Here is the latest Design News from NPR.
O’Keeffe Museum Acquires Rarely-Seen Work By The Famed Artist
An atmospheric image of barns in Lake George, N.Y., is joining the collection at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, N.M. The painting reveals a lesser-known genre of the artist’s work.
London Flower Show Hopes You Will Get Into The Garden, Too
Handmade poppies and take-home tips are hallmarks of this year’s Chelsea Flower Show. The Royal Horticultural Society wants to use the show to promote the benefits of digging in the dirt.
How Can We Design For A Better Experience?
The designer behind the iPod and the Nest thermostat explains why design is in the details, and why designers often get those details wrong.
How Do Buildings Make Us Feel?
Architect Marc Kushner explains why architecture tends to swing drastically between traditional and experimental styles — and why the future of building design is going to be different.
How Do You “Design” Trust Between Strangers?
When a stranger shows up at an AirBnB rental, what ensures that all goes well? Careful design of the website that brought them together, says Joe Gebbia, the co-founder of Airbnb.
Are The Best Designers Rebels?
Design critic Alice Rawsthorn explains why some of the greatest designers tend to be outsiders. She celebrates the innovations of unwitting designers like Florence Nightingale — and Blackbeard.
What Can Today’s Designers Learn From Nature?
Science writer Janine Benyus believes innovators should look to nature when solving a design problem. She says the natural world is full of ideas for making things waterproof, solar-powered and more.
A Peek Into The CIA Art Gallery Reveals [REDACTED]
There’s a private art gallery at CIA headquarters — who knew? Museum director Toni Hiley says the agency has a young workforce and the collection of art and artifacts helps them learn from the past.
Why An Art Historian Took NYPD Officers To The Met
Art historian Amy Herman took officers from the New York Police Department to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and used art to show them how to look closer at their own cases.
Too Much Technology Can Spoil Your Warhol Experience
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has reopened after a three-year closure. Like a growing number of museums, it hopes new tech doesn’t get in the way of looking at the art.
Revamped San Francisco Museum Merges Modern Art With Interactive Tech
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art re-opened this weekend with groundbreaking interactive technology meant to enhance the experience of looking at art. But can there be too much tech in a museum?
Student Art Project Gets Mighty High Appraisal
Antique dealer Alvin Barr was surprised when a piece of pottery he owned was appraised at as much as $50,000 on Antiques Roadshow. So too was the pot’s creator, Betsy Soule.
Mrs. Obama Saves The Cardigan: ‘The Obama Effect’ In Fashion
In fashion, most first ladies have worshiped at the altar of “The Suit.” Michelle Obama transformed American fashion by favoring dresses, moderately-priced brands, and simple basics like the cardigan.
VIDEO: The Taliban Hated Her Art, But She Became An Artist Anyway
Sughra Hussainy, a 27-year-old artist from Afghanistan, never imagined her talent in traditional Persian calligraphy would take her around the world.
The Case Of The 3 Monkeys Is Tearing Twitter In Two
Is it one monkey, hearing, seeing and speaking no evil? Or is it three separate monkeys, each displaying but a single virtue? Twitter icon @jonnysun asked his followers and caused a minor uproar.
Psychedelic Font: How Wes Wilson Turned Hippie Era Turmoil Into Art
It’s been 50 years since artist Wes Wilson invented the psychedelic font that was popular in the ’60 and ’70s. Wilson talks about how he made a name for himself designing psychedelic concert posters.
Market Grows For Fashionable But Modest Clothing
A Turkish fashion mogul has teamed up with the Islamic Fashion and Design Council to present the first Modest Fashion Week in Istanbul. Renee Montagne talks to Melanie Elturk, CEO of Haute Hijab.
’70s High School Art Project Mistakenly Valued At $50K On ‘Antiques Roadshow’
A grotesque vase covered in multiple faces: late 19th century, Picasso-inspired Mid-Atlantic art worth five figures? Well, maybe not.
