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The Design Observer Group
Design Observer

WEEKLY EMAIL: MAY 05, 2011


Donald Judd and the Blooming of Reality

FEATURED THIS WEEK : ADAM YARINSKY

Donald Judd and the Blooming of Reality

The legacy of Donald Judd comprises not only his art but also the extraordinary environments he created at 101 Spring Street in New York City and in the West Texas town of Marfa. Here architect Adam Yarinsky, in a review of two new books about Judd's work and life, explores the artist's painstaking process and strong ideas, his conviction that "the space surrounding my work is crucial to it." Yarinsky argues that Judd's complex intermingling of art with place over time offers valuable insights to architects who aspire to "a more vital connection to our world today."
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PLACES : DONALD JUDD & ELIZABETH FELICELLA

101 Spring Street

Earlier this week we featured a review of two new books about Donald Judd, focusing on the relationship between his art and his live/work environments in New York City and Marfa, Texas. We are pleased to follow with an essay by Donald Judd, on the cast-iron building in Soho where he lived and worked for years, and selected images of some of its interior spaces, by New York photographer Elizabeth Felicella.
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OBSERVERS ROOM : JULIE LASKY

Out of Israel

“Bezalel: Legacy, Innovation, Inspiration,” which opens today at Sotheby’s London, features projects by former and current students of the celebrated Israeli design school.
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OBSERVERS ROOM : JOHN THACKARA

Open: A Survival Issue

In 1909, Peter Kropotkin was asked whether it was possible to learn a trade so difficult as gardening is, from books. "Yes, it is possible" he replied, "but a necessary condition of success, in work on the land, is communicativeness — continual friendly intercourse with your neighbors."
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OBSERVATORY : LOUISE FILI

Louise Fili's Collection of Italian Tins

Louise Fili  shares her collection of Italian tins, which she has found in the far-flung reaches of Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, Italian Ebay and Great Barrington, Massachusetts.
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OBSERVERS ROOM : MARK LAMSTER

The Architecture of the Secret Lair

"Whatever it is, it's not a mansion." This was the reaction of a friend, an architecture writer, to the term used so often in the press to describe Bin Laden's seedy concrete bunker, with its crummy striped awnings and tacky furnishings. Certainly, it's a long aesthetic way from Newport. Disparage it though we may, however, it remains rather astonishing that this large compound was built without drawing the attention of our many intelligence services.
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OBSERVERS ROOM : ALEXANDRA LANGE

Science Gets Around to Architecture

Jonah Lehrer reports on new studies that light, airy rooms make us more productive. I think the Larkins could have told you that.
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OBSERVERS ROOM : MARK LAMSTER

Towers in NY

As a critic, you're supposed to have firm ideas about the subjects of your review. I find that it doesn't always work that way. Some works take time to digest, and maybe there isn't time to fully do so before your deadline calls. Sometimes you're just left with profoundly conflicting ideas. With architecture there's the added problem that we're often asked to review buildings before we see how they truly operate.
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OBSERVERS ROOM : JOHN THACKARA

A Smooth Journey

Two images have preoccupied me in recent days.

The first one was taken in a lounge at a Paris airport. On the tv screen were images of the revolt that is unfolding, bloodily, in Yemen. But the sound was off. The second image that's bugged me is this new shot of Unit 3 at Fukushima.
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CHANGE OBSERVER : GAVIN BROWNING

Community Hero: Queens Museum of Art

Today, the future of the United States looks like Queens, New York: multicultural, urban, not necessarily English-speaking or native-born. The Queens Museum of Art has long served this variegated community. It will reach out even more productively with its new expansion.
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OBSERVERS ROOM : MARK LAMSTER

Justice for the City

There is a part of me that wishes Osama bin Laden had been captured alive, so he might be tried here in New York City for his crimes, much as Adolph Eichmann was fifty years ago in Jerusalem. It is, nevertheless, satisfying to know that some justice has been served for the great crime against this city and its residents, and against the rest of this nation.
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OBSERVATORY : STEVEN HELLER

Paul Rand, Painter

Paul Rand had more in common with Paul Klee than a four letter first and last name. One thing, like Klee, he enjoyed playing with childlike hieroglyphs. Another, also like Klee, he used geometric forms combined with letters, numbers, and arrows that he transformed into sketches of animals and people.
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OBSERVERS ROOM : MARK LAMSTER

Forgotten New York: The Lenox Library

The New York website Gothamist recently posted some wonderful images of the hidden spaces of the Frick Museum, including its antique bowling alley. (I caught the post via a link from Jason Kottke.) I love the Frick, but reading about its forgotten spaces makes me think about the truly lost space on the same site, namely the Lenox Library.
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OBSERVATORY : JOHN FOSTER

Accidental Mysteries, 05.01.11

Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age.
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OBSERVERS ROOM : JULIE LASKY

Hug a Worm

Curated by Laetitia Wolff, ExpoTENtial is a collection of 10 design labs that investigate ideas for a smarter, livelier and healthier New York.
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PLACES : GITA LENZ & GORDON STETTINIUS

Gita Lenz: New York Views

Earlier this week we featured articles exploring the legacy of Jane Jacobs and Andy Warhol. Both Jacobs and Warhol did their pathbreaking work in mid 20th-century New York City, and each came to exemplify particular ways of inhabiting the metropolis. Here we present a gallery by another mid-century New Yorker. Gita Lenz was a rising photographer in the '50s and early '60s before her career was cut short. Her work, largely neglected since then, is now gaining new attention.
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OBSERVERS ROOM : ALEXANDRA LANGE

In T: High Fiber

Where can one find new midcentury design? Beneath your seat! An exhibition at the Bard Graduate Center puts Knoll Textiles on par with the company's furniture.
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OBSERVERS ROOM : JESSICA HELFAND

The Royal Tweet

Long criticized for not being relevant in contemporary culture, the British royal family announces the engagement of the future King of England in 144 characters, including a hyphen.
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Audio: Design Matters Archive

AUDIO: DESIGN MATTERS ARCHIVE

Jan Wilker & Hjalti Karlsson

Jan Wilker & Hjalti Karlsson of karlssonwilker are designers and authors of Tell Me Why.
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CHANGE OBSERVER: PROJECT ARCHIVE

Project

DesigNYC, Round 2

Report on second round of pro bono design initiatives fostered by DesigNYC.
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OBSERVATORY ARCHIVE

past post past post past post

PLACES ARCHIVE: WINTER 2003

Portfolio: Timothy Hursley

Tim Hursley photographs the pro-bono buildings of the Rural Studio and the legal brothels of Nye County, Nevada.
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Change Observer

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