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This sleek sensor helps self-driving cars look less like self-driving cars

Try to find the sensors on Volvo’s autonomous-ready EX90. The driverless vehicle of the near(ish) future will be a car loaded with sensors. Cameras, radar, and laser-based lidar will become as common to cars as chrome accents and elaborately designed headlights. But unlike those design features, the hardware of autonomy probably won’t look so good—bumping...

In defense of design tropes

Bolt’s controversial rebrand is a good reminder of why clichés exist in the first place. Every few months, a good number of well-educated adults in the design world will spend a part of their day breathlessly finger-stabbing their screens to point out that they have just seen a thing, and that it is not the first time they have seen that thing. This...

Japanese manhole covers are works of art. Here’s how they’re made

A new documentary sheds light on the fascinating manufacturing process behind Japanese manhole covers, which are cast in sand and painted by hand. Let’s talk about manhole covers. Every city in the world has them, yet no one ever pays attention to the ugly, stinking, rusty metal plates, unless they’re comically misaligned with road markings—or they...

Goodbye, jumbo jet! Final sendoff for Boeing’s long-flying 747

A big crowd of current and former Boeing workers is expected for the final send-off. The last one is being delivered to cargo carrier Atlas Air. SEATTLE (AP) — Boeing bids farewell to an icon on Tuesday: It’s delivering its final 747 jumbo jet.Read Full Story

Boston Dynamics and DHL’s new robot is a hyper-efficient warehouse worker

Boston Dynamics’s first purpose-built robot can unload 350 boxes per hour. For all their forklifts and conveyor belts and automatic sorting systems, many warehouses around the world could not operate without a person at a loading bay pulling boxes out of the back of a truck. The hand loading and unloading of boxes, as antiquated as it sounds, is...

Ford’s ‘Edsel’ car was a notorious flop. Was the name to blame?

Pentagram tells the wild story behind the fraught process of naming its sedan from the 1950s. What’s in a name?Read Full Story

Here’s what Frank Lloyd Wright’s unbuilt designs would look like today

More than 660 of Wright’s buildings never saw the light of day. Architect David Romero has built elaborate 3D models to bring some of them to life. Frank Lloyd Wright needs no introduction. With over 530 built works, mostly in the U.S., he is one of the most prolific architects of the 20th century. But for every building he completed, there’s a building...

What do the Big Tech layoffs mean for designers?

As Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Meta slash their head counts, designers have been among the workers let go. Could so much talent fresh on the job market lead to a renewed era of design innovation? “Make no mistake, this layoff isn’t about low performers.”Read Full Story

Inside Converse’s innovation lab, where future Chuck Taylors come to life

At Converse’s Concept Creation Center, shoes go from idea to collection in a matter of months. I’m in an industrial building with cement floors and exposed steel beams running across the ceiling. On small pedestals are Converse’s iconic Chuck Taylor sneakers, but redesigned in wild ways. One pair is covered in what looks like red spider veins; another...

America’s most expensive, most delayed, transit project is finally open

New York’s $11 billion ‘hot mess’ is the new poster child for inefficient U.S. public transit construction. It was originally envisioned a half century ago, and at a cost several billion dollars lower, but New York’s $11.1 billion East Side Access project has finally been completed.Read Full Story

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