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Design Observer

WEEKLY EMAIL: MAY 20, 2011


Seven Things Designers Can Learn from Stand Up Comics

FEATURED THIS WEEK : MICHAEL BIERUT

Seven Things Designers Can Learn from Stand Up Comics

The premise of HBO's hour-long special "Talking Funny" is simple: invite four top-ranked comedians — Ricky Gervais, Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock and Louis C.K. — turn on the cameras, and let them talk shop for an hour. There are laughs, of course, but the most interesting parts focus on the technical craft of getting those laughs. This is serious business. Stand up comedy is a high-risk creative enterprise, executed in real time in front of a critical audience. I didn't tune in looking for lessons for designers, but I found seven.
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CHANGE OBSERVER : ERNEST BECK

Project Mwana

For mothers and newborns, early medical testing is critical to health, especially for detecting HIV/AIDS. But in some developing countries, sending and receiving a blood sample from an extremely remote location can take between two and five months. Project Mwana is changing that.
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PLACES : IAN BALDWIN

The Architecture of Harry Weese

Like Kevin Roche — profiled earlier this week on Places — Harry Weese belongs to the mid-century generation of architects that dominated American practice in the postwar era but whose work has lately been neglected. Architect Ian Baldwin analyzes Weese's half-century legacy, and finds a committed modernist who was "neither a stylist nor an iconoclast, whose work and words responded to a set of progressive social values and a straightforward concern for bettering the built environment."
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FROM OUR SPONSORS

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Felt & Wire Shop, a curated marketplace of designer papergoods, gifts and also an industry blog. Shop here for beautifully uniques gifts, journals, note cards, posters and stationary. Read about Daisy Carlson's newest endeavors and learn about how Design is Love!
The Felt & Wire Shop >>
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Design is Love >>

OBSERVATORY : SUSAN ROY

Better Homes & Bunkers: The Fallout Shelter for the Nuclear Family

In the 50s and 60s tens of thousands of Americans built family fallout shelters, and millions considered doing so. How could so many people believe that hiding in an underground concrete cube would save their lives during a nuclear attack? And then, if they somehow did survive, why did they believe they could function in a post-apocalyptic world with fires raging, cities destroyed, and a landscape littered with the dead and injured?
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OBSERVERS ROOM : RICK POYNOR

Unearthly Powers: Surrealism and SF

Richard Powers was a book cover auteur who found opportunities — an astonishing quantity of opportunities — to express his vision for financial reward on the handy, ubiquitous tablets that paperback publishers duly provided. He is a vital link between science fiction and Surrealism and any future study needs to take him into account.
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OBSERVERS ROOM : MARK LAMSTER

Aimez-Vous Braem? Antwerp's Little-Known Master

Do you like Renaat Braem? I'm guessing you've never even heard of Renaat Braem, which is a shame, as he was one of the more compelling architectural figures of the previous century. If he is familiar at all, it is probably from his Politie (Police) Tower in Antwerp, a skyscraping cathedral of brutalist form that locals tend to either love or loathe, and rarely leaves anyone feeling indifferent.
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PLACES : BELMONT FREEMAN

Kevin Roche: Architecture as Environment

Earlier this year the Yale School of Architecture staged an exhibition and symposium on the long career of Kevin Roche. In his review of the events and the companion book, Belmont Freeman assesses the value of a body of work overlooked in recent years. Today, he writes, "a growing number of younger architects are looking at the work of the so-called third generation of modernists and are finding much to admire. With his bold form-making, confidence in tackling problems on an urban scale and deft handling of architectural image prior to the media saturation of the profession, Kevin Roche stands out as a visionary."
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CHANGE OBSERVER : AN XIAO MINA

The Ultra 10 Challenge

A Malaysia-based company specializes in sustainable fashion. They promote their ethos in shows and online, in words and textiles, and through a challenge to wear only 10 items in a year.
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OBSERVATORY : KIRSTEN HIVELY

Kirsten Hively's Collection of Coffee Cup Lids and Registration Marks

When I first got a coffee with the unusual red slide-lock hole cover, it seemed such an ingenious and elaborate design, with such a satisfying “thunk” as it locks into the open or closed position, I couldn't throw it away.
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OBSERVATORY : JOHN FOSTER

Accidental Mysteries, 05.15.11

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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OBSERVER MEDIA : DEBBIE MILLMAN

Alissa Walker

In this audio interview with Debbie Millman, Alissa Walker discusses, her experience in advertising and how it led her to writing, her love affair with LA, walking, biking, giving up driving and of course, gelato.

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Mohawk
From Mohawk Fine Papers a curated marketplace of designer papergoods and gifts.
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Mayo Clinic Transform 2011
The leading health conference where design matters.
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Audio: Design Matters Archive

AUDIO: DESIGN MATTERS ARCHIVE

David Barringer

David Barringer, talks about his new book and his views on the state of graphic design today.
Listen >>
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CHANGE OBSERVER: PROJECT ARCHIVE

Project

Solo Kota Kita

Report on a design-oriented sysem for providing information about community resources in Indonesia as an aid for budgeting.
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OBSERVATORY ARCHIVE

past post past post past post

PLACES ARCHIVE: WINTER 2008

The New U.S. Embassy in Berlin

In creating a new U.S. embassy in Berlin, architectural design is just one of the challenges.
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Change Observer

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Celebrations of Curious CharactersCelebrations of Curious Characters
Ricky Jay

TypoMagTypoMag
Laura Meseguer

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