Category: Design

Themed Decor Should Be Implicit, Not Explicit

Dedicated beach vacation houses tend to be some of the gaudiest in the world of interior decoration. Some are worse than others. Some have countless cute beachy sayings on countless towels, pillows, wall hangings, refrigerator magnets. They might have endless collections of beachy shells and pastel colors too. All of this is to remind you […]

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Make Your Home a Civilized Wilderness

The house I’m staying in tonight is one of the coolest I’ve ever seen. From the outside it’s just your normal suburban home. Your first hint that it’s anything different is the sign: “Hippies Use the Back Door.” Immediately upon entry you leave suburbia and enter a different world. The walls are decorated with psychedelic […]

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“Little Big Details” and User Experience at the Gas Station Restroom

User experience, n.: User experience (UX) refers to a person’s emotions and attitudes about using a particular product, system or service. – Wikipedia You can’t swing a cat in the software world without hitting a software person talking about UX – user experience. And that’s probably a good thing. More and more parts of our lives have shifted […]

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Perfection Kills Co-Creation

I am generally a clean, organized person. But even I can tell when something is over-organized. You can get the feeling of sterility and regimentation from a too-perfect space. The glass is immaculate, the paper is custom-made, the feng-shui has taken 20,000 years to balance. Worst of all, you get the feeling of “off limits […]

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Traditions Are Rehearsals: How To Evolve the Perfect Holiday

This Thanksgiving has gone off without hardly a hitch. It’s been a thing of beauty – all the traditions we follow each year have just been better this year than last: Thanksgiving dinner, Black Friday pancake breakfast, the gift exchange, the skeet shoot, the Christmas tree hunt, the Christmas card photos. After doing these things for years […]

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Creative Constraints at Work in “The Lion King”

If the Lion King was made today, it would probably be much worse. When Disney created this film (which I recently rewatched for the first time in years) in the early 1990s, it didn’t have the plentiful, powerful CGI available to modern filmmakers. Artists assembled the scenes from traditional drawings and used systems like CAPs to […]

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7 Ways to Make Your Apartment More Homey (Or, As the Danish Say, “Hygge”)

I’ve become fascinated recently by the Danish cultural idea of “hygge.” Hygge, much like our idea of “homey-ness,” is all about the feelings of bonding, peacefulness, comfort, and cheer which you might get at Christmas time when you’re all bundled up and drinking hot chocolate while exchanging presents with friends. Christmas aside, “hygge” is something […]

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Sound: the New Design Skill

Music used to be reserved to concert halls, parties, church, or military marches. Music was special, eventful. You had to GO to the music. Even when radio and the phonograph made music available in private homes, music was still as stationary (and as manual) as the devices that played it back. You had to get up, […]

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