Department of Design

Curated by Timoni West.

Primarily focused on product design, technology, cognitive psychology, and the brain. Also—pretty pictures, sometimes moving.


Posts about quotes
January 22nd, 2014
Innovate as a last resort. More horrors are done in the name of innovation than any other.

Charles Eames (via bashford)

(via toffeemilkshake)

April 21st, 2013
Remember, remember always that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.
January 5th, 2013
He looked at people as if they were things. A nervous young man across from him, who served on the circuit court, came to hate him for that look. The young man lit a cigarette from his, tried talking to him, and even jostled him, to let him feel that he was not a thing but a human being, but Vronsky went on looking at him as at a lamppost, and the young man grimaced, feeling that he was losing his self-possession under the pressure of this non-recognition of himself as a human being and was unable to fall asleep because of it.

Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

April 30th, 2012
Gertrude Stein did us the most harm when she said, “You’re all a lost generation.” That got around to certain people and we all said, Whee! We’re lost. Perhaps it suddenly brought to us the sense of change. Or irresponsibility. But don’t forget that, though the people in the twenties seemed like flops, they weren’t. Fitzgerald, the rest of them, reckless as they were, drinkers as they were, they worked damn hard and all the time.

Paris Review - The Art of Fiction No. 13, Dorothy Parker.

I wonder if that sort of thing is partly why I bristle a bit anytime people try to define Generation Y.

June 1st, 2011
Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency. Remember that our sons and grandsons are going to do things that would stagger us. Let your watchword be order and your beacon beauty.

Daniel Burnham (via ontko)

I am an eyewitness to the ways in which people relate to themselves and to each other, and my work is a way of scooping and ladling that experience.

Richard Neutra

May 30th, 2011
Architecture should speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness.

Frank Gehry

February 1st, 2010
If you are going to have less things, they have to be great things.

John Maeda, via

November 5th, 2009

“We do not fear being called meticulous, inclining as we do to the view that only the exhaustive can be truly interesting.”
—Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain

(via slaughterhouse90210)

October 1st, 2009
A young girl, transfigured by Italy! And why shouldn’t she be? It happened to the Goths.

Eleanor Lavish, a novelist, in Room with a View, 1985

May 3rd, 2009
Lady, bumping into man: What? You’re so in a rush you have to knock me down?!
Man: Sorry, I was gonna ask you the same thing.
Lady: Watch where you’re going!
Man: Please leave me alone!
Lady: No! You leave me alone!

[ Pity Hillary and Obama Can’t Be Civil, via Overheard Everywhere ]

As soon as I read this conversation, I thought “Wow, that sounds very DC.” Lo and behold, it was overheard in DC.

January 28th, 2008

On Daniel Day-Lewis and his lucidity

Daniel Day-Lewis is my mother’s celebrity crush. From about eleven years old till about eighteen, that’s how I thought of him: the man my mother would stalk should my father happen to die. Since then I’ve seen him in a few films and he’s moved up in the ranks a bit to Oh Yes He’s An Actor—I particularly enjoyed his turn as Cecil in ‘Room with a View’—but despite his Oscar I never looked at his IMDB bio until today. Thank goodness I did. If you enjoy acting, or the technique of acting, you ought to read the quotes section. Day-Lewis is a thoughtful and well-spoken man, the son of a poet laureate, and is an obsessive method actor on par with the best. He also has that rare gift of being able to explain his personal quirks in a knowledgeable and easily recognizable way. Because I am fascinated with how people disparage their peers, I particularly liked this wonderful quote about his middle-class interest in the lower classes.

I came from the educated middle class but I identified with the working classes. Those were the people I looked up to. The lads whose fathers worked on the docks or in shipping yards or were shopkeepers. I knew that I wasn’t part of that world, but I was intrigued by it. They had a different way of communicating. People who delight in conversation are often using that as a means to not say what is on their minds. When I became interested in theater, the work I admired was being done by working-class writers. It was often about the inarticulate. I later saw that same thing in Robert De Niro's early work - it was the most sublime struggle of a man trying to express himself. There was such poetry in that for me.
Monty Python has a funny sketch about this sort of attitude, but what Daniel Day-Lewis said is very honest and I don’t often see it expressed so plainly. When I was in high school, we called kids “wiggers” if they liked hip-hop; when I was in college, frat boys made fun of other frat boys, and today I often see people making fun of their peers for behaving normally, and I don’t understand it by any means other than what I’ve stated before. So it is nice to see Daniel Day-Lewis, without any sense of awkwardness, say that he was intrigued by another class—or really, by anybody else at all. This is clearly not a large admission to him, but merely anecdotal to his work, and stems from his remarkably canny self-analyzation. Very lately people prefer to embrace irony over admission, but humour doesn’t have a long lifespan—so I wonder, when the irony has lost its power, can we start being as plain and honest as possible? The stripped-down prose of the great contemporary American writers is already much admired. Will that be our legacy? I hope so. I hope Daniel Day-Lewis’s clear statements are among what future generations find and repeat everywhere.