Design for the Real World is an inside look at the hidden genius of everyday things - lipstick, sheetrock, tea bags, ballparks - from Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen, public radio's weekly guide to what's happening in the culture. Produced by Public Radio International and WNYC.
Recently in Design for the Real World
Friday, December 19, 2008
Design guru Steven Heller explains how Father Christmas became branded as a jolly bearded old man in a red suit.
Friday, December 12, 2008
At MIT, Dava Newman studies how humans move in micro-gravity; we call it outer space. She describes how she went about designing a new spacesuit that’s streamlined for maximum performance. Produced by Erin Davis.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Wylie Dufresne loves state-of-the-art equipment, but his favorite kitchen tool is modest: the whisk. We asked an expert, Gourmet Magazine’s style director Corky Pollan, what makes a whisk really mix and beat.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Kevin Kallaugher, better known as KAL, has been the cartoonist at The Economist for 30 years. He explains how the donkey and elephant came to represent the parties, and charts their evolution in our culture. Produced by Gretta Cohn.
Friday, October 17, 2008
On America’s first highways, road signs were hand-painted on wood. When interstates became standardized, so did the typeface. But in all sorts of conditions it still looks fuzzy. Designer Don Meeker helped bring signage back into focus. Produced by Derek John.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Early humans hollowed out gourds to carry their water. Today we drink melted icebergs housed in crystal-studded bottles. Is this progress? Elizabeth Royte tracks the evolution of the water bottle. Produced by Catherine Epstein.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Today rock band T-shirts are sold at major retailers, to kids who weren't alive when classic rock was born. But when music writer Johan Kugelberg was growing up in Sweden, wearing the Sex Pistols or Ramones on your chest was its own act of rebellion. Produced by ...
Friday, August 01, 2008
If you're heading outside for a picnic this weekend, don't forget your box of wine. That's right, box. It may call to mind sorority parties and bad hangovers, but design curator Ellen Lupton thinks that boxed wine deserves a second look. Produced by Katie Rolnick.
Friday, July 04, 2008
Firearms expert Gary James explains why a pistol made a century ago is still being used by American forces and law enforcement. Produced by
Friday, May 30, 2008
Lately writer Philip Nobel has been obsessing over skateboards, specifically long boards: a sleek update to the wide "trick"-oriented boards popular in the 80s and 90s.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Stefan Sagmeister is an award-winning graphic designer who grew up in Austria and has designed album covers for the Rolling Stones and Talking Heads. When we asked him about his favorite album cover of all time, Sagmeister picked a notorious design by Andy Warhol: The Rolling Stones’
Friday, September 21, 2007
The writer Akiko Busch explains how, over the years, kids’ school accessories have ascended into high style. Produced by Jocelyn Gonzales.
Friday, September 14, 2007
On America’s earliest highways, road signs were hand-painted on wood. When interstate highways became standardized, so did the typeface. But in all sorts of conditions it still looks fuzzy. Graphic designer Don Meeker helped bring highway signage back into focus. Produced by Derek John.
Friday, August 17, 2007
Judith Dupre talks about the innovative Penobscot Narrows Bridge in Maine.
Friday, August 17, 2007
This summer’s bridge collapse in Minneapolis shook us in a deeper way than other failures of infrastructure. Guest host Julie Burstein talks with structural engineer Guy Nordenson and cultural historian Judith Dupre about why bridges resonate in our collective imagination.
Friday, July 27, 2007
Graphic designer Steven Heller tells the story of a seaside landmark known as the "Eiffel Tower of Coney Island."
Friday, July 13, 2007
Jeff Wiltse, author of Contested Waters: A Social History of Swimming Pools in America, offers a brief history of taking the plunge. Produced by Hadara Graubart.