Design Mind

By Brooke Copani | musings on the art, science and business of good design

Studies Show that Restraints Are a Major Creativity Booster

Want to be more creative? Restrain yourself.<p>Despite what our left brain really knows, we still have skewed impressions when it comes to creativity. Anyone who's ever been hired by a client and given full "creative freedom" to produce what they want knows what a Trojan horse that old chestnut can …

Creativity

The rules of brainstorming, according to top design firm IDEO

I work at home, alone for the most part, which means I rarely have the opportunity to be involved in a good brainstorming session. That's a shame …

Design Thinking

A Master Of Design Explores The Murky, Mutable Science Of Color

“Experiencing color is completely dependent on its physical, visual, artistic, and cultural context.”<p>Despite our best efforts to name and codify them, colors are slippery entities, constantly shifting in response to light and space. Think of the way the paint you choose always looks different on a …

Design

Muista: A New, More Evolved Way to Sit at Your Desk

There’s so much talk these days about how inactivity brought on by too much sitting at work can cause a multitude of health issues, which is why …

Furniture

Want To Be More Creative And Successful? Fight The Urge To Focus

A wandering mind can be an asset if you learn how to use it.<p>In 1987, Mark Frauenfelder read an article in <i>Whole Earth Review</i> about the indie magazine revolution and thought to himself, “I’ve got to do a zine.” The next year, he and his wife started <i>Boing Boing</i>, a pop culture and technology …

Creativity

Top 7 Books on Colors and Color Theory for Artists

This is a selection of books I've found useful and accessible for learning more about colors, paint pigments, and color mixing. Given that color is …

Yea or Nay?: What You Get When "Package Is Lamp"

A low waste, highly idealistic light<p>Cardboard, like reclaimed wood, continues to provide inspiration for materials-minded designers. It's tough but …

Design

Impossibly Tiny Doodles Fill Sketchbook Pages with Surreal Optical Illusions

Artist Visothkakvei creates detailed drawings that go way beyond your average doodles. Armed with a pen and an endless imagination, he fills sketchbook pages with sprawling compositions that are full of tiny, fine-lined elements. Throughout each of his works, motifs of delicate blooms, fancy …

Google made a site that shows how millions of people draw the same object

Back in November, Google released artificial intelligence experiment that asks you to draw a random object and see if the neural network can identify your doodle. Quick, Draw! was eventually turned into a tool that transformed drawings into clip art based on the best results it got, helping people …

Google I/O

The secret to wild creativity is an obsessive spreadsheet, according to OK Go

When indie rock band OK Go releases a new music video, people are prepared to be amazed. The 19-year-old group is a reliable factory of startling and sublime visual spectacles, churning out new releases that feature everything from treadmills to zero-gravity chambers, trained dogs, optical …

Creativity

The Design Duo Behind The Century’s Most Famous Album Covers

“There was no MTV, there was no VHI, there was no Spotify,” says Aubrey Powell. Instead, there was album art.<p>In the 1970s, designers were treated as rock stars–album cover designers, that is.<p>advertisement<p>“You were regarded almost like the fifth member of the band,” says Aubrey Powell, whose studio …

22 Movies And Shows Every Designer Should Watch On Netflix

Netflix’s queue is constantly changing. Here’s a guide to the latest stuff.<p>(<i>This is an updated version of a list we published two years ago–the majority of which was no longer streamable, given Netflix’s content churn. We miss you,</i> Objectified<i>!</i>)<p>advertisement<p>The Netflix queue is one of the most …

The Best Sources for Great Lighting

Looking for a new pendant, sconce, or chandelier? Try these companies<p>It's no secret that good lighting is a key part of great design. But, surprisingly, most people have trouble striking the perfect balance. The easy solution? Multiple light sources. Having a variety of lights of different …

10 Tips How to Make More Art

Dear friend,<p>I just learned something interesting today— to be a ‘poet’ means just to be a ‘maker.’<p>1. What is poetry?<p>So the etymology (the root of the …

Street Photography

Unlock your potential with creative classes from Skillshare

We’d all love the opportunity to learn new skills, fine tune old ones or get proper advice from working creatives directly. But when we take into …

Learning

From Frog, 3 Myths About What Makes A Designer Great

One of the main takeaways? It’s not all about technical skills—curiosity, drive, and outside interests are also necessities of good designers.<p>Of the evolving list of dream jobs for designers just out of school, the global design firm Frog might have the broadest appeal simply based on the nature of …

The Stagnation Blues: How Bob Dylan and Others Broke Out of Creative Ruts in the ’80s

In the 80s, some of music’s biggest stars — from Bob Dylan to Johnny Cash, David Bowie to Tom Waits — found themselves in deep creative ruts. How did …

How Ariel Kennan Solves NYC’s Most Intractable Design Problems

Kennan, who heads a design and product team for Mayor Bill de Blasio, is bringing service design to the city.<p><b>Doreen Lorenzo: Tell me a little bit about your background. What was your first exposure to design?</b> <b><br>Ariel Kennan</b>: I took to design early. My mother is an accomplished landscape architect, and …

The Self-Care Craze Comes To Design

At Milan Design Week, installations boast the ability to “recharge,” “de-stress,” and “reflect on the hectic pace of our world.”<p>Watching Milan’s high-profile design week, Salone del Mobile, unfold from afar is a surreal ordeal. The design industry, for the most part, comes to a reeling halt outside …

Are You Creative or Are You an Artist? (You Might Be Neither)

Just because you design doesn't make you creative.<p>Being creative is not the same thing as being an artist--and vice versa.<p>In fact, the two titles share more differences than they do similarities. A 2010 IBM survey of 1,500+ CEOs from various fields ranked creativity as being a crucial pillar of …

Creativity

A Reading Guide For Designers Who Want To Write

We asked prominent designers and design writers to select the best books and essays for designers who want to hone their writing skills.<p>The 2017 Design In Tech Report, John Maeda’s influential industry overview, lists writing as a key design skill. There are several reasons why. With the rise of …

How "Slow Design" Can Give You the Home You Really Want

In a world where buying a new sofa can be accomplished by a couple clicks, some in the design world are resisting this fast-paced, instant …

Inside Philip Johnson's Underappreciated Glass House in Manhattan

The architectural legacy of the Rockefeller family in Manhattan is well-known, most obviously demonstrated in the slab-like Art Deco towers of the …

Ideo Studied Innovation In 100+ Companies–Here’s What It Found

Innovation is hard to pin down, but with these six insights Ideo says it’s cracking the code.<p>How do you measure “innovation?” It’s something that every organization seems to be after–just look at AT&T’s Innovation Pipeline, Sephora’s Innovation Research lab, and the University of Pennsylvania’s …

11 cool online stores for home decor and high design

Don't spend it all in one place<p>In the age of Amazon, shopping for great design online has never been easier. Here, we've rounded up a handful of our favorite sites offering something special when it comes to home decor and design. From handcrafted artisanal chairs to sleek ceramic objects 3D …

Furniture

oiio proposes 'the big bend' skyscraper for new york

<b>architecture studio oiio has conceived a bending skyscraper for new york, dubbed ‘the world’s longest building’.</b> the scheme has been proposed for …

Forget Coding: Writing Is Design’s “Unicorn Skill”

In a new report, John Maeda explains why writing is a must-have skill for designers.<p>These days many designers can code–an increasingly important skill for landing a job. But few are just as fluent in their own language as they are in Javascript. That presents a serious problem in terms of design. …

20 Beautiful Axonometric Drawings of Iconic Buildings

Architect and illustrator Diego Inzunza has created a new series titled "Architectural Classics," which presents and analyzes 20 iconic architectural …