About one month ago, Instagram opened their second headquarters, housed in what used to be Manhattan's Wanamaker department store showroom. In their short time of existence, the expanding social media platform has come a long way since their very first office space, which was a tiny garage next to Facebook's massive office. 

The new office's sprawling warehouse build naturally lends itself to an open concept layout, with desks neatly arranged along the perimeter in attempts to hug the natural lighting. 

What we find most interesting about this space is the way Instagram went about creating quiet corners for employees who need a break from all the real life social interaction with coworkers. Besides an array of cleverly named conference rooms and a private photo room, the quietest corner of them all is the "library", a small space completely shut off from the hub of desks but still in close proximity to natural lighting. Closely following the "library" is the above corner, which hosts a single chair and table under a staircase.

The "library"

There are a few other areas meant for chilling out, however most still feel like social spaces, due to the layout of furniture:

This speculative design project sets out to investigate the global decline of the bee population, focusing particularly on Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). CCD is a phenomenon that leads to the majority of worker bees leaving the hive and eventually disappearing. This project is set in 2030; since many scientists say that if we don't change the way humans live; we won't be able to figure it out a solution for CCD and the time with which to fix it will have passed.

View the full project here

It wouldn't be the World Cup without Adidas designing a new soccer ball that the players can complain about. For 2018's Cup they've introduced the Telstar 18, a graphic update on the classic, black-and-white-TV-friendly Telstar from 1970. (Thus far goalies reportedly hate it, finding the ball unpredictable and slippery.)

Adidas' designers opted to place an NFC chip inside of the ball. Why? Beats the hell out of me--in this interview with one of the designers, his explanation is wildly unsatisfying:

There's a YouTube channel called What's Inside that, well, looks inside of things. In this one they cut a Telstar 18 open, then an original Telstar to see the difference:

Thus far one, possibly two of the Telstar 18s have burst during match play, during the France-Australia game. It remains to be seen whether this is an anomaly, or will turn into a consistent disaster on the level of the Jabulani.

[This is an excerpt from our History of Soccer Balls post.]

Up until the 1966 World Cup, soccer balls looked like this:

That bland color was simply the natural color of the leather. Not very telegenic. But as matches increasingly became televised, the telegenic problem was solved in 1970 by Adidas with the advent of a high-contrast black and white design called the Telstar (Television Star).

First used in the 1970 World Cup, this design was chosen specifically so spectators watching black-and-white televisions could clearly see the ball, with the black accents on a white background revealing the ball's direction of spin. The pentagons-on-hexagons pattern of 32 panels, called an icosahedron by math geeks, would remain part of the design for many years.

Adidas has revived the design, sort of at least, for the 2018 World Cup with their Telstar 18. We'll post about that shortly.

Click here to see how soccer ball designs have evolved over the years.

For reasons covered in Part 1, I've decided to buy a brand-new stickshift all-wheel-drive station wagon. Both station wagons and manual transmissions have fallen heavily out of favor, with few manufacturers offering both. I figured the dearth of options would make the selection process easy--but was astonished at the poor job most carmakers do with communicating to would-be buyers what their wares offer.

Before I get into that, here are the five 2018 AWD stickshift station wagons available for purchase in the U.S.:

Left to right: Volkswagen Golf SportWagen, VW Golf Alltrack, Mini Clubman, Mini Countryman, Subaru Forester

Let's start with Mini. I had a helluva lotta fun learning to pilot their vehicles in the snow up in Finland and am sold on the company's AWD acumen.

Mini offers the Countryman and the Clubman, two models of what I would barely consider station wagons (they look pretty small to me). 

I clicked onto their website to learn more about the cars. The first question I had, of course:

What's the Difference Between the Models?

That's a pretty basic question, yet when we go to the landing pages for each vehicle, there's no usable up-front data, just marketingspeak:

The 3D Designer is responsible for all creative for a specific group of accounts to include staff supervision and work production. Will plan, develop and execute original creative projects. Provide leadership, motivation and conveys the vision to staff while maintaining a hands-on and flexible approach to managing deliverables and deadlines.

View the full design job here

Welcome to Mediaplanet, a content marketing, and content creation company focusing on both print and digital products. Your role as an in-house freelance designer will be to diligently and accurately design 8–24 page print campaigns adhering to Mediaplanet's style guide and under the art direction of the senior designer.

