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Design

Studio 360

...and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas starts earlier every year, and perhaps the wreaths and peppermint mochas have you rolling your eyes. If so, too bad! It’ll be over soon enough, so light a pine-scented candle, set your Pandora to "Jingle Bells," and dig in to the Studio 360 Christmas archive. ...

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99% Invisible

99% Invisible-43- Accidental Music of Imperfect Escalators

Monday, December 19, 2011

“There’s a secret jazz seeping from Washington’s aging Metro escalators - those anemic metal walkways that fill our transit system…they honk and bleat and squawk…why are you still wearing those earbuds?” - -Chris Richards,

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Please Explain: Polyester and Synthetics

Friday, December 16, 2011

Earlier this year we looked at the natural fibers wool and silk, and this week we’re talking about polyester and other synthetics! Polyester is used in carpeting, building materials, and clothing. Sean Cormier, assistant professor in the Textile Design and Marketing Department at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and Jill Dumain, Director of Environmental Strategy at Patagonia, explain how polyester and other synthetics are made and how they’re used.

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Radiolab

Radiolab Presents: 99% Invisible

Monday, December 12, 2011

Roman Mars loves to spotlight the seams and joints that make up the world around us. He's the host of an irresistible podcast called 99% Invisible--a series of tiny radio stories that provoke enormous questions. Roman joins Jad and Robert to play a few favorites, and to chat about the hidden language of design that shapes our lives--from sound effects to stuff that’s more ... concrete.

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Transportation Nation

NY MTA Launches Weekender Website (Again) to (Re)Clear Up Info Clutter

Friday, December 09, 2011

The faded lines (B, D, Q,) indicate there is no service this weekend on the new(ish) MTA special weekend website the Weekender.

The NY MTA unveiled another redesign for weekend service announcements today, The Weekender website 1.5. If that sounds familiar, it's because it is. This version of the special weekend edition of mta.info website is a revamp of the a previous Weekender launched in September.

Before that it had been paper announcements posted in stations that took about as long to decipher as a crosstown bus ride. The problem: the list of trains out of service for weekend construction projects is long, massive, ever changing, and perpetually perplexing to riders.

So the MTA is making a concerted effort to assuage ride anger at confusing weekend service disruptions. This quick iteration adding design tweaks is a sign the agency is taking messaging more seriously than in years past.

In the press release announcing Weekender 1.5, the MTA touted that it had responded to rider criticism of the first edition and incorporated some of the suggestions that poured in. There is now a searchable station box to find info on your station faster, more zooming, and some color changes--though it's still hard to notice out of service lines and stations if you're not that astute at noticing coloration.

In the image above the shading indicates that the B, D, and Q lines are out of service for instance. Below, you can see the Dyckman street station on the 1 line is out, it flashes on the web version, but is still easy to miss. (Arrows ours)

The best part about the website though has nothing to do with planning your trip. You can dive in to a beautiful triumph of design and scroll around a modified version of the iconic Massimo Vignelli 1972 subway map, a treat for graphic designers, cartophiles, and transit buffs alike!

If this interface doesn't suit your fancy, there's still third party apps like HopStop that integrate the same service disruption information in different formats that might be more useful.

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99% Invisible

99% Invisible-42- Recognizably Anonymous

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Anonymous is not group. It is not an organization. Rob Walker describes Anonymous as a “loosely affiliated and ever-changing band of individuals who… have been variously described as hackers, hacktivists, free-expression zealots,

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99% Invisible

99% Invisible-41- The Human-Human Interface

Friday, December 02, 2011

Paola Antonelli is the Senior Curator in the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art. Her most recent blockbuster show, Talk to Me, explored the communication between people and objects: from chairs that talk to subway kiosks.

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Features

Holiday Window Displays, Off the Beaten Path

Monday, November 28, 2011

There’s no shortage of interesting holiday store displays up in the city this time of year, and WNYC wants to see the best ones in your neighborhood. Upload your snapshots and check out our slideshow of creative holiday windows here.

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99% Invisible

99% Invisible-40- Billy Possum

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

It’s totally unfair. Hydrox cookies came out four years before the introduction of Oreos, but Hydrox could never shake the image that it was a cheap knock-off, an also-ran. As a consumer product, it’s completely out of your hands if you’re deemed...

