How People Around the World Pronounce GIF, Why you Should Avoid Making Assumptions About your Users and Donald "Duck"

The Core77 team spends time combing through the news so you don’t have to. Here’s a weekly roundup of our favorite finds from the World Wide Web:

Chart showing how people around the world pronounce “Gif.”

“The $100 billion per year back pain industry is mostly a hoax.”

An interesting reflection on design thinking and the importance of not making prior assumptions about your user.

How to recycle an Airplane.

Zillow vs. McMansion Hell.

A tricked-out bike sidecar.

Oh, wonderful! Now we can be stressed about communication while we sleep. to think I was contemplating getting a Galaxy Note 7

Interior design meets fashion this season.

Time lapse of ice crystals growing.

“Our food has a really, really long shelf life.”

A lesson in branding.

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NYC infrastructure just crushing it right now

— Max RN (@MaxRivlinNadler) June 27, 2017

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I invented a method of passing popcorn easily in the cinema for @vuecinemas and the launch of #DM3 See the real thing in my next RT…

— Dominic Wilcox (@dominicwilcox) June 28, 2017

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I’ll just leave this here. (via @Colouryum)

— Core77 (@core77) June 26, 2017


Hot Tip: Check out more blazin’ hot Internet finds on our Twitter and Instagram pages.

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Knob Creek 25th Anniversary Bourbon: Master Distiller Fred Noe, a seventh-generation member of the Beam family, celebrates the bold brand

 Knob Creek 25th Anniversary Bourbon

Swirling in the overwhelming vastness of the whiskey world, Knob Creek’s been a liquid of exceptional merit since Booker Noe, sixth-generation family member to be the Master Distiller of Jim Beam, decided to put it out there 25 years ago. Today……

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The best hotels respond intelligently to their context, say AHEAD Americas awards judges

In this movie Dezeen produced for the AHEAD Americas hospitality awards, jury members reveal that the way a hotel relates to its location was a crucial factor in choosing the winning projects.

Faena Miami Beach
Faena Miami Beach was named The Americas Hotel Design of the Year

The Faena Miami Beach complex was the biggest winner of the inaugural AHEAD Americas awards, which took place in Miami this week.

The Faena Hotel at the heart of the development was named The Americas Hotel Design of the Year and also won the Resort Hotel category, while the OMA-designed Faena Forum cultural centre won the Event Spaces category.

Faena Miami Beach
The judges felt Faena Miami Beach captured the Art Deco history of Miami

Matoula Karagiannis, vice president of design at Sydell Group, says that the way the Faena captured the glamorous art deco history of Miami impressed the jury.

“The Hotel Faena harkens back to a time when all those hotels were built in the 1920s on Miami Beach,” she says in the movie, which Dezeen filmed at the Nomad Hotel in New York, where the judging took place.

“There was a certain sense of theatre and glamour. People went to Miami to stay in those hotels and the Hotel Faena has captured that.”

Hotel Criol
Hotel Criol won the Urban Hotel – Conversion category

Fellow jury member Aliya Khan, vice president of global design strategies at Marriott International, says that the way that a hotel responds to its context came up repeatedly during the judging process.

“Context is what really grounds design and I think really gives good design its authenticity,” she explains. “Where are you? What is the history of the place?”

Hotel Criol
Hotel Criol was also highly commended in The Americas Hotel Design of the Year category

Khan picks out Hotel Criol in Querétaro, Mexico, as an impressive example. The hotel won the Urban Hotel – Conversion category and was highly commended in The Americas Hotel Design of the Year category.

“You understand that this hotel was built for that location and nowhere else,” she says. “That felt really authentic.”

Anda Andrei's AHEAD nominated design for the 11 Howard Hotel in New York
11 Howard in New York won four categories at the AHEAD Americas awards

Another big winner of the night was 11 Howard in New York, which topped four categories: Hotel Renovation and Restoration; Lobby and Public Spaces; Restaurant; and Suite.

“That is a hotel that is going to age really well,” Khan says. “There’s a timeless component to that palette. The guest rooms are incredibly tasteful. It’s not going to date and I think there is tremendous value to that.”

Anda Andrei's AHEAD nominated design for the 11 Howard Hotel in New York
Judges praised 11 Howard for its classic design

Jury chair Larry Traxler, senior vice president of global design at Hilton Worldwide, says the hotel epitomises a “doing more with less” approach to design, a theme he says is apparent in many of the winning projects this year.

He also picks out the Arlo Soho for praise in this respect. The New York hotel, which features small 150-square-foot rooms, won the Guestrooms and New Concept of the Year categories.

Arlo Soho hotel in New York
Arlo Soho hotel in New York won the New Concept of the Year category

“Each aspect of the room really has to be micro detailed,” he says. “How the doors work, how the coat pegs work is all very important.”

