Industrial Design

Frederick Hurten Rhead, panel for overmantel, 1910

First Museum Dedicated to American Arts and Crafts Movement Opens in Florida

Proponents of the artistic philosophy pushed back against industrial production and embraced handcraftsmanship

Were it not for tuberculosis, artist and furniture maker Daniel Mack writes, “It’s unlikely that there would have been an Adirondack chair.”

How the Adirondack Chair Became the Feel-Good Recliner That Cures What Ails You

The furniture piece has gone through countless permutations, but it all started at a time when resting outdoors was thought to be a matter of life or death

An installation view of "Automania" at the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan. The red car in front is a Cisitalia 202 GT Car (1946) designed by Italian firm Pininfarina; the green car in the background is a German "Beetle," a.k.a. a Volkswagen Type 1 Sedan (1949).  The lithograph on the wall is Watch the Fords Go By (1937) by A. M. Cassandre.

How the Automobile Changed the World, for Better or Worse

New MoMA exhibition explores artists' responses to the beauty, brutality and environmental devastation of cars and car culture

Wassily Kandinsky, Curved Tips, 1927

Cool Finds

Rediscovered After 70 Years, Kandinsky Watercolor Sells for $1.3 Million

The modern art pioneer painted the work, which resurfaced in a private collection last month, in 1927

A "deliberately inconvenient" twin champagne glass created by Athens-based architect Katerina Kamprani

Virtual Travel

Take a Virtual Tour of Failed Designs, From the DeLorean to Google Glass

An online exhibition showcases 40 creative flops, including a curvy ping-pong table and a doll dubbed Little Miss No-Name

Now is a good time to explore the world right at our feet.

Ten Surprising Facts That Will Make Your Walk Around the Block More Interesting

With Covid-19 keeping you close to home, now is a good time to learn about elements of your neighborhood that you take for granted

This month's picks include Mantel Pieces, The Dead Are Arising and A Series of Fortunate Events.

Books of the Month

How the Alphabet Got Its Order, Malcolm X and Other New Books to Read

These five October releases may have been lost in the news cycle

Ten Surprising Facts About Everyday Household Objects

While COVID-19 has us homebound, it’s a good time to reflect on the peculiar histories of housewares we take for granted

Vegas Vicky, Las Vegas, Nevada

Virtual Travel

A Vibrant Tour of America's Neon Signs

In his upcoming book ‘Neon Road Trip,’ photographer John Barnes captures a luminous part of advertising history

Lucy Hughes holds a piece of MarinaTex.

This Bioplastic Made From Fish Scales Just Won the James Dyson Award

British product designer Lucy Hughes has invented a biodegradable plastic made from fish offcuts

Left: Visitors roam the Portland show wearing vintage fashions from the Washington State boutique BelAir Betties.
Right: The tail section of a 1958 Chevy Impala, customized with 1959 Cadillac taillights, on display at the 63rd annual Portland Roadster Show.

Take a Trip to America's Hot Rod Heaven

Today's show-car royalty reinvents the wheel

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

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

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

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

Walter Gropius' Dessau Bauhaus building

Five Events to Watch For as Germany Celebrates 100 Years of the Bauhaus Movement

Bauhaus 100 looks back—and forward—to the movement that united formal art and craftsmanship in functional, streamlined designs

A 2017 Ducati motorcycle, a Panigale 1299 Superleggera, as-yet unridden, is on view at the Cooper Hewitt in New York City.

A Sensuous Blending of Style and Speed, This Ducati Is Both Art and Machine

An appreciation for the cognoscenti of motorcycles

Fears materialized when a series of deadly botulism cases struck unassuming consumers throughout the country.

The Botulism Outbreak That Gave Rise to America’s Food Safety System

In late 1919 and early 1920, scientists and canners worked with the government to protect the public from the deadly toxin

Airbus and Zodiac Aerospace have teamed up on lower-deck modules like this one, with sleeping berths.

Seven Airplane Innovations That Could Change How We Travel

In-flight virtual reality entertainment? Bunk beds in the cargo hold? These innovations may be the future of flight.

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