PS2 Slim
Feature

PlayStation 2, the videogame console from outer space

This article is part of PS2 Week, a full week celebrating the 2000 PlayStation 2 console. To see other articles, go here. /// What makes a videogame console successful? Forget about software libraries and units sold, I’m talking about the design of the actual box that you hook up to your TV. At first blush, the Nintendo GameCube seems pretty notable. It’s downright adorable with its purple color scheme, cute miniDVD discs, and stout, blocky profile—and let’s not forget the notorious handle on the back to be used for carrying the console around like a Playskool oil lantern. The GameCube…

Zaha Hadid
News

An appreciation of Zaha Hadid, modern architecture’s greatest woman

The architect Zaha Hadid, who died in Miami last Thursday at the age of 65, was one of design’s great optimists. Only an optimist could dream up the billowing curves of Azerbaijan’s Heydar Aliyev Center, which sprout from the ground, rise like sine curves, and blend into one another without ever meeting at right angles, and think “Yes, this building can live unburdened by earth’s gravity.” Only an optimistic could spend decades drawing fantastical jagged futurescapes—impressive works of art in their own right—while breaking ground on precious few projects. Only an optimist, one imagines, could make headway in a male-dominated…

citiesskylineslead
News

Documentary outlines how Cities: Skylines is being used to plan real cities

Having enjoyed a brief sneak-peek at Austin, Texas’ SXSW art and technology festival last weekend, My Urban Playground is an upcoming documentary from game publisher Paradox Interactive that tells the story of popular city-building game, Cities: Skylines (2015), and the fans who are using it to plan real-world architecture projects. Set over the two years leading up to and following the game’s release, the documentary is planned to cover how architects, politicians, and fans of the game have come together to create new real-world building initiatives. Additionally, the film will also feature interviews with United Nations development group UN-Habitat, which helps struggling…

necropolislead
News

Artists pick out their favorite critters from upcoming game Necropolis

It is well-known that upcoming dungeon-delving game Necropolis looks ludicrously stylish. Its stark angles, moody lighting, and cartoonishly exaggerated characters give it an aura that lies somewhere between art deco and fairy tale; as if Red Riding Hood were the emcee for a big-band show. It’s a striking aesthetic, and it does an admirable job of setting Necropolis apart from the gothic horror of its major influence, From Software’s Dark Souls (2011). However, part of what’s allowed Dark Souls to be so successful is its memorable cast of baddies, their gruesome appearances helping them to linger in the minds of its players. Necropolis, too,…

temporallead
News

How temporary structures inspire architectural innovation

In many ways, the architecture of modern metropolises largely consists of simply lining each city block with minor variations on the same massive, contemporary rectangle of a skyscraper. The sheer size of these structures is impressive at first but, after a while, their similarity can leave a city feeling drained of personality. It’s difficult to blame corporations for choosing “safe” designs on multi-million dollar buildings that are meant to last decades, but once the initial impact of their size wears down, these soulless monoliths fail to leave much of an impression. So what happens when architects are given the freedom…

laby
News

Progress to 100 makes your iPhone surprise you all over again

The iPhone may be eight-years-old, but with Apple reiterating on its design every year, adding new features to its tilt and tap core, it’s still a magic box full of tricks. Nevertheless, the experimental phase is kinda over for Apple’s smartphone—we know what works well and what doesn’t—and so we often see the same ideas crop up over and over with apps mostly applying only new skins and contexts to differentiate themselves. “rules should be broken”  This is why when Progress to 100 comes along, asking you to stroke, shake, perhaps even smooch the screen, showing you what seems to…

knyttan
News

Knyttan makes personal fashion as easy as dressing a videogame avatar

Knyttan is a fashion startup or, if you would prefer a cultural reference, a 21st century incarnation of Cher’s closet in the opening scenes of the 1995 teen classic Clueless. In practice, the film’s build-your-own-wardrobe app looks an awful lot like the maker movement’s version of fashion design. You log in to the company’s website, pick an item of clothing—current offerings are limited to jumpers and scarves—and proceed to customize patterns that Knyttan has asked designers to contribute. Those designers do not all hail from the world of fashion: Moniker is an interaction design studio; Nicolas Sasoon describes his work…

labyrinth
News

Ingenious coffee table doubles as labyrinth

Benjamin Nordsmark’s Labyrinth Table is not Kramer’s coffee table book about coffee tables—sadly, nothing ever will be—but it’s pretty damn cool nonetheless.   “The Labyrinth Table,” writes Nordsmark, “was created to show how a well-known object like a table can be given an extra dimension by creating a small universe inside of it.” In this case, the universe is a labyrinth housed beneath the table’s glass top. Rendered in maple, like the rest of the table, the labyrinth houses (or, depending on your interpretation, imprisons) six metal figurines. Those figurines, which are reminiscent of toy soldiers, can be moved about…