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The Design Observer Group
Design Observer

WEEKLY EMAIL: OCTOBER 06, 2011


Design Research and Research Design

FEATURED THIS WEEK : KEVIN WALKER

Design Research and Research Design

For the past seven years I had been a designer in a room full of researchers; in January of last year, I found myself with a group of new students — many of them better designers than I ever was — and I had to teach them how to be researchers.
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PLACES : BRIAN ULRICH

Is This Place Great or What

A decade ago, in response to the post 9/11 equation of "shopping with patriotism" — which seemed to him incredible — photographer Brian Ulrich began his ongoing project of exploring the sites of contemporary consumer culture. Here he focuses on so-called "dark stores" — big boxes and whole malls that have gone under, collateral damage of the crash.
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OBSERVATORY : CHERYL YAU

Rediscovering A Stereoscopic World

The Eames Office loft, scattered with molded plywood prototypes and rolls of craft paper. Click. The model of the Kwikset House furnished with two Eames storage units, upholstered chairs and dark orange carpet. Click. A table full of English muffins, strawberries, hardboiled eggs and a glass carafe of coffee set in front of a fiberglass shell chair. Click.
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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 >>

Felt & Wire Shop, a curated marketplace of designer papergoods, gifts and also an industry blog. Shop here for beautiful unique gifts, journals, note cards, posters and stationary. Bessie Anderson, recent college grad and major lead-head, at the Ladies of Letterpress conference in Asheville, N.C..
The Felt & Wire Shop >>
Bessie Anderson >>
Full Circle Press >>

OBSERVERS ROOM : ALEXANDRA LANGE

What Makes Architecture Useful?

How good could come of a biennial on the theme Useless.
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CHANGE OBSERVER : JULIA COOKE

Cuba Libre: Contemporary Architecture in Havana

Havana is renowned for its faded elegance. It’s a stately wreck of a city stuck in the past, but Claudia Castillo and Orlando Inclán have a different future in mind.
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OBSERVERS ROOM : JOHN THACKARA

Carrot City: Design's New Shtick

A splendid new book from Monacelli Press marks the coming of age of urban agriculture — at least for the design world. Carrot City: Creating Places for Urban Agriculture is a timely reflection on design and urban food systems, and on the ways that agricultural issues are once again shaping urban spaces and buildings.
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PLACES : ALEXANDRA LANGE & MARK LAMSTER

Lunch with the Critics: Supertall

In the latest installment of Lunch with the Critics, Alexandra Lange and Mark Lamster travel to Lower Manhattan to view the exhibition Supertall! at the Skyscraper Museum. After touring the show, they walked north to the Winter Garden in Battery Park City, where they composed this dialogue in the shadow of New York City's rising entry into the supertall field, One World Trade Center.
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OBSERVATORY : JOHN FOSTER

Accidental Mysteries, 10.02.11

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

Alex Bogusky and John Bielenberg

In this audio interview with Debbie Millman, Alex Bogusky and John Bielenberg discuss branding in the age of global warming, impact entrepreneurs and their new project, “Common,” aimed at changing the corporate world.
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OBSERVERS ROOM : ROB WALKER

Pictures of the Familiar

The tools of the time make the slightly absurd practice of re-photographing extensively documented icons and monuments. And that's inspired some pleasing work.
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A totally unvarnished and uncoated look at what goes on behind the glossy world of print production.
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From Mohawk Fine Papers a curated marketplace of designer papergoods and gifts.
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Audio: Design Matters Archive

AUDIO: DESIGN MATTERS ARCHIVE

Ze Frank

Ze Frank is a writer, designer and host of The Ze Frank Show.
Listen >>
More Design Matters Archive >>

CHANGE OBSERVER: PROJECT ARCHIVE

Project

Rock Girl Benches

Rock Girl in Cape Town offers real and symbolic safe places for girls and women.
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OBSERVATORY ARCHIVE

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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

Post-it Note Diaries: 20 Stories of Youthful Abandon, Embarrassing Mishaps, and Everyday AdventurePost-it Note Diaries: 20 Stories of Youthful Abandon, Embarrassing Mishaps, and Everyday Adventure
Arthur Jones

Pastoral Capitalism: A History of Suburban Corporate LandscapesPastoral Capitalism: A History of Suburban Corporate Landscapes
Louise A. Mozingo

RebusRebus
James Jean

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