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Design Observer

WEEKLY EMAIL: NOVEMBER 03, 2011


Majority Report

FEATURED THIS WEEK : MARK LAMSTER

Majority Report

To walk into the General Assembly Building, even with the horrendous ad-hoc security tent that ruins its entry plaza, is an edifying, hopeful experience. That it is not always effective in achieving its ideals is, of course, an unfortunate reality. This seems an apt metaphor for “Design with the Other 90 Percent: Cities.”
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OBSERVATORY : PAULA SCHER

All Maps Lie

In the late 1950s, when I was eight and nine years old, my father spent his weekends in the basement of our small, single-story house, measuring and cutting up pieces of light green laminated board. My mother repeatedly admonished my brother and I not to bother him because he was busy constructing an important invention.
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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.
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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.
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OBSERVERS ROOM : RICK POYNOR

This Post has Been Declared a Link-free Zone

One of the simple satisfactions of writing online is putting in links, though I didn’t always see it that way. When I started blogging on Design Observer I viewed the links as a bit of a chore. But that was a long time ago and I soon came round. Today, when working on a post, I look forward to planting links that will shoot their tendrils outwards from the text.
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PLACES : PHILLIP LOPATE

Above Grade: On the High Line

The latest phase of New York City's High Line opened this summer, and a narrative history of the park is being published this month. Here native New Yorker Phillip Lopate traces the pre-history of the project, and ponders the inevitable preservation conundrum: will its "present magic" survive the real estate development that its success is sure to inspire? Will future visitors to the elevated park find themselves "trapped in a canyon of spanking new high-rise condos"?
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OBSERVERS ROOM : ROB WALKER

Questions About 'The New Aesthetic'

Many of us grapple with the impact of screen culture — or digital culture, or whatever you want to call it — on the way we see the world and the things that are in it. One of the more addictive responses I've encountered to this line of interest is James Bridle’s online effort, "The New Aesthetic." So I asked him some questions about what he's up to; here’s our back and forth.
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OBSERVERS ROOM : ALEXANDRA LANGE

Lessons from the High Line

In an Op-Ed Witold Rybcynski implied the High Line was a dead end, just another overpriced quick fix for moribund downtowns. But a new oral history of the elevated park offers insights that seem repeatable, even without $20 million benefactors.
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OBSERVATORY : JOHN FOSTER

Accidental Mysteries, 10.31.11: Plastic Monkey Heads and Ancient Rituals

In honor of Halloween, this week's Accidental Mysteries is Masked and Anonymous.
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OBSERVERS ROOM : MARK LAMSTER

Where New York's Medicis Store their Junk

The warehouse of Day & Meyer, Murray & Young has been the storage venue of choice for New York society since it opened its doors in 1928. Behind its mute facade is a unique system of vaults that travel on rails. More than just a warehouse of physical objects, it is a mainframe of urban memory.
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OBSERVERS ROOM : RICK POYNOR

On My Shelf: Continuum's 33 1/3 Series

The 33 1/3 books about classic albums are a perfect example of how design can help focus an editorial idea and make it irresistible. The volumes are enticingly small, but their width in relation to their height makes them feel considered and substantial. A miniature reproduction of the original album cover is the only pictorial device; it’s celebratory, serious, archival and a little bit fetishistic all at the same time — exacty right for the audience.
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OBSERVER MEDIA : DEBBIE MILLMAN

Margaret Roach

In this audio interview with Debbie Millman, Margaret Roach discusses her career with Martha Stewart, dropping out of college six times, her love of gardening and the importance of stillness. 
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OBSERVERS ROOM : ALEXANDRA LANGE

Tell Me a Story, 'Urbanized'

What can you say about cities in an 85-minute documentary? In Urbanized, third in director Gary Hustwit’s design trilogy, a little of everything and not much. Theme after theme — sanitation, housing, bus rapid transit, bicycles, parks — each connected to a single city by a specific talking head, is raised and then dropped.
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CHANGE OBSERVER : COURTNEY DRAKE & WILLIAM DRENTTEL

Design and the Social Sector: An Annotated Bibliography

This bibiography was initiatied by Courtney Drake, a graduate student at the Yale University School of Management, to survey the literature of social design — the spectrum from design process and thinking to the zones of social innovation. It is the beginning of a larger project by Winterhouse Institute, working with the participants of the Winterhouse Design and Social Change Symposia, to build a bibliography around the practice of social design.
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Audio: Design Matters Archive

AUDIO: DESIGN MATTERS ARCHIVE

Gael Towey

Gael Towey is the editor and founding creative director at Martha Stewart Living.
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CHANGE OBSERVER: PROJECT ARCHIVE

Project

Conflict Kitchen

Report on Conflict Kitchen, a project by artists affiliated with Carnegie Mellon to foster cross-cultural understanding through food.
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OBSERVATORY ARCHIVE

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PLACES ARCHIVE: WINTER 2001

Village Vices: The Contradiction of New Urbanism and Sustainability

A critique of New Urbanism focusing not on its traditionalism but on the unsustainability of its planning models.
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Change Observer

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