Regulars / Review of the Year 2015

Review of the Year 2015: Top 25 News

Re-read all about it! From classic design manual reissues to walkouts, rows and controversies – these are the stories that got you talking in 2015.

  • Zaha_hadid_itsnicethat_list News / Architecture Zaha Hadid stands her ground on BBC interview before walking out

    Earlier today Zaha Hadid walked out of a hostile interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme after a series of probing questions about two of her stadium projects. The interview, which pressed Hadid on the deaths of construction workers in Qatar and scrapping plans for the Tokyo Olympic stadium, has seen a number of architects take to Twitter to express their anger. Hadid was being interviewed to mark being awarded the 2016 RIBA Royal Gold Medal for her life’s work. "[We were] surprised and disappointed by the focus of the Radio 4 Today programme interview with Dame Zaha Hadid this morning,” a RIBA spokesperson has said. She is the first woman to be sole recipient of the award.

    Alexander Hawkins
  • Four-horsemen-of-the-apocalypse-jason-decaires-taylor_sculpture.its-nice-that-list News / Art Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse sculptures appear in the River Thames

    Sculptures of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse have been placed in London’s Thames river, but are visible only twice a day at low tide. The pieces were created by artist Jason deCaires Taylor, who created the underwater sculpture park in Cancun, Mexico, in 2009. Entitled The Rising Tide, the new London work is sited near Vauxhall bridge and aims to tackle issues of climate change. Four life-sized horses with riders are shown, though horse heads have been replaced with oil pumps to reference pollution and destruction from fossil fuels. The work was commissioned as part of the Totally Thames festival, which takes place at various London venues throughout September.

    Emily Gosling
  • Jamiehewlett-show-01-list-int News / Exhibition New London exhibition from Gorillaz co-founder Jamie Hewlett

    It has just been announced that Gorillaz co-founder Jamie Hewlett will be showing new works across three exhibitions at London’s Saatchi Gallery from November. The exhibition, encapsulating three shows under the title The Suggestionists , covers Tarot, B-movies, Russ Meyer and large-scale drawings of trees observed in the south of France.
    Imagined as a “psychogeographic journey… linked through the tantalising power of suggestion,” knowing Jamie’s previous work with the Gorillaz and Tank Girl , the show is sure to be a corker.

    Billie Muraben
  • Medium_identity_int_list News / Graphic Design Publishing platform Medium launches its new identity 

    Long-form publishing platform Medium has just launched its new identity, which was created in-house with type designer Rod Cavazos from type foundry PSY/OPS. Spotted over on Design Week’s site today, the new logo sees an overlapping, geometric and adaptable “M”. It’s a stark contrast to the black and white “M” logo set in Stag font that they’ve had since 2012.

    Rebecca Fulleylove
  • Designers-tools-list News / Miscellaneous Designers' "most-used tools" unveiled

    Designers’ most-used tools have been unveiled, showing “pencil and paper,” Dropbox and project management software Slack to be among the most-cited aids. The Design Tools Survey, launched today, takes answers from more than 4000 people across 200 countries, and asked creatives which tools they used most in six categories: Brainstorming; Wireframing; Interface design; Prototyping; Project management and File management. The survey was conducted by Khoi Vinh, who has put the findings into a microsite designed by Brooklyn-based studio Hyperakt and powered by Typeform.

    Emily Gosling
  • List-penguin-essentials-its-nice-that--mosquito-coast News / Graphic Design Penguin unveils cover designs for new Essentials range

    Penguin has unveiled covers for its new Penguin Essentials range, each of which is created by a different artist. The range draws together books the publisher deems to be “some of the most important books from the last 100 years, with covers designed by contemporary artists so that they feel fresh and unexpected, appealing to a new generation of readers.” The artists behind the new range include Rol Overwekk, Jan Van Der Veken and Oliver Hibert.

    Emily Gosling
  • Lexus-hoverboard-its-nice-that-1-list News / Product Design Lexus hoverboard actually launches, for real

    First there was the teaser campaign we weren’t sure was real. Then there were the men, knee deep into a mid/quarter-life crisis, dreaming of recreating Back to the Future. Now it’s finally here: Lexus has launched its hoverboard, Slide. Lexus worked with CHI&Partners to create the board, which is more than a year in the making, and uses what Lexus describes as “magnetic levitation” – a combination of liquid-nitrogen-cooled super-conductors and permanent magnets – to make it float. A new promo video for the product was launched last night showing skateboarder Ross McGouran teaching himself to float. Shot by director Henry-Alex Rubin, we see Ross tackling the Smuggler custom-built hoverpark.

