How a Federally-Regulated Safety Message Distinguished a Brand

If you've flown Virgin America, you've seen its distinctive safety video. But what's the story behind it?

Uniforms for Pan Am (1969-1971), United (1968-1970), and Southwest (1995-2004)

Judging an Airline by its Uniform

What flight attendant uniforms say about airline brand identity, cultural attitudes, and passenger psychology

A design diagram for the interior of the Stratocruiser

The 86-Year-Old Company that Still Designs Your In-Flight Experience

Seattle-based design firm Teague has designed every Boeing aircraft interior since the 1940s, from the post-WWII Stratocruiser to the 2009 Dreamliner

Lean-On-Me Tray with hot entree

A More Efficient Airline Meal Tray

A recent innovation in the design of the airline meal tray has resulted in massive savings. Maybe the next innovation should focus on the actual food

Drylands design students walking a ditch in the Embudo Valley

Designing Democracy Around a Ditch

How a ditch irrigation system in the arid Southwest became the backbone of local democracy

A stepwell in India

Rebuilding Rainwater Collection in India

From one conservationist's perspective, harvesting rainwater doesn't mean high-tech strategies—traditional techniques have been around for centuries

A public drinking fountain in Rome

Making Water Use Visible

Could the design of a Brita filter help us with controlling how much water we waste?

Image from an animated graphic showing satellite readings of groundwater fluctuations around the world.

Groundwater, Gravity and Graphic Design

An important piece of science recently popped up in Times Square, in the form of a 19,000-square-foot interactive map by a Dutch information designer

A future vision of Fresno, California, as proposed by architect Darin Johnstone and environmental consultant Mark Merkelbach

Futureproofing California Farmland

Design teams propose new models for farming and suburban development in California's water-scarce Central Valley

Hydrologic Commonwealths for the American West, proposed by John Wesley Powell, 1879

Design for a Water-Scarce Future

Design strategies for arid regions go back centuries, but in the face of climate change, drylands design is a whole new ballgame

Design by Henry Dreyfuss for Delman Shoe Company, 1929

From the Smithsonian Collections: Famous Footwear

Famous footwear of the Smithsonian collections, from Chinese foot-binding booties to Dorothy's ruby slippers

Nike's new Flyknit running shoe

The High-Tech Minimalist Sock-Shoe

Nike's latest innovation promises to improve runners' comfort, help the environment, and revolutionize shoe manufacturing

Better Feet Through Radiation: The Era of the Fluoroscope

Naomi Braithwaite's footwear sketches for a design course at London College of Fashion

How Ideas Become Shoes: Creativity in Process

Using shoe design to understand human creativity


These Shoes are Made for Printing

In many ways, 3D printing could be a superior way to manufacture shoes. But comfort isn't one yet

A sample elevator boot, graphic models, and the last on which it was made

How To Be Taller

A modern Scottish elevator shoe designer runs a global business from his Bangkok outpost

Marc Jacobs high-top wedge sneaker

Such Great Heights: The Hidden Architecture of Elevator Shoes

How a shoe designed to address male inadequacy has become a symbol of female fashion sense

The Shape of Fruits to Come

How our need for convenience is redesigning our food supply

Re-creation of a dessert from the Chez Panisse menu. (Total cost: $3.98)

And for Dessert: An Object Lesson on Simple Pleasure

How a disappointing dessert becomes an object lesson on simplicity and pleasure

A thermal infrared image of orchard water levels

Drones: The Citrus Industry’s New Beauty Secret

In the future, farmers will use unmanned drones to improve the appearance of their crops

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