“It is designed like a ship or a yacht – it’s ship shape. Everything has its place.”

Arlo Soho hotel in New York
Judges described the Arlo Soho hotel in New York as “ship shape”

This movie was produced by Dezeen for AHEAD. It was filmed at the Nomad Hotel in New York. All images used in the movie and this story are courtesy of AHEAD.

The post The best hotels respond intelligently to their context, say AHEAD Americas awards judges appeared first on Dezeen.

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Abraham Cota Paredes' inward-looking Cave House features huge window to tree-planted atrium

Behind the white walls of this house in Mexico, architect Abraham Cota Paredes has carved out a courtyard and added a huge window to offer views of a tree planted inside.

The Cave House, Mexico, by Abraham Cota Paredes Arquitectos

The Mexican architect designed The Cave for a family living in Guadalajara, a city in Mexico’s Jalisco state that has become a hotspot for young architects.

The home takes the form of a white “enclosed cuboid”, which is raised on a stone-walled base and is accessed by a pair of stone steps.

The Cave House, Mexico, by Abraham Cota Paredes Arquitectos

The three-storey residence has few openings on the street-facing wall to maintain the resident’s privacy. However, one forms the indented entrance an extends into a long slit, while the other is an upper floor window.

The Cave House, Mexico, by Abraham Cota Paredes Arquitectos

Instead, light is brought inside through a huge window that spans two floors at the rear of the residence.

It overlooks a secluded courtyard that is carved out of two levels, with steps leading from the upper garden to a lower patio.

The Cave House, Mexico, by Abraham Cota Paredes Arquitectos

Cota Paredes also completed a similarly inward-looking residence nearby, which appears to be completely windowless to provide its residents with privacy and responds to “increased insecurity in Mexico”.

The Cave House, Mexico, by Abraham Cota Paredes Arquitectos

“The land is located within the metropolitan area of Guadalajara, in one of many private condominiums delimited by large walls, as a result of increased insecurity in Mexico,” he explained.

“It is this duality among a chaotic city and the search for isolation and shelter, what generates ‘introspective architecture’.”

The Cave House, Mexico, by Abraham Cota Paredes Arquitectos

The large window illuminates the two-storey atrium placed at the heart of the residence, which is planted with a tree that peaks above the glazed balconies on the upper levels.

The Cave House, Mexico, by Abraham Cota Paredes Arquitectos

“We thought of ​​introducing a double-height patio that would provide natural lighting and ventilation to the basement,” said the architect. “This gave us the perfect excuse to plant a tree that would bring character to the space.”

“On the ground floor, the crown of the tree rises, filling the void generated by the double heights, extending its branches throughout the surrounding spaces.”

The Cave House, Mexico, by Abraham Cota Paredes Arquitectos

The crucifix shape of the white frame, which is slightly off-centre, is also borrowed from an earlier Mexican residence by the architect.

White-painted walls are paired with pale marble flooring to create a light and bright interior, only offset by dark wooden doors.

The Cave House, Mexico, by Abraham Cota Paredes Arquitectos

A family room occupies the space next to the void on the basement floor and features exposed stone on the lower half of the walls.

On the floor above, double-height open-plan dining room and living room overlook from the space above and kitchen occupies the room next door.

The Cave House, Mexico, by Abraham Cota Paredes Arquitectos

As the staircase leads from this floor the bedroom above, the handrail changes from a glass banister to a solid white structure. The underside is lifted up diagonally to create a sculptural feature in the centre of the house.

Other features of the house include a sheltered parking spot slotted in the recess at ground level. Another recess creates a roof terrace at the top of the house.

Photography is by Cesar Béjar.

The post Abraham Cota Paredes’ inward-looking Cave House features huge window to tree-planted atrium appeared first on Dezeen.

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Book Review: Digital Apollo

We love David Mindell’s Digital Apollo: Human and Machine in Spaceflight. Mindell’s book tells the story of “human pilots, of automated systems, and of the two working together to achieve the ultimate in flight.” From our perspective, the book explains the link between what rocket scientists in the 1950s called “systems engineering” and what the cool kids in skinny jeans now call “design thinking.”

Whether we’re designing the first spacecraft to land on the moon, or the first phototherapy device intended for use in a low-resource hospital, the key is to start with a very clear idea of success. In the case of a rocket, the system is only successful if it brings the astronauts all the way home. In the case of a medical device, the system on works if people are willing to use it and able to successfully treat patients with it. There is no partial credit!

Another similarity is the role that we as designers imagine for the users. In the Apollo program, the two primary metaphors for the astronauts were “cowboys or cargo.” Would astronauts serve as the pilots of “dumb rockets” or as passengers in an autonomous vehicle?

