Transportation

Mary Badon
Red Light, Green Light: The Invention of the Traffic Signal
The traffic light — invented in 1912 by a policeman in Detroit — has radically impacted the way transportation rules have developed over the past 100 years, all over the world.


Eric Heiman
Necessary Frictions
Want to get an immediate, on-the-ground sense of a new city in all its multicultural glory? Use its public transit.


Rick Poynor
Exposure: Commuter in Tokyo by Michael Wolf
How to cope with compression


Rick Poynor
Stephen Bayley: Death Drive
Style, money, class, glamour, sex, and the car crash


Véronique Vienne
Taylor Holland’s Scenic Tour
A photograph is at first a document. Crop it, and it becomes a picture. Trim it further into a square and you’ve got a “sign” — a potential icon.


Owen Edwards
A Michelangelo, at 100 mph Plus
The recent death of Italy’s Massimo Tamburini brought to an end the glittering career of perhaps the greatest motorcycle designer ever and one of the greatest industrial designers of recent decades.


Anne Quito
Anne Quito on Quiet
Anne Quito will graduate in May 2014 from SVA’s MFA Design Criticism program. In 2009, she earned a master’s degree in Visual Culture from Georgetown University.


John Thackara
Cloud Commuting
A two-year project in Belgium proposes new relationships between people, goods, energy, equipment, spaces, and value. Its design objective: a networked mobility ecosystem.



John Thackara
Caloryville: The Two-Wheeled City
In China, ‘battery-bikes’ are outselling cars by four-to-one. Pedelec sales are soaring in Europe, too. Is this the start of system-wide phase-shift in transportation?



Observed
1920s Chicago Transit Posters
Chicago-L.org has a small, but gem filled collection of Chicago transit posters from the 1920s.


Owen Edwards
My Month as a Mocker
A remembrance of London in the 1960s. Rockers rode motorcycles and Mods rode scooters.



Observed
Parking Meter History
The history of the parking meter — originally designed to have a positive affect on traffic flow and shopping.


Rick Poynor
The Experiential Thrill of Driving in Films
A new book, Drive, shows how the car scenes in movies help us understand the experience of modernity.



Observed
Visualizing Mass Transit
Andrew Walker has visualized the mass-transit systems of major cities.


Rick Poynor
It’s Smart to Use a Crash Test Dummy
The image of the crash test dummy has traveled from the subcultural fringes to the pop culture mainstream.


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age. This week's focus is St. Louis Bus Passes from the 1940s.


John Thackara
Virtual Boring Agent
The Virtual Boarding Agent Orly Airport in Paris. It's spooky, clever and very well executed — and most people seem to ignore it after a first casual glance.



Phil Patton
Audi Urban Future Summit 2011
Report on one of the latest conferences to take on the global theme of the city



Phil Patton
The Green Dashboard
The design of instrument panels reflects the new technologies of hybrid and electric vehicles



Alexandra Lange
On GOOD: Why Are Car Seats So Poorly Designed?
If you want parents to use public transportation, first you have to fix the car seat.



Phil Patton
Another Wrong Turn for Chris Paine
Review of the documentary film Revenge of the Electric Car.



John Thackara
Rotterdam: Where Time is no Longer Money
Twelve-year-old children in Rotterdam have never known a time when their city was not being rebuilt around them.


John Thackara
If It’s Not the Destination and It’s Not the Journey...
A team at Rutgers University, uses ultrasonic sensors, GPS receivers and cellular networks to find empty parking spaces. While technically impressive, this is an absurdly over-complicated answer to the wrong question.



John Thackara
The Gram Junkies: In Transportation Design the Key Issue Is Not Speed, but Weight
In the matter of mobility and modern transportation we all need to become gram junkies.



Phil Patton
Charging Double
Comparing two new electric-car chargers: Blink and WattStation


Mark Lamster
The Ugliest Object I Have Ever Owned
What's the ugliest object you've ever owned (and loved)?


John Thackara
Is an Environmentally Neutral Car Possible?
The future of the car has been electric for what? Five years now? Ten? The answer is 110 years. The new Riversimple, makes us look again at the feasibility of the electric car.


Mark Lamster
Trabantimino
The idea: fuse a Trabant, that iconic East German junkmobile, with an El Camino, the classic American musclecar.



Phil Patton
Mitsubishi i-MiEV Electric Car
Review of Mitsubishi's i-MiEV electric car.



