Summary of “These Architects Are Using Video Games to Rethink Modern Living”

Tasked with designing something without precedent, principal landscape architect David Fletcher, 50, approached the design like he does most projects now: by using video-game development software.
Fletcher’s preference for designing in a game engine, as the software is called, was cultivated two years ago when he worked on “The Witness,” an “Open world” role-playing video game.
The opportunity to design the landscape for “The Witness” was a dream come true for Fletcher, who’s played video games since childhood.
The video game “The Witness” takes place on this island, which was designed over the course of several years by a team of architects, including David Fletcher.
The architects were able to experience the park from their office computers by walking through their virtual designs and judging from the ground whether they worked or not.
“We don’t design two-dimensionally; we always design three-dimensionally,” he says.
Fletcher made a rare choice, but how rare is hard to say; neither video game companies nor professional organizations like the American Institute of Architects keep records of how many architects have similar experiences to Fletcher.
“It’s more of a design tool.” Similar to the blank slate Fletcher faced as he began designing “The Witness,” Minecraft gives players a blank slate every time they decide to build something new, which works for Delaney, who has always loved building things.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Curse of an Open Floor Plan”

What is wrong with having just one kitchen? Well, people cook in kitchens, and when they cook in kitchens, they make messes, and then, to make matters worse, if their kitchen is in full view from the rest of the house-as many today are-their mess is out in the open visible as they eat their meals, hang out with their families, entertain their guests, and go about their lives.
That is why one company, Schumacher Homes of Akron, Ohio, has a fresh new design on offer: a house with an open floor plan, with its kitchen, dining area, and living room all flowing into one another.
Describing one late-1950s home by the California-modernist architect Pierre Koenig, the design historian Pat Kirkham characterizes a kitchen opened up to the dining/living area as a “Material expression of the informality of social intercourse.” The ability to chat with family and guests was a clear benefit, but it also created double-duty for the kitchen “Worker,” who was assumed to be a housewife.
While Weninger-Ramirez tries to hide plugs and appliances, a modest remedy, Schumacher Homes’ “Messy kitchen” opts for a more extreme approach: to hide one kitchen behind another.
An open kitchen island faces a large, vaulted great room with second-floor gallery and flanks an open-plan dining area.
The public kitchen boasts a range top, oven, microwave, and sink, but the rest of the kitchen, at first, appears to be missing.
The idea is that the pre-meal food prep and post-meal food waste can be stowed out of sight in the “Messy kitchen,” leaving the public kitchen for the cooking, eating, and visiting.
Even if the messy kitchen’s usage proves more equitable along gender lines thanks to intervening cultural changes, the design seems to require a negotiation of the loneliness of prep and cleanup that, despite its downsides, an open design might have helped avoid.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Untold Story of the Vegetable Peeler That Changed the World”

Created by Smart Design, in conjunction with OXO International’s launch in 1990, it raised the bar for accessible consumer products, and changed the way kitchen tools were designed forever.
Nearly three decades after its release, it maintains 4.8 stars out of 5 on Amazon yet still costs under $10. How many consumer products are truly that lasting? It’s why the peeler won our inaugural Timeless Design award as part of Innovation by Design 2018.
Over the years, abridged versions of the peeler’s origin story have been shared in design museums and even business schools.
We couldn’t design something for people just with special needs, because it would have to be in a special catalog, and no one is able to have access to those products.
We had to design a handle that would work for various uses.
Manufacturing the Peeler The design was on the right track, but it was extremely difficult to be made.
We’ve been living this for so long-but the OXO line was universal design, or inclusive design, long before either had a name.
We put the endorsement onto the package, but we took that off later because we realized, one of the things that’s really important for inclusive design is that the product isn’t stigmatizing.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Children’s Village Forever”

The thirty-year-old had been responsible for Ontario Place’s most successful exhibition that year, a multimedia tour through the province’s history called “Explosions,” but he’d never built anything for children.
The first one in North America was a simple pile of sand in Boston’s north end, installed in 1885 by female philanthropists who wanted to give poor immigrant children a place to play and, crucially, a means to assimilate to American society.
The modern theme park seems to apportion its share of imagination in a perverse way, offering boundless creativity to its designers while leaving little scope for the children themselves.
In 1980, McMillan was teamed up with Jim Henson’s Children’s Television Workshop to create “Sesame Place,” the first of a planned series of tactile amusement parks to be built across America with the aim of helping children “Learn through play.”
Watching the way children used his equipment, often in ways he could never have anticipated, made him more and more certain: play wasn’t a frivolous distraction from learning, but something essential to childhood and indeed humanity.
If the design for children in the 60s and 70s had been full of possibility and experimentation, the prevailing mood in the 1980s was of caution.
With its bright colours and unruly design, Children’s Village became a relic on the lakeshore-a vision of the future from the near past.
“We understand that children’s play environment has been impoverished. And so looking back at those times when it wasn’t so impoverished feels really important.” Today, as the kids who grew up getting bloody noses in the punching bag forest are having children of their own, it’s impossible not to think that Children’s Village represented a brief moment when a different style of mass play was possible.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Pantone Comes Up With New Colors for Its Authoritative Guide”

