PLACES : PLACEMENT & CORINE VERMEULEN
The planned community of Lafayette Park, in Detroit, has weathered the decades — and the decline of the city —remarkably well. Today the three apartment towers, 186 townhomes and surrounding park — designed and planned in the late 1950s by Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig Hilberseimer and Alfred Caldwell — anchor "one of the city’s most racially integrated and economically stable neighborhoods." Here the design collective Placement, and photographer Corine Vermeulen, offer a glimpse of life in the towers.
OBSERVERS ROOM : ALEXANDRA LANGE
everywhere: on Pedro E. Guerrero, photographer of Wright, Breuer and Calder and the buildings, weapons and fashion of box office smash The Hunger Games
FROM OUR SPONSORS
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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Study with some of the best designers in Italy >>
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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 April 12 in Toronto.
More about Volume 5 of