Alexandra Lange
Archpaper Review: Our Cities Ourselves
Does one size fit all, even when it is oh-so-hot bikes and buses?



Phil Patton
Murray T.25 City Car
Report on Gordon Murray's conversion from revolutionary race car designer to creator of one of the greenest city cars ever.



Mark Lamster
Coming to America: The Extraordinary Journey of Morris Moel
From Poland to New York, the story of Morris Moel.



Alexandra Lange
Diana Center & Architectural Bull----
Though rave reviews (
Architect, Metropolis, previously New York) are rolling in for Weiss/Manfredi’s Diana Center at Barnard College, every review has praised two things that I quickly dismissed as the most basic architectural bullshit: the copper glass and the street-level transparency.



Phil Patton
One Car Per Family
Report on Yves Béhar's design for a new "people's car."



Jonathan Schultz
Better Place
Report on Better Place, winner of the 2009 INDEX Award in the Community category.


Phil Patton
Triple-Digit Inflation
Phil Patton questions GM's sustainability claims for its Chevrolet Volt electric car.



Mark Lamster
Blriot! The Centennial of a Historic Flight
A century ago today, Louis Blriot took off in an airplane of his own invention.



Observed | August 14

Over at the Smithsonian, a discussion of relevance. [BV]


Observed | August 13

A brief history of plastic: design’s favorite material. [BV]

NYC’s Uber cap won’t solve the city’s traffic problem: what the city really needs is a limit on private cars. [BV]


Observed | August 09

The Trump campaign asks its supporters to choose a Space Force logo from six proposed designs. (via James I. Bowie) [BV]


Observed | August 08

The hopes that data and design can revitalize urban areas. [BV]


Observed | August 06

Sticks and stones and all that: 25 legendary literary feuds, ranked. (And somehow many involved Dick Cavett.) [BV]


Observed | August 02

Do you remember them all? A history of Mac startup and crash chimes. [BV]

Famous landmarks, before they were finished. [BV]


Observed | August 01

Who really decides how language works? Grammar purity is one big ponzi scheme. [BV]

A new study has found that private ride options such as Uber and Lyft, and ride-hail services services like UberPool are resulting in more driving overall, making traffic worse + cities less livable. [BV]


Observed | July 31

Bless this Instagrammer: Wander. Roam. Replicate. [BV]

Where were you in 1988? [BV]


Observed | July 23

Need a little more Saul Bass on your walls? [BV]


Observed | July 20

Been enjoying GLOW? Check out the gorgeous ladies of Japanese wrestling. [BV]

Looking back at the design of the African Writers Series. [JH]


Observed | July 19

Let children play outside. Let them make mud pies and get dirty. [BV]


Observed | July 18

15 of the best illustrations of the 2018 World Cup. [BV]

Looking for a place to visit this summer? Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum looks amazing. [BV]


Observed | July 17

Interesting: Open offices result in less collaboration among employees. [BV]

Tim Berners-Lee, the man who created the world wide web, has seen his creation debased by everything from fake news to mass surveillance. But he’s got a plan to fix it. [BV]


Observed | July 13

Traveling this summer? 22 ambassadors recommend the one book to read before visiting their country. [BV]

Can cottage cheese follow Chobani’s lead and rebrand>a? to achieve the unthinkable—some curb appeal? [LS]


Observed | July 12

What’s Eating the World? The fifth issue of
Weapons of Reason, a publication with a limited run of eight issues, explores the effects of the food industry on our planet with saturated colors and infographics that any designer would appreciate. [LS]

Congratulations to Karen Hofmann, the new Provost of ArtCenter College of Design. She‘s the first woman to hold the position in the 88-year history of the College. [BV]


Observed | July 11

What is the meaning behind the Thin Blue Line flag? (via James I. Bowie) [BV]


Observed | July 09

One full hour of 1980‘s video game ads! [BV]

Women running for office are changing the campaign design landscape. [BV]


Observed | July 06

The U.S. Navy once had a concrete ice cream barge that sustained sailors on the high seas. [BV]


Observed | July 05

Addiction + rehab instilled in photographer Nan Goldin a passion for truth and desperate determination to expose the world’s underbelly in all its flawed beauty and harsh realities. [BV]

Illustrator Jean Jullien may change the definition of “dog days of summer” with her new game Dodgy Dogs. [BV]



Jobs | August 15