Design

Susan Kare designed pictorial symbols that enabled non-technical users to operate a computer, a great contrast to previous screens with “command line” interfaces that required knowing code.

How Susan Kare Designed User-Friendly Icons for the First Macintosh

The graphic designer is receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award from Cooper Hewitt for her recognizable computer icons, typefaces and graphics

The Buoyant Ecologies Float Lab will be offshore of Middle Harbor Shoreline Park in Oakland for three years, in an effort to test its viability as a substrate for futuristic floating cities.

Designing Floating Buildings With an Eye to the Marine Species Living Underneath

A prototype deployed in San Francisco Bay imagines the underside of a floating building as an upside-down artificial reef

More than 50,000 empty plastic bottles were used to construct Panama's Plastic Bottle Village.

From Bottles to Newspapers, These Five Homes Were Built Using Everyday Objects

Open for visitors, these houses model upcycling at its finest

Children cross the street in front of a yellow school bus in 1965.

The History of How School Buses Became Yellow

Rural educator Frank Cyr had the vision and pull to force the nation to standardize the color of the ubiquitous vehicle

To celebrate its centennial, KitchenAid released a passion red limited edition stand mixer.

For 100 Years, KitchenAid Has Been the Stand-Up Brand of Stand Mixers

Even celebrity chef Julia Child said that the sleek appliance made mixing 'marvelous'

The "Mark Twain" launched in early 1882 as an 18-size, key-wound movement with a subsidiary seconds function.

Mark Twain's Quest to Bring Affordable Watches to the Masses

At one time, he even invested in a watch company that launched a signature 'Mark Twain' pocket watch

To deflect from concerns around sexual undertones, Milton Bradley packaged the game as inoffensively as possible.

When Twister Was Too Risqué for America

The hugely successful game, patented 50 years ago this week, had its critics at first

Commuters ride up escalators at the Dupont Circle Metro Station in Washington, D.C.

How the Escalator Forever Changed Our Sense of Space

Sure, the 19th-century invention transformed shopping. But it also revolutionized how we think about the built environment

Wayne Thiebaud's "Jawbreaker Machine" (1963) is just one of the nine artworks reimagined as mini golf holes at "Art Course," an interactive exhibition at The Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City, Missouri.

This Summer, Play Nine Holes at This 'Art Course' in Kansas City

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art takes inspiration from its vast collection to create an art-inspired mini golf course

Industrial designer Raymond Loewy influenced a number of brands.

Meet the Product Designer Who Made Mid-Century America Look Clean and Stylish

From refrigerators to cars to Air Force One, Raymond Loewy's distinctive "cleanlining" sold products

Sensing threads prepared with bromothymol blue (top thread), methyl red (middle thread) and MnTPP (bottom thread) are exposed to ammonia at 0 ppm (left panel) 50 ppm (middle panel) and 1000 ppm (right panel).

Clothing May Soon Be Able to Change Color in the Presence of Harmful Gases

Tufts University engineers have developed dyed threads that change hues when exposed to carbon monoxide and other hazards

One of Brigham Young University engineering professor Larry Howell's initial origami projects was a solar array that compacted to 9 feet during launch, but deployed to 82 feet across in space to generate power.

How Origami Is Revolutionizing Industrial Design

Scientists and engineers are finding practical applications for the Japanese art form in space, medicine, robotics, architecture and more

Transparent wood becomes cloudier as it cools.

This Transparent Wood Could Be an Energy-Saver in Green Buildings

Researchers in Sweden have developed a material, able to store and release heat, that could potentially be used in windows

Featuring a small plastic hinge binding both pieces together, this clever container became the perfect way to conceal treats from prying eyes.

Thank One of America's Most Prolific Inventors for the Hinged Plastic Easter Egg

Donald Weder holds some 1,400 U.S. patents for inventions, including the ubiquitous egg and a process for making plastic Easter grass

Judges Brandon Maxwell, Elaine Welteroth, Nina Garcia, and host Karlie Kloss deliberate

Pop History

What 'Project Runway' Can Teach Us About the Creative Process

Seventeen seasons in, the show continues to demystify what it takes to 'make it work'

GM's head of design Harley Earl drove the "Y-job" to and from work for 11 years.

How General Motors Introduced the Idea of a 'Concept Car'

Eighty years ago, the Buick Y-job was billed as the car of the future

The Ten Best Board Games of 2018

Go analog at your next party with one of these new classics

Close up on Atlanta University's "City and Rural Population. 1890" data visualization

Document Deep Dive

W.E.B. Du Bois’ Visionary Infographics Come Together for the First Time in Full Color

His pioneering team of black sociologists created data visualizations that explained institutionalized racism to the world

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Ingenious Minds

Could 3-D Printing Save Music Education?

D.C. chef Erik Bruner-Yang interviews Jill-of-all-trades Kaitlyn Hova about her plan to infuse STEM education with open source, 3-D printable instruments

"Light Up" is the winner of a biannual competition for green energy-generating public art sponsored by the Land Art Generator Initiative.

Art Meets Science

This Golden Canopy Could Power 500 Homes

Architects propose a new sustainable landmark on a Melbourne beach that is both public art and a power plant

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