The score for John Cage’s indeterminate composition “Fontana Mix”

5 1/2 Examples of Experimental Music Notation

In the 1950s progressive composers broke from the 5 line music staff to experiment with new, more expressive forms of graphic music notation

When designing a Denny’s on the hip, young Freemont Street in Las Vegas, Wines decided to include a chapel, which has been a big hit with the mayor and the community. Denny’s Flagship Diner, Neonopolis, Las Vegas, NV, 2012. Architecture: SITE (James Wines, Matthew Gindlesberger, Sara Stracey, Denise MC Lee). Fabrication: A. Zahner.

Architect James Wines Talks Putting a Chapel in a Denny’s and Making Art from Garbage

The outsider architect-artist has finally wooed the establishment, winning the Copper-Hewitt's Lifetime Achievement Award, but he's still mixing things up


The Evolution of the Treble Clef

For centuries, music notation was an inexact technique and hasty transcriptions may have resulted in this symbol


The Robot Revolution Is for the Birds

Look up for robotic ravens and cyborg pigeons

Bubo the robotic owl from the 1981 film Clash of the Titans

A Brief History of Robot Birds

The early Greeks and Renaissance artists had birds on their brains

Despite a recent slump from the economic crisis, Harlem brownstones prices are on the rise again.

How Harlem Put Itself Back on the Map

Historian John Reddick looks at the people behind the neighborhood's recent reemergence as a thriving destination in the public eye


The Design Future of New York as Seen by Urbanist Michael Sorkin

A theorist who can't stop planning has big ideas for his hometown on sustainability, equity and the right to the city


The Past, Present, and Future of the Cuckoo Clock

From Orson Welles to Twitter, a look into the classic time-telling relic from your grandparents' attic

Landscape designer Margie Ruddick’s “Urban Green Room,” the first permanent living indoor installation, helped her win a National Design Award last week.

Landscape Designer Margie Ruddick Brings a New Meaning to Green Design

Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award winner Margie Ruddick talks about blending ecology, architecture in first-ever permanent living indoor installation


When F. Scott Fitzgerald Judged Gatsby By Its Cover

A surprising examination of the original book jacket art to The Great Gatsby

Benjamin Franklin’s phonetic alphabet

Benjamin Franklin’s Phonetic Alphabet

One of the founding father's more quixotic quests was to create a new alphabet. No Q included

A side view of Lathyrus odoratus L. 2009-2012. By Macoto Murayama

Macoto Murayama’s Intricate Blueprints of Flowers

The Japanese artist depicts blossoms from various plant species in fastidious detail


The Best of Design, Cooper-Hewitt Announces 2013 Award Winners

From a Las Vegas Denny's with a wedding chapel to rock 'n' roll posters, this year's design award winners have a good time with great design


What Happens When a Keyboard Goes From Tactile to Touchscreen?

There's a word for that odd quirk of Apple iPads that hold on to design components of old keyboards

U.S. Patent No. 207,559. The first appearance of the QWERTY keyboard.

Fact of Fiction? The Legend of the QWERTY Keyboard

What came first: the typist or the keyboard? The answer may surprise you

Lego’s new Mindstorms EV3 kit lets users build 17 different robots and program them directly through an “intelligent brick.”

How Lego Is Constructing the Next Generation of Engineers

With programmable robots and student competitions, Lego is making “tinkering with machines cool again”

Before There Was Photoshop, These Photographers Knew How to Manipulate an Image

Jerry Uelsmann and other artists manually blended negatives to produce dreamlike sequences

The tin tube was more resilient than its predecessor (the pig bladder), enabling painters to leave their studios.

Never Underestimate the Power of a Paint Tube

Without this simple invention, impressionists such as Claude Monet wouldn’t have been able to create their works of genius

These two identical brands are considered to be distinct based on their location

Decoding the Range: The Secret Language of Cattle Branding

Venture into the highly regulated and fascinating world of bovine pyroglyphics

Infrastructural graffiti in the streets of New Haven, CT (original photo)

Decoding The City: The Road Graffiti Placed by Utility Workers

These infrastructural lines mark the pathways of pipes and wires beneath the paved surface -- but what does each color mean?

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