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The Design Observer Group
Design Observer

WEEKLY EMAIL: SEPTEMBER 01, 2011


The Next World

FEATURED THIS WEEK : FRED A. BERNSTEIN

The Next World's Fair: A Proposal

I attended both the Aichi and Shanghai world fairs, each time returning home convinced that New York should host a fair in 2020 or 2025. Mayor Michael Bloomberg spent much of his first term trying to bring the Olympics to New York, at a cost of millions of dollars, and considerable political capital. Had he succeeded, the Olympics would have brought thousands of well-heeled sports fans to the city for two weeks; by contrast, a world’s fair could attract millions of visitors.
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OBSERVERS ROOM : RICK POYNOR

Chris Foss and the Technological Sublime

Science fiction artist Chris Foss’s new monograph is an amazingly obsessive piece of cataloguing. At first it seems almost too relentless, with every painting precision welded into the grid, all the pictures equidistant, and no room to breathe. But the most visionary pictures have a stillness, a control of atmosphere and a mood of wonder, even when something beyond our terrestrial grasp is taking place.
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OBSERVERS ROOM : ALEXANDRA LANGE

Announcing LetsGetCritical.org

Would you like your culture with a side of opinion?
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FROM OUR SPONSORS

Being sustainable has never been so profitable. See how the country's most innovative companies are improving their bottom line by staying the course on sustainability. Look into Sappi's paper mills that are setting a new standard for environmental responsibility.
Find out more about Sappi here >>
Order a copy of eQ003 >>
Download a PDF copy >>

Two great MFA programs: The  Interaction Design program, which explores the role of design in shaping everyday life and the Graduate Program for the Designer as Entrepreneur. 
Visit MFA Interaction Design >>
The Designer as Entrepreneur Podcast >>
SVA Website >>

CHANGE OBSERVER : PHIL PATTON

The Green Dashboard

Many features of a car reveal personality as much as performance. The instrument panel used to tell many tales — of water temperature and oil pressure, amps and volts, revolutions per minute and pounds per square inch.

Now, energy-efficient technology under the hood is augmenting the instrument panel’s design.
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PLACES : DANIELLE DUTTON

An Excerpt from S P R A W L

The last word in our August reading series belongs to the narrator of Danielle Dutton's comic novel S P R A W L. In her house on a quarter-acre lot, with her husband's gleaming sedan in the garage, she arranges and rearranges everyday objects, piecing together a theory of the American suburb that involves "cows, furniture, farms, real estate, azaleas, corn, curtains, dust, passion," a great deal of sadness and perhaps just a little magic.
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OBSERVERS ROOM : ROB WALKER

Graphic Design, Valued

An amusing study finds that an aesthetically pleasing annual report signals superior financial health, even to experienced investors.
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OBSERVATORY : THE EDITORS

New Comment Registration

Design Observer Readers,

Due to the unfortunate sophistication of spammers, Design Observer is now requiring that users register in order to comment on essays and posts. Registration is free, only takes a minute and will allow you to sign up for our email newsletters. We're asking readers to register to help keep site spam to a minumum, and following best practices set by other leading online publications. A
s a general rule, most major publications have found signed comments (backed up by a real email address) tend to be more thoughtful, measured, and make for more rewarding reading. Thanks for bearing with this change and helping to make Design Observer a spam-free and more interesting site.

Register here.

— The Editors

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OBSERVATORY : WILLIAM DRENTTEL & JESSICA HELFAND

Late Summer Reading

In our studio, we find ourselves drawn to books at the intersection of multiple disciplines that are, more often than not, only accidentally visual: books about science and history, fiction and film, culture and language. While our personal interests differ greatly, the thing that unites us is an enduring fascination with people’s lives. In the late summer, we share a reading list first published in Frieze, April 2011.
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Mohawk
From Mohawk Fine Papers a curated marketplace of designer papergoods and gifts.
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Sappi
A totally unvarnished and uncoated look at what goes on behind the glossy world of print production.
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AIGA
Don't miss the chance to pivot this fall.
Pivot: AIGA Design Conference 2011 >>

Audio: Design Matters Archive

AUDIO: DESIGN MATTERS ARCHIVE

Cheryl Swanson

Cheryl Swanson, founder of Toniq, applies her background in anthropology and psychology to branding.
Listen >>
More Design Matters Archive >>

CHANGE OBSERVER: PROJECT ARCHIVE

Project

Rising Currents

Report on "Rising Currents," an exhibition of New York City design solutions to the flooding predicted by climate change experts, which will be on view at the Museum of Modern Art, March 24–August 9, 2010.
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OBSERVATORY ARCHIVE

past post past post past post

PLACES ARCHIVE: WINTER 2005

Campus Design as Critical Practice

How to turn a lackluster midwestern campus into an international cultural destination. 
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Change Observer

RECENT BOOKS RECEIVED

Just My Type: A Book About FontsJust My Type: A Book About Fonts
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Search Analytics for Your SiteSearch Analytics for Your Site
Louis Rosenfeld

Water: Unity of Art and ScienceWater: Unity of Art and Science
Oliver Herwig & Axel Thallemer

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