The Design Block

If you're looking for the latest in advertising and marketing, design related technology and lifestyle tips, and art or design highlights then you're in the right place. Find all this and more with the Design Block blog.

IKEA wants to send you to Denmark for free to experience Hygge culture

IKEA wants to send someone to live in Copenhagen for two weeks to explore what makes its residents so happy.

Get close to wildlife in treehouses at this eco-friendly forest resort

The biophilic design of the resort integrates its infrastructure with the natural surroundings of the park.

No money to travel? Photoshop yourself a trip with ‘Fake A Vacation’

Fake A Vacation allows Instagramming wannabes to have a photo of themselves appearing like they're on vacation.

Norway’s banknotes get pixelated nature-inspired design

Back in 2014, creative agency Snøhetta and Metric Design won a competition to redesign Norway’s banknotes. Finally, all of the country’s paper currency has been redesigned and nearly all entered into circulation.

SpaceX is sending 8 artists around the Moon for free

A couple days ago, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced that Yusaku Maezawa, will be the first private customer to ride around the Moon on the company’s Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) as early as 2023.

Artist creates amazing 3D sketches of famous landmarks

Pietro Cataudella is an Italian artist who takes urban sketching to the next level. He offers a new perspective of famous landmarks by using his talents to combine his architectural drawings with photos of their real-life surroundings.

Chicken meets doughnut in the newest food mashup: Donug

Move over sushi doughnuts, the Donug is latest doughnut-shaped food trend to grip the globe. If you’re repulsed by the idea of a chicken-flavoured doughnut or, perhaps, have your interest piqued by a doughnut-encrusted chicken nugget, it’s not really either of those things.

Animated GIFs reconstruct ancient ruins around the world

Ancient ruins, like The Parthenon in Athens and Mexico’s Pyramid of the Sun, can teach us about the past, architectural building techniques and how civilization flourished. However, views of these ancient architectural wonders are firmly based in their current state of ruin, leaving it to visitors…

Dubai Frame: The world’s largest picture frame

Home to the tallest skyscraper, the largest shopping mall and the longest driverless metro system in the world, Dubai is a city not shy about its architecture; their newest monument is the world’s largest picture frame, rising 150 meters above Dubai’s Zabeel Park. 

Artist suspends 600,000 tied knots over Spanish plaza

Have you recently visited Madrid’s historic Plaza Mayor? If so, then you were probably greeted by a dazzling installation by artist Janet Echelman. She recently unveiled the latest sculpture to her Earth Time Series; a captivating suspended thread installation of tied knots.

You can now have a career as an Instagram Butler

It used to be that if you wanted to take photos when you went on vacation you had to carry around a clunky camera. Now, with cameras on every smartphone, people can take photos easier; and people love to take photos. In fact, the advent…

Faded Footprints illustrated series highlights destroyed landmarks

The landscape shapes our sense of place on Earth, yet it’s constantly changing. The forces of wind, water, sun, and, yes, humans, combine to transform the world around us. In fact, in the last 50 years alone, hundreds of scenic natural landmarks around the world have…

Giant straw animals invade Japanese fields after rice harvest

Fall is here, which means that it’s time for the harvest and the annual fairs that celebrate it. In Japanese culture waste is often minimized, especially in food. Sometimes, during the annual rice harvest, the leftover rice straw is transformed into straw animals.

Swedish train passengers ditch tickets, opt to be microchipped instead

Gone are the days of fair collectors asking to see your paper ticket on the train. One Swedish train company is offering passengers the option of being microchipped by having a biometric chip implanted into their hand.

Snowbird ski resort cleverly uses 1-star review in its ad

From intermediate to expert skiers, Snowbird ski resort in Utah is renowned for its challenging slopes. However, one guest found the mountains to be a bit too challenging and wrote a 1-star review of his stay.

Adidas beer and vomit-proof shoes for Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest, originally a Bavarian event, is now celebrated the world over; being loved for its endless flow of German beer, traditional food, and all-around good times. So, if you’re looking for the perfect shoes to match your lederhosen at Oktoberfest, Adidas has the pair for you. 