View the full design job here

As I and others have argued before, when it comes to autonomous cars, "hand-off" is a terrible idea. I firmly believe that autonomous cars have to be all or nothing.

"Assisted driving" might seem like a good idea in the short term, but I believe it will prove to be a lousy idea in the long term, as it helps desensitize people to the act of driving, making them subconsciously rely on the safety net.

Thatcham Research, a nonprofit British auto insurance research center, put together this short video to disabuse viewers of the notion that they can rely on assisted driving to remain safe:

My own distaste for assisted driving means I don't even use cruise control; I feel it is up to me, as the driver, to maintain the safety of myself and the motorists around me.

Blind spot warnings are neat, but can we rely on them 100%? When I owned a car I had a little adhesive-backed, curved plastic mirror that stuck to the sideview mirror and perfectly revealed the blind spot. That brilliant safety device cost me a couple of bucks and paid for itself countless times over.

The only techno-safety features I like:

- Backup cameras, since auto designers seem hellbent on fattening C-pillars, raising rear sills and generally...

When stuck in traffic jams, every commuter must dream of being able to simply fly over the whole mess and get home. But flying cars are a long way off.

Google co-founder Larry Page isn't waiting around for personal flying vehicles to be developed. Instead Page founded Kitty Hawk, a Mountain-View-based startup helmed by Stanford researcher Sebastian Thrun. Thrun and his team have developed the Flyer, a personal flying machine that looks a drone hauling a bathtub:

Thrun's claim at the end of that video, that one can learn to fly the thing in less than an hour, sounds crazy. They put together another video showing two novices learning to fly the beta version:

So who is this for, and what's the application? For now, the ten-rotor craft is programmed to fly just 3-10 feet above water, and can do 20 minutes at 20 MPH. It's classified as an Ultralight aircraft, meaning it does not require a pilot's license and cannot be flown over congested areas. That knocks out any commuting possibilities, and the company states that their plan is...

As industrial designers we both use tools and appreciate objects on an emotional level, so it's not surprising that we become attached to tools. When Eric Strebel's decades-old, favorite X-Acto knife looked like it was going to give up the ghost, he worked up a quick fix with copper, beautifying the tool in the process:

Built Environment: Spatial design as it relates to physical interiors, exhibitions or installations, either permanent or temporary, for private, public, commercial or industrial purposes. Examples include: public installations, restaurant/hospitality interiors, office or medical interiors, set designs, retail displays, exhibition booths, etc.

This year's Built Environment Jury Team was led by Dror Benshetrit, Founder of New York based Studio Dror. Joining him on the panel were Charlie Gepp, founder of INTENTIONALLY BLANK, and Marc Thorpe, founder of Marc Thorpe Design.

Without further ado, your 2018 Core77 Design Awards Built Environment Honorees: 

Built Environment Award HonoreesWinnerCompound CameraBy PneuhausRunner UpConversation Plinth : Indiana Hardwood CLT ProjectBy ikdNotableDaily Provisions By Rockwell GroupNotableMOD New York: FASHION TAKES A TRIPBy Studio JosephNotableKunyu Mountain National Park Public RestroomBy Lab D+HStudent WinnerType High: Experiments in Dimensional Design and TypographyBy Michael Prisco & Helen SywalskiStudent Runner UpResonateBy Maria CastilloStudent NotablePantone ExhibitBy Kerry Anderson

A massive thank you from everyone...

Commercial Equipment: Operational equipment and systems designed for public, commercial, industrial, medical and scientific use. Examples include: machinery, medical instruments and devices, construction tools, transaction kiosks, weather instruments, etc. 

This year's Commercial Equipment Jury Team was led by Joe Hebenstreit, CEO of Shaper. Joining him on the panel were Gretchen Anderson, Head of Design at PG&E, Andy Logan, Founder & Creative Director of AWOL CompanyKiefer Limeback, CEO of Limeback Group and @toolaholic, and Spencer Wright, Proprietor of

Without further ado, your 2018 Core77 Design Awards Commercial Equipment Honorees:

Commercial Equipment Award HonoreesWinnerPhilips Intellivue X3By Philips DesignRunner UpGRYPMATBy Tom BurdenRunner UpFlexco Manual XP Staple Fastener By Jacob Stanton, CHOi DesignNotableVarian ProBeam Proton Therapy SystemBy elemental8NotableXperiusBy Philips DesignNotableSPEEDTRAP™ Graft Preparation System By Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies (JJMDC) Design TeamNotableHaloBy Pensar DevelopmentNotablePROXISURE™ Suturing Device By Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies (JJMDC) Design TeamNotableAbaxis...
Consumer Product: Final products designed specifically for individual use across a variety of environments and purposes, including but not limited to home, work, leisure, sporting, health and hygiene. Examples include: electronics, accessories, soft goods, housewares and appliances, personal care, tabletop, etc.

