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WEEKLY EMAIL: FEBRUARY 10, 2011


The Master Race

FEATURED THIS WEEK : STEVEN HELLER

The Master Race's Graphic Masterpiece

Designers and design historians told me over the years that they had heard about the existence of a Nazi graphics standards manual. No one could say they actually saw it, but they knew of someone who had. So it grew into something of a Big Foot or Loch Ness Monster tale, until one day I actually too saw it – and it had been right under my nose the whole time.
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CHANGE OBSERVER : ERNEST BECK

GlobalTap Update

A year ago, San Franciscans were introduced to a new way of refilling their water bottles while on the go — a sleek, IDEO-designed steel station created by a for-profit social enterprise.
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OBSERVERS ROOM : MICHAEL BIERUT

Five Years of 100 Days

For the past five years, I've taught a workshop for the graduate graphic design students at the Yale School of Art, to do a design operation that you that can be repeated every day for hundred days in a row, and to present the project to the rest of the class on the one hundredth day. Does this sound like fun? I'm not sure.
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PLACES : BRIAN ROSA, ADAM RYDER

The Edge of Light: Wendover

Wendover, Utah/Nevada, doesn't look like a place where history happened. "Bifurcated by the state line," as Brian Rosa and Adam Ryder put it, the towns seem to straddle "the border of nowhere and nowhere." But during a residency at the Center for Land Use Interpretation, the photographers explored not just the ruins of the airfield where the crew of the Enola Gay trained for the bombing mission over Hiroshima but also the immense salt flats — so vast you can see the earth’s curvature with the naked eye — where decades of land speed records were set and broken. Here we present Rosa and Ryder's nighttime photographs, an "effort to document the ambient light from commercial, municipal and residential sources and find a mythical 'edge of light' in the high desert."
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OBSERVERS ROOM : RICK POYNOR

A Journal with No Fear of Flying

Changing a magazine’s format is always risky. It’s such a fundamental aspect of what we perceive it to be. The Drawbridge’s transformation is particularly startling. Indeed, it might rate as one of the most dramatic changes of visual direction ever ventured by a literary magazine. Or any kind of magazine.
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CHANGE OBSERVER : PHOTOS BY MAGDA BIERNAT

The Hard Sell

Betel nuts are popular throughout Asia, but only in Taiwan are they prepared and sold by women who work in tiny modern buildings that dot the roadside. Architectural photographer Magda Biernat made these women and their environments the subject of a new exhibition.
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OBSERVERS ROOM : JOHN THACKARA

Ultra Modern

I dislike the word “Glocal,” I also dislike the word “Creative,” now a new word has come along to bug me: “Sustainism.”
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PLACES : PLACES EDITORS

Penn Hosts Symposium on Water and Design

On April 1 – 2, the University of Pennsylvania School of Design will host an international symposium, “In the Terrain of Water,” featuring interdisciplinary dialogues, exhibits, workshops and talks that re-imagine the human relationship with water.

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OBSERVATORY : THE EDITORS

Name That Design Person!

Three months from today, Americans will celebrate Mother’s Day*. In advance of this holiday, we’ve invited a number of designers to share with us a long-lost kiddie pic. On the 8th of every month leading up to Mother's Day, we’re asking our readers to guess the identity of one featured baby.
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OBSERVERS ROOM : MARK LAMSTER

"I'm Staying at the Eero"

Eero Saarinen's decommissioned TWA Terminal has been slated for conversion into a boutique hotel.
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CHANGE OBSERVER : ERNEST BECK

Hester Street Collaborative

For Leroy Street Studio, a small architecture firm in New York’s Chinatown, social design efforts are enhanced by an autonomous nonprofit unit.
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PLACES : BRIAN DAVIS

The New Public Landscapes of Governors Island: An Interview with Adriaan Geuze

New York Harbor is undergoing exciting transformations, as the old industrial and maritime waterfronts make way for new parks and public landscapes. The next major landscape, writes Brian Davis, is likely to be Governors Island — for centuries a military outpost, in recent years the focus of lively public discussion, and now the setting for a proposed new park designed by a team led by the Rotterdam-based West 8. Davis interviews West 8 founder Adriaan Geuze about his vision for a new public park in New York Harbor.
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OBSERVATORY : JOHN FOSTER

Accidental Mysteries, 02.06.11

Welcome to Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of curiosities set aside for your perusal and enlightenment.
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OBSERVER MEDIA : DEBBIE MILLMAN

Rob Walker

In this audio interview with Debbie Millman, Rob Walker discusses his interest in death and how our digital records remain online, being shy and how this influenced his decision to become a journalist, writing about the sleeved blanket known as the snuggie, and the wish to brand the idea of "be happy for what you have."
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OBSERVERS ROOM : RICK POYNOR

What Does J.G. Ballard Look Like?

J.G. Ballard is unusual among writers of fiction for being perceived primarily in terms of his imagery. The term “Ballardian” has become shorthand for a particular kind of location, object, conjunction of objects, or atmosphere. As Ballard often said in interviews, his principal influences came from visual artists and he thought of himself as a frustrated painter.
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Audio: Design Matters Archive

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Brand Consulting

A discussion about branding, design and cultural anthropology with leading practitioners in each discipline.
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CHANGE OBSERVER: PROJECT ARCHIVE

Project

GlobalTap Update

GlobalTap water station update.
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OBSERVATORY ARCHIVE

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PLACES ARCHIVE: WINTER 2000

Portfolio: Uneasy Spaces

New York City photographer Elizabeth Felicella focuses on what she calls "landscape of security."
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