As editorial director at AIGA, I keep tabs on all the design news (so you don’t have to) and bring you only the best bits. Behold: my hit list of the most interesting things I’ve seen, read, and watched this week. Follow along all day every day on Instagram @AIGAdesign and Twitter @AIGAdesign

This week I…

…take slight offense to the world’s reaction to opaque couché, or Pantone 448C, which is supposedly so vile that UK and Australian cigarette packaging is now featuring it prominently in order to deter would-be smokers. I refuse to accept that the clothing I own in this “dirty” hue of “death”  and “tar” will no longer set off my (imminent) golden summer tan, but make me look like a walking anti-smoking warning instead. How chic.

Pantone 448C
Pantone 448C

…have never been a “cake” person (I know, I’m crazy!), but designer Kia Utzon-Frank just changed my life with her “KUFcakes,” which were shown recently at Clerkenwell Design Week. By printing directly onto fondant and marzipan she can make any dessert look like natural cork or solid marble, which won’t stop me from eating them because marzipan is delicious, I don’t care how much ink you pile on top of it.

“KUFcakes,” by Kia Utzon-Frank
“KUFcakes,” by Kia Utzon-Frank

…would never have though IKEA’s research into how people use furniture would reveal so much about who we all are as humans, not as consumers. According to head of research, Mikael Ydholm:

“In our homes, we are often unaware of how we actually behave. And many people play a specific role out in the world, then you come home, maybe you undress yourself, and you feel like my god, now I can be myself. In our research we want to come closer to people’s everyday lives, people’s reality.”

…don’t think documentary filmmaker Gary Hustwit (Helvetica, Objectified) will have any trouble raising the funds for his feature about design world crush Dieter Rams, which promises to go beyond the legend and into the life of the man who made me actually want to get up early when I was a kid and make my parents coffee purely for the pleasure of using their Braun grinder and coffeemaker.

…chuffed to learn that a piece we ran on graphic design great Emil Antonucci helped inspire the new MAD exhibition, Eye for Design, and wonder if maybe a certain blog’s name inspired the show’s title…?

“Body Coverings,” by Emil Antonucci (1968)
“Body Coverings,” by Emil Antonucci (1968)

…think it’s got to be pretty slim odds that two of the world’s biggest artists both staged massive outdoor installations at the same time, but even though Olafur Eliasson’s waterfall installation at Versailles steals the show from his other works on view throughout the palace, it’s tough to compete with the reigning king of environmental art installation, Christo, whose latest work, “The Floating Piers,” was just installed in Italy’s Lake Iseo after 50 years of false starts. In typical Christo style, the two-mile walkway covered in saffron-yellow fabric will come down almost as soon as it was unveiled.

…pray this TED Talk parody marks the beginning of some more interesting conference formats, or at least conference presentations. So spot on it’s scary.

…update my summer reading list with the winners of the 50 Books | 50 Covers competition, hosted by Design Observer in partnership with AIGA. Math has never been my strong suit, but I’m pretty sure that’s 100 books. Summer just got busy.

The Woman Who Read Too Much, by Bahiyyih Nakhjavani (Stanford University Press); designed by Anne Jordan and Mitch Goldstein; art direction by Rob Ehle
The Woman Who Read Too Much, by Bahiyyih Nakhjavani (Stanford University Press); designed by Anne Jordan and Mitch Goldstein; art direction by Rob Ehle