design

Why Millions Of Grownups Are Buying This Colouring Book For Adults

Amazon’s Top 100 book list changes hourly, but there are a few mainstays right now: All the Light We Cannot See, of course, and the unreleased Go Set a Watchman. Oh, and two colouring books for grownups.


This Glorified Speaker Blows Out Fires With Bass 

Engineers have experimented with using sonic waves to douse flames for years — but it took a pair of students to turn the concept into an affordable, hand-held device.


The UN Is Ordering 10,000 Of IKEA's Brilliant Flatpack Refugee Shelters

A few years ago, IKEA announced it had designed a better refugee shelter, using its flatpack furniture as a basis for engineering. As great an idea as it was, it wasn’t clear how the concept would ever find its way to reality. Now, these IKEA refugee shelters will be deployed — by the thousands.


The First Brand Manager Was A 1st Century Roman Glassblower 

Ennion made me. Those were the words that emerged as archeologists brushed centuries of dust off glass vessels in digs all over the classical world, again and again. But who was Ennion? And how, in the early years of the modern world, did he make so much glass?


Barbed Wire's Dark, Deadly History

In the mid 1800s, not many (non-native) Americans had ever been west of the Mississippi. When Frederick Law Olmstead visited the west in the 1850s, he remarked that the plains looked like a sea of grasses that moved “in swells after a great storm.” Massive herds of buffalo wandered the plains. Cowboys shepherded cattle across long stretches of no man’s land. It was truly the wild and unmanaged west, but it was all about to change, due, in large part, to one very simple invention that would come to be known as “the devil’s rope.”


The Tallest Tower In Europe Will Be ... In A Quaint Swiss Village?

A new tower designed by Los Angeles architect Thom Mayne was announced today which, when complete, will be the tallest building in Europe. Is it in Moscow? London? Frankfurt? Nope. Mayne’s shiny slab will stab the sky in the tiny hamlet of Vals, Switzerland.


1908's Best Party Invite And More Forgotten California Design

From psychedelic rock posters to modernist film titles, it might seem like the graphic output from California means anything and everything goes. But there’s a particular California spirit when it comes to design.


Irregular-Shaped Building Blocks Let Kids Build Ultra-Modern Skyscrapers

Hot Wheels doesn’t sell tiny die-cast horse and buggies to kids these days, so why would anyone assume that children would want to build ancient castles with building blocks? James Paulius’ Blockitecture set instead features a collection of irregularly-shaped wooden blocks that can be stacked and balanced to create a towering modern high-rise.


This Woodcut From 19th Century Japan Reveals Deep LOLcat History

This video is an animation based on a Japanese woodcut called “Popular Hotspring Spa (of Cats).” It’s from 1880, but artist Utagawa Yoshifuji’s imaginary world of spa cats looks like something that’s unfolding at the intersection of LOLcat and internetville.


These Structurally Absurd Homes Look Straight Out Of Harry Potter

If you’re a Potter fan who would have liked to see more impossible, Burrow-like homes in the movies, then you’ll love the fantasy world of German designer Matthias Jung, whose surreal houses look like they ought to be kept hidden from our Muggle eyes.