Design

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Stanley Donwood, Pacific Coast, 2003, was used as the cover art for Radiohead’s Hail To The Thief, 2008. Image courtesy of the artist

Stanley Donwood, Radiohead and the power of musical artwork

Stanley Donwood has been designing Radiohead's artwork since 1994. Ahead of his retrospective at Sydney's Carriageworks this month, we consider the role of art in creating a band's visual identity.
What exactly are our current global character designs communicating? Juliana Cuervo

21st-century character designs reflect our concerns, as always

Characters are designed to respond to specific concerns relative to time and context. But as we move deeper into the 21st century, what are those concerns, and how do they differ from those in the 20th century?
Growth as cancel cells. National Cancer Institute, modified by Elizabeth Tunstall"

Degrowth: Japan models design for steady state economies

The Cool Japan program models how a new approach to the design industry might work in the degrowth economy. To paraphrase designer and engineer Buckminster Fuller, the best way to predict the future is to design it.
Menstrual art with raspberry syrup. Elizabeth Tunstall

Re-doing the cycle: menstrual power protests and design

The only approach that you don’t find used in menstrual power protests is the use of menstrual blood as a love charm. Perhaps that's because it taps into the deepest fears of people, especially of heterosexual men, of being entrapped by the power of women’s fertility.
There’s a difference between technologies that seek to augment versus those that seek to replicate or replace human processes. Kārlis Dambrāns

Un-doing awareness: do smart watches make dumb humans?

I think I have successfully talked my partner out of getting an Apple Watch. I generally do not interfere with his purchase decisions, but the description of the Apple Watch’s features, or those of any…
Classic Australian car design is on display at the National Gallery of Victoria. GENERAL MOTORS COMPANY, Detroit (manufacturer) United States est. 1908. GM HOLDEN LTD, Adelaide (coachbuilder) est. 1931. Pontiac all-enclosed coupe (Silver Streak) 1938 body designed Hartley Chaplin and Tom Wylie. Collection of Violet Cecil, Melbourne. NGV

More with less: Aussie innovation and the future of car design

We're not making cars in Australia anymore but the Shifting Gear exhibition at NGV showcases the best of local automobile design.
The 3D printing market is expected to be worth US$16.2 billion a year by 2018. EPA/Bas Czerwinski

The 3D revolution is upon us – and designers need better protection

3D printing is predicted to transform the business landscape of design-led innovation. But how well protected are Australian designs from unauthorised use? IP Australia – which administers Australia’s…
Is Doomsday Preppers simply a freakish version of Grand Designs? National Geographic Channel

Architecture of doom: DIY planning for global catastrophe

Environmental catastrophe, economic collapse, global pandemic … does it feel like the world is ending? If you think Armageddon is near and are trying to get ready, you are not alone. National Geographic…
The Briggs Family Tea Service tells the story of George Briggs and Woretermoeteyenner, during the early years of Tasmania. Trent Jansen

I merge Indigenous stories with my design – maybe others should too

In our personal and working lives, there are some lines that should not be crossed and others that must be. As a designer, crossing the line that exists between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian…
Bras have come a long way in 100 years. EPA/HO

The story of … the bra

This year marks the 100-year anniversary of the first bra patent. Amazingly for the time – 1914 – it was made by a woman in her twenties, Mary (Polly) Phelps Jacob (nee Crosby). Polly made her bra initially…
McIntyre House, a 60-year-old building, is a prototype of a well adapted response to the Australian climate. AIA

Enduring beauties: when buildings look good for their age

This year’s Australian Institute of Architects' (AIA) 2014 National Architecture Awards – to be awarded on November 6 – include a category called “Enduring Architecture”. Where a fast-paced “build and…
If you have an empty home, you’d better fill it soon. Sergey Peterman/Shutterstock

New UK copyright law will do nothing to help young designers

You probably don’t think much about the derivation of that lovely shelving in your living room, or that sleek, stylish lamp. But many of them will be copies of designs from the 20s, 60s, 80s. And despite…

How publishing works: a book designer’s perspective

Authors don’t write books, they write manuscripts. Publishing is the process of getting an author’s manuscript into the hands of a reader, by materialising it – giving it form, as a book. This may be printed…

Please un-do ‘booty’ pop videos

Dear Music Industrial Complex, Do you mind if I call you Mic? I normally don’t write about pop music, but I am upset. I know that sex sells, but may I make a special request of no more music videos consisting…
George Rose’s light is one of the products on display at this year’s Fringe Furniture exhibition. Anna Lorenzetto

Fringe Furniture: the products that help us understand who we are

Every product is a blabbermouth; it has a tendency to answer every question – and then some - Del Coates. Coates, an American industrial designer and design academic, is right. The processes and outputs…
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…

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