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99% Invisible

99% Invisible-39X- The Biography of 100,000 Square Feet

Friday, November 18, 2011

United Nations Plaza sits in the center of San Francisco. Most people consider it a complete failure as a public space. Its central feature, at the entrance of the plaza, is a unique fountain that was designed by Lawrence Halprin in 1975.

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Studio 360

Our Next Redesign: You Decide

Friday, November 18, 2011

Five years ago, Studio 360 redesigned Christmas. We commissioned the design firm Pentagram to come up with a fresh, 21st century concept for the holiday that could be used — and loved — universally. Since then we've done several other redesigns, including of the rainbow Gay Flag, Valentine's Day, and the Monopoly boardgame.

What do you think we should redesign next?

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Features

All Hail the Wale: Corduroy Enthusiasts Dress to Impress for 11/11/11

Friday, November 11, 2011

This Friday is all about the 11s. The date — 11/11/11 — bears special significance for gamblers, newlyweds, math nerds, and of course, our troops. But the palindrome has also found a major following among fans of corduroy.

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Studio 360

Our Next Redesign

Friday, November 11, 2011

Five years ago on the show we redesigned Christmas. The whole holiday. We hired the graphic designer Michael Beirut, of the firm Pentagram, to come up with a fresh, 21st century concept that could be used — and loved — universally. Since then we've done all kinds of redesigns of symbols and holidays ...

What should Studio 360 redesign next?  Tell us!

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Transportation Nation

Photo Detour: Chevrolet Speedometers from 1941 - 2011

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

1949 Chevy Speedometer (from Annyas.com)

Christian Annyas has collected Chevrolet's speedometer designs from 1941 to the present.

A scan through the ages reveals a bevy of fonts evolving with contemporary style. Speed ambitions vary by make and change with the times, and the designs vary from rounded shapes to flat lines.

What's most surprising is the speed these gauges cover: you might expect the Corvette to top out at 160 m.p.h., but it's the 2008 Chevy Cruze that that maxes out the speedometer at 220 m.p.h.

See the photo set here at Annyas.com. (h/t PSFK)

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99% Invisible

99% Invisible-39- Darth Vader Family Courthouse

Friday, October 28, 2011

It’s hard to imagine a place where more desperate and depressing drama unfolds on a daily basis than a family courthouse- custody battles, abuse, divorce- and if you were to design a place to reflect and amplify that misery, not mitigate it,

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Jennifer Tipton on the Art of Lighting Design

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tony Award-winning lighting designer Jennifer Tipton talks about her work and her two pieces in Lincoln Center’s upcoming White Light Festival: “Necessary Weather” and “Spectral Scriabin.” The collaborative works explore the interplay be light and movement and light and sound.

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Studio 360

Private Space Gone Public at Wall Street

Friday, October 14, 2011

Kurt Andersen and Michael Kimmelman head to Lower Manhattan to check out the transformation of Zuccotti Park, the plaza at the center of the Occupy Wall Street protest. Kimmelman is the architecture critic for the New York Times. The protesters haven’t built permanent structures, but Kimmelman believes they are creating ...

Slideshow: On Location at Zuccotti Park

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99% Invisible

99% Invisible-38- Sound of Sport

Thursday, October 13, 2011

If Dennis Baxter and Bill Whiston are doing their job right, you probably don’t notice that they’re doing their job. But they are so good at doing their job, that you probably don’t even know that their job exists at all.

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The Takeaway

Flash Forward: Urban Fly Lines and Landing on Water

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

How people move on planet Earth affects everything about the quality of their lives. Humans have always thought of motion collective or otherwise as extensions of their individual physical bodies. Transportation involves people and machines interacting intimately. Think of it as putting on and taking off a "car suit" to drive, or a much larger "airplane suit" to fly. Thinking of transportation in this sense, how humans conduct their day-to-day lives seems much less efficient.

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The Takeaway

The Creative Class: How Detroit and Berlin Have Drawn Revitalizing Artists

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Detroit and Berlin both know something about abandoned buildings. After the fall of the wall when the former east opened up, parts of Berlin looked a lot like Detroit today, where scores of buildings stood unclaimed, their purpose unclear. While officials worked on a city’s future, Germans like Dimitri Hegemann, relished in exploring the relics of Berlin’s industrial past. 

"We were very curious...so when I could go in… I was curious like a young boy," he says. "What is this building? Oh, it’s empty? Let’s look inside. And this happened 1,000 times. We just invaded. This was, you must understand, the frame of these days. The atmosphere was burning. It was an amazing situation." 

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