The top 10 winners of the Sony World Photography Awards 2017

The Sony World Photography Awards is an annual competition hosted by the World Photography Organization. Recently, the largest photo competition in the world announced the winners for 2017. 

Airbnb and PANTONE create green wonderland to help fight the winter blues

Airbnb and PANTONE have joined up to create a one-of-a-kind nature-filled space that brings the outdoors, inside. Inspired by the Pantone’s 2017 Colour of the Year, Greenery, the Outside In house in the heart of London, is designed to encourage visitors to embrace 2017 with fresh optimism.

Best travel photos from Siena International Photo Awards

Although the Siena International Photo Awards was only conceived last year, it’s already regarded as a prestigious award. Photographers from over 100 countries around the world have submitted their images for the 2016 awards. Results for this years submission of over 15,000 photos have just been announced.…

Vintage travel posters celebrate world’s lost wildlife

You can still visit Costa Rica, but you’ll never find a golden toad there. At least not any more. That’s because the species no longer exists. When thinking about your next vacation, it’s standard practice to flick through a guidebook or travel website to find out more…

Poland unveils glow-in-the-dark bicycle path

In a world where cities are looking for eco-friendly infrastructure solutions, new bicycle lanes are constantly being added. Seeking to make the bicycle path safer and more accessible in the evening and at night, urban planners in Lidzbark Warminski, Poland just unveiled a new glow-in-the-dark bicycle…

Earpiece with app can translate languages instantly

The language barrier is the most common thing that many travellers can relate to. English may be an international language, but communicating with those who don’t speak it requires some skill. So when travelling to a country where your native language isn’t spoken, don’t expect to become fluent…

Artist creates monsters next to subway passengers

If commute on the subway, you either stare at your phone, the floor, or enjoy the pleasures of people watching. It can be interesting to observe people’s emotions and expressions. And the New York subway can be a pretty strange place, even at the best of times. Sometimes the expressions of these strange…

25 potential culture shocks from around the world

Don’t flush your toilet paper and never finish your food or you’ll seem rude. When traveling to other countries for the first time, some local practices might come as potential culture shocks to foreigners. This handy infographic reveals surprising habits and social faux pas from around the world.

Trams in Amsterdam offer a unique gaming experience

For those who take public transit, playing games on your phone is probably how you pass the time. Parts of the world are going crazy trying to catch Pokémon through their phone with Pokémon Go. But that doesn’t mean you need to run around town chasing digital…

Mesmerizing kinetic sculpture makes waves over Pershing Square

A suspended sea of delicate silver strands ripples over Pershing Square in Los Angeles. This mesmerizing kinetic sculpture casts moving shadows over those who walk underneath. 

Fake animal facts left all over Los Angeles Zoo

California-based comedian Jeff Wysaski, who goes by the handle Obvious Plant, has recently pranked the public. If you happened to visit the Los Angeles Zoo recently, you may have spotted some rather unusual facts regarding some of the animals.

Open-air hotel in the Alps to sleep under the stars

No walls, roof, or even a bathroom (at least not one closer than a 10 minute walk away). However there is a a butler on hand to serve food, water, and coffee upon arrival.

The 2016 National Geographic traveler photo contest winners

Each year National Geographic holds its prestigious travel photography contest. 2016’s has come to an end and it’s time to announce the winners! Chosen from more than 10,000 entries, below are the best traveler photos of the year.

PANTONE Café has foods inspired by various hues

The impressive range of PANTONE colours lend themselves to all sorts of applications that go beyond just graphic design. They’re found in hair styles, fashion, and they’re especially engaging when it comes to food. So if nothing brings you joy like the perfect colour co-ordination, it…

Celebrate Canada Day with interesting Canadian facts

Did you know that we produce more maple syrup than any other country? Learn more facts about Canada.

Do you want to talk to a random Swede? Call the Swedish Number

To celebrate 250 years of free speech and encourage tourism, Sweden gave itself its own phone number.

