This Mysterious NYC Castle Was Actually America's First Cancer Hospital

On the southwest corner of Central Park West and 106th Street in New York City, there's an enormous castle. It takes up the whole east end of the block, with its red brick cylindrical turrets topped with gleaming silver cones. The stained glass windows and intricate stonework make the building look like something out… » 9/19/14 5:30pm Yesterday 5:30pm

A Nut-Cracking Hammer That Stops Shell Shrapnel

Although the nutcracker seems like an outdated piece of technology given you can buy nuts with the shells already removed, a small chunk of the population seems to still prefer doing it themselves. So nutcracker makers keep plying their trade, coming up with better and better designs, like this satisfying hammer that… » 9/19/14 9:57am Yesterday 9:57am

The Design of Spoons and Knives Can Change the Way We Taste Food

Chances are, you've spent more time thinking about the specs on your smartphone than about the gadgets that you use to put food in your mouth. But the shape and material properties of forks, spoons, and knives turn out to matter—a lot. Changes in the design of cutlery have not only affected how and what we eat, but… » 9/19/14 9:20am Yesterday 9:20am

What Will Happen to the Union Jack If Scotland Votes for Independence?

Today, Scotland is holding a vote on independence—whether or not it should be a country separate from the United Kingdom. If the "ayes" have it, the decision could herald the break-up of Britain, which turns a political issue into a design issue: What will happen to the Union Jack? » 9/18/14 10:00am Thursday 10:00am

Architects Designed These Intricate Cat Shelters Because Cats

Cat folks know their precious furball deserves the very best, but feral kitties are often left to fend for themselves. So FixNation, a non-profit dedicated to spaying and neutering street felines, commissioned a group of LA-based architects to design custom outdoor accommodations for an event raising awareness—and… » 9/17/14 2:23pm Wednesday 2:23pm

I Worked in a Car That's Longer Than My Studio and Pricier Than a House

I work from home. My home is a small apartment in San Francisco in a building that's been around since 1917, and my "office" is a butt's-width section of a used Ikea sofa I bought off Craigslist a few years back. I recently had the opportunity to spend a workday rolling around town in a brand new Bentley Mulsanne—a… » 9/16/14 3:01pm Tuesday 3:01pm

Make Any Gift Look More Grandiose With High-Rise Wrapping Paper

Is there anything more awkward than showing up to a birthday party or a wedding and plunking down the smallest present on the gift table? It turns out that science can help compensate for your limited spending through some simple optical illusions. By wrapping your gift in this clever paper that makes it look like an… » 9/16/14 12:18pm Tuesday 12:18pm

The Best-Designed Bathrooms in America

The public restroom is not a place worth celebrating, generally speaking. It is a place of absolute necessity, awkward small talk, and worst case scenarios come true. Cintas, a company that specializes in—what else?—bathroom supplies, is dead set on changing that perception. Which is why it sponsors a contest to find… » 9/16/14 9:00am Tuesday 9:00am

The Loud, Messy, XTREME Graphic Design of the 90s

Today we learned that popular 1990s soda/xtreme sports pump-up drink Surge is back: Amazon will now deliver a 12-pack to your house for $14. If you hadn't thought about Surge since the late 1990s, it was probably a trip to see that distinctive green can again. And it brought up a question: Who designed this little gem… » 9/15/14 4:16pm Monday 4:16pm

A Prosthetic Leg For Mountain Climbers, Inspired By Sure-Footed Goats

Mountain goats have an uncanny ability to traverse the steepest of terrains without so much as the slightest misstep. So it only makes sense that if one were designing a prosthetic leg for human mountain climbers they would look towards nature's masters most sure-footed creations for inspiration. And that's exactly… » 9/15/14 12:37pm Monday 12:37pm

Test Your Endurance on This Ikea Showroom-Turned-Climbing Wall

Lots of us spend a lot of time lounging, sleeping, eating—heck, living out of and off of Ikea furniture. In order to promote a new superstore coming to Clermont-Ferrand in the middle of France, the company installed a fully functional climbing wall of inexpensive modern furniture outside of a cathedral. Spiderman's… » 9/12/14 2:28pm 9/12/14 2:28pm

Watch an adorable 2-year-old girl immediately identify fonts adorably

I learned two things while watching this aww-inducing video. Scarlett, the cute 2-year-old girl in the video, is a genius child with an eagle eye for instantly recognizing typefaces better than most humans and that it's going to be awesome to be a parent because you can teach your kid whatever the heck you want them… » 9/11/14 8:55pm 9/11/14 8:55pm

A Tiny Humidifier in a Bottle Makes Hotel Rooms More Comfortable

If traveling to a different—and dryer—part of the world means you'll be waking up with dry sinuses and bloody noses every morning, a humidifier should be the first thing you pack. But not the giant machine in the corner of your bedroom, this tiny six-inch carry-on friendly plastic bottle from 11+ that's powered by USB. » 9/11/14 3:17pm 9/11/14 3:17pm