The Design Observer Group
Design Observer

WEEKLY EMAIL: JANUARY 20, 2011


How Do You Solve a Problem Like the Eameses?

FEATURED THIS WEEK : ALEXANDRA LANGE

How Do You Solve a Problem Like the Eameses?

I don’t know what to do with this book. The Story of Eames Furniture, by Marilyn Neuhart with John Neuhart  is a labor of love, a two-part, richly-illustrated history of some of the most famous modern chairs in the world. To reject it seems harsh. It contains fascinating tales of false starts and under-known design careers, a book in themselves of clever mid-century magazine covers, furniture advertisements, abstract photographic odes to mass-production. And yet I was unable to enjoy it.
READ MORE



OBSERVATORY : MEENA KADRI

Meena Kadri's Collection of Indian Street Graphics

It started quite innocently — as most obsessions do. A snap of a painted truck here and spot of rural advertising there, on annual trips to the ancestral homeland. But soon the constant visual chatter of the Indian streetscape began to dominate my excursions.
READ MORE

CHANGE OBSERVER : PHOTO BY MILTON ROGOVIN

The Poetry of Simplicity

Milton Rogovin, from series on Chile, 1967.
READ MORE

OBSERVERS ROOM : ALEXANDRA LANGE

What Should Food Look Like?

If we want everyone to eat better, don't we need food packaging that crosses class lines?
READ MORE

OBSERVERS ROOM : JOHN THACKARA

The Service Ecology of a City

Milan has approved a new Territorial Government Plan (Piano di Governo del Territorio) in which public services, and the way they are planned, are at the centre of the whole project.
READ MORE

OBSERVERS ROOM : JESSICA HELFAND

Bring In Da Ponk!

There is a reason that most Americans don't think of roasted millet as a dietary staple, and it may have something to do with the fact that extracting it requires actually thrashing the wheat stalk from which it hails. To my knowledge, thrashing isn't a terribly common culinary term in Western culture (other than when it is used to describe Gordon Ramsay's bedside manner) which probably should have been my first indication that this was not your run-of-the-mill recipe.
READ MORE

PLACES : LAURA RASKIN

Jorge Otero-Pailos and the Ethics of Preservation

"Why do we preserve buildings? What do we preserve? If preservationists are restoring objects that have already been made, is the field a creative discipline?" These are the kinds of questions animating the work of architect/artist/theorist Jorge Otero-Pailos, who has become, as journalist Laura Raskin notes in her profile, the provocateur of preservation. Raskin explores the ideas that drive Otero-Pailos's recent projects, especially his "Ethics of Dust" installations, which reveal the many layers of dirt and grime that accumulate on buildings over centuries, and which become part of their legacy. Pollution is, as Otero-Pailos puts it, part of our cultural heritage.
READ MORE

OBSERVERS ROOM : JESSICA HELFAND

You Never Go Down The Candy Aisle

I used to believe that the true secret of extraordinary success in the kitchen lay in skillful grocery shopping. I was doomed, it seemed, the minute I hit the market, where I was hardwired to revisit the same aisles, to buy the same ingredients, to make the same dishes, over and over and over again. 

It was like Groundhog Day, but with cheese.
READ MORE

OBSERVERS ROOM : JOHN THACKARA

How the Banks Want to Make China Sick — and Broke

Is it me, or are some banking people incredibly stupid as well as being venal and sociopathic? 

A Deutschebank report about health spending in China states that “at less than five per cent of GDP, Chinese expenditure on health is distinctly lower than that of OECD countries. So it would seem a good idea to improve the health system.
READ MORE

CHANGE OBSERVER : THE EDITORS

Getting Something Done in D.C.

President Lyndon Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act in the presence of Martin Luther King, Jr., and other civil rights leaders, Capitol Rotunda, Washington, D.C., August 6, 1965. Courtesy U.S. National Archives.
READ MORE

OBSERVATORY : JOHN FOSTER

Accidental Mysteries, 01.16.11

Welcome to Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of curiosities set aside for your perusal and enlightenment.
READ MORE

OBSERVERS ROOM : RICK POYNOR

In Praise of the East European Film Poster

Czech film posters of the 1960s are some of the most extraordinary graphic creations ever put on paper. So how can it be that outside of Eastern Europe, especially in English-speaking countries, these posters and the graphic artists who created them during a period of remarkable artistic freedom are barely known?
READ MORE



BECOME A FAN ON FACEBOOK | FOLLOW US ON TWITTER
Audio: Design Matters Archive

AUDIO: DESIGN MATTERS ARCHIVE

Andrew Zolli

Andrew Zolli, founder of Z + Partners, a foresight think-tank, discusses the future of mass culture.
Listen >>
More Design Matters Archive >>

CHANGE OBSERVER: PROJECT ARCHIVE

Project

Chulha Stove

Report on the Chulha stove designed by Philips to reduce indoor air pollution in developing countries.


READ MORE

OBSERVATORY ARCHIVE

past post past post past post

PLACES ARCHIVE: WINTER 2006

Seattle Central Library: Civic Architecture in the Age of Media

In the Seattle Public Library, Rem Koolhaas and OMA work to transform architecture into media interface.
READ MORE

Change Observer

RECENT BOOKS RECEIVED

Remote ResearchRemote Research
Nate Bolt & Tony Tulathimutte

Shojo Manga: Pop & RomanceShojo Manga: Pop & Romance
Kamikaze Factory Studio

Design Is the ProblemDesign Is the Problem
Nathan Shedroff

Privacy Policy | Contact Us
You are subscribed as | Unsubscribe
Copyright © 2009 Observer Omnimedia LLC. All rights reserved. Design Observer, P.O. Box 159, Falls Village, CT 06031, USA