More Than A Mistress: Madame De Pompadour Was A Minister Of The Arts
Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, Marquise de Pompadour, may be best known as King Louis XV’s chief mistress. But she was also a well-educated tastemaker, a patron of the arts and an artist in her own right.
Senegal’s Biggest Art Biennial Returns With Contemporary Exhibits
African artists are convening in Dakar, Senegal for the Dak’Art biennale. The month-long event showcases the latest developments in visual arts.
A ‘Relentless’ Sports Photographer Explains How He Got His Shots
Neil Leifer is behind some of the defining sports images of the last 60 years. In his book Relentless, he describes the special mix of luck and skill that helped him capture those memorable moments.
When It Comes To Prom Dresses, Teen Blogger Knows What’s In Style
It’s prom season! And that means dresses — lots of dresses. Justina Sharp has been blogging about fashion since she was 13 years old, and she tells NPR’s Rachel Martin what’s trending this year.
Mother-Son Tag Team Design A Line Of Clothes For Kids With Disabilities
Tommy Hilfiger recently added a clothing line for kids with disabilities. Fashion designer Mindy Scheier and son Oliver talk about Scheier’s nonprofit Runway of Dreams and how the concept came about.
Artist J.M.W. Turner To Be Featured On U.K. £20, Ousting Economist Adam Smith
Following a national nomination process for a visual artist to honor, the U.K. has announced the new face of the £20 bill. He’s known for landscapes, seascapes and innovative depiction of light.
Don’t Know Much About History
This game recalls descriptions of historical events from the perspective of someone who wasn’t really paying attention in school.
Photos: Why Everyone In Mali Wanted To Pose For The Late, Great Sidibe
His death marks the end of a remarkable era in African and world photography.
Panama Papers Provide Rare Glimpse Inside Famously Opaque Art Market
The leaked documents tell the backstory of a groundbreaking Christie’s auction, and the purchase of a painting one man claims was seized from his grandfather during World War II.
Gardens Don’t Tend Themselves: Portraits Of The People Behind LA’s Luxury
Behind every gleaming bathroom or expertly manicured lawn is a person tasked with its upkeep. These workers are the stars of Ramiro Gomez’s art — he’s a former nanny and the son of Mexican immigrants.
To Access Her Big, Boxy Muse, Photographer Set Her Sights On Allen Ginsberg
From a bland suburban upbringing, Elsa Dorfman emerged into a creative life inspired by her 6-foot Polaroid camera. And the famed Beat poet turned out to be the key to that astounding metamorphosis.
A ‘New’ Rembrandt: From The Frontiers Of AI And Not The Artist’s Atelier
A newly unveiled portrait bearing all the hallmarks of the Dutch master is actually the result of 18 months of analysis of 346 of his paintings, plus 150 gigabytes of digitally rendered graphics.
Unraveled: The Mystery Of The Secret Street Artist In Boston
Someone has been using Lego blocks to repair the corner of a crumbling brick building in Boston. Reporter Tovia Smith set out to investigate who this person is and what else he has been up to.
Reality Show ‘DIY Permits’ Follows Less Glamorous Side Of Home Renovations
There are plenty of TV shows about home makeovers, but now a new show is focusing on the less glamorous side of renovations: getting the permits.
Renowned Iraqi-British Architect Zaha Hadid Dies At 65
Architect Zaha Hadid died on Thursday at age 65. She was the first woman to win the Pritzker Prize, architecture’s highest honor.
Renowned Architect Zaha Hadid Dies At 65
Hadid was first famous for spectacular designs that were never built — but later proved her ideas worked in the real world, not just on paper. She was the first woman to win the Pritzker prize.
For 19th Century French Artists, ‘Noir’ Was The New Black
After the Industrial Revolution, artists started getting creative with some newly available black materials. An exhibit at LA’s Getty museum celebrates their exploration of the shadows.
