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Design Observer

WEEKLY EMAIL: FEBRUARY 23, 2012


The Unspeakable Pleasure of Ruins

FEATURED THIS WEEK : RICK POYNOR

The Unspeakable Pleasure of Ruins

It’s extraordinary, to someone who doesn’t live in Detroit or elsewhere in America, how contentious the widely publicized pictures of urban devastation in the city have become. They are the prime, disreputable exhibits of so-called “ruin porn,” a term frequently used now in the US. Ruin porn is a corrosively repeatable meme that makes any photograph of ruins seem suspect. This reductive tag ignores the cultural history of the ruin.
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OBSERVERS ROOM : ALEXANDRA LANGE

Reassembling the American Dream

The Museum of Modern Art's new exhibition "Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream" asks what people really like about suburban living. And then, Can they do that with less?
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OBSERVERS ROOM : JESSICA HELFAND

Yoshiko Sato 1960-2012

Yoshiko Sato, who was my age exactly, died earlier this month. That she had quietly battled cancer for some time was a shock, and her untimely passing is an unspeakable loss. There have been numerous tributes to her online and elsewhere, and I wanted to add my own very personal one here.
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FROM OUR SPONSORS

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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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. 
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The Designer as Entrepreneur Podcast >>
SVA Website >>

PLACES : LAWRENCE VALE

Housing Chicago: Cabrini-Green to Parkside of Old Town

For more than a decade the Chicago Housing Authority has been tearing down the city's high-rise public housing projects and replacing the subsidized residences with mixed-income communities of townhomes and mid-rise apartments. Urban historian Lawrence Vale recounts the troubled saga of the now-demolished Cabrini-Green, and the municipal policies and politics that work to exclude the neediest citizens— including some displaced from the old towers — from the brand-new redevelopment.
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OBSERVERS ROOM : MARK LAMSTER

Beauty from Junk: The Floating Genius of Harvest Dome

Even when we were kids growing up in New York City, Alex Levi had a rather quirky sense of the city and its aquatic spaces. One summer we took a film class at NYU, and Alex made a comic short about a monster who lived at the bottom of Boat Pond, in Central Park. All these years later, Alex is still bringing his unique creative vision to New York's waterways.
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OBSERVATORY : JOHN FOSTER

Accidental Mysteries, 02.19.12

This collection of underground music and culture events flyers come from the personal online collection of Chicago collector Marc Fischer. Most of them are from metal and hardcore shows, in particular. Many are from Philadelphia and Pittsburgh from the mid-late 1980s and early 1990s. Others were collected from other cities during the same time period or were mailed to me by friends around the country.
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OBSERVER MEDIA : DEBBIE MILLMAN

James Biber

In this audio interview with Debbie Millman, James Biber discusses growing up in a house with a womb chair, visual illiteracy, the global impact of Waffle House design and designing the Museum of Sex.
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OBSERVERS ROOM : ALEXANDRA LANGE

Downton Abbey: Fell In Love With a House

As in Jane Austen, from whose Pride and Prejudice the Matthew-Lady Mary relationship initially seemed remixed, behind every love match is the question of property. Downton Abbey, for all its melodrama and dropped teacups, is really the story of falling in love with a house.
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Sappi
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Scrapbooks
Jessica Helfand's book was a NYTimes book of the year.
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Audio: Design Matters Archive

AUDIO: DESIGN MATTERS ARCHIVE

Alice Twemlow

Alice Twemlow is a design critic, SVA educator and author of What Is Graphic Design For?
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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

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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