“The Dark Side of the Moon” Inspires a Turntable, and Other News

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

Image courtesy of Pro-Ject Audio Systems

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

The Dark Side of the Moon Inspires a Turntable

It may seem hard to believe that Pink Floyd’s best-selling 1973 album The Dark Side of the Moon turns 50 this year. We don’t need to explain why the era-defining opus remains a fixture of the rock canon—look no further than the box sets and retrospectives—but there are even more ways to take it for a spin. The latest installment of Pro-Ject Audio Systems’ Artist Series of album-themed turntables is a limited-edition device replicating the album’s iconic sleeve that depicts white light elegantly refracting from a prism. The Austrian brand essentially rebuilt Storm Thorgerson’s artwork and George Hardie’s prism image: records spin on a slim, triangular glass platter, and emanating from the tonearm is a dimmable LED-backlit rainbow for a dash of ‘70s glamour. It’s round and round and round from here.Ryan Waddoups

Image courtesy of Museu de l’Art Prohibit

Museu de l’Art Prohibit, a museum dedicated to censored art, will open in Barcelona. 

Barcelona will soon be home to the world’s first museum focused on censored art, the Museu de l’Art Prohibit, opening on Oct. 26. Founded by Tatxo Benet, a Catalan journalist and businessman, the museum will house more than 200 artworks that have faced censorship for political, social, or religious reasons. The collection includes a wide range of media—from paintings and sculptures to photographs and audiovisual pieces—by artists such as Ai Weiwei, David Wojnarowicz, and Santiago Sierra. Notable works include Sierra’s Political Prisoners in Contemporary Spain, which was pulled from the Arco fair in Madrid, and Ai Weiwei’s Filippo Strozzi in Lego, for which Lego initially refused to supply materials. The museum also features historical pieces like Pablo Picasso’s Suite 347, banned in Chicago in the 1960s, and Francisco Goya’s engraving series Caprichos.

An earthquake kills 2,400 in Afghanistan by flattening stone and mud-brick homes.

Recent earthquakes in western Afghanistan have led to a staggering death toll of 2,400 and more than 10,000 injuries. The quakes were particularly devastating due to the prevalence of mud-brick and stone homes, which are more susceptible to collapse. Centered 19 miles from Herat, the quakes destroyed 18 villages, overwhelming hospitals and leaving many trapped under rubble. The disaster has hit remote and poor areas, including communities of refugees who recently returned from Iran and Pakistan. The situation is further complicated by rumors of additional quakes, causing panic and forcing thousands to spend nights outdoors.

Image courtesy of Mandarin Oriental

Herzog & de Meuron complete the world’s largest floating infinity pool in Lake Como.

The Mandarin Oriental group has revamped the 19th-century Villa Roccabruna, located on the shores of Lake Como, into a luxury hotel featuring 21 rooms, 52 suites, two standalone villas, and two restaurants. The property also includes an award-winning spa designed by Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron. This season, the hotel introduced the world’s largest floating infinity pool, also designed by the firm, which is built from dark local Cardoso sandstone to blend with the lake’s cobalt-blue waters. The pool is an engineering marvel, designed in Switzerland, constructed in Finland, and assembled in Italy, featuring a catamaran-like form to reduce wave impact. Guests can enjoy a casual poolside menu at NAMI Café, situated under the historic stone arches of the original building.

Controversy causes the Istanbul Biennial to revamp its curator selection process.

The Istanbul Biennial has revamped its curator selection process in response to recent controversy. Initially, the curator Defne Ayas was unanimously endorsed by the advisory board but was later rejected, allegedly due to her previous work that mentioned the Armenian genocide. The new guidelines now require that future curators be one of three candidates recommended by an advisory board. However, the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts, which oversees the biennial, can still reject those candidates and ask for new ones. Advisory board members are now prohibited from being considered for curatorial roles during their term. The changes have also impacted the Turkish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, leading to the resignation of its first curator, Esra Sarıgedik Öktem, to avoid conflicts of interest.

Experts say constant video chatting is sparking self-esteem and mental health issues. 

The pandemic’s shift to videoconferencing has had unintended consequences on people’s self-perception and mental health. Surgeons report a spike in cosmetic surgery requests, attributing 86 percent of these to concerns stemming from video calls. The issue extends beyond vanity; it’s affecting work performance and contributing to virtual-meeting fatigue. Prior research already showed a link between appearance dissatisfaction and mental health issues like depression and eating disorders. The constant self-scrutiny on video calls exacerbates these problems, leading to negative self-focused attention and cognitive overload. Experts suggest that if these concerns become overwhelming, it may be time to seek help from a qualified therapist. They also recommend reducing screen time and being more intentional about focusing on conversations rather than appearances during video calls.

Image courtesy of Crocs

Today’s attractive distractions:

This artist creates mesmerizing miniatures of Tokyo’s common housing stock.

Crocs cowboy boots are another attempt to manufacture a wearable meme.

A museum dedicated to Belgian beer opens in the Brussels Stock Exchange.

Scientists recently discover Zealandia, rumored to be the eighth continent.

All Stories