The Zeppelin Train, The Aerotrain And Other Classic Streamlined Trains

Long before there were bullet trains and high-speed light rail systems, people experimented with creating super-streamlined trains that could whisk people across the country in Googie splendor. In some alternate universe, these streamlined trains of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s are still in service. » 4/19/14 3:30pm Saturday 3:30pm

Driving the Past, For the Future of Car Design

This week the Ford Mustang, perhaps America's most culturally influential car, turned 50. Ford Motor Company celebrated the anniversary with commemorative models and publicity stunts, but the company's top two designers had the most fitting tribute: A Michigan-to-NYC road trip in two classic Mustangs. I rode along and, … » 4/18/14 4:30pm Friday 4:30pm

The Simple Metal Mechanism That Changed the Global Economy Forever

Have you ever heard of a twistlock? Unless you're a stevedore, probably not. Yet this little mechanism is what makes it possible to stack shipping containers onto cargo ships larger than city blocks—enabling a global trade network that brought most of your belongings to your doorstep. And we have a relatively… » 2/26/14 10:38am 2/26/14 10:38am

NYC's Touchscreen Subway Maps Are Finally Here, and They're Amazing

New York subway riders first were promised futuristic touchscreen wayfinding maps a year ago. But the plan to install the futuristic infrastructure stalled as the design team took a step back to improve the hardware. Six months overdue, the first batch is finally live in Grand Central Station. They were worth the… » 2/12/14 11:47am 2/12/14 11:47am

Will design save Volvo from melting into vanilla oblivion?

I don't envy the daunting job that lies ahead for Volvo head of design Thomas Ingenlath. The Swedish brand posted a loss of close to $90 million in the first half of 2013, and while they're back in the black thanks to cost-cutting measures and growth in China, they still have an uphill battle to find firm footing in… » 1/17/14 1:24pm 1/17/14 1:24pm

Mercedes head of design talks 2015 C-Class and the death of the wedge

Mercedes head of design Gorden Wagener has a pretty sweet gig. Promoted to design chief at the tender age of 39, he's injected a much-needed breath of fresh air into the once-geriatric German luxury brand. Not only has he brought us stunners like the new entry-level CLA, but he's now leading the type of design team… » 12/16/13 6:26pm 12/16/13 6:26pm

A Brief History of Airspace Design

Think Los Angeles at rush hour is bad? Try doing it half-blindfolded with nothing but a radio and a few blinking lights to show you the way. That's how pilots navigate the invisible highways in the sky, and there's a beautiful design that makes it all work. It only took about a hundred years to come up with it. » 11/26/13 10:14am 11/26/13 10:14am

5 Retrofuturistic Designs That Helped J Mays Reshape the Automobile

Ford Motor Company announced this week that top designer J Mays is retiring. In his 33-year career and 16-year tenure at Ford, Mays ushered in the era of retrofuturistic styling that other car companies scrambled to follow. Here, we look back at five of his vehicles that steered the shape of automotive design. » 11/09/13 10:23am 11/09/13 10:23am

US Army's new awesome helmet turns war into deadly video game

It seems like something out of Halo, but this new futuristic soldier helmet discovered by KitUp! is now being tested by the US Army. Called the Helmet Electronics and Display System-Upgradeable Protection, it's a modular variation of the current head gear, with face-protective 9mm plating and Heads Up Display powered… » 10/24/13 4:54pm 10/24/13 4:54pm

Could an Ignition-Activated “Car Mode” Keep Drivers From Texting?

Texting while driving accounts for more and more accidents every year, but there’s no clear solution in sight (unless you think these new SMS rest stops will work). New York designer Joey Cofone is proposing another idea: An iOS “Car Mode,” akin to airplane mode, that would prevent you from texting while your car is in … » 10/17/13 5:48pm 10/17/13 5:48pm