DIY Artists Paint The Town Strange, With Some Help From George R.R. Martin
The art market is booming in Santa Fe, N.M., but the highbrow scene leaves some artists feeling out of place. So, one collective made a space of their own — with a big boost from the fantasy author.
Sound Sculptor Harry Bertoia Created Musical, Meditative Art
Designer and sculptor Harry Bertoia spent the final decades of his life creating mesmerizing “sonambient” music out of big metal objects. An 11-CD collection of his recordings has just been reissued.
With Just Pencil And Paper, A Patient Found Escape Inside State Hospital No. 3
In 1970, a teenager found a hand-made album in a pile of trash. Inside were 283 extraordinary drawings made on mental hospital stationary. The Electric Pencil tells the artist’s story.
Artisanal Plastic: Japan’s Fake Food Is A Real Art
Intricately crafted replicas of all sorts of dishes and drink — cakes, sushi and even beer — are ubiquitous window displays in Japan. A new book visually explores the culture ofNearly Eternal food.
Eggs Become Art To Celebrate Life’s Rebirth
Cultures around the world decorate eggs to celebrate spring. Modern artists continue those traditions, reflecting the fragility and beauty of life.
Ceci N’Est Pas Ice Cream (Actually It’s Lard And Food Coloring)
A photo series exposes the cheats food stylists use to make dishes look so scrumptious in glossy magazines and cookbooks. Roast meats are glazed with motor oil, and milk is replaced with glue.
How Can Satellite Images Unlock Secrets To Our Hidden Past?
Sarah Parcak is a pioneer in space archaeology. She describes her method of using satellite images to locate lost ancient sites.
Robert Mapplethorpe’s Provocative Art Finds A New Home In LA
The photographer, who died in 1989, was as controversial as he was celebrated. Now, two LA museums are exhibiting their massive joint acquisition of his archives.
Meet Alphonse Bertillon, The Man Behind The Modern Mug Shot
French criminologist Alphonse Bertillon wasn’t the first to introduce mug shots to police, but he standardized how they were taken and added the profile shot to zero in on a suspect’s unique features.
Some Artists Are Seeing Red Over A New ‘Black’
It’s not a paint or a pigment. It’s not even really black. But the “material” known as Vantablack is causing a stir after renowned sculptor Anish Kapoor bought exclusive rights to use it in art.
Encore: Housing Costs Inspire London Builders To Create Underground Mansions
High housing costs are encouraging Londoners to build down instead of up. They’re digging out basements to create underground mansions. This story originally aired on Jan. 4, 2016 on Morning Edition.
Originals: How To Spot One, How To Be One
Adam Grant, author of Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World, tells us what makes an original, how parents can nurture originality in their children, and its potential downside.
Avant Guard: At LA’s Broad Museum, A New Approach To Protecting Art
Contemporary art isn’t easy, and the new museum’s creators wanted first-time visitors to feel welcome. So The Broad’s guards act as friendly ambassadors — ready to engage with visitors about the art.
Meet The Architect Who Helped Bring Modernism To The Masses
Nearly 60 years ago, William Krisel did everything he could to break the monotony of tract housing. In the process, he proved that Modernism could be both livable and affordable.
Haunting Photo Of Migrants Takes World Press Photo’s Top Prize
The winning image, taken by Australian photographer Warren Richardson, shows a man passing a baby through a razor-wire fence at the Hungarian-Serbian border.
This House Is A Work Of Art, So The Owner Is Donating It To A Museum
This dramatic home — which you might recognize from The Big Lebowski — clings to the side of a canyon above Los Angeles. It’s being given to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
New Manufacturer Gives Oscar Statue A Minor Makeover
The New York-based company, Polich Tallix Fine Art Foundry, has taken over production from the Chicago-based R.S. Owens & Co., which had made the statues since 1982.
‘No Place For Discontent’: A History Of The Family Dinner In America
The dining room, with the dining table at its center, didn’t catch on in America before the late 1700s. These rooms — and the family meals held in them — became a place to cultivate social values.
