Hungry Hungry Hamsters

Photo Credit: kikalastudio

The design agency Leavingstone was recognized for the video ad series “The Hungry Hungry Hamster.” The short episodes were made for the canned food company Supremo. The company was ready for less traditional ads, and they hired the design group to revamp their image. The episodes feature real hamsters and a meticulous, detailed miniature town, with a flower shop, bookstore, movie theater, and statues of famous fictional hamsters. The videos were recognized with the Golden Hammer Creative Case Award and the Access Key Award, as well as several awards at the Kyiv International Advertising Festival.

Source: designboom

Curious, Persuasive Maps

Photo Credit: Persuasive Maps: PJ Mode Collection

JP Mode has donated a collection of maps that explore the capacity of persuasion to Cornell University Library’s Rare Manuscript Collections. The maps are accessible from Cornell via Persuasive Cartography: The PJ Model Collection. The collection is also freely accessible in Artstor’s Shared Shelf Commons. The maps comprising this collection—many are from significant political eras like World War II—are unique because they all contain examples of visual persuasion or propaganda.

Source: Artstor

Millennials with Families Seek Affordable Cities

Photo Credit: Suriya Wattanalee

Jennifer Griffin hypothesizes that as Millennials begin to start families, the affordable housing crisis will have a heavy impact. Traditionally sought after cities such as New York, Seattle, Portland, Austin, and Los Angeles are no longer financially viable for the Millennials who are starting families. Griffin posits that instead of looking for affordable homes in larger cities, families will move to smaller less urbanized cities, using Tulsa, Oklahoma as an example to describe the reasons for and benefits of moving to a less urbanized locale.

Source: Planetizen

The Design of Transport Maps

Photo Credit: vinnivinnivinni

Transport Maps in major cities often represent a simplified diagram of train routes in order to enhance readability. These maps distort the actual geometries of the cities’ geography, compressing the area the trains cover, and simplifying the curves of the paths to improve the aesthetics and comprehensibility. Although the map is geographically inaccurate it seeks to more accurately match the readers perspective of the city’s geography. In the map of Berlin, the center of the city is enlarged for clarity, and the more distant routes are shortened.

Source: The Guardian 

La Sein Musical in Paris

The La Sein Musical is a new music venue in France. Design by Shigeru Ban and Jean de Gastines, the music hall is located along the riverbank of Ile Seguin. The spherical auditorium and sail-like structure made from photovoltaic panels responds to the curvature of the island. The industrial aspects of the architecture allude to the island’s industrial heritage. The program includes an auditorium, multipurpose concert hall, small classical music venue, recording studios, and retail space.

Source: Designboom

Wright Home Serves as a Resource for Architecture Students

Photo Credit:, CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0)

To celebrate what would have been Frank Lloyd Wright’s 150th birthday, Zach Rawling donated his Phoenix home that was designed by Wright, to the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. The home—originally designed for Wright’s son—was saved by Rawling from demolition in 2012. Rawling originally wanted to make the home a museum, but now the house will become a resource for hands-on restoration and renovation for the architecture students at the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture.

Source: Archinect

The 200-Acre Model

In 1927 the Mississippi River flooded the Midwest causing mass devastation. The number of people who died in the tragic event is unknown; Herbert Hoover called it “the most dangerous flood our country has ever known.” Congress passed the Flood Control Act of 1928, and the Army Corps build a sophisticated model to test flood prevention strategies. The model was a three-dimensional map of the United States at 1/2000 scale. The model was used to successfully predict which levees were overtopped in floods in later years. Although computer models have replaced this massive model, physical models are still useful for running advanced simulations that computers cannot adequately process.

Source: 99 Percent Invisible

MoMA Celebrates Frank Lloyd Wright’s Birthday With Special Exhibition

The Museum of Modern Art is celebrating Frank Lloyd Wright with a new exhibition titled Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive. The exhibition features drawings, building fragments, photographs, models, and other ephemera related to Wright’s career—including an original physical model of the Guggenheim—on view through October 1, 2017.

Source: Archinect

A Bother for the Nose, A Delight for the Eye

Image Credit: DesignBoom

The microscopic structures of pollen were used to derive the forms of these 3-D printed lamps. The chosen types of pollen—such as ragweed, dandelion, and ash pollen—cause hay fever across Europe. The lamps are an exercise in converting two-dimensional images from under a microscope to 3-D virtual and physical models. The very things that bother the noses of Europeans can now delight their eyes.

Source: DesignBoom

Fanciful Gas Stations

Image Credit: Archinect

Design Curial has compiled a list of “2017’s 10 Best Gas Stations, Worldwide.” Archinect reports that “new entrants are fueling some alternative aesthetic takes on the usually quotidian gas station.” The inherently mundane programmatic necessities and the pavilion-like formal requirements of the program allow designers to use these project as vessels for flights of fancy.

Source: Archinect

Sleepin’ in the Subway Station

Image Credit: Pop Up City

Airbnb’s affect on Amsterdam has been highlighted through the installation of a bedroom in a local subway station. Artist Boudewijn Ruckert uses this piece to create awareness about the fact that people are desperate to live anywhere in the Dutch city because such a large percentage of its already-low housing selection has been employed for Airbnb. The corresponding advertisement for this bedroom states, “the views from the windows are absolutely unforgettable.”

Source: Pop Up City

The Question of the Alamo

Image Credit: Next City

The site of the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, has been an item of contention lately. Complaints about the World Heritage site’s lack of a prominent visual presence have prompted a rethinking of the site’s layout. Preservation Design Partnership has proposed a large, enclosing glass wall that will mark the bounds of the original structure. Critiques against this proposal assert that the area that will be enclosed by the wall currently functions as a completely public plaza. Critics argue that this proposal could be the end of the “street preaching, panhandling, raspa vending, trinket shopping, [and] photo posing” that constitute the role of the square in the city.

Source: Next City