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This TED Talk on Spectacularly Awful City Flags is Here to Inspire the Inner Design Geek in All of Us: VIDEO


100-percent of people care about flags, even if they don't think that they do.

So says radio host Roman Mars, the producer of 99% Invisible (the highest-funded journalism Kickstarter project ever), who appeared at this year's TED conference in Vancouver and dropped a design-centric talk on vexillology that will make you look at the banners waving on your local police stations and city halls in a new way.

In a brief 18 minutes you'll realize why the flags of Chicago and Amsterdam are so wonderful, and the flags of San Francisco, Milwaukee, and many other municipalities around the nation are so tragic.

City flags need a better rap, Mars argues, and it's time to do something about it.



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Artist Creates Font Based Entirely On His Own Beard


Are you into beards? Do guys with facial hair get you going? Then you're in luck, because now you can even type to your bearded-heart's content with a new font based entirely on one man's mustachioed look.

Gizmodo reports:

The brainchild of New York City-based designer Michael Allen, the Alphabeard has seen him carefully sculpt every character from his own facial hair. Bold and medium versions of the font were created at different stages of growth. Admittedly, not all the characters are super clear but, c'mon, it was carved out of hair.

Images via Design Boom.

Artist Philip Ross Cultivates Fungal Furniture


Artist Philip Ross first became interested in the fibrous structures created by mushrooms and other fungii about twenty years ago, when he was working with a chef who grew his own shrooms. After years of practice and perfecting the art of manipulating molds and spores, Ross has created a range of furniture made of fungus.

Right now Ross is working with a fungus called Reishi that creates new forms as it devours the wood upon which it's placed. New Scientist uncovers how it's done:

As [Reishi] digests the wood, it rearranges the fibers and forms a hard substance called chitin, also found in crab shells. The arrangement of the sawdust and the size of its chunks alter the chitinous forms that result.

With tools such as the serendipitous kerosene-Vaseline mix, Ross determines where a mushroom blossoms, where fuzz forms, and where the soma toughens: a black plastic bag pressed tight against the soma cuts off gas exchange, prompting the fungus to form a leather-like layer to encase itself.

Ross dismisses the notion that his rot is a dangerous addition to anyone's living room. Once a piece reaches a point to his liking, he kills the fungus within a 67 °C oven and coats it with a biodegradable lacquer. That means the finished furniture is dead and spores to spread it no longer form.

Ross has a number of other really cool pieces of art/design that you can check out, and perhaps even purchase, at his website.

Interior: Tokyo's 9H Pod Hotel


Tokyo's 9H Pod Hotel is about to open in 55 locations in Japan. Not for claustrophobes.

Design Scene writes: "Besides its monochrome interior design by Takaaki Nakamura enriched by Masaaki Hiromura graphics, visitors also enjoy custom designed toothbrushes, sleepers, soap and even sleepwear."


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