Nitin Rao, along with Kaustuv DeBiswas, is co-founder of Sunglass, a cloud-based environment that aims to democratize design and provide an easy, user-friendly way to collaborate on 3D content. Launched in late May, Sunglass was selected as one of 6 finalists in the TechCrunch DISRUPT Battlefield (see the company's presentation here). We sit down with Rao to delve into the process behind Sunglass' creation and the future of digital design.
San Francisco has its fair share of third-wave coffee so we jumped at the chance to visit one of the East Bay's newest offerings. On a pleasantly sleepy stretch of Solano Avenue, Berkeley-based Local 123 opened a cafe within Flowerland nursery. From a charming 1969 Airstream Streamline Princess trailer, proprietor Frieda Hoffman and her business partner Alex Ebel churn out lattes, macchiatos, single-drip cups of coffee, and more. And the setting—a verdant nursery—couldn't be more right. Hoffman's "perma-popup" is opposite of what we've come to expect from the many cafes that seem to be victims of their success. Instead of chaotic snaking lines of undercaffeinated denizens jonesin' for their morning fix, we were treated to a peaceful garden setting, and gladly traded the drone of indie rock for the chirp of birds. Local 123's menu features coffee from Four Barrel, vegan donuts from Pepples, and pastries from Starter Bakery. Have a look inside the cafe in our slideshow.
For designers, artists, and virtual hoarders, Pinterest is the perfect website for whiling away hours. The site allows users to curate images on virtual inspiration boards organized by subjects the user chooses. Users, referred to as "pinners," can share boards and images with others. In the past two-and-a-half years, Pinterest has grown from a small start-up to bustling online destination. Although occasionally abused by an inordinate amount of images of baby animal memes and wedding dresses, it has become a valuable resource for inspiration and new products. We investigated the popular pinners in modern architecture and design and picked some of our favorites to share with you.
In 1985, the Sprague Electric Mill in North Adams, Massachusetts, closed down. Like many similar western Massachusetts towns supporting heavy industry, North Adams relied on its factories to provide the jobs and sense of community that are at the core of a thriving city. While cultural attractions in nearby Williamstown and Great Barrington had kept the youth and creative classes hovering in the area, the town itself was in danger of falling off the map.
Here's a random fact for the day: July 17, 2012, marks the 110th anniversary of the humble air conditioner. Sure, overheated and crafty peoples had invented one-off cooling devices before American inventor Willis Carrier installed his air conditioning unit in a Brooklyn printing factory in 1902, but consider Carrier the Edison of plugged-in temperature control. While we hide indoors from this summer's fourth heat wave, here are a few cool pieces of A/C trivia.
We identify a cross-section of designers hard at work in every corner of society, from a Taiwanese graphic designer working in the New York headquarters of Pentagram, to the first female architect in Pakistan, to three trailblazers at MIT. Across their varied disciplines, these 15 thinkers, planners, and makers define today’s creative economy.
Pentagram’s newest partner adopts a spatial approach to graphic design and building brand identities that go way beyond logos.
A few words with the polymath powerhouse behind Dutch industrial-design giant Droog.