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

Feature

Friday, June 22, 2007

Darren Wershler-Henry, a professor of Communications, pays tribute to the whack of metal against paper, the smell of ink, and a technology we’ve almost forgotten. Produced by Zeke Turner.

Comment

Design for the Real World: Vespa

Friday, June 08, 2007

The Italian icon of mid-century transport is back in the States, zipping around in irresistible candy colors. Paola Antonelli, design curator at the Museum of Modern Art, has her own soft spot for the scooter. Produced by Angela Frucci.

Comment

Design for the Real World: Propeller

Friday, May 25, 2007

Jeremy Kinney of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum explains how the Wright brothers’ wooden propeller -– designed using the world’s first wind tunnel -- made the dream of defying gravity come true. Produced by Dennis Nishi.

Comment

Design for the Real World: Roomba

Friday, May 04, 2007

Robots taking over the world? Stealing all the jobs? Robotics engineer Daniel H. Wilson says we shouldn't fear the all-knowing floor-cleaning unit called Roomba. Produced by Caitlin Lindsey.

Comment

Design for the Real World: Big Boy

Friday, April 13, 2007

Cartoon characters have helped sell burgers and fries for years. But for graphic designer Steven Heller, there’s one icon that stands above the rest. He’s a pudgy little boy with a pompadour, checkered overalls and a Double-Decker burger in his hand.

Comment

Design for the Real World: Thinking Outside the Mouse

Friday, February 23, 2007

Along with a keyboard, the mouse is the main tool most people use to control their computers. But it’s not exactly subtle. Bill Verplank, one of the founding fathers of interaction design, tells us about the past and future of the mouse. Produced by

Comment

Small Street Journal

Friday, January 19, 2007

The Wall Street Journal has a new look – the paper recently shaved off a few inches of its width. In this week’s installment of Design for the Real World, we asked design guru Chee Pearlman to give us the skinny on the new format.

Comment

Design for the Real World: Leica Camera

Friday, November 17, 2006

Almost 100 years ago, the Leica camera changed the world of photography. It was the first practical 35mm camera, and it has inspired passion in those who shoot with it. In Design for the Real World, photojournalist Deborah Copaken Kogan - the author of Shutterbabe - explains what makes the ...

Comments [1]

Design for the Real World: Election Signs

Friday, November 03, 2006

As we approach the first Tuesday in November, we're awash in red, white and blue bumper stickers, buttons, and lawn signs. Graphic designer Michael Bierut explains why so many of these campaign signs look the same, no matter what side of the fence they're planted on. Produced ...

Comment

Aha Moment: Fins for Karachi

Friday, October 27, 2006

Samina Quraeshi grew up in a prominent family in Pakistan in the 1960s. She remembers the exact moment she decided to become a designer: when she saw the tail fins on the American ambassador's car.

Comments [1]

Design for the Real World: Baseball Cap

Friday, October 06, 2006

Lifelong baseball fan and graphic designer Steven Heller looks at the most American piece of headwear -- the baseball cap.

Comment

Design for the Real World: Government Model .45

Friday, September 22, 2006

Firearms expert Gary James explains why a pistol designed a century ago is still being issued to some forces in Iraq, and why it remains popular with law enforcement. Produced by Dennis Nishi.

Comment

Design for the Real World: Sheetrock

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Home renovation guru Duo Dickinson sings the praises of the invisible stuff that's all around us. Literally. Produced by Alexis Shoenberg.

Comment

Design For the Real World: Vacuum Press Coffee Maker

Friday, July 21, 2006

Caffeine is about the last non-prescription drug you can use without social stigma, and a growing number of Americans are obsessed with the finer points of getting it. Corby Kummer, who writes about food for the Atlantic Monthly, tells us about a brewing device he thinks is ...

Comment

Design for the Real World: Band-Aid

Friday, May 26, 2006

Paola Antonelli, a design curator at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, appreciates the classic design of this staple of your medicine cabinet.

Comment

Design for the Real World: Q-Tips

Friday, April 14, 2006

Paola Antonelli explains the origins of everybody's favorite ear cleaner.

Comment

Design for the Real World: Roomba

Friday, March 24, 2006

Buy any robots lately? Robotics engineer Daniel H. Wilson explains what's so special about a sentient little vacuum cleaner called the "Roomba." Produced by Caitlin Lindsey.

Comment

Design for the Real World: Tract Houses

Saturday, October 22, 2005

D. J. Waldie loves the suburbs. He was born in one of the tract houses manufactured by the thousands in Lakewood, California. He lives there still, and today works for the city. His book Holy Land is a strange and beautiful mix of personal memoir and suburban ...

Comment

Design for the Real World: London Underground Map

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Chris Spurgeon explains the strange inaccuracies of an iconic map.  

Comment

Design for the Real World: Superball

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Curator Paola Antonelli remembers how the tiny, energetic Superball made havoc in classrooms and workplaces.

Comment