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The Design Observer Group
Design Observer

WEEKLY EMAIL: OCTOBER 20, 2011


Design with the Other 90%: Cities

FEATURED THIS WEEK : CYNTHIA E. SMITH

Design with the Other 90%: Cities

The exhibition "Design with the Other 90%: CITIES," organized by the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, has just opened at the United Nations in New York City. We are pleased to present curator Cynthia Smith's in-depth assessment, adapted from her catalogue essay, of the research that took her to Asia, Africa and Latin America. Exploring innovations in humanitarian design, she found many examples of hybrid solutions that work "to bridge the formal and informal city" and to make the planet's rapidly growing cities "more just and humane."
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PLACES : JASON GRIFFITHS

Manifest Destiny: A Guide to the Essential Indifference of American Suburban Housing

In October 2002 British architect Jason Griffiths set out to explore American suburbia. He drove 22,382 miles and took 2,593 photographs, and along the gently looping roads he found mass-produced evidence of the durability of the arcadian dream. "Rephrased in marketing terminology," he writes, "the suburban ideal retains the sense of an escape from complexity, age, fear, insecurity, imperfection — precisely what draws people to search for a new beginning."
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OBSERVER MEDIA : WILLIAM DRENTTEL

National Design Award Trophy

On October 20, 2011, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum unveiled a new trophy for the National Design Awards. Originally designed in silicon carbide by Winterhouse in 2000, the trophy was launched as a part of an "asterisk" design exploratory. In 2011, Corning Museum's GlassLab undertook a new interpretation of the "asterisk" trophy in glass.
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FROM OUR SPONSORS

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Around the world, designers are creating better communities by working with nonprofits and citizen groups to improve the human experience. AIGA's Design for Good initiative encourages and recognizes pro bono and social engagement design projects.
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OBSERVERS ROOM : MARK LAMSTER

Watching Movies about Architecture (and Design)

A couple of days ago, a friend commented that watching movies about architecture is like dancing about baseball. It's true that communicating in one artistic medium about another is inherently difficult; architecture poses special problems when it is reduced to a two-dimensional surface. I don't think there's any debate that too many (most) films about architecture and design are boring. But certainly there are exceptions.
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OBSERVERS ROOM : ROB WALKER

More Google Image Fun

Google Image search results: a visual experiment in human-machine collaboration. Or maybe just fun.

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CHANGE OBSERVER : ALEXANDRA LANGE

Architecture Research Office

On October 20, Architecture Research Office will be presented with the 2011 National Design Award for Architecture Design. ARO, founded in 1993 by Stephen Cassell and Adam Yarinsky, is a New York–based firm with an exceptionally broad portfolio, ranging from creating new guidelines for design excellence in the federal government to renovating Donald Judd’s Spring Street studio.
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OBSERVERS ROOM : ALEXANDRA LANGE

TWA: Still Kicking

Eero Saarinen's legendary flight center has a lot of life left in it yet. Let's not let it be still for much longer.
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CHANGE OBSERVER : CHAZ MAVIYANE-DAVIES

Occupy America 2011

Prisoners of Conscience: The Series
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OBSERVATORY

A House to Live With: Paul Rand in Esquire 1953

A slideshow of Ann and Paul Rand's house in Connecticut, as it appeared in the August 1953 issue of Esquire.
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OBSERVERS ROOM : JOHN THACKARA

The Compost Candidates

Something special is happening in France. A nationwide campaign will be launched next week by the Colibris movement for the 2012 Presidential Elections — but without a charismatic leader. The campaign, instead, is for everyone to be a candidate — for a new kind of politics.
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OBSERVERS ROOM : RICK POYNOR

Did We Ever Stop Being Postmodern?

The Victoria and Albert Museum’s exhibition about postmodernism and design ends with a defiant assertion: “like it or not we are all postmodern now.” Do you think of yourself that way — as a postmodern person? Most probably not. The movement’s ideas dominated the academy for more than a decade, but it was never a term that commanded much public understanding. Could this be the moment to rethink postmodernism?
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OBSERVATORY : JOHN FOSTER

Accidental Mysteries, 10.16.11

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

Linda Tischler

In this audio interview with Debbie Millman, Linda Tischler discusses failing her new year's resolutions, why the word “design” turns off business professionals, how services like Kickstarter have changed the intersection of design and business and her new book.
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OBSERVERS ROOM : MARK LAMSTER

Art, Architecture & the Museum

This is the last week to see Extended Collapse, an installation at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art by the architects Annie Han and Daniel Mihalyo, who together are partners in Seattle's Lead Pencil Studio. It's a shame they're not better known for their work, which brings an artistic sensitivity to subject matter that is convetionally architectural. Their recent appearance on the cover of Architect magazine, seated in Daniel's vintage pickup, was at least a step in the right direction. It doesn't help that they tend to work outside of the media spotlight, far from the East Coast.
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Audio: Design Matters Archive

AUDIO: DESIGN MATTERS ARCHIVE

Stefan Sagmeister

Stefan Sagmeister, a candid and revealing discussion with the design master.
Listen >>
More Design Matters Archive >>

CHANGE OBSERVER: PROJECT ARCHIVE

Project

Es Tiempo

Report on Es Tiempo, a campaign designed to encourage Hispanic women in Southern California to seek annual screenings for cervical cancer.
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OBSERVATORY ARCHIVE

past post past post past post

PLACES ARCHIVE: WINTER 2001

The High Line

High Line photographs from Joel Sternfeld.
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Change Observer

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