As pilots, the early astronauts expected to have lots of instrument data and full control of the vehicle. Rocket engineers, on the other hand, were more comfortable developing fully autonomous systems. They realized that rockets could develop problems too quickly for the human response time.

Initially, [software engineer Alex] Kosmala pictured the spacecraft with one button: “The astronaut goes in, turns the computer on and says ‘Go to moon’ and then sits back and watches while we did everything.” Another version has the computer running two programs—”P00″ to go to the moon, and “P01” to return home. [David Mindell, Digital Apollo, p. 161]

MIT Instrumentation Laboratory cartoon showing the extremes of automation. Too much automation leaves the astronauts bored, awaiting an abort, while too little overwhelms them with work. (Draper Laboratories/MIT Museum)

The Apollo system was ultimately a synthesis that combined autonomous systems with human inputs. It serves as an excellent metaphor for healthcare. Do we imagine caregivers in low-resource hospitals as “cowboys” who need lots of options and the ability to override medical device settings, or do we imagine them as “cargo,” overloaded with too many patients and not enough training and grateful for machines that can reduce their workload?

As designer thinkers, we see two options for guaranteeing our desired social impact outcomes with a given medical device: provide lots of training and incentives for appropriate behavior, or create product features that make a device intuitive and easy to use.

One framework for evaluating our choices in achieving design outcomes. 

DtM’s overall philosophy of making medical devices “hard to use wrong” is really a statement about our expectations for users. In the same way Apollo rocket scientists realized that too little automation would place unrealistic demands on the astronauts, we see how medical systems that expect significant amounts of prior training and user expertise are poorly suited to the needs of rural hospitals in developing countries. 

Mindell’s book includes loads of other ideas that have applications in social impact design. One is Apollo’s approach of “all-up testing”: only investing in tests of complete systems, rather than individually testing subsystems that might not work as well together.

Another is what the Apollo team called “configuration discipline”: the rigorous documentation of system changes. The logic of any given design modification has a very short half-life. What seemed like an obvious improvement on Monday can be a total mystery by Wednesday. We want to manage the product development process like a disciplined experiment. To quote Adam Savage, “Remember kids, the only difference between Science and screwing around is writing it down!”

Fantastic book, check it out! And if you buy the book through the links in this email, Amazon will send part of the proceeds to DtM! [Digital Apollo]


This “Design Experience that Matters” series is provided courtesy of Timothy Prestero and the team at Design that Matters (DtM). As a nonprofit, DtM collaborates with leading social entrepreneurs and hundreds of volunteers to design new medical technologies for the poor in developing countries. DtM’s Firefly infant phototherapy device is treating thousands of newborns in 21 counties from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. In 2012, DtM was named the winner of the National Design Award.

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Link About It: A Functional Design Upgrade for the Doorknob

A Functional Design Upgrade for the Doorknob

A new “Push Pull Rotate” doorknob line from Brinks Home Security might be the first substantial design upgrade to the door feature in years. This multifunctional three-way knob grants a plentitude of options for opening doors, providing more options……

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Takesada Matsutani at Hauser & Wirth, Los Angeles: The Osaka-born, Paris-based artist's first California solo show opens tomorrow

Takesada Matsutani at Hauser & Wirth, Los Angeles

by Kyle Raymond Fitzpatrick

Artist Takesada Matsutani’s work is full of movement despite its minimalism. The art represents both an intellectual physicality and expressive groups of creations that were recently brought together at the Los Angeles……

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10 plant-covered buildings that point to a greener future

Architects are touting plant-covered tower blocks as a way to tackle air pollution and improve the quality of urban life. From one of the world’s tallest living walls to an entire “vertical forest” city in China, here are 10 examples showing the rise of verdant architecture.

Rosewood Tower, Brazil, by Jean Nouvel

Ateliers Jean Nouvel has recently designed a plant-covered luxury hotel in São Paulo, which will feature staggered terraces overflowing with trees and a latticed Corten-steel facade.

Find out more about Rosewood Tower ›

Eco-Luxury Hotel, France, by Kengo Kuma

Kengo Kuma has also designed a heavily planted luxury hotel. Proposed for the Left Bank of Paris’ River Seine, the building will feature lush greenery escaping from a facade comprised of overlapping wooden blocks.

Find out more about Eco-Luxury Hotel ›

M6B2 Tower of Biodiversity, France, by Maison Edouard François

This eco-friendly apartment block in Paris is wrapped in stainless-steel netting that acts as a climbing frame for plants. When the wind blows, their seeds will be spread across the city.

Find out more about M6B2 Tower of Biodiversity ›

The Oasis of Aboukir, France, by Patrick Blanc

A vertical garden made from 7600 plants appears to grow up the side of this five-storey Parisian block. It was created by botanist and researcher Patrick Blanc, a pioneer of living walls.