Idyllic places to go if the world ends tomorrow

Where on Earth are the best choices for riding out the coming apocalypse?

The most insane things smuggled through customs

If you travel often you know there are strict regulations when crossing international borders. Despite these regulations, many people still try to smuggle strange, unusual and illegal items through customs.

The most bizarre hobbies from around the world

While the average people takes up a hobby like playing sports, baking — or even stamp collecting — there are a handful of unique individuals that consider these common pass-times mundane. So what do these people do instead? According to British website Gifts.co.uk, they enjoy…

Infographic: Quirky road signs from around the world

Language continues to be a barrier when travelling abroad. Travellers, however, can at least rely on the simplicity of universally designed signs to guide them on their adventures. And while most road signs will tell you the speed limit or point you in the right…

What not to do when visiting certain countries

Even though some of these customs may seem queer from a foreign perspective, it’s still important to respect the culture in one’s host country.

The most Instagrammed destinations in North America

From beautifully prepared food to inspirational sunsets, travellers are passionate about documenting the world around them using Instagram. But have you ever wondered which are the most Instagrammed destinations?

Architectural optical illusion makes church disappear

You don’t need to be a religious person to appreciate the architectural designs of churches and mosques. However, the design of this church in Borgloon, Belgium, has baffled locals. The building appears whole from one angle, but appears to dissolve into thin air from another. 

Infographic: The world’s 25 weirdest drinking customs

No matter how many monuments you visit while traveling, or works of art you pander over, you’ll never understand the people and their culture until you drink with them. But, before you clink glasses with your new friends, you might want to take a minute…

Get breakfast all day at the Cereal Killer Café

Do you enjoy having a comforting bowl of cereal with milk at any time of the day? The start-up scene provides us with an array of pop-up and niche shops and eateries that cater for all our wants. One that has recently captured many people’s imaginations is the Cereal…

Fancy cheeseburgers inspired by US cities

Did you know that there’s a Cheese and Burger Society? I sure didn’t. But it’s not a silver spoon society that sits around in smoking jackets, sniffing cheeseburgers. They’re all about promoting recipes to delicious cheeseburgers that represent the unique flavours of America.

The most bizarre Christmas celebrations around the world

Whether it’s leaving a treat for Santa and his reindeer or simply decorating the tree, Christmas has many traditions. And no two families Christmas’s are quite the same. So, what kind of bizarre Christmas celebrations are there in countries around the globe? 

Deep fried maple leaves in a sweet tempura batter

Fall is here and people in Japan are not only enjoying the picturesque autumn view, but they’re also enjoying maple leaves; deep frying them in a sweet tempura batter and eating them.

Infographic: Crazy facts around the world

Did you know that Mount Everest grows an estimated 4mm per year? Or that Pluto is smaller than Russia? There are even more crazy facts like that in this infographic created by travel website When On Earth. Check out more crazy facts below and impress your friends with…

A sidewalk lane in China for people on their phones

These days people are captivated by their smartphones and connected devices; so much so that they have become oblivious to the world around them. This smartphone addiction is especially prevalent in Chinese youth. That’s why the city of Chongqing has created the first mobile phone sidewalk.

101 places to get fucked up before you die

When you travel, do you like to stare at ancient manuscripts in museums? Or perhaps ogle the oil paintings at the art gallery? If getting fucked up is more your style, then here’s a book for you.

Find out how people consume meat around the world

Where’s the beef? With all the BBQs flaming this summer, if you consume meat then you’re probably thinking of a nice juicy burger or steak right now. Lets face it, the world loves meat. And I know that there are plenty of vegetarians and vegans out…

Would you try fish and chips flavoured ice cream?

Ice cream is a popular treat that is enjoyed around the world. Fish and chips, however, is a traditional British dish which is popular with tourists. And now ice cream and fish and chips fans can get their fix together.

More unbelievable places on Earth

Not too long ago, I posted some of the most unbelievable places on Earth to visit before you die. Now I’m back with more places on Earth that you need to see. Check them out below.