California Officials Say People Are Stealing Water Under the Cover of…

A fire hydrant or a spigot in a park might seem like innocuous civil courtesies, but in our drought-consumed future, they're dangerous weak spots in the infrastructure that protects our precious natural resources. Public officials in California say their water is being siphoned off illegally—and it may be indicative… » 8/29/14 5:30pm Yesterday 5:30pm

Amazon Redesigns Its Login Page For the First Time In Decades

Amazon has built its brand around consistency—it rarely follows popular user interface trends, and its design mission has always been ruthless pragmatism. But now, for the first time in many, many years, it's given its login page an overhaul. It's the end of an era, and it could signal broader, site-wide changes. » 8/29/14 11:50am Yesterday 11:50am

Every Ikea Catalog Cover Since 1951

It's that time of year: If you're one of the hundreds of millions people on Ikea's mailing list, you probably recently received a thick square of super-thin paper filled with (mostly rendered) products. Ikea has been sending these babies out for more than six decades—and you can follow the evolution of popular design… » 8/29/14 9:16am Yesterday 9:16am

A single clothing company consumes 1% of the world's cotton

The largest companies consume a shockingly huge amount of the world's natural resources. Ikea, for instance, uses 17.8 million cubic yards of wood a year. When it comes to cotton, there's VF Corp., a relatively unknown corporation that owns some of the best-known clothing brands in the world. » 8/28/14 7:00pm Thursday 7:00pm

A Song That Sounds Like Vacation

Vacations are funny things: You pour so much time, energy, and daydreaming into them that, in the end, the reality rarely lives up to what you imagined as you refreshed Travelocity all those months. But if that imaginary perfect trip had a perfect sound, it would be the Portland-and NYC-based Akron/Family's Island. » 8/27/14 7:00pm Wednesday 7:00pm

The Ingenious Way the Ancient Egyptians Should Have Built the Pyramids

Thousands of years ago, a minority of ancient Egyptians set a majority to work building some of the oldest human-made structures in the world. It seems like we've been debating about how they did it ever since: Water? Animal labor? Magic? A team of researchers thinks they've found the best explanation yet. » 8/27/14 3:47pm Wednesday 3:47pm

Ikea Is Betting Big on These Six Small Tech Companies

Ikea is one of the largest corporations in the world, and even the smallest change in its supply chain could have a gigantic impact on its business. After all, this is a company that uses 1 percent of the world's wood supply. In fact, Ikea operates a whole venture fund devoted to emerging tech, from ice cream to… » 8/27/14 8:39am Wednesday 8:39am

These Sun-Tracking Devices Pipe Real Sunlight Into Shadowy Buildings

It's a necessary evil of designing in cities: Only the tallest or most perfectly situated buildings get much sunlight. A company called Sun Central thinks it has a solution—in the form of an autonomous sun-tracking mechanism that sucks up sunlight and pipes it into dark buildings. » 8/27/14 8:00am Wednesday 8:00am

A Guide to the Golden Age of Corporate Logo Design

NASA. Audi. ABC. Lufthansa. The MTA. Beginning in the 1960s, some of the world's best-known corporate entities were immortalized thanks to the work a group of graphic designers who were responsible for introducing to the notion of "branding." And now, there's an anthology that collects them all in one place. » 8/25/14 5:15pm Monday 5:15pm

Just Six Months After the Olympics, Sochi Looks Like a Ghost Town

It's been almost exactly six months since the Sochi Olympics wrapped up and the world promptly moved on to speculating about the Rio 2016. Since then, the area has been left holding the proverbial bag—which as Russian photographer Alexander Belenkiy shows us, is full of too many buildings and not enough people to… » 8/25/14 4:54pm Monday 4:54pm

7 New Materials That Could Change How Our Buildings Act

The gap between material science and actual construction is very far and very wide. It can take decades to move a breakthrough in engineering from a lab to a building site. But as architects and engineers face bigger challenges—from earthquakes to dwindling resources to sheer cost—a new generation of smart materials… » 8/25/14 9:00am Monday 9:00am

Four of These Clamps Will Turn Almost Anything Into a Table

Last year, Gizmodo wrote about a Kickstarter for the Floyd Leg, an age-old, simple-as-nails clamp that turns whatever vaguely table-sized piece of material you choose into, well, an actual table. It was a refreshingly simple invention amidst the usual morass of insane vaporware and weird personal projects, and now,… » 8/22/14 5:20pm 8/22/14 5:20pm

Meet the Company Google Just Bought To Design Its Future

Today, Google announced it's taking a big step into its future: By buying Gecko Design, an 18-year-old product design and mechanical engineering studio, to be part of Google X. What could Google want with a smaller engineering company like Gecko? Its ability to build real-world products, that's what. » 8/22/14 3:42pm 8/22/14 3:42pm

Why NASA Launched One of the Blackest Materials Ever Made Into Space

A few years ago, we looked at NASA's long project to design a paint so black, it would absorb nearly every bit of light around it (that's it above, in the "D" spot). Now, NASA has finally launched the stuff into space—which means that the six-year effort to make it is finally paying off. So, why is this such a vital… » 8/22/14 10:25am 8/22/14 10:25am