6 Facts About Legendary Designer Eiko Ishioka

Eiko Ishioka and Tarsem Singh collaborate on Mirror Mirror (2012).
Eiko Ishioka and Tarsem Singh collaborate on Mirror Mirror (2012).
Jan Thijs - © 2012 Relativity Media

On what would have been her 79th birthday, Google Doodle has honored famed and eclectic designer Eiko Ishioka (1938-2012). Even though you might not be familiar with her name, you’ve almost certainly seen some of her unique advertising or theatrical work. Here’s a quick primer on the Japanese-born artist.

1. HER CHOSEN CAREER WAS NOT EASY FOR WOMEN IN JAPAN.

Ishioka had artistic ambitions early, attending the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music to pursue a career in graphic design. But the field was so heavily male-dominated at the time that her father told her she would have an easier life if she devoted it to designing dolls or shoes.  

2. SHE USED A LOT OF NAKED MODELS.

After graduating, Ishioka entered the advertising industry, creating campaigns for the boutique store chain Parco. Although Japanese culture doesn’t openly embrace nudity in popular culture, Ishioka frequently featured nude or semi-nude models in her ad campaigns. While sometimes shocking to more conservative observers, Ishioka’s designs won over critics.

3. SHE WON A GRAMMY.

The cover to the 1986 Miles Davis album Tutu
Amazon

For a 1986 Miles Davis album, Tutu, Ishioka had the musician photographed by Irving Penn in black and white, with one harsh light overhead. The image was so striking it won a Grammy.

4. SHE WON AN OSCAR FOR BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA.

Francis Ford Coppola's 1992 film, Bram Stoker's Dracula, features a memorable performance by Gary Oldman as the title character, but it was Ishioka’s costume design—including Oldman’s sinewy, replica-musculature armor and actress Sadie Frost’s lizard-inspired dress—that made a lasting impression. Ishioka won an Academy Award for her work on the movie.

5. SHE DESIGNED THE HOUSTON ROCKETS' LOGO.

A banner featuring the Houston Rockets logo
Amazon

Ishioka’s creative impulses were never limited to any one medium. In 2003, she designed a new logo for the NBA’s Houston Rockets, with a rocket cone and trailing exhaust intended to represent the upward trajectory of the game.

6. SHE MADE AN OLYMPIC CONCENTRATION COAT.

Ishioka contributed to the design aesthetic of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing as well as designing outerwear for select countries for the 2002 Games. For that event, she also designed what she called a Concentration Coat—a foam-like jacket that could essentially build a pod around the wearer, “insulating” them from the prying eyes and questions of the press.

Turn Your LEGO Bricks Into a Drone With the Flybrix Drone Kit

Flyxbrix/FatBrain
Flyxbrix/FatBrain

Now more than ever, it’s important to have a good hobby. Of course, a lot of people—maybe even you—have been obsessed with learning TikTok dances and baking sourdough bread for the last few months, but those hobbies can wear out their welcome pretty fast. So if you or someone you love is looking for something that’s a little more intellectually stimulating, you need to check out the Flybrix LEGO drone kit from Fat Brain Toys.

What is a Flybrix LEGO Drone Kit?

The Flybrix drone kit lets you build your own drones out of LEGO bricks and fly them around your house using your smartphone as a remote control (via Bluetooth). The kit itself comes with absolutely everything you need to start flying almost immediately, including a bag of 56-plus LEGO bricks, a LEGO figure pilot, eight quick-connect motors, eight propellers, a propeller wrench, a pre-programmed Flybrix flight board PCB, a USB data cord, a LiPo battery, and a USB LiPo battery charger. All you’ll have to do is download the Flybrix Configuration Software, the Bluetooth Flight Control App, and access online instructions and tutorials.

Experiment with your own designs.

The Flybrix LEGO drone kit is specifically designed to promote exploration and experimentation. All the components are tough and can totally withstand a few crash landings, so you can build and rebuild your own drones until you come up with the perfect design. Then you can do it all again. Try different motor arrangements, add your own LEGO bricks, experiment with different shapes—this kit is a wannabe engineer’s dream.

For the more advanced STEM learners out there, Flybrix lets you experiment with coding and block-based coding. It uses an arduino-based hackable circuit board, and the Flybrix app has advanced features that let you try your hand at software design.

Who is the Flybrix LEGO Drone Kit for?

Flybrix is a really fun way to introduce a number of core STEM concepts, which makes it ideal for kids—and technically, that’s who it was designed for. But because engineering and coding can get a little complicated, the recommended age for independent experimentation is 13 and up. However, kids younger than 13 can certainly work on Flybrix drones with the help of their parents. In fact, it actually makes a fantastic family hobby.

Ready to start building your own LEGO drones? Click here to order your Flybrix kit today for $198.

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David Lynch Is Sharing How He's Keeping Busy at Home in New YouTube Series

Pascal Le Segretain, Getty Images
Pascal Le Segretain, Getty Images

David Lynch, the director of some of the most surreal movies from recent decades, enjoys a relaxing home improvement project as much as the rest of us. As Pitchfork reports, Lynch has launched a new video series on YouTube sharing the various ways he's staying busy at home.

The series, titled "What Is David Working on Today?", debuted with its first installment on Tuesday, May 28. In it, the filmmaker tells viewers he's replacing the drain in his sink and varnishing a wooden stand. In addition to providing a peek into his home life, Lynch also drops some thought-provoking tidbits, like "water is weird."

Fixing the furniture in his home isn't the only thing Lynch has been up to during the COVID-19 pandemic. He also wrote, directed, and animated a 10-minute short titled Pożar, and since early May, he has been uploading daily weather reports. If life in quarantine doesn't already feel like a David Lynch film, diving into the director's YouTube channel may change that.

This isn't Lynch's first time creating uncharacteristically ordinary content. Even after gaining success in the industry, he directed commercials for everything from pasta to pregnancy tests.

[h/t Pitchfork]