Is Uncle Sam any kind of a mascot for today's USA? Is the rainbow-hued gay pride flag a little too 1970s? How do teachers feel about all those chalkboards and apples? Does a not-really-heart-shaped heart say 'love' to you? Old school, or just old? In our series Studio 360 Redesigns, we take ubiquitous designs and give them a 21st-century makeover. 

For each project, we ask listeners to send us their ideas, then arrange for a professional design firm to take the case.  We may not change the world, but we'd at least like to put a few options on the table.

What should Studio 360 redesign next?  Tell us!

Recently in Studio 360 Redesigns

Which Monopoly Piece Are You?

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Scottie dog has all the fun. Along with the battleship, the race car, and the top hat, it’s always part of the in-crowd of Monopoly game pieces. Consistently among the first to be selected, the Scottie dog confidently strolls down Boardwalk and turns heads as it passes Go in ...

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Monopoly Redesign: High Finance Edition

Friday, April 22, 2011

We're assembling a top-notch team of advisers for our Monopoly redesign. This week Kurt Andersen called finance expert William Cohan to find out how to make the rules of the game more representative of capitalism in the 21st century. Cohan is a former investment banker and the author of Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World ...

Bonus Track: Kurt Andersen's full conversation with William Cohan

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Monopoly Redesign: Do Not Pass "Go"

Friday, April 15, 2011

Later this year, Hasbro will unveil a partly-electronic version of one of the classic board games.  But Studio 360 thinks Monopoly needs more of a makeover to bring it into the 21st century.  Game designer Brenda Brathwaite says Monopoly is practically designed to be boring: it’s "literally just about waiting for people to run out of money...

Slideshow: Monopoly Through the Years

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July 4th Redesign Shoutout

Friday, July 09, 2010

Thanks to all the listeners who heeded our call to redesign Uncle Sam and made videos of their new National Anthems. We were impressed and honored.

See and hear all the entries

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Extreme Makeover: Uncle Sam Edition

Friday, July 02, 2010

I’m as patriotic as the next guy.  But this morning on the subway, I couldn’t help but feel a bit deflated by the sight of our national mascot peddling fast cash. Uncle Sam, how could you?  Playing into our all-American desires to get rich quick and bling ourselves silly. That’s why Studio 360 proposed ...

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A New National Anthem

Friday, July 02, 2010

This Sunday is the 234th birthday of the United States of America, and across the nation people will be watching baseball, illegally shooting off fireworks, eating apple pie, and generally swelling with patriotic pride.  And on radio stations across the land, Studio 360 will modestly proffer a new national anthem ...

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Fourth of July Redesign Challenge

Friday, July 02, 2010

Across the land listeners answered our call to rethink these American symbols. Pop music critic Will Hermes suggests replacements for the national anthem. Kate Bingaman-Burt enlists her design students to take part in our Uncle Sam Redesign Challenge. And design writer Alissa Walker picks a winner.

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The Next American Idol

Friday, June 18, 2010

Sometimes we cling tightly to things we deem 'traditional' without realizing they're not as deeply entrenched in our history as we thought. Take Uncle Sam: he hasn't changed much since J. M. Flagg's iconic World War I recruitment poster, in which he appeared as an older white man wearing a snazzy ...

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Studio 360’s Redesign Challenge: the Fourth of July

Friday, May 21, 2010

Studio 360 has a summer project in the works and we need your help: we're redesigning the Fourth of July. Don't worry, it's not a complete gutting.  We're keeping the red, white, and blue, the cookouts, and the fireworks.  But there are a couple of elements that we think can use some sprucing up.

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And the Snail-Mail Prize Goes to…

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Our Valentine Redesign Challenge elicited many great entries to our Flickr page.  And we received mailed-in submissions too.  They ranged from a set of miniature cards 'inspired by a muse and faces of love' to my favorite, a three-foot tall by two-foot wide poster from Victor Stabin.  He ...

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Playing With Our Food

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

We got nearly 200 great entries to our redesign Valentine challenge. And on last week's show, Elizabeth Gilbert picked the winning entry: a bouquet of rolled bacon strips that look like roses (only yummier!) by Sarah Tisdale. As Gilbert said so aptly, 'Nothing can compete ...

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Redesigning Valentine's Day

Friday, February 12, 2010

The professional graphic designers at the Austin-based firm, Under Consideration, take a stab at rebranding Valentine's Day. The husband-and-wife team, Armin Vit and Bryony Gomez-Palacio, tell Kurt about their ideas: a new valentine icon, better colors, and a transformed Cupid.

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Elizabeth Gilbert Picks a Winner

Friday, February 12, 2010

Studio 360 challenged listeners to design a valentine that reflects modern romance. Over 100 were submitted, and Elizabeth Gilbert judged the entries. Gilbert's runner-up celebrates the domestic bliss of "taco night," and the winner showcases an inventive use of bacon.

Slideshow: See the winner, runners-up, and all the entries

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Unchain My Heart

Friday, January 29, 2010

Our redesign of Valentine's Day moves full steam ahead. We hear from the husband-wife team who run the Austin design firm, Under Consideration. Armin Vit and Bryony Gomez-Palacio work to upgrade this fraught holiday. Studio 360 commissioned them, but they consider ...

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Will You Makeover My Valentine?

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Studio 360 Valentine Redesign Challenge! The Hearts. The Chocolates. The Roses. The everything Red. It's all so predictable. And nauseating. Design writer Alissa Walker tells Kurt what it will take to redesign the holiday.

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Studio 360 Redesigns: What's Next?

Friday, January 01, 2010

From time to time, Studio 360 chooses some ubiquitous cultural object or holiday to redesign.  We've rebranded teachers, rebooted Valentine's Day, and given Uncle Sam a new look, to name a few.

We're always on the look-out for our next project.

>> What do ...

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Gay Flag Controversy in Paper Magazine

Friday, June 26, 2009

Our gay pride flag redesign challenge drew lots of great listener entries — and no small amount of criticism (see here and here). Yesterday, Papermag ran an interview with Kurt about the kerfuffle. Why mess with a beloved symbol? Kurt: 'I think it’s an interesting way to make people look more closely ...

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Reimagining the Rainbow

Friday, June 26, 2009

The rainbow flag was designed in 1978 for a gay parade in San Francisco and over the last 30 years it has become the global symbol for gay pride. If the flag were designed in 2009, how would it look? Mark Randall of the design firm Worldstudio accepted the challenge, and he and his team came up ...

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Mizrahi Picks a Winner

Friday, June 26, 2009

Dozens of listeners submitted ideas to Studio 360's Flickr page for the gay flag redesign challenge. And fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi picks his favorite.

Comments [16]

Extreme Makeover: Pride Edition

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The rainbow flag was designed in 1978, at the dawn of the gay pride movement. How would it look if it were designed in 2009? In this Studio 360 design project, design firm Worldstudio took on the challenge. This weekend, Kurt Andersen will talk with the firm's principal, Mark Randall, about ...

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