PLACES : HADLEY ARNOLD & PETER ARNOLD
The massive hydrological infrastructure of the 20th century was based on the optimistic and technocratic presumption that water — and the cheap energy needed to transport it great distances — would be indefinitely and predictably available. But as Peter Arnold and Hadley Arnold, of the Arid Lands Institute, argue, the American system is now "nearly obsolete." Water is rapidly becoming, they argue, "the largest and least understood environmental challenge of the 21st century."
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Study graphic design and typography this summer in Rome: the birthplace of the Western typographic tradition is a not-to-be-missed experience. A unique way to learn about type, book & lettering design, as well as architecture, art, archeology, epigraphy & even Italian cuisine.
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This spring Sappi is hosting a national road show, in collaboration with 826 National, to launch Special Effects, Volume 5 of The Standard
. Issue 5 shows designers how the creative use of special effects can make a printed piece dimensional, tactile, intriguing and sometimes interactive. The next event is on March 28 in New York City.
More about Volume 5 of The Standard >>
View the road show schedule and registration details >>
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OBSERVERS ROOM : ROB WALKER
A newish Tumblr collects "screenshots of despair." These are stand-in messages, and they are designed very specifically to be done away with as soon as possible. Practical on one level, they can be crushing on another.
OBSERVERS ROOM : JOHN THACKARA
In her new book, Design + Craft: The Brazilian Path,
Adelia Borges worries “how many persons want to help us in the Southern hemisphere, but with lack of respect for local knowledge”. As designers increasingly work with indigenous artisans and craftspeople there is a threat to the systems – ecological and social – that have been the basis of craft in the culture. “We must urgently reflect upon the ethical parameters to be observed in this encounter, as well as share methodologies which will allow a true dialogue to take place”.
PLACES : GABRIELLE ESPERDY
British historian Reyner Banham — who would have turned 90 this month — established his reputation with the scholarly treatise Theory and Design in the First Machine Age
. But he is equally well known as the prolific public intellectual of his later years, the Englishman who fell for Southern California and famously learned to drive "to read Los Angeles in the original." Here Gabrielle Esperdy views Banham in the lively tradition of European travelers, from de Tocqueville and Dickens to Alistair Cooke and Stephen Fry, whose observations tell us Americans "something important about ourselves."
OBSERVERS ROOM : MARK LAMSTER
I am somewhat reluctant to write about Philip Johnson, given that I am still very much in the midst of my biographical research, but in a new essay I float one of my pet theories about how Johnson's architecture and personality tie together.
OBSERVATORY : CENTER FOR AN URBAN FUTURE
Design schools may be the real engines of New York City’s innovation economy, according to a new report published today by the Center for an Urban Future, a Manhattan based think tank. The report reveals that New York City graduates more than twice as many students in design and architecture as any other city in the country.
OBSERVATORY : JOHN FOSTER
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 surreal, mystical and metaphorical imagery in contemporary fine art.
Designers and leaders talk innovation in healthcare.Join us >>
CHANGE OBSERVER: PROJECT ARCHIVE
Report on Conflict Kitchen, a project by artists affiliated with Carnegie Mellon to foster cross-cultural understanding through food.
PLACES ARCHIVE: WINTER 1989
In 1989 Phoenix, Arizona, commissioned one of the first public art master plans. The city now has one of the strongest public art programs in the country.