Pantone 2453 joined the company’s famous color standards system in March 2016, one of the 112 new colors added that month.
Whatever its inspiration, every one of the colors in Pantone’s iconic guide can be traced back to the same place: forecast meetings with Pantone color experts that happen years before the colors even make it to the company’s factory floor.
How the experts at the Pantone Color Institute decide which new colors should be added to the guide-a process that can take up to two years-involves somewhat abstract inspiration.
Because most people can’t detect a difference in colors with less than a 1.0 Delta E difference, new colors have to deviate from the closest colors in the current catalog by at least that amount.
Pantone still had space in its catalog for the new color because, unlike Pantone 2453, Sheer Lilac was designed for fabric.
There’s a reason why Pantone makes separate color guides for fashion and graphic design: Though the colors designed for paper and packaging go through a similar design process, dyes and inks don’t transfer perfectly alike across different materials, so a color printed on uncoated paper ends up looking different when it dries than it would on cotton.
It can take color standards technicians six months to come up with an exact formula for a new color like Pantone 2453.
They’re a failsafe in case the final color that comes out isn’t an accurate replica of the version in the Pantone guide.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Virtual home makeover: testing Modsy, Havenly, Ikea on my NYC apartment”

Actually want to style your real-life home and implement the design.
I was first introduced to e-interior design startup Havenly a few years ago at SXSW. The service promises to create a mood board, layout, and a shopping list to help make implementing the design easy – all under a flat rate instead of an hourly bill you might get with an in-person designer.
Havenly has a modest group of designers it works with, which means if your aesthetic best matches someone who’s currently working on several projects, you might end up waiting a while until they can start yours.
Modsy starts similarly to Havenly, where you fill out a style quiz by picking photos of rooms you’re more drawn to, like or dislike pieces of furniture in the example designs you chose, and explain the goals of your project.
I particularly liked that Modsy imagined the second half of the room as a cafe-inspired dining area, as it could functionally turn into a workspace when I am working from home.
In comparison with Havenly, Modsy starts at a higher price point at $69 for a slower turnaround time and $149 for the base package for one room.
Still it is clear that Modsy makes most of its money from referral purchases you make through its designs, and often you’ll get renders with a bunch of little pieces you might not want or need.
The catalog of items that you can swap in and out of your design also made it easy to try out a bunch of options in case the pieces Modsy picked didn’t work for you.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why Tech’s Favorite Color is Making Us All Miserable”

The bright blue light of flat, rectangular touch screens, fans, and displays may be appealing from an aesthetic perspective, but from a health standpoint, it is fraught with problems.
From mobile phones to in-car displays, blue lights were becoming the norm.
It’s hard for me to think of any examples of prominent high-tech products on the market now without pale blue screens or indicator lights.
Have you ever been blinded by the display in your car-or on your phone-when you switch back and forth between looking at that screen and the road ahead? Because the screen is a brighter block of high-energy light, driving at night creates a longer, stronger afterimage that can adversely affect us when our eyes return to where we’re going.
Photo courtesy of BMW. BMW is a rare exception in the orange vs. blue design divide, because the car company follows the military’s reasoning: Since the ’70s, BMW has made its cars’ dashboard cluster lights with a red-orange hue, at a wavelength of 605 nanometers.
2001, Blade Runner, and Culture’s Blue Shift Somewhere along the line, blue took over in the public consciousness as the “Color of the future,” while orange began to look like a shade from the Reagan ’80s. In our current culture, blue signals a transition from the past to the present, from the analog to the digital.
The blue light from pervasive display screens depicted in the movie fit its shadowy film noir aesthetic, and inadvertently became one of the core tenants in our default mental image of “What the future looks like.” Remaking the Future With a Warmer Shade If pop culture has helped lead us into a blue-lit reality that’s hurting us so much, it can help lead us toward a new design aesthetic bathed in orange.
Popularizing the risks of blue light and re-educating the public about the functionality of orange and red light is the first step, but companies need to take the next steps to build interfaces that are tested, human-centered, and functional into real world design.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why Tech’s Favorite Color is Making Us All Miserable”

