Ikea’s Billy Bookcase Gets a Green Redesign, and Other News

Our daily look at the world through the lens of design.

The Billy Bookcase. Image courtesy of Ikea

The Design Dispatch offers expertly written and essential news from the design world crafted by our dedicated team. Think of it as your cheat sheet for the day in design delivered to your inbox before you’ve had your coffee. Subscribe now

Have a news story our readers need to see? Submit it here

Ikea is redesigning its ultra-popular Billy Bookcase to reduce its material footprint.

“Launched in 1979, IKEA’s budget-friendly Billy Bookcase is one of the most popular pieces of furniture in the world. Having sold over 160 million units over the past 43 years, you’ve seen it everywhere from college dorms to pricey homes. Now, as part of its plan to become a circular company by 2030, Ikea announced a significant redesign to its iconic bookshelf—to make it a more repairable product with a smaller material footprint. It uses fewer plastic parts in the interest of sustainability—but also less real wood, too.” [H/T Fast Company]

Yvonne Force Villareal opens an artist residency in Marfa—a rarity for the Texas town.

“Brite Force, a new invitation-only artist residency, has opened in Marfa, one of the art world’s most coveted destinations. Curator Yvonne Force Villareal established the program in the ancestral adobe home of her artist husband Leo Villareal, whose family was among the Texan city’s founders over 100 years ago. The residency debuted with a splash earlier this month during the Marfa Invitational Art Fair with a series of new works by inaugural artist-in-residence Will Cotton, a longtime friend of the couple.” [H/T Artnet News]

Checkout payment startup Bolt follows Klarna’s lead, laying off a third of its workforce.

“Embattled checkout payment startup Bolt became the latest tech startup to lay off employees in an increasingly brutal market. CEO Maju Kuruvilla broke the news in a note to employees, writing that the company is “reducing the size of our workforce and parting ways with some incredibly talented people on our team as of today.” Kuruvilla said that about one-third of the company is being laid off, a Bolt source told The Post. That figure includes roughly 130 US and Canada staffers who were axed Wednesday, plus more than 100 European employees whose jobs will be eliminated in the coming days, the source said.” [H/T New York Post]

Nakagin Capsule Tower in Tokyo

The Nakagin Capsule Tower’s living units will be sent to museums around the world.

Nakagin Capsule Tower, a building tucked away in a corner of downtown Tokyo made up of boxes stacked on top of each other, is an avant-garde honeycomb of sci-fi-era housing long admired as a masterpiece. It’s now being demolished in a careful process that includes preserving some of its 140 capsules, to be shipped to museums. Preparations have been going on for months to clear the surrounding areas, for safely dismantling the landmark near Ginza. The first capsule will be removed in the next few weeks. [H/T Bloomberg]

An unknown couple tries to steal a Basquiat print at New York’s Taglialatella Galleries.

“A couple with mysterious accents tried to swipe a valuable painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat from a Chelsea art gallery earlier this month, according to police. The man and woman walked into Taglialatella Galleries on 10th Avenue near West 24th Street—steps away from the High Line. Once inside, the couple tried to steal a Basquiat painting worth about $45,000, according to police.” [H/T Patch]

Colin Forbes, regarded as the brain behind design agency Pentagram, dies at 94.

“Colin Forbes, a graphic designer who had a hand in countless logos, book covers, and interiors, but whose most enduring work may have been, essentially, designing a design organization, Pentagram, which grew from its founding in the early 1970s to have worldwide influence, died on Sunday. Mr. Forbes was already a successful designer when he joined with four others to create Pentagram in London. Mr. Forbes and his co-founders—Alan Fletcher, Theo Crosby, Mervyn Kurlansky and Kenneth Grange—wanted something in between a boutique firm and a large Madison Avenue-type concern. Mr. Forbes was the principal architect of what they came up with: a partnership structure that balanced independence and collaboration.” [H/T The New York Times]

A Michigan house with a Smurf-like roof. Photography by Jam Press/Way Up Media

Today’s attractive distractions:

This “Smurf House” selling for $4 million is proof the housing market is in trouble.

Genetic material recovered from a Pompeii man hints at ancestral links to Anatolia.

This new documentary strangely paints Gustave Eiffel as the Elon Musk of his day. 

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment fund has purchased a small stake in Nintendo.

All Stories