To view this email in your browser, click here.


The Design Observer Group
Design Observer

WEEKLY EMAIL: JUNE 10, 2011


Publication Studio: What

FEATURED THIS WEEK : MATTHEW STADLER

Publication Studio: What's It Like?

On any given day the storefront is home to book production, a small bookstore, endless packing and shipping, a staff of four, a half-dozen hangers-on, curious drop-ins, lost tourists, the mailman, and one or another public gathering — a party, a dinner, a reading, a puppet show, a concert, sometimes all of these at once — staging the social life of the books we make.
READ MORE



OBSERVERS ROOM : MARK LAMSTER

Philip Johnson's Synagogue Problem

In the mid-1950s, Philip Johnson designed a synagogue for Kneses Tifereth Israel, a congregation in suburban Port Chester, New York. Johnson, in the 1930s and early 1940s, had been a proponent of Nazi Germany and a writer of anti-semitic tracts, so the job was presented as a kind of atonement, and completed without fee. It was also his largest institutional commission to date (at the time, he was primarily an architect of refined modernist homes), so a handy resume builder.

READ MORE

PLACES : ADELHEID FISCHER

A Home Before the End of the World

What does it mean when a famous contemporary novelist — often praised for the precision of his prose — makes careless errors in his depiction of the natural world? Environmental writer Adelheid Fischer sees this kind of "eco-confabulation" as symptomatic of a larger ignorance of nature and natural history, of what she calls "the webbiness of life" on the planet of which we humans are but a part. Is our ignorance, Fischer wonders, somehow enabling us to ignore the accelerating degradation of our environment?
READ MORE

FROM OUR SPONSORS

Learn to be a design critic through SVA's D-Crit program: Design as subject matter, criticism as a literary genre and the range of tools with which to practice design criticism. 
Watch videos of presentations by the Class of 2011 >>
The D-Crit Program >>
SVA Website >>

More than a decade ago Sappi Fine Paper North America established the Ideas that Matter grant program to recognize and support designers who generously donate their time and talent to a wide range of charitable activities. Enter your Idea to win money for your pro-bono project. Design is the power to affect the world.
Enter Ideas that Matter here >>
See stories of change here >>
Find out more about Sappi here >>

OBSERVERS ROOM : ROB WALKER

Dedigitization

Over the last five or ten years, more people have gotten more comfortable with the notion of “digital goods” having real value. People collect and covet objects made of bits and existing only in online games or virtual worlds or other non-physical realms. Increasingly, though, things from the digital world are crossing over into physical manifestations that can be bought and sold.
READ MORE

OBSERVERS ROOM : THE EDITORS

Announcement: Rob Walker Joins Design Observer

We are pleased to announce that Rob Walker is joining Design Observer as a contributing writer — and as the newest blogger in our Observers Room.
READ MORE

CHANGE OBSERVER : ROBIN CEMBALEST

Shrink Rap

Pedro Reyes’s Sanatorium, a project sponsored by the Guggenheim Museum that can be visited in Brooklyn this weekend, wobbles between reality and parody as it channels art therapy, theater exercises, speed dating, Lucy van Pelt and Joseph Beuys.
READ MORE

CHANGE OBSERVER : WILLIAM UNDERHILL

Transensing: Glassware for the Blind

Imagine the plight of the blind guest at a party of sighted friends. Chatting becomes a challenge when it’s tricky to know where others in the group are standing. One solution: hand out chunky glass swizzle sticks which create a chink loud enough to identify a person’s location.
READ MORE

PLACES : KAREN PIPER

"We Just Want To Be Tourists"

"Imagine bands of protestors surrounding Yellowstone, waving black flags and blocking the exits with burning tires. Imagine the lodges of Yosemite running short of food and gasoline and tourists beginning to panic. Imagine the press remaining oblivious even as thousands are being held against their will and people are ending up dead. Imagine all this and you'll have a sense of what was happening in January in southernmost Chile." Karen Piper tells the tale of her trip to Torres del Paine, and wonders whether tourism itself is an endangered activity, "threatened by dwindling energy resources, a withering middle class, and the rising inequality that is fueling instability, protest and terrorism."
READ MORE

OBSERVERS ROOM : RICK POYNOR

Is That a Gun in Your Pocket?

For the cover of a new DVD of the classic film noir Kiss Me Deadly, the Criterion Collection designers have used publicity shots from 1955 rather than imagery from the film, or some other visual interpretation. It’s a counterintuitive piece of art direction because at no point in the movie does Mickey Spillane’s infamous private eye Mike Hammer menace the Lily Carver character with a gun while she’s tied up in a chair.


READ MORE

OBSERVERS ROOM : JESSICA HELFAND

Meet Our Intern: Paul Rand!

Paul Rand famously despised marketing, and had a personal loathing for focus groups. While he believed almost religiously in the power of good design — and arguably, had he lived, might have been a spirited advocate of the role of branding in visual culture — he pretty much hated any club that would have him as a member, making it hard (if not impossible) to imagine him on Facebook.
READ MORE

PLACES : ALEXANDRA LANGE, MARK LAMSTER

Lunch with the Critics: Cronocaos

"Cronocaos," curated by OMA/Rem Koolhaas, opened this spring at the New Museum in New York City. The exhibition examines the "global taskforce" of architectural and ecological preservation, which, Koolhaas argues, has made a large part of the planet effectively "immutable." In the latest installment of Lunch with the Critics, Mark Lamster and Alexandra Lange visit the exhibition, and debate its success.
READ MORE



BECOME A FAN ON FACEBOOK | FOLLOW US ON TWITTER

Mayo Clinic Transform 2011
The leading health conference where design matters.
Register today >>
AIGA
Register by the early deadline and save up to $200.
Pivot the AIGA Design Conference >>


Sappi
Good design can influence positive change! Learn more
Ideas that Matter >>
SVA
D-Crit: Design as subject matter.
Criticism as literary genre.
Learn at SVA >>

Audio: Design Matters Archive

AUDIO: DESIGN MATTERS ARCHIVE

Abbott Miller

Abbott Miller, partner at Pentagram and art director of 2wice magazine.
Listen >>
More Design Matters Archive >>

CHANGE OBSERVER: PROJECT ARCHIVE

Project

132 5. ISSEY MIYAKE

The latest material (and sustainability) adventure from the great Japanese fashion designer.
READ MORE

OBSERVATORY ARCHIVE

past post past post past post

PLACES ARCHIVE: WINTER 2000

Portfolio: Uneasy Spaces

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

Change Observer

RECENT BOOKS RECEIVED

Michelangelo: A Life on PaperMichelangelo: A Life on Paper
Leonard Barkan

Protest Stencil ToolkitProtest Stencil Toolkit
Patrick Thomas

The Summer Without Men: A NovelThe Summer Without Men: A Novel
Siri Hustvedt

Privacy Policy | Contact Us
You are subscribed as | Unsubscribe
Copyright © 2011 Observer Omnimedia LLC. All rights reserved. Design Observer, P.O. Box 159, Falls Village, CT 06031, USA