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Design Observer

WEEKLY EMAIL: FEBRUARY 16, 2012


A Place Called "Space Available"

FEATURED THIS WEEK : ROB WALKER

A Place Called "Space Available"

While researching his current Historian's Eye project, Matthew Frye Jacobson struggled to find a public, photographable dimension of the economic crisis. Then an interview subject pointed him in a surprising direction: "Space Available" signage. The hundreds of pictures that resulted form their own troubling geography.
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OBSERVERS ROOM : MARK LAMSTER

At Home at the Edge of the World

About a week after the death of Steve Jobs, I sat down for an interview with Peter Bohlin, architect of Apple's spectacular glass-walled retail stores. The subject of our interview was a new house designed by Bohlin in the Connecticut woods, but of course I could not help but ask about Jobs.
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FROM OUR SPONSORS

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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.
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PLACES : JONATHAN MASSEY

Housing and the 99 Percent

Occupy Wall Street and We Are the 99 Percent have spread rapidly, capturing and personifying the national unease about deepening economic inequality and the waning of the American dream. Architectural historian Jonathan Massey explores how housing — along with the various governmental and banking policies that structured home ownership across the decades — has worked to reflect and mediate, to promote and endanger that dream.
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OBSERVERS ROOM : JOHN THACKARA

Design In The Light of Dark Energy

When the new Italian Prime Minister, Mr. Mario Monti, gave his acceptance speech to the Italian Senate before Christmas, he used the word "growth" 28 times and the word "energy" zero times. And Mr. Monti is not the only politician promoting growth over common sense and the laws of physics. They're all at it, including President Obama. These politicians principal job is to keep us in thrall to a myth: an economy that expands to infinity in a finite world.
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OBSERVERS ROOM : JOHN THACKARA

A Reading List for Mr. Mario Monti

A (mostly) online list of readings for the new Italian Prime Minister, Mr. Mario Monti, and anyone else who is ready for a cold hard look at our energy resources and options.
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OBSERVERS ROOM : ALEXANDRA LANGE

Round Thermostats and Crystal Lanterns, Revisited

While the tech blogs have a knee-jerk affinity for Apple, I have a knee-jerk affinity for the industrial design greats of old. I couldn't believe that Walter Isaacson, in his biography of Steve Jobs, wrote as if Apple were the first computer company to have a design program. There's no reason to be so snotty about old tricks.
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OBSERVATORY : JOHN FOSTER

Accidental Mysteries, 02.12.12

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. This week's focus is Politics.
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OBSERVER MEDIA : DEBBIE MILLMAN

Cheryl Heller

In this audio interview with Debbie Millman, Cheryl Heller discusses collaboration, innovation, her new MFA program at SVA and why the word "brand" is like leather pants.
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OBSERVERS ROOM : JOHN THACKARA

Beer and Solidarity

On Tuesday, Jaunary 31st, Brooklyn Brewery hosted the latest Farm & Beer Expo where select craft brewers who focus on local ingredients got together to taste beer and benefit farms in the NY region that were impacted by last fall’s hurricane. John Thackara was there.
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Audio: Design Matters Archive

AUDIO: DESIGN MATTERS ARCHIVE

Abbott Miller

Abbott Miller, partner at Pentagram and art director of 2wice magazine.
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CHANGE OBSERVER: PROJECT ARCHIVE

Project

Kiva

Report on Kiva, the pioneering microfinance site, which won a 2009 INDEX award for humanitarian design.
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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.
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Change Observer

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