The First Eco-Warrior of Design

You’d be forgiven for thinking that the designs of William Morris – his trellises and willows and honeysuckles – are a little out-of-date and irrelevant. Popular designs like Strawberry Thief adorn cushions and mugs, but do they really fit the modern interior? Surprisingly, not only have these botanical themes made a massive comeback, but Morris himself has been enjoying a new wave of popularity – as an environmental prophet and anarchist.

Continue reading

Messaging App Telegram Moves to Protect Identity of Hong Kong Protesters

WASHINGTON—Telegram, a popular encrypted messaging app, will allow users to cloak their telephone numbers to safeguard Hong Kong protesters against monitoring by authorities, according to a person with direct knowledge of the effort.

The update to Telegram, planned for release over the next few days, will allow protesters to prevent mainland Chinese and Hong Kong authorities from discovering their identities in the app’s large group chats.

Continue reading

Inside the visual aesthetic of Kubrick’s films

A new exhibition highlights the auteur’s keen eye for design and the work of collaborators like Saul Bass and Milena Canonero.

20 years after his death, the vision of auteur Stanley Kubrick continues to resonate, whether in homages found in films like Ready Player One, the style of Christopher Nolan or album covers by the Arctic Monkeys.

The influence of his visual aesthetics came in part from Kubrick’s background as a photographer, and his collaborations with designers like Milena Canonero and Eliot Noyes to create the look of cinema classics like A Clockwork Orange and 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Continue reading

Charting the Geo-History of Culture

Bigger data gets the bigger picture . . . in this case, the big picture in the form of an amazing visualization of global cultural evolution. In Europe. Things move slowly at the beginning, when the only stars and centers of cultural gravity are Athens and Rome. Watch Europe flicker through the “dark” ages until the Renaissance lights up the map. Of course,  things really get going in the nineteen hundreds with the industrial revolution.

Continue reading