Design Decoded, Smithsonian Magazine‘s new blog and the newest member of its “digital family,” launched today with a post called “Designing the Perfect Fruit,” about the product known as “Cuties”—mandarin oranges “made for kids” that are seedless and so much easier to peel.
The blog’s aim is to “unlock the ways design factors into the world around us, particularly its role in the everyday—seemingly undesigned—environment.”
Kicking off with designed fruit seems wonderfully creepy. And while they do mention midway down the post that Cuties are not genetically modified, which we were wondering from the start, they plan to pick up that thread in a later blog post as each topic they blog about will be developed through a series of interconnected posts. So this is the first installment in “a long and winding story in which a tiny, seedless fruit becomes the iPhone of the produce aisle.”
While the tidbit about mandarins outpacing Valencia oranges and lemons for total productive acres seemed like the high point of the piece, we think this blog has a lot of potential to bring good reporting on Frankenfood and other elements of design in our environment that often go overlooked. And who doesn’t love some fun facts about Cuties?