Streams

Design

The Takeaway

In Age of Digital Art, Pencils Still Have a Place

Thursday, May 21, 2015

A new photography exhibit in London shows how artists' pencils reflect their personalities. Photos of pencils from Stephen Fry, Dave Eggers and others are featured. 

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Studio 360

9,000 Takes on "Do Not Disturb"

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A retired UN worker shares his vast collection of "Do Not Disturb" signs from hotels around the world.
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Studio 360

Composing Poetry with Predictive Text

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The iPhone's latest texting feature is inadvertently becoming an art form for the digital age. 
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99% Invisible

165- The Nutshell Studies

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore, Maryland is a busy place. Anyone who dies unexpectedly in the state of Maryland will end up there for an autopsy. On an average day, they might perform twelve autopsies; on … Continue reading

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Song Exploder

tUnE-yArDs - Water Fountain

Monday, May 18, 2015

In this episode, Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs breaks down "Water Fountain." It's a song that draws inspiration from the politics of drought and dancehall reggae, and you'll hear how (and why) she tried to make this song less catchy. Despite that effort, in 2014 the tUnE-yArDs album Nikki Nack climbed the Billboard Charts and got widespread critical praise.

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99% Invisible

164- The Post-Billiards Age

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

We live in a post-billiards age. There was an age of billiards, and it has been over for so long, most of us have no idea how huge billiards once was. For many decades, starting in the mid-19th Century, billiards … Continue reading

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99% Invisible

163- The Gruen Effect

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Retail spaces are designed for impulse shopping. When you go to a store looking for socks and come out with a new shirt, it’s only partly your fault.  Shops are trying to look so beautiful, so welcoming, the items so enticingly displayed and … Continue reading

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Song Exploder

John Lunn - Downton Abbey

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

The British TV show Downton Abbey is the most popular drama in PBS history, with over 10 million viewers per episode, and more Emmy nominations than any non-US show ever. The theme music is one of its signatures, but it was originally written as a piece of score for the first episode, and then later condensed and turned into the version that appears in the opening credits. The music was recorded by a chamber orchestra, all at once, in the same room, so in order to isolate different pieces for Song Exploder, we went back to composer John Lunn’s original demo compositions, made with samples in the computer. In this episode, you'll get to hear how those two compare.

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99% Invisible

162- Mystery House

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

According to legend, Sarah Winchester’s friends advised the grieving widow to seek the services of a Boston spiritual medium named Adam Koombs. The story goes, Koombs put Mrs. Winchester in touch with her deceased husband—but William had bad news. He told … Continue reading

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Song Exploder

My Morning Jacket - Spring (Among the Living)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Jim James is the lead singer of the Grammy-nominated band My Morning Jacket. Since starting in 1998, they've put out six albums, and in this episode, Jim breaks down the song Spring (Among The Living), from their soon-to-be released seventh album, The Waterfall.

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99% Invisible

161- Show of Force

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

During World War II, a massive recruitment effort targeted students from the top art schools across the country. These young designers, artists, and makers were being asked to help execute a wild idea that came out of one the nation’s most conservative organizations: the United … Continue reading

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Times Square as a Model for the World

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Low-cost projects, like the Times Square pedestrian plazas, could transform the way urban space is used in cities around the world.

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99% Invisible

160- Perfect Security

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The pursuit of lock picking is as old as the lock, which is itself as old as civilization. But in the entire history of the world, there was only one brief moment, lasting about 70 years, where you could put … Continue reading

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Song Exploder

Toro y Moi - Half Dome

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Over the past five years, Chaz Bundick, aka Toro y Moi, has made music that's spanned a range of genres and styles. On his newest album, What For?, he shifted styles again. In this episode, Chaz explains why. He'll break down the song Half Dome, named after a landmark in Yosemite National Park that's a popular hike, but also a difficult one.

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99% Invisible

159- The Calendar

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

A month is hardly a unit of measurement. It can start on any day of the week and last anywhere from 28 to 31 days. Sometimes a month is four weeks long, sometimes five, sometimes six. You have to buy … Continue reading

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Studio 360

The Pantheon: A Lesson in Designing With Light

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Steven Holl is one of America’s most respected architects. When he first went to Rome as a student, he discovered the building that would shape his career.

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Song Exploder

RJD2 - Games You Can Win (feat. Kenna)

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

RJD2 has been making music since 2002. His song "A Beautiful Mine" was turned into the opening credits music for Mad Men. He's a producer and beatmaker, but also a singer and songwriter. But for the vocals on the song "Games You Can Win," he tapped Kenna, a Grammy-nominee whom Malcolm Gladwell wrote about in Blink. In this episode, you’ll get to hear the parts that make up the track, as well as the unreleased demo vocals that RJ originally recorded himself.

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99% Invisible

158- Sandhogs

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Eighty years ago, New York City needed another tunnel under the Hudson River. The Holland Tunnel and the George Washington Bridge could no longer handle the mounting traffic between New Jersey and Manhattan. Thus began construction of the Lincoln Tunnel. But this is not a … Continue reading

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Song Exploder

How to Dress Well - Pour Cyril

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

In an interview with Belgian filmmakers the Dardenne brothers, talking about the kinds of stories they tell, Luc Dardenne says, "Human suffering; that interests us very much." It also interests Tom Krell, a songwriter and producer who goes by the name How to Dress Well. After seeing one of the Dardenne brothers films, The Kid with a Bike, he was inspired to make the song "Pour Cyril." In this episode, he'll dig deep into that where that inspiration led him, from transformations within the song, to within the film, and within himself.

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99% Invisible

54- The Colour of Money (R)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

United States paper currency is so ubiquitous that to really look at its graphic design with fresh eyes requires some deliberate and focused attention. Pull a greenback out from your wallet (or look at a picture online) and really take … Continue reading

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