Click Your Heels To Hail A Cab With “Dorothy” Device And App

Dorothy sends your location to Uber with three clicks of a heel. It could even be used to rescue you from bad dates.

The designers of a new prototype wearable are pitching a whole new way to get out of awkward situations: Just like in The Wizard of Oz, all you need to do to go home is to click your heels three times. Dorothy, a high-tech shoe clip and app designed by iStrategyLabs, can text your friends with your exact coordinates or perhaps summon an Uber. With just a tap of your heels below the table, it can even help you smoothly remove yourself from a bad OkCupid date. (“Sorry, really important phone call”)

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Watch This Mesmerizing Machine Draw Sound, Then Wear It On A Scarf

Canorgraphy, a project by Dutch designer Roos Meerman, turns sound waves into beautiful patterns.

This is what sound looks like. Roos Meerman, a designer based in the Netherlands, focuses his efforts on creating machines controlled by natural phenomena. His latest project, Canorgraphy, can draw sound using pens and the vibration caused by speakers to create abstract, blue and purple dotted patterns on paper or textile.

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Concrete Is Not As Strong Of A Building Material As We Thought

Climate change may cause reinforced concrete structures to deteriorate quicker than expected, a new study finds.

Some of our favorite building materials are also the most vulnerable. Think of glass–floor-to-ceiling windows are awesome, until they fall 18 stories onto the street. But we typically think of concrete as solid. Concrete structures from ancient Rome, like the Pantheon and the Colosseum, are still standing almost 2,000 years later.

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Photos: In Hong Kong, Art Can Be The Most Powerful Form Of Protest

At a time when social media has enabled us to share images across the globe in seconds, art is the quickest way to spread a protest’s message.

On a recent 10-day trip to Hong Kong, I spent much of my time embedded with students and other citizens protesting against an oppressive political system that lets China call the shots. I watched when Joshua Wong–the 18-year-old student activist who began what is now called the Umbrella Revolution–gave an impassioned speech to a 10,000-strong crowd the night Hong Kong Chief Executive Cy Leung reneged on his agreement to meet with protest leaders for talks. I watched when the police arrested and carried away protesters in Mong Kok. I watched when a man who was so distraught over the disruption the protests were causing climbed to the center arch of the Connaught Road overpass and threatened to jump. When you’re fighting for democracy, the stakes are spectacularly high on all sides.

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Remembering Oscar De La Renta, One Of Fashion’s Great Innovators

De la Renta brought exuberant colors and the courtly, personalized service of Europe’s great fashion houses to American women.

It takes a very particular design talent to bring elegance and romance to settings as varied as the White House, the red carpet, the boardroom, and the high-society charity gala. Oscar de la Renta, the legendary American designer best known for his dramatic but well-mannered looks, managed to work at that level for more than five decades. De la Renta died yesterday at 82.

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The Cool Accidental Typography Of Satellite Imagery

Now on Kickstarter, Aerial Bold is a font made up of all the accidental letterforms found in satellite imagery.

Most typefaces are purposefully designed. Not this one. Now on Kickstarter, Aerial Bold is a typeface of topography, made up entirely of the accidental letters found in satellite images: buildings, roads, rivers, trees, and lakes that just happen to resemble our ABCs.

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Nom! Designers Make Snacks Their Muse

In Snacks Quarterly, writers and designers turn snacktime into an unlikely creative exercise.

Snacks are a mighty and undersung unifier: most people, regardless of creed, class, or dietary restriction, can agree that little morsels of food between meals are great. Snacks Quarterly, an online publication “for the distinguished snack enthusiast,” was launched in early 2014 by artists Brad Simon and Alexander Barrett as an outlet to share their passion for snacking. Since their launch, they’ve published snack-related essays, illustrations, anecdotes, and advice by designers like Erik Marinovich, Josh Cochran, Tim Lahan, Aaron Draplin, Jessica Hische, Brian Rea, Will Bryant, and Dan Christofferson. The quarterly’s third issue has just been released, introduced with a rousing letter from editor-in-chief “Sinclair P. Munch,” which reminds readers that designers can find inspiration in the unlikeliest of places, from White Fudge Oreos to Little Debbie’s Christmas Tree Cakes. The publication makes snacking seem downright virtuous: you’re not just gorging on empty calories, you’re engaging with a powerful muse.

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This Nightlight Costs $100, And It’s Worth Every Penny

The Leeo Smart Alert is a beautifully designed nightlight that can also protect your home when you’re away.

Asked about the future of the connected home last week,Nest founder Tony Fadell said it wouldn’t be a single integrated Jetsons-like experience authored by Google or Apple. Instead, it would be made up of a universe of great individual smart products, which might not be able to communicate with one another, but still make our homes smarter and safer in one unique way.

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How Your Pets See The World

Treat. Hydrant. Dog butt.

Do you ever wish you could see the world from the eyes of your chihuahua, or your kitty, or your mini-pig? You could try crawling around on all fours to get a sense of these animals’ perspectives–or, you could equip your pet with a PetCam, as photographer and animal lover Chris Keeney advises in his new book, PetCam: The World Through the Lens of Our Four-Legged Friends, out from Princeton Architectural Press.

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