Find out more about The Oasis of Aboukir ›

Ravel Plaza, Amsterdam, by MVRDV

MVRDV incorporated plants and trees in its design for a sprawling complex in Amsterdam’s financial district, which will feature protruding bay windows and angular balconies.

Find out more about Ravel Plaza ›

East Village, Lebanon, by Jean Marc Bonfils

A vertical garden contrasts with traditional timber and stone cladding on the facades of this apartment block and art gallery in Beirut, inspired by an adjacent garden that is no longer accessible to the public.

Find out more about East Village ›

Central Park, Australia, by Jean Nouvel

Jean Nouvel teamed up with Patrick Blanc for this pair of apartment towers in Sydney that boasts balconies spilling with plants, as well as a huge vertical garden and a cantilevering structure that reflects light down to lower levels.

Find out more about Central Park ›

Naman Retreat the Babylon by Vo Trong Nghia Architects

The Naman Retreat, Vietnam, by Vo Trong Nghia Architects

Plants climb all over vertical concrete louvres surrounding the facades of this holiday resort by Vo Trong Nghia Architects, which regularly features living walls in its work.

Find out more about The Naman Retreat ›

Moganshan, China by Heatherwick Studios

50 Moganshan Road, China, by Heatherwick Studio

Heatherwick Studio has envisioned a vast tree-covered development for Shanghai, with a staggered roofline modelled on natural topography. It comprises 400 terraces and 1,000 plant-topped columns.

Find out more about 50 Moganshan Road ›

Liuzhou Forest City by Stefano Boeri Architetti

Liuzhou Forest City, China, By Stefano Boeri

With several “vertical forest” towers already in the works, Stefano Boeri has unveiled ambitious plans for a green city that would address China’s air pollution problem. The Liuzhou Forest City will feature nearly 40,000 trees and almost one million plants.

Find out more about Liuzhou Forest City ›

The post 10 plant-covered buildings that point to a greener future appeared first on Dezeen.

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The inexpensive kitchen tools I love

Last week I saw this great post from Brett Terpstra, The best cheap stuff in my kitchen. In the course of teaching himself how to cook, Brett accumulated many tools, including “…inexpensive tools…that I’ve picked up either out of need or curiosity, and am repeatedly amazed at both how durable they are for the price, and how much they’ve helped make my kitchen life better.” The resulting list is a good one, and it has prompted me to look at the inexpensive and reliable kitchen tools that I love.

I’ve got a small kitchen so tools must earn their way in. As a result I’m very picky, and many would-be additions that don’t “pass the audition,” get the boot. One winner is an inexpensive cooling rack, much like this one from Wilton. I use it to cool baked goods, but also as a landing spot for almost anything that’s hot. When I’m not cooking, it doubles as a drying rack for glasses next to the sink.

Next, this great little colander from Oggi is a go-to item. The feet on the bottom make it nice and sturdy, the long handle keeps my hands away from hot water and steam and the hook on the end lets me hang it when not in use and rest over the edge of a sink when I need it to be out of the way. Finally, its small size lets me put it in a sauce pot for steaming veggies. It’s super versatile and I use it several times per week.

A good set of ramekins, like these from HIC are great multitaskers. They can hold chopped and measured ingredients when you’re working on your mise en place. They’re great for serving individual sauces or dips, holding spent tea bags and of course, you can bake in them.

I also have a microplane that I love dearly. It’s super for grating hard cheese and zesting citrus. I’ve even used it to grind nutmeg on occasion. It cleans up quickly and stores away easily.

I received the AccuSharp 001 Knife Sharpener as a Christmas gift, as I’m often complaining about dull knives. What I like like about the AccuSharp is that you don’t have to worry about holding the knife properly or maintaining the right angle. Just a few broad swipes and you’ve got a nice, sharp knife.

I’ll wrap this up the same way Brett ended his article, with a question to the readers. What else should I get? Any must-have kitchen tools I need to know about? Sound off.

Post written by David Caolo

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Reader Submitted: Behind the Scenes of Designing the Moto Z² Play Smartphone

Moto Z² Play is the second generation Moto Z Play, the thinner, lighter, faster smartphone that transforms in a snap with Moto Mods. It’s the most affordable phone compatible with the Moto MODs platform on the market in 2017. It has great specs for an incredible value, and the design is an enabler to most of the low cost architecture and the high perceived quality of the device.

I was lucky to be the design lead for this program at Motorola, working alongside with the engineering, marketing, product, supply chain and all cross-functional teams to deliver the phone to the market according to our targets and expectations.

Designed from Brazil, in partnership with our design studios in Chicago and China,Moto Z² Playis one of the coolest projects I’ve done in my career so far!

View the full project here

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