    Emily Gosling
  • Wes-anderson-its-nice-that-list News / Film New Wes Anderson dog-themed stop-motion animation film underway

    Reports have emerged that Wes Anderson (of Grand Budapest Hotel fame) is to direct a dog-themed animated film. Using stop-motion techniques, the film will return to the style of Fantastic Mr Fox, it has been speculated. According to a piece on The Playlist site the film is currently in pre-production.

    Emily Gosling
  • Gq-italia-itsnicethat-list News / Publication GQ Italia celebrates 70 years of comic book artist Milo Manara with ultra risqué cover (NSFW)

    The September issue of GQ Italia holds little back with its bold, bare-breasted cover, courtesy of Milo Manara. The issue celebrates the Italian comic book artist’s 70-year career, during which he has collaborated with filmmaker Federico Fellini and become well known for erotic comics that centre on beautiful women caught up in far-fetched and fantastical scenarios, as well as later work with Marvel comics. Part woman, part creature, the unapologetic cover juxtaposes Manara’s sci-fi erotica with a quote from French poet Paul Valéry (“We civilisations now know ourselves to be mortal”) and comes as a daring and unexpected move from GQ Italia.

    Alexander Hawkins
  • New-zealand-itsnicethat-1 News / Graphic Design New Zealand flag redesign shortlist is announced

    In a meeting that I can only imagine required several gallons of coffee and a bunch of sugary snacks, the New Zealand Government panel has succeeding in narrowing down its potential future flag design from 10,292 designs to a longlist of 40. They vary from graphic black, white and red designs to others which include greens and blues, and are mainly focused around an arrangement of stars, waves and the national silver fern emblem.

    Maisie Skidmore
  • Pentagram_snoop_int_list News / Graphic Design Pentagram’s Emily Oberman brands Snoop Dogg’s new line of weed products

    Pentagram partner Emily Oberman has crafted the identity for Snoop Dogg’s new line of cannabis-based products called Leafs by Snoop. Adopting a “laid-back California cool” aesthetic for the rapper and ganja lover’s range, a leaf motif features throughout. A mix of pastel gold colours and imagery like palm trees, fish, birds and cloudy skies completes the sunny identity.

    Rebecca Fulleylove
  • Nasa-on-the-moon-its-nice-that-.list News / Photography Over 8,400 Nasa moon landing images uploaded to Flickr

    8,400 photographs of past Nasa moon missions have been uploaded to Flickr by archivist Kipp Teague for the world to see. The images on the revamped Project Apollo Archive were shot by astronauts using Hasselblad cameras, and the process of scanning them in began in 2004 at Johnson Space Centre by a team led by Kipp. Keen to point out that the upload was an independent project, rather than a Nasa one, Kipp created the Project Apollo Archive in 1999 as a personal project, which led to a collaboration with Eric Jones’ Apollo Lunar Surface and a gradual amassing of the enormous collection of images.

    Emily Gosling
  • Waf2015-int-list News / Architecture Rem Koolhaas’ design for vertical village wins World Building of the Year 2015

    A residential development in Singapore, collaboratively designed by Rem Koolhaas’ architecture firm OMA and Buro Ole Scheeren has won World Building of the Year 2015 at the World Architecture Festival (WAF). The vertical village otherwise known as the Interlace, defies conventional tower blocks and is made up of a series of interlocking horizontal buildings, ringing in a new approach to living in the tropics.

    Alexander Hawkins
  • Ai-wei-wei-forever-installation-its-nice-that-list News / Art New Ai Weiwei bicycle sculpture to be installed in London

    Ai Weiwei’s new Forever sculpture is to be installed outside London’s Gherkin building. The piece is formed of hundreds of steel bicycles, joined to form geometric frames and layers. The title of the work refers to the Forever brand of bicycles mass-manufactured in Shanghai, China since 1940, that are gradually appearing more scarce on the streets of the city.

    Emily Gosling
  • Nz_flag_5th_design_int_list News / Graphic Design A fifth design has been added to the New Zealand flag shortlist

    The controversial Red Peak design has been added to the shortlist for New Zealand’s new flag. Taking the final number to five, the government bowed to pressure after tens of thousands of people signed a petition to get the design by Aaron Dustin added to the list. Red Peak has had its critics, with accusations abound of political conspiracy and questions over its similarity to the logo of Peak Engineering in North Carolina. The first vote for the new flag design, which will decide the winner, will take place 20 November – 11 December 2015. A second referendum will then take place in March 2016 to decide whether or not to replace New Zealand’s current flag with the winner.

    Rebecca Fulleylove