This year's Consumer Product Jury Team was led by Ti Chang, Co-founder & VP of Design at Crave. Joining her on the panel were Ivy Ross, VP of Design for Hardware at Google, Jörg Student, Executive Design Director at IDEORaja Schaar, Assistant Professor of Product Design at Drexel University.

Without further ado, your 2018 Core77 Design Awards Consumer Product Honorees:

Consumer Product Award HonoreesWinnerWillow Breast PumpBy Willow, IDEO, and Function EngineeringRunner UpAirPop Air Wearable By AetherisRunner UpGoogle Pixel Buds By Google Hardware DesignNotableJuice™ Mobile PowerBy Cesaroni Design AssociatesNotableBioLite SolarHome 620By BioLiteNotableOculus TouchBy Oculus Industrial Design StudioNotableUV SenseBy fuseprojectNotableEargo PlusBy AmmunitionNotableSnooz Sound MachineBy MINIMAL
Design Concept: All conceptual or proposal designs, whether self-initiated or created for a client or educational institution, which have been fully developed, but not yet brought to market or made available for pre-order. Due to the conceptual nature of the category, effective writing and visuals are critical, and entries should be fully described and illustrated to clarify the intent as much as possible.

This year's Design Concept Jury Team was led by Designer, Experimental Artist & Speculative Technologist Ani Lu. Joining her on the panel were Chris Woebken, Co-founder of Extrapolation Factory, and Engineer & Designer Dan Chen.

Without further ado, your 2018 Core77 Design Awards Design Concept Honorees:

Design Concept Award HonoreesWinnerDesign CirculationBy 57st. designRunner UpLine of SightBy Mettle StudioRunner UpAmber WavesBy Don CarrNotableFood ForestBy Hunan Xiaogou industrial design Co., LtdNotableAgapeBy id.realStudent WinnerSupervised Machine Learning Trainer 3607A By Benedict Hübener, Keyur Jain, and James ZhouStudent Runner UpPersonal Carbon EconomyBy Shihan ZhangStudent...
Design Education Initiative : A for profit or nonprofit-education partnership initiative, or an initiative undertaken by an educational institution that utilizes the ideals of design thinking. Examples include, but are not limited to: workshops, class projects, institutional programs, print and/or digital campaigns, education-driven exhibitions, online learning initiatives, toolkits, strategy documents, etc. 

This year's Design Education Initiative Jury Team was led by Susie Wise, Strategic Advisor, Designer & Coach of School Retool. Joining her on the panel were Juliette LaMontagne, Founder & CEO, Breaker / Chief Learning Architect of Bionic SolutionsKareem Collie, Director of Design and Creativity for The Rick and Susan Sontag Center for Collaborative Creativity and Tom Maiorana, Assistant Professor in the Department of Design at UC Davis.

Without further ado, your 2018 Core77 Design Awards Design Education Initiative Honorees:

Design Education Initiative Award HonoreesWinnerDeveloping Character in Kids By Character Lab DesignRunner UpPotato PiratesBy CodomoRunner UpFixperts for Schools By FixEdNotableFuture ErasureBy CIID ResearchNotableGrass Roots Education: Master Artisan ProgramBy Victoria HoNotableDesign Build: Street Seats By School of Constructed Environments, Parsons School of Design
Design for Social Impact: Projects specifically designed to directly benefit social, humanitarian, community or environmental causes. Examples include: community or environmental impact initiatives, products for underrepresented communities, distribution systems, disaster relief, etc.

