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The geodesic dome speaks to us of science fiction futures and transformative living. Montreal Biosphere, Wikimedia Commons

Sublime design: the geodesic dome

From hippie houses and kids’ play frames to military radar stations and mountaineering tents, the geodesic dome has fascinated people as a way of building. Why? Simply because it is so extraordinarily…
A utilitarian, no-waste ethos was at the heart of Stepanova’s fashion and design ideas. Designs by Stepanova in LEF magazine, 1923.

Sublime design: Varvara Stepanova’s unisex sports uniform

A peculiar thing happened in Russia in the early 1920s. Abstract art, often considered the pinnacle of elitism and high art, was instead employed by artists as a testing ground for ideas that promised…
While design alone cannot solve global poverty, the Moneymaker pump is making a difference for many Africans. Esther Havens/ Kickstart.org

Sublime design: the KickStart MoneyMaker pump

Designers aim to change peoples’ lives, ideally for the better. The American co-founders of design and development company KickStart, Martin Fisher and Nick Moon, set themselves a particularly difficult…
Irrespective of your button pressing technique, unfortunately the wait will always be the same. Dave Young

Sublime design: the PB/5 pedestrian button

We are more likely to thump this instantly recognisable design, on a daily basis, than to give it much thought. The PB/5 pedestrian button, a type of “Audio-Tactile Pedestrian Detector” (ATPD), is a successful…
The classic Queenslander, whose design can be easily modified to suit our contemporary lifestyles. Wikimedia Commons

Sublime design: the Queenslander

The Queenslander house is a classic piece of Australian architectural design. With its distinctive timber and corrugated iron appearance, it breaks the monotony of the bland, master-planned display villages…
In 1999, the Mini was voted the second most influential car of the 20th century. Flickr

Sublime design: the Mini

Car enthusiasts say the [Mini]((http://www.mini.com.au/index.html’) has endured because it is fun - fun to drive and fun to look at. However, as a design, the Mini endures because of how its designers…
The Lego brick has now become a basic module of virtual “brickworlds”. Andreas

Sublime design: Lego

“Danish design” usually conjures up images of mid-century modern furniture – functional yet sculptural – but Denmark’s most successful “design icon” is a humble plastic brick: Lego. In 2013, the Lego Group…
Le Corbusier drew influence from the machine age for Villa Savoye, inspired by his fascination with steamships. End User

Sublime design: Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye

Some 33 kilometres outside of Paris, in the town of Poissy, sits a true “design classic”, Villa Savoye. The work of seminal Swiss architect Le Corbusier, Villa Savoye is a constructed experiment, a manifesto…
When is a map not a map? When it’s a diagram. Roger Wollstadt

Sublime design: the London Underground map

What makes a design “classic”? That it stands the test of time through continued use, critical recognition and popular approval? Or is it simply that its vision and innovation results in it being regarded…
The Moog, 2014 Model Sub 37 – producer of squelchy bass lines and distorted expressive solos. Wikimedia Commons

Sublime design: the Moog synthesiser

The classic sound many of us imagine when the word synthesiser is mentioned is the sound of the Moog – the warm, solid propulsive groove of its bass sound and the distinctive sweep of its patented lowpass…
The Tibetan Book of Proportions, produced in Nepal during the 18th century. The Public Domain Review

Sublime design: an ode to the layout grid

Staring at a blank page is daunting. Where to make the first mark? As designers have known for centuries, one way is to start with a grid. A grid is a structure of lines used by designers to help organise…

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