The bright blue light of flat, rectangular touch screens, fans, and displays may be appealing from an aesthetic perspective, but from a health standpoint, it is fraught with problems.
From mobile phones to in-car displays, blue lights were becoming the norm.
It’s hard for me to think of any examples of prominent high-tech products on the market now without pale blue screens or indicator lights.
Have you ever been blinded by the display in your car-or on your phone-when you switch back and forth between looking at that screen and the road ahead? Because the screen is a brighter block of high-energy light, driving at night creates a longer, stronger afterimage that can adversely affect us when our eyes return to where we’re going.
Photo courtesy of BMW. BMW is a rare exception in the orange vs. blue design divide, because the car company follows the military’s reasoning: Since the ’70s, BMW has made its cars’ dashboard cluster lights with a red-orange hue, at a wavelength of 605 nanometers.
2001, Blade Runner, and Culture’s Blue Shift Somewhere along the line, blue took over in the public consciousness as the “Color of the future,” while orange began to look like a shade from the Reagan ’80s. In our current culture, blue signals a transition from the past to the present, from the analog to the digital.
The blue light from pervasive display screens depicted in the movie fit its shadowy film noir aesthetic, and inadvertently became one of the core tenants in our default mental image of “What the future looks like.” Remaking the Future With a Warmer Shade If pop culture has helped lead us into a blue-lit reality that’s hurting us so much, it can help lead us toward a new design aesthetic bathed in orange.
Popularizing the risks of blue light and re-educating the public about the functionality of orange and red light is the first step, but companies need to take the next steps to build interfaces that are tested, human-centered, and functional into real world design.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Where to put a TV in the living room”

At various points in its nearly 100-year history, the television has been an item of furniture designed to match a living room set, a high-tech piece of media equipment, and just one of the many functions of a computer or a smartphone.
TV skyrocketed in popularity in the postwar years, and ideas for how to position a TV set, or how to decorate around it, proliferated.
Some developers even worked TVs into larger designs: Spigel writes that in the 1950 iteration of the standard Levittown house, all new homes had an Admiral TV set built directly into the living room wall.
In a section on furniture arrangement, the editors write: “Even if you have a selector system, you’ll probably want to adjust the television tuning yourself from time to time. Place a chair near the set for comfort. Make the set an integral, unobtrusive part of your decorating; incorporate it in a grouping. Here, chairs, mirrors, and pictures keep it company.” The image shows the TV set flanked by a pair of modern captain’s chairs and with a selection of antique mirrors on the wall behind it.
The idea of sitting right next to a TV set-facing away from the screen-because it’s “Easier” doesn’t seem like design advice from someone who watches a lot of TV. The Practical Encyclopedia of Good Decorating and Home Improvement, published in 1970, has an entire 12-page section on television, subtitled “The Right Type and Size for You, and Where to Put it.” What a difference a decade makes: In this early 1970s volume, the solutions are all architectural, and there are no attempts to use a TV set as an erstwhile coffee table.
TV sets themselves became grotesquely personified in dystopian narratives like Videodrome, in which television sets pulse with life and menacingly beckon human beings.
Not sure how to curate art for a TV set? There’s the Art Store for that, where you can get help choosing works of art to suit your taste, shop by color palette, and even peruse Magnum Photo’s catalog of iconic images.
The option to mount the TV in a wooden frame and set it to display personal photos makes it virtually disappear into an interior, as though there were no TV at all, or it was cleverly hidden inside a cabinet.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to Redesign Cities to Fight Loneliness”

You may also underestimate the effects of loneliness.
Federal MP Andrew Giles, in a recent speech, said: “I’m convinced we need to consider responding to loneliness as a responsibility of government.”
What do cities have to do with loneliness? “The way we build and organize our cities can help or hinder social connection,” reads a Grattan Institute report.
The students, using design as a research methodology, came up with potential architectural and urban responses to loneliness.
Having a pet is one of the most effective ways to tackle loneliness, but often people don’t have enough time to care for one.
Beverley Wang looked at loneliness in the aging population.
There is an utterly different kind of loneliness that accompanies the loss of a loved one.
Without claiming to solve loneliness, design can be a important tool in response to it.

The orginal article.