Kodak To Revive Storied Super 8 Camera
Kodak is reviving its storied Super 8 camera as a digital-analog hybrid. NPR talks about what made the 8 mm film format such an appealing one, what its return might mean, and whether this relaunch can be successful for Kodak.
Meet The Most Pampered Vegetables In America
The Chef’s Garden is a farm in Ohio that feels like Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory of vegetables. It grows cutting-edge varieties for chefs like cucamelons and eggplants the size of a pea.
Meet ‘The Tenth,’ A Slick New Magazine For Queer Black Men
Now on its third issue, The Tenth wants the fashion industry to stop seeing queer blacks folks as “the flavor of the month.”
National Park Service Launches Search For Next Ansel Adams
The National Park Service is hiring a full-time photographer to document the country’s natural landscapes. NPR’s Audie Cornish talks to Rich O’Connor of the National Park Service photography program about the position, which some are comparing to the job held by Ansel Adams in the 1940s.
‘Mi Comida Latina’: A Hand-Drawn Guide To Latin Cuisines
With its vibrant watercolor illustrations and delicate hand-lettered recipes, artist Marcella Kriebel’s cookbook is as much an art project as a manual for making tasty meals from Latin America.
The Curious Cookware Of A Williams-Sonoma Founder Lands In A Museum
The late Chuck Williams of Williams-Sonoma collected 4,000 cooking artifacts from around the world. The vast collection will be the basis of a new museum run by the Culinary Institute of America.
Boston Museum Acquires First Painting Frida Kahlo Ever Sold
Kahlo painted Dos Mujeres (Salvadora y Herminia) in 1928 and sold it in 1929. Conservators at the Museum of Fine Arts say the maids in the portrait may have cared for Kahlo after a violent car crash.
Is There A Better Way To Be Buried?
Can we commit our bodies to a cleaner, greener Earth, even after death? Jae Rhim Lee says it’s possible by using a special burial suit seeded with pollution-gobbling mushrooms.
Art Forgery Trial Asks: Were Dealers Duped, Or Did They Turn A Blind Eye?
In 2011, New York City’s oldest gallery was accused of selling paintings it now admits were forgeries. Plaintiffs say the gallery overlooked glaring problems with the paintings’ backstories.
Walter Martin Remembers Art History Class With ‘Arts + Leisure’
The Walkmen musician has gone solo with his new record. It’s a song cycle inspired what Martin calls his “shaky grasp of college art history.”
Symphony Of The City: Nigerian Artist Draws Songs From The Bustling Market
Emeka Ogboh’s exhibition, “Market Symphony,” brings listeners the rich sounds of a Lagos market. “There are stories in the soundscape,” he tells NPR’s Michel Martin. “There are stories from the city.”
Portraits Of LA’s Female Artists Send A Powerful Message: ‘You Are Here’
Rebecca Campbell’s portrait series documents the female artists who go unnoticed or underrepresented. “I made it so that they didn’t disappear,” she says.
‘I Do Like To Stare’: Catherine Opie On Her Portraits Of Modern America
The photographer has spent her career documenting all kinds of American identities. Her work tackles everything from parenthood and aging, to Elizabeth Taylor and San Francisco’s S&M community.
Got A Second For ‘Haikus With Hotties’? Now You Can Enjoy Them All Year
“Haikus with Hotties” is more than just a cheeky calendar — it’s challenging the way Asian-American men are portrayed in the media.
A New Generation Of Saudi Artists Pushes The Boundaries
Daring visual artists, whose edgy work challenges religious and political taboos, have become a critical voice in the conservative kingdom — where open calls for reform are a criminal offense.
‘Luncheon In Fur’: The Surrealist Teacup That Stirred The Art World
In 1936, the surrealist Meret Oppenheim wrapped a teacup, saucer and spoon in fur. In the age of Freud, a gastro-sexual interpretation was inescapable. Even today, the work triggers intense reactions.