PLACES : KIAN GOH
On June 28, 1969, the Stonewall Rebellion — which erupted in response to a police raid on a popular gay bar in Greenwich Village — sparked the gay liberation movement, which will be celebrated this weekend in Pride Parades nationwide. Today the Village continues to attract LGBT youth, who arrive fleeing oppressive and often dangerous situations, seeking community and acceptance. Architect Kian Goh analyzes the challenges they face in upmarket Manhattan, where the recently renovated Stonewall Inn is a tourist attraction and the West Village home to some of the priciest new real estate in Manhattan.
OBSERVERS ROOM : ROB WALKER
Tumblrs like The Burning House and Everyday Carry
offer collections of what's meant to be profoundly personal stuff. Are the self-portraits via possessions — or something more interesting?
OBSERVERS ROOM : ALEXANDRA LANGE
The dance of real estate, the ritual of rooms in Austen's novels.
CHANGE OBSERVER : THE EDITORS
Back in the last century (1999 to be precise), the paper company Sappi launched a program to distribute grants for social design and innovation. Since then, Ideas That Matter has funded $11 million in efforts to improve the health, education and prosperity of the world’s citizens.
CHANGE OBSERVER : JOHN THACKARA
Interview with industrial ecologist Eva Gladek about a net-zero-impact urban farm system called Polydome.
OBSERVERS ROOM : JOHN THACKARA
The project is a year-long research effort to measure the stormwater management potential of two urban farms: Brooklyn Grange (a rooftop farm) & Added Value (raised beds) in NYC.
OBSERVERS ROOM : RICK POYNOR
In a post about W.G. Sebald’s use of pictures, I reproduced a spread from Austerlitz, showing a room with a grid of shelves from floor to ceiling — the records room at the Terezín concentration camp located about an hour from Prague.
Recently, I happened to see Daniel Blaufuks’ book Terezín
and there on the cover was a photograph of the same room. The Portuguese photographer is haunted by the image. But where did it come from?
OBSERVER MEDIA : STEPHEN DOYLE
“How should we promote the Green Building Council’s 2011 conference, Greenbuild Next? How about with an abridged history of civilization in a series of 2,933 still photos?” The result? A stop-frame animation film on 8 1/2 x 11 sheets of paper — the history of civilization in 3 minutes and 44 seconds in the form of a concrete poem.
CHANGE OBSERVER : ERNEST BECK
The project, which recently won first prize at the annual conference of Northwestern University’s Kellogg Innovation Network, is based on the idea that India’s urban slum dwellers, who earn between $2 and $5 a day, would be willing to pay an estimated $6 to $7 a month for a system that provides a toilet and electricity for an entire family.
PLACES : ADELHEID FISCHER
"Grand Canyon is among the few parks in the lower 48 whose nighttime skies are virtually untouched by artificial light pollution. Here, some 5,500 stars are visible to the naked eye; the profound darkness lends uncommon clarity and brilliance to the heavens." Environmental writer Adelheid Fischer — as we mark the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere — describes the growing night-sky movement, which rose in response to the increasing incidence of light pollution. As Fischer notes, the bright lights of Las Vegas illuminate no fewer than eight national parks in the American West.
OBSERVERS ROOM : JOHN THACKARA
Continuing our theme of systems thinking and the need for a new aesthetics — oh, what the heck, let's talk about taps.
OBSERVATORY : JEZ OWEN
Despite the zine having a rich heritage spanning from beginnings in political pamphleteering to today’s eclectic “Design-as-Art” pieces, Behind the Zines
is not a history book.
OBSERVATORY : JOHN FOSTER
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.
OBSERVATORY : ADAM HARRISON LEVY
It is Saturday morning at 7:15am and I’m eating breakfast with my daughter Alice. She is six and half years old. We are eating French toast that I made from scratch. On the table is fresh squeezed orange juice, real maple syrup and a bowl of blueberries. I’m a newly divorced father. I’m proud of myself...
So begins three stories for Father's Day.