04.07.16
Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand | Audio

Shapes and Japes


On this episode, Michael and Jessica remember the architect Zaha Hadid, who died last week. As Jessica says:
No one was more gifted at a kind of porous, graceful, magnificent, experimental understanding of that line between the numerical and the visual, and the lived experience of what geometry could be.
The also explore the phenomenon of corporate humor, from the Google Mic Drop fiasco to the mock branding agency Bland.ly, which Michael calls
a parody so vicious in a way it actually will put everyone on notice… There may be at this moment a bunch of firms going through their websites and carefully extracting the turns of phrase that now have been rendered toxic by the precision of this parody.

Also mentioned:
  • Virgin America logo
  • Mark Zuckerberg x H&M
  • Gmail Blue
  • John Stamos freakout
  • PhotoViz: Visualizing Information Through Photography , edited by Nicholas Felton, Sven Ehmann, and Robert Klanten. Interview with Nicholas Felton; more images.
  • Zaha Hadid: The New York Times obituary; John Seabrook profile and postscript; Julie Lasky; Hadid’s Peak drawings; seven striking designs

  • Thanks to the School of Visual Arts for sponsoring this episode.

    Subscribe to The Observatory on iTunes or your favorite podcast app, or follow Design Observer on Soundcloud.



    Posted in: Architecture, Popular Culture, The Observatory


    Comments [0]



    Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand Jessica Helfand, a founding editor of Design Observer, is an award-winning graphic designer and writer. A former contributing editor and columnist for Print, Eye and Communications Arts magazine, she is a member of Alliance Graphique Internationale and a recent laureate of the Art Director’s Hall of Fame. Jessica received both her BA and MFA from Yale University where she has taught since 1994. In 2013, she won the AIGA medal.

    Jobs | November 14