Talking Shop: Paola Antonelli on Design

When Paola Antonelli was just four years old, a family friend brought her a Fisher Price circus toy from the United States. It included tiny wood figures with hinged plastic arms, and it was the first time she remembers thinking critically about design. Now Antonelli is the Senior Curator of Architecture & Design and the Director of R&D at The Museum of Modern Art.

So what do those roles entail at such a venerable institution? How important is intuition versus a classical education in regards to design? And perhaps most importantly, what does design even mean—where are its borders—in today's cultural landscape? Yancey Strickler, Kickstarter's co-founder and CEO, sat down recently with Antonelli to ask these questions. The conversation was followed by an enlightening Q&A, and Antonelli even revealed what she considers to be the absolute worst design interface.

Happening: Curated by the Kickstarter Staff

It's Music Month at Kickstarter, and pretty soon Happening will be made up of links from a variety of artists and characters orbiting the world of music. We're pretty excited about what's coming up! To start off, though, we went back through our bookmarks, our long-kept-open tabs, and our own memories to bring you some of our favorite recent music stories. Some, like the feature about Kevin MacLeod, the king of open source music, came from our own staff. Others are from all over the internet: from Greek folk music at the New York Times, to the darkest, quietest corners of Spotify at the New Republic. Enjoy our brief rundown below. And as always, we're also hosting a series of special events, which you can RSVP for right here.

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So Your Project Blew Up. Now What? (Part Two)

Many successful projects follow a pattern: first, there's an initial burst of excitement from backers in the few days surrounding the start of the project. After that, momentum slows down a bit, and the pledges steadily rise through the middle weeks of the project. Then, 48 hours before the end of the funding period, there's another burst of pledges as the people who opted to be reminded of the project's end return to the page.

But sometimes projects blow up quickly, reaching their goals many times over — often in no time at all. What should a creator do when the interest in their project is significantly larger than anticipated? How do they adjust their expectations on the fly?

Some of the projects below had pretty big goals, while some were smaller — but all of the creators reached at least 400% of their funding goals. We asked them to share what it was like and what (if anything) they needed to do to adjust.

Recently we ran part one of this post — read it here. This week, we're featuring two more creators, each with successful Games projects.

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What the Future Looks Like Now

Picture by Anthony Conti. CC BY-SA 2.0
Picture by Anthony Conti. CC BY-SA 2.0

At some point in the past century, we lost confidence in our ability to predict the future. Maybe our spirits were crushed when long-promised jetpacks failed to materialize. Or perhaps it's because we haven't so much as visited Mars, never mind established colonies on the Moon.

But what if we're interpreting the present future too rigidly? It's possible we're a whole lot closer than we think.

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Kickstarter films at Brooklyn Film Fest

One hundred and eight films across categories, from narratives to documentary shorts, from animation to experimental creations — it's time again for Brooklyn Film Festival! Recently, we were looking at the film roster and realized that it features more than a handful of films funded on Kickstarter, so we thought we'd round them all up here. All the information about showtimes and more can be found here on BFF's site. Congrats to everyone!

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French Projects Are Live!

Our European expansion continues! A few weeks ago we announced that Kickstarter was coming to France, and now the day has come for French projects to launch. We’re so excited to see what French creators have already come up with — unsurprisingly, there’s everything from creative culinary projects to independent films to innovative technology. Check out some of the first projects to launch from France:

Mixfader - the world's #1 connected object for becoming a DJ

Mixfader is the world's first connected device that turns your smartphone or tablet into an incredible, affordable deejay setup.

SensorWake - Wake Up Happy with the Smell-Based Alarm Clock

SensorWake lets you wake up to your favorite scent: it’s the world’s first olfactory alarm clock.


One Heart One Tree is a work of art that gives you the opportunity to plant a tree of light in 3D on the most famous monument in Paris — and send a message to the United Nations Climate Conference at the same time.

On Wheelz : walk and roll with your favorite shoes

OnWheelz is a new accessory that lets you turn your favorite shoes into roller skates in one click.

Lilo: the easy way to grow fresh herbs at home.

Lilo is a lovely indoor herb garden for your kitchen counter.

Tokyo Reverse La Suite

Tokyo Reverse La Suite is a slow TV program featuring a hypnotic urban ballet in which two dancers are looking for each other … for eight hours!

SECOND GENERATION - My revenge on Hitler

Second Generation is an animated film based on the true story of a Holocaust survivor’s son.

You can learn more about starting a project in France here and see even more French projects here

Happening: Curated by Jasmina Grase of MIITO

One of the most fascinating things about the design category at Kickstarter is seeing how people push the progress of everyday objects into new realms, whether it's the physical design of the product or the more technical aspects. Paying attention to new design is like looking into the future. We asked Jasmina Grase, one of the inventors of the MIITO sustainable alternative to the electric kettle, to share some of her favorite links, and now we're sharing them with you this week on Happening, as well as archiving them below.

8 Tracks—Music keeps the mind awake and the body happy :) Our dynamic minds of 21st century are too hectic to commit to one artist or band. I love the option to select music by my mood and explore new artists with each song.

Todoist and—We are big fans of planing, calendars and to-do lists. As well as countdowns. We also had a countdown for when we will be online on Kickstarter. But on an every day basis, I love to use the Todoist app on my phone and computer.

Your Name in Gum—Typefaces are one of those little design miracles we have in front of us all the time, but we mostly notice them only when we are confronted with bad examples. I am big fan of following new typeface design, but sometimes people just do fun things. This site also allows you to express yourself through the use of chewing gum.

The Jealous Curator—The Jealous Curator indeed makes me jealous. I wish my brain would be so artistic and wonderful like the creators of the works that are showed on the website. It's a beautiful inspiration, and makes you want to follow many of the artists featured on the site.

Cache Monet—This is just the coolest website ever. I want to make a party of just this website on the screen for the whole night. (Turn on the sound when you look at it!)

Humanae—Our designs have never been very colorful. I think the worst task is to work with pastel and very soft tones. I just don’t know how to handle them! This website offers wonderful selection of skin colors that are taken from photos of people. Beautiful!

Dezeen—Unbeatable trend setter and the best source for product design news.

Materia—Very educational and inspirational website of innovative materials. The content is updated every week with both experimental and commercial materials.

TED Talks—Of course TED talks are on here. An exceptional source for inspiration and entertainment.

Yanni Girard—Nice essays and articles written from a very personal point of view. How to be an entrepreneur, how to be convinced of your own decisions, and just how to handle your busy life.

Alex Quisite—Tumblr site of my dear Greek friend Alex who has extremely good and funky taste for images. For me, looking at his site is always a silent dialogue with him.

Mauvais Gout—Sometimes you just have to look at crazy things to get your mind going. This one is my French friend's favorite site to pick out confusing images.

DesignSpiration—Inspiration for graphic design. Here the functionality of the work is unimportant. It's all about the shape, color, and rhythm. Simple and elegant.