To view this email in your browser, click here.


The Design Observer Group
Design Observer

WEEKLY EMAIL: SEPTEMBER 16, 2011


How Do You Solve a Problem Like Design School?

FEATURED THIS WEEK : JOSH BERTA

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Design School?

As designers, we solve problems. Indeed, pursuing a design education is probably the first great problem we’re tasked with solving. It all starts with uncertainty and learning, moves on into hard work and refinement, and ends (ideally) with a really simple goal: becoming a designer

With that in mind, here is some advice to design students either starting, or starting back to school this autumn. Herewith, ten things (naturally!) in no particular order.
READ MORE



PLACES : BARRY BERGDOLL

The Art of Advocacy: The Museum as Design Laboratory

For several years now, through exhibitions and workshops that explore how designers might engage such pressing topics as housing production, climate change and global poverty, Barry Bergdoll, curator of architecture and design at MoMA in New York City, has sought to expand the role of the art museum. As he says here, in an essay describing his goals: "From the start I gave myself the mandate of making the museum a platform for architecture as it is practiced now, where gallery goers could confront the process of design thinking rather than merely observe the end results. The display of beautiful buildings divorced from the contextual framework of their genesis is an old art museum paradigm — one that runs ever the risk of reducing works of architecture to so many consumer or media objects."
READ MORE

CHANGE OBSERVER : PHOTO BY IAIN MCKELL

The New Gypsies

Painted caravan, from The New Gypsies (Prestel USA, 2011)
READ MORE

FROM OUR SPONSORS

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 >>

Almost one billion people on the planet don't have safe and clean drinking water. Mohawk has partnered with charity: water to help bring clean water to developing nations. You can help contribute by visiting our Drop in the Bucket campaign.
Mohawk & charity: water >>
Drop in the Bucket >>
Mohawk Fine Papers >>

OBSERVATORY : THE EDITORS

Season Seven of Design Matters with Debbie Millman

We are pleased to announce that Season Seven of Design Matters with Debbie Millman will premiere on Observer Media this Friday with special guest and designer of the World Trade Center Memorial, Michael Arad.
READ MORE

OBSERVERS ROOM : RICK POYNOR

Richard Hamilton, the Great Decipherer

Richard Hamilton, who has died aged 89, was one of the finest British artists of the post-war years. He was an unusual and appealing mixture, an old-school fine artist who loved paint as a medium, measured his progress against the masters, and never gave up on what used to be called visual values; and yet at the same time, an observer with an acute awareness of design and the contemporary world.
READ MORE

PLACES : ARON CHANG

Beyond Foreclosure: The Future of the Single-Family Suburban House

For half a century the single-family suburban house has dominated American homebuilding; yet during that same period household demographics and energy economics have changed dramatically. As architect Aron Chang writes, "The disconnect between the diversity of housing needs and the monotony of housing production speaks to the tenacity of the postwar American dream, as well as to the profitability of catering to it." Here Chang argues that the foreclosure crisis — which has upended both the dream and the profits — highlights the need "to rethink suburban housing: to make it responsive not to dated demographics and wishful economics but rather to the actual needs of a diversifying and dynamic population."
READ MORE

OBSERVERS ROOM : ROB WALKER

Styles of Likeness

Likeness as object, and likeness as non-object: A striking addition to the history of pictures of people holding pictures.

READ MORE

OBSERVERS ROOM : ALEXANDRA LANGE

Thinking in Tumblr

Can a blogging platform change the way you research?
READ MORE

OBSERVERS ROOM : MARK LAMSTER

Rubens as Architect

This week, a new exhibition opens at the Rubenshuis in Antwerp dedicated to the painter's work as an architect. Rubens was a man of many talents beyond the profession for which he is best known—among them, he was a gifted statesman, book designer, and antiquarian. Architecture was another field in which he could engage his absurdly grand intellect. In celebration of the show, to follow is an excerpt from my book on Rubens, Master of Shadows, describing the house as it was in his time. 
READ MORE

PLACES : MIMI ZEIGER

The Interventionist's Toolkit, Part 3: Our Cities, Ourselves

In this latest installment of her ongoing series on interventionist tactics in DIY urbanism, Mimi Zeiger looks at a range of projects, from community gardens and food trucks to pop-up markets in shipping containers to small business incubators in an old steel city. She then asks a tough question: How do we evaluate these kinds of projects? As Zeiger asks, how do we judge "ephemeral works that skirt the edges of activist art and community organizing? How do we measure the impacts of ambiguously defined and informal activities that are not only creative and civic but also emotionally charged?"
READ MORE

CHANGE OBSERVER : RACHEL SIGNER

Don't Flush Me

Leif Percifield, a graduate student at Parsons, who describes himself as a “Hacker, Interactive Developer, and Geek,” hopes to install a prototype of a sensor that will allow New York City sewers to “talk back” to residents.
READ MORE

OBSERVATORY : ADAM HARRISON LEVY

The Falling Man: An Interview with Henry Singer

In 2006 Henry Singer produced and directed The Falling Man, a 90 minute documentary for Channel 4 Television in the UK. The film was screened in over 30 countries and was nominated for an International Emmy in 2006.

The following is an interview with Henry Singer. It took place on September 4, 2011.
READ MORE



BECOME A FAN ON FACEBOOK | FOLLOW US ON TWITTER

SVA
Learn more now.
Visit MFA Design site >>
Sappi
A totally unvarnished and uncoated look at what goes on behind the glossy world of print production.
Off Register >>


AIGA
Don't miss the chance to pivot this fall.
Pivot: AIGA Design Conference 2011 >>
Mohawk
From Mohawk Fine Papers a curated marketplace of designer papergoods and gifts.
Browse the Shop >>

Audio: Design Matters Archive

AUDIO: DESIGN MATTERS ARCHIVE

Dee Dee Gordon

Dee Dee Gordon, renowned youth culture expert. Featured on PBS's Frontline Special Merchants of Cool.
Listen >>
More Design Matters Archive >>

CHANGE OBSERVER: PROJECT ARCHIVE

Project

Cards of Change

Unemployed workers retrofit their former business cards to send hopeful messages.
READ MORE

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.
READ MORE

Change Observer

RECENT BOOKS RECEIVED

Another Book about Promotion and Sales MaterialAnother Book about Promotion and Sales Material
Chantal Prod'Hom, editor

The Book of SkullsThe Book of Skulls
Faye Dowling

344 Questions344 Questions
Stefan G. Bucher

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