist to throw up an installation in the Grand Palais, the stunning Beaux-Arts museum and exhibit space at the Champs-Élysées, in Paris. This year, Brit Anish Kapoor, of Chicago bean fame, was the chosen one, and he erected a set of giant, purple, rubber balls.
You may not necessarily be a designer if you're reading this blog, but you at least care about design. Which means you -- like me -- may often feel an itch to improve the interfaces of your own stuff: your blog, or your wedding site, or your online photo collection. Still, actually figuring out how to do that is a daunting prospect.
What you've got above is a personal project by Frog creative director Jonas Damon and one of the best-looking alarm clocks we've seen in a long time -- okay, in a few weeks, anyway. With its smooth beech-wood body and rounded edges, it harks back to the faux-grain GE flip clocks of yore, only it's better, cleaner -- it'd do Dieter Rams proud. There's just one hitch: It's a fake.
Creating a product for lunar travel means ultimate attention paid to mass, volume, and versatility. The Moon Life, created by United Nude -- the shoe company of Rem D. Koolhaas, big Rem's nephew -- isn't rocket-bound anytime soon, but it makes you wonder what our earthly products would look like if every designer were so economical.
Dutch photographer Robert Overweg has already blown our minds with his improbably dazzling snapshots of glitches in first-person shooter games, like Half Life and Left for Dead.
Type design is traditionally the province of the uber-anal. The constraints for creating legible letterforms from scratch are very, very strict. Until, sometimes, they aren't -- as in the case of Ruslan Khasanov, who was cleaning an ink brush in the sink one evening and noticed that if he painted the letterforms directly onto the porcelain and photographed them before they ran down the drain, the letters came out looking sublime.
We tend to assume that innovation happens in the same way, everywhere. But countries grow in different ways, and they also create intellectual capital in different ways. As varying innovation models blossom in Asia and the Middle East, we'd be wise to watch and learn. Let's start off with some trends: