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.

Nike focuses on sustainable footwear for summer 2019

Today may be the first day of spring, but thoughts of summer are already on the horizon for Nike as they preview their sustainable footwear.

Architect designs sustainable prism-shaped treehouses

When we think of treehouses, we instantly think of plain-planked interiors propped in trees. Plenty of kids have spent their youth climbing trees and building their secret hideaways in the tree branches. However, this modern concept by Milan-based Peter Pichler Architecture envisions treehouses for adults that…

Crystal cave installation is made of 18,000 plastic cups

Perhaps if people were more scared of plastic, maybe they wouldn’t use so much of it.

Electroformed crystals encase these handmade bowls

Crafted using a controlled processes that's intended to resemble natural formations, this ceramicist favours working with clay.

The important meaning behind Pantone’s 2019 Colour Of The Year

Following 2018's intense and dramatic Ultra Violet, this year's colour is a life-affirming shade of orange with a golden undertone that's decidedly more natural than last year's choice.

The 2018 National Geographic Photo Contest winners

The categories for the 2018 National Geographic Photo Contest include Wildlife, People, and Places.

Fashion retailer sells twigs for US$50 leaving Internet speechless

If you visit the website of fashion retailer Anthropologie, you’ll see a product called Birch Branch Bundle. Exactly what the name implies, this bundle of decorative twigs is not much different from what you’d find in your own yard.

Winners from the 2018 Siena International Photo Awards

Whittled down from 48,000 entries from 156 countries, judges had a difficult time deciding the winners of the 2018 Siena International Photo Awards.

Chinese city wants to replace street lights with artificial Moon

The largest and brightest object in the night sky, the Moon has long inspired curiosity and wonder. And landing a man on the Moon is still considered one of humanity’s greatest achievements.

Top 10 winners of the Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition

Now entering it’s 44th year of celebrating the beauty of a microscopic world, Nikon has announced the winners of its 2018 Small World Photomicrography Competition.

Eco-friendly dog house design boasts impressive features

Showing that eco-friendly building concepts are applicable to even our canine friends, California-based architecture and interior design firm Studio Schicketanz has designed a dog house unlike any other. 

LEGO debuts functional wind turbine made from eco-friendly bricks

Playing with Lego just got better for the environment. After announcing its eco-friendly plant-shaped bricks made of sugarcane, LEGO has teamed up with Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas to create a wind turbine model made from sustainable bricks.

Museum of the Moon lunar replica captivates audiences worldwide

While SpaceX prepares to send a Japanese billionaire and eight artists to the Moon for free, UK artist Luke Jerram is bringing the Moon to audiences around the globe.

Pantone unveils 2019 Spring/Summer fashion trend report

Every year the team at the Pantone Color Institute comes out with its fashion trend report; an overview of the top colours showcased by fashion designers at New York Fashion Week that’ll be featuring in their collections for the upcoming season.

Dichroic installations reflect a rainbow of colours in the light

A rainbow is a beautiful, natural phenomenon which continues to inspire people in many ways. It has also inspired scientists and artists alike to further explore the nature of colour and light and how they are connected.

These lifelike wooden animals are sculpted with a chainsaw

The art of chainsaw sculpting is astonishing to think of when creating with using such an indelicate tool. Both elaborate and exhilarating, it’s also a lengthy process that takes time to perfect. However, if you give Jürgen Lingl-Rebetez a block of wood and a chainsaw, all you have…

Scuba Diving Magazine​ unveils underwater ​photo​ contest winners

One of the most fascinating and largely unexplored places in the world also happens to be a place difficult for most people to visit—the depths of the ocean. But, for seasoned scuba divers, this contest is a chance to capture underwater wonders most will never…

Discover the best aerial photos from the inaugural Drone Awards

After receiving 4,400 submissions from over 101 countries, the inaugural Drone Awards have announced the winners of their competition. The awards, which celebrates the art of drone photography, has allowed photographers to explore new perspectives and communicate an appreciation of our planet.

Robotic planter chases the sun to nourish its plant in sunlight

Do you have a hard time maintaining your plants? Not to worry. A Beijing-based startup has developed a robotic planter that’ll make it so you’ll never accidentally kill a plant again.

McDonald’s & KFC begin phasing out plastic straws

McDonald’s & KFC are the latest restaurant chains to join the war against plastic and phase out plastic straws across several of their outlets. However, this will most likely only be in their in overseas markets. This follows earlier news from McDonald’s claiming they’re “really close” to the point where…

Glass jewellery lets you wear the swirling motion of the ocean

Have you ever felt peace while walking along the ocean, or maybe more energetic and an improved mood? The fact is that most people experience a feeling of calm, relaxation and well-being, when near the swirling motion of water. 

Cherry blossom tree made from over 800,000 LEGO bricks

Each spring, people visit Japan to see the cherry blossom trees in full bloom. And while they unfortunately only bloom for a short period, there’s one place where you can see a cherry blossom in constant bloom: LEGOLAND® Japan.

LEGO to launch first ever plant-based plastic pieces

Later this year, LEGO will be launching new botanical elements such as leaves, bushes and trees made from a plant-based plastic. In the company’s bid to reduce their plastic waste, the new pieces will be made with a plant-based material sourced from sugarcane.

Shazam-like app identifies plants and animals in your photos

If you’ve ever gone hiking and come across plants and animals you were unfamiliar with, and wanted to know more, there’s now an app for that. You could try to describe what you see and type it into Google. But you might not get the…

Lacoste replaces iconic crocodile logo with 10 endangered species

Fashion brand Lacoste has replaced it’s iconic crocodile logo to help save 10 endangered species in a new limited edition collection of polo shirts. In partnership with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Lacoste will release 10 different polo shirts embroidered with animals who…

Ecocapsule: The futuristic self-sustainable micro-home

With energy rates going nowhere but up, maybe you’re looking to live off-the-grid; or you’re someone who dreams of traveling with a self-sustaining mobile home. If size doesn’t matter, then the Ecocapsule might be your perfect earth-friendly dwelling.

Nature-inspired embroidery that appears to be floating

Embroidery is delicate work. But when you’re skillfully hand-stitching, it’s taken to the next level. And that’s especially true when working on net-like tulle fabric. It’s more delicate than your traditional cotton—making it less forgiving than other fabrics. However, when done well, the effect is mesmerizing.

5 best sculpture parks from around the world

In woodlands and jungles, along coastlines, and on mountaintops, sculpture has long been integrated into the world around us. However, we often think of sculptural viewing as an indoor experience, placed throughout museums and galleries. But in recent decades the concept of sculpture parks have taken off.

Treepex device transforms polluted air into fresh oxygen

Polluted air has grown 8% globally in the past five years. Now, billions of people around the world are now exposed to dangerous air; this according to data from over 3,000 cities compiled by the World Health Organization.

Sculptor uses chainsaw to turn old trees into works of at

Sculptors have a way of taking their medium and transforming it into incredible shapes and designs. And the creations from this talented Romanian artist is no exception; the only difference is his tool: a chainsaw.

Halloween-themed blue burger is filled with ants and mealworms

Australian burger chain Huxtaburger will be offering a distinctly creepy burger on Halloween. And just so you know, the extra crunch in this burger isn’t from the crispy lettuce. Rather, it’s the healthy serving of mealworms.

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.

Some of the best images from the solar eclipse

On Monday, August 21, 2017, millions of people across the northern hemisphere tried to catch a glimpse of the solar eclipse. In fact, according to Netflix, they lost 10 percent of their usual viewership during the solar eclipse.

Discover the art of aquarium decorating

Aquarium decorating, also known as aquascaping, is the design and arranging of aquatic plants, rocks, or driftwood within an aquarium; basically, gardening under water.

Multidimensional landscapes created from hundreds of photos

Japanese artist Nobuhiro Nakanishi doesn’t believe that time can be physically grasped. However, with his latest exhibition, he shows us what it might look like if we could. Nobuhiro’s Layer Drawings series explores time, space, and memory by photographing landscapes over time.

Artist turns scrap metal into nature art

It’s true that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. And for this self-taught artist based in Gloucestershire, UK, scrap metal is his canvas. Dan Rawlings works with recycled tools, old vehicles, and anything else he finds; turning this scrap metal into beautiful tree and plant…

Swiss designers creates lamps inspired by pollen grains

Spring is beautiful, but it’s also a key time of year for seasonal allergies. As plants release pollen, millions of people with hay fever start to sniffle and sneeze. However, Swiss art director Regine Cavicchioli, Roman Jurt and Michael Kennedy from the Zurich University of the…

Street artist turns dirty vehicles into four-wheel masterpieces

The snow and slush of early spring are gone, but things are still a bit dirty. And chances are that your car could use a good wash to get off the dirt and grime its accumulated over the past season. Those who should, but don’t…

Delightful geometric animal sculptures made from folded paper

I’ve previously posted folded paper geometric animal sculptures before. However, the simplicity of these designs by Buenos Aires-based artists Carolina Silvero and Juan Elizalde makes them unique.

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. 

Beauty and the Beast inspired roses that live forever

Few things embody the magic of Disney films quite like the enchanted rose from Beauty and the Beast. With the live-action release of this classic tale opening today, what better way to gift fans than with a magical rose in a glass dome?

The destruction of wildlife illustrated in clever double exposure ads

“Destroying Nature is Destroying Life”. This is the slogan of a beautiful and powerful new awareness campaign against the destruction caused by uncontrolled industrialization. Using double exposure ads, the campaign reminds us that the destruction of nature inevitably leads to the destruction of wildlife.

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.

Discover the complex organic paper art of Rogan Brown

Do you remember cutting paper snowflakes in school? Artist Rogan Brown has taken that simple craft and merged it with his love of complexity to create organic paper art.

Artist turns old CDs Into amazing animal sculptures

Although we’re taught from a young age not to be wasteful, a broken CD isn’t much good to anyone. In fact, CDs are pretty much obsolete these days. Unless you’re Australian artist Sean Avery that is.

Reflective poles mirror the changing tides

The movement of the water and the sound of waves has always had a calming effect on people. That’s why American artist Phillip K. Smith decided to create a project where the ocean waves are reflected, instead of being “swallowed” by their force.

Minimalist WWF ads show the impact of global warming

Climate change is already having a significant impact on global ecosystems and communities. Rising average temperatures don’t simply mean warmer winters. Some regions are already experiencing more extreme heat, cold, flooding and drought. To help raise awareness, Leo Burnett Philippines has come up with a collection of print…

Powerful ads feature animals tied up like garbage bags

An argument can be made that in order to deserve respect from other humans, you need to be human. However, with peoples deep love for animals, it raises fundamental questions about the basis of moral rights. 

Driftwood sculptures that represent the spirit of nature

Nature itself can a work of art. The elements can carve beauty into objects like stone or even wood. And once nature has created the canvas, artist Debra Bernier begins her work. Using natural materials such as driftwood, clay, shells and her rich imagination, she creates captivating sculptures which represent…

Hair crown looks like butterflies flying around your head

Butterflies happen to be a popular motif in the visual arts and design. Based in Ukraine, designer Iryna Osinchuk-Chajka of Eten-Iren Handmade Jewely has taken this motif and released a series of unique hair accessories.