I have a love/hate relationship with maps: I love to get lost in their intricate design, but I hate actually using them -- what with the folding and the tearing and the never-getting-it-exactly-the-right-shape-before-throwing-it-on-the-ground-in-frustration. Thank god for Emanuele Pizzolorusso's Crumpled City maps: they're actually designed to be wadded up in a ball without thinking.
Frédéric Chopin, as any aspiring pianist can attest, produced some of the most gorgeous, technically challenging piano pieces in the history of classical music. Now, there's an exhibition honoring the composer, and the design is every bit as complex as his work.
Cookbooks follow a simple recipe: list the ingredients, explain how they mix together, and include an image of the finished product. Covers are reserved for some maximalist jouissance-inducing meal like, say, a buttery brioche-cupped cheeseburger dripping with grease and melted roquefort. Throw in a picture of a smiling Gordon Ramsay wearing a cashmere sweater and holding a bowl of black truffles, and you got yourself a best seller.
Fire your shrink. Jens Dyvik, a freelance designer in Holland, has created a therapeutic robot that provides more intimate psychological coddling than you ever knew you needed. That's because you wear it.
There are few awards in the world of design as eagerly followed and proudly worn as the Industrial Design Excellence Awards--or IDEA--given out by the Industrial Designers Society of America. This year, Fast Company and Co.Design are happy to announce the winners--complete with detailed write-ups, images, a searchable database, and even an Olympics style infographic showing who leads in the medal count.
When confronted with the challenge of giving a gift to one of their clients, most firms tear into the Harry and David catalog or ship a flurry of Snuggies. But when giving a present to an architect (exactly who, they won't say), New York firm Pentagram commissioned one of their architecture partners, Daniel Weil, to design a custom clock befitting a design mind. Which is to say, Weil designed a timepiece that helps to explain, very simply, and elegantly, what makes a clock tick.
That object you see above isn't a box made of McDonald's coffee stirrers by a meth addict. Nope, "Shadow Cloud" was fabricated using 3-D printing, and it hides a bit of clever magic: Those little panels in the grid seem random, but they actually align at certain angles, thus creating distinct 2-D patterns. Three separate patterns, in fact.
Which means that when you shine a line through the thing, it creates three separate shadows. Prepare to be amazed:
We've all got books on our shelves that we know are amazing, but we just haven't quite, um... bothered to read. There's no shame in admitting David Foster Wallace's doorstop of a novel Infinite Jest is one of them. A thousand-page seriocomic vision of America's dystopian near-future (touching on everything from tennis to advertising run amok), Infinite Jest defies synopsis.