This year's Design for Social Impact Jury Team was led by Jennifer Rittner, Principal of Content Matters. Joining her on the panel were George Aye, Co-founder and Director of Innovation at Greater Good StudioMarc Dones, Associate Director of Equity Initiatives and Sabiha Basrai, Graphic Designer/Owner of Design Action Collective

Without further ado, your 2018 Core77 Design Awards Design for Social Impact Honorees: 

Design for Social Impact Award HonoreesWinnerFirefly Center: the management center for disadvantaged communities By Seocho district office, Seoul metropolitan cityRunner UpNo Justice, No Peace: LA 1992By Picnic Design, Red Cape StudioRunner UpinSIGHTs: creating conducive environments for visually impaired girls in IndiaBy Neeta VermaNotableGet Compensation!By ThoughtWorksNotableWeTransfer - Into Action!By Stink StudiosNotableAHA is Listening- Design Research with Rural CommunitiesBy veryniceNotableSeeing AI - Talking Camera App for the Blind CommunityBy Microsoft
Furniture & Lighting: Furniture and lighting products or systems for private, public, commercial or industrial use. Examples include: home or public seating, office systems, lighting, workstations, etc.This year's Furniture & Lighting Jury Team was led by John Arndt and Wonhee Jeong Arndt, Co-founders of Studio Gorm. Joining them on the panel were Chris Liljenberg Halstrøm, Founder of Chris L. Halstrom, Christopher Specce, Professor of Furniture Design at RISD, Jamie Wolfond, Founder of Good Thing, and Thom Fougere, Founder of Thom Fougere Studio.Without further ado, your 2018 Core77 Design Awards Furniture & Lighting Honorees:Furniture & Lighting Award HonoreesWinnerAxylBy Benjamin Hubert of LayerRunner UpMOBILE WEDGEBy KEM STUDIORunner UpSuperlightBy Peter Stathis & Matthew BoykoNotableBallot ChairBy Barber & OsgerbyNotableMETA Tattoo WorkstationBy Pedro Gomes DesignNotableCabin LoungesBy GibsonKarloNotableHiLoBy Seth Murray and Bret Recor + Box CleverStudent WinnerLIGA Storage FurnitureBy Matthieu Muller & Pierre-Alexandre CesbronStudent Runner UpGravityBy Peter LoweStudent Runner UpSettleBy Tanya...
Interaction Design:  Interactive content and user interface design for websites, mobile devices and experiential installations. Examples include: software, mobile apps, interactive projections, products with embedded user interface, animations, simulations, robotics, etc.

This year's Interaction Jury Team was led by Joana Lehman, Executive Producer of Small Planet. Joining her on the panel were Brian Kelly, Director of Experience Design, Leslie Dann, Associate Partner of C&G Partners and Yumi Endo, Lead Designer at Humanitarian Data Exchange(HDX), United Nations OCHA.

Without further ado, your 2018 Core77 Design Awards Interaction Honorees:

Interaction Award HonoreesWinnerPlay Impossible GameballBy NewDealDesignRunner UpUSAFactsBy ArtefactRunner UpMelabBy Potion DesignNotableTrapOSBy Hoan PhamNotableStanford University Home of ChampionsBy AdventNotableWoobo Companion RobotBy Shen GuoStudent WinnerLoupe / American Museum of Natural HistoryBy Han Jun KimStudent Runner UpBMW XploreBy Sebastian GierStudent NotableMidgardBy Yijian LanStudent NotableLookBy Matt ViscoStudent NotableSeeing...
Open Design: Projects whose final form is 'open', liable to change (physically or digitally,) and whose underlying purpose is creation or recreation by the end-user, either through production (ex. 3D Printing), assembly (ex. DIY), or personal customization.

This year's Open Design Jury Team was led by Zach Kaplan, CEO of Inventables. Joining him on the panel were Carl Bass, self-unemployed robot builder and former CEO of Autodesk, Jason Busschaer, Director of Industrial Design at Stanley Black & Decker, and Porter Whitmire, Senior Director of Product Development & Innovation Management at Techtronic Industries.

Without further ado, your 2018 Core77 Design Awards Open Design Honorees:

Open Design Award HonoreesWinnerGantri Table LightsBy GantriRunner UpSide Hustle HouseBy Union Studio Architecture & Community DesignStudent WinnerSpecs Modular GlassesBy Elizabeth StegnerStudent Runner UpMercury Modular Guitar By Ian Reddick

A massive thank you from everyone at Core77 for the stellar efforts of our judges, and the incredible work submitted by our honorees!