ugliest and silliestCourtesy of Andrej Statskij design studio in Latvia come the Oops Awards for bad product design.

In the search for new and original design ideas and executions, there have to be many misses.

Though many are relegated to design-showroom-only status, and never make it past prototyping, it’s fun to take a look at what we hope doesn’t appear in stores or homes.

The anonymous Oops Design Award Foundation began giving awards in 2008 for Ugliest, Silliest and Most Useless Product Design.

They have selected nominees for 2009.

One of the interesting concepts this award highlights is that bad and good design can be very subjective.

For example, as Core 77 notes, one of the chairs nominated for the 2009 Ugliest category has already won the Cicely & Colin Rigg Contemporary Design Award, which is totally serious and comes with a $30,000 prize.

Somewhat related, and definitely in my Oops category, is this house which is currently on the market for $4 million (recently slashed from $5.5 mil).

Comments on the hideous “live-in” scuplture ranged from “That just made my eyes throw up” to “Dr. Seuss on acid.”

But someone is bound to buy it, because it’s different.

Much like the apparel that shows up on the catwalk during fashion weeks around the world, these designs are pushing the edge of what we recognize as attractive, in the name of innovation.

I suppose looking at what’s bad helps us define what’s good.

Without rainy days, who would as much appreciate the sunny ones?


dispatch1More on LEGOs: Jan Vormann is a German artist who “patches” holes and decay in buildings with Lego bricks!

This makes for wonderfully interesting juxtapositions of the brightly colored plastic rectangles with the old, graying, non-uniform stones and cement of old structures.

Jan has created this artwork — which, in true German-language style, he calls “dispatchwork” — to several cities, including Tel Aviv, Israel, Bocchignano, Italy and Berlin, Germany.

The work has a very different feel in each of the locales, and all are intriguing.

dispatch2In Berlin, most of the patchwork was done on bullet holes and destruction left-over from World War II. In Italy, near Rome, I imagine the decay was simply from age. In Israel, the artist was specifically invited to “repair” some old walls by the curators of Darom Gallery in Tel Aviv.

It would be fun to revisit the sites in 50 years and see the relative effects of time on the newer plastic vs. the old stone.

UPDATE: Where could we do this in Philly?

[Via Wired and Twittter]

LEGO Architecture

wright lego Legos rule. Let’s get that out of the way straight off. Hours of endless fun, for kids and (if you are so lucky as to be around a kid who has them) for adults.

And in the grown-up vein, just announced: Frank Lloyd Wright Collection® LEGO® Architecture Building Sets.

Released on May 15 at the opening of the Frank Lloyd Wright exhibit at the Guggenheim, these are the first sets available from the new LEGO Architecture division (which is so new their website isn’t fleshed out yet).

Playing with legos as a kid, I always felt torn when building from “sets” — those boxes of bricks and special parts that could go together to create a specific structure (castle, helicopter, working tow truck, etc.). I kind of preferred building free-form instead.

But these new Wright sets, and presumably others in the Architecture series, really can teach the user about good architecture! And because of the beautiful way legos are designed — with uniformity in the interlocking parts — nothing says you can’t also use these sets in free-form manner.

A great direction for this iconic toy company.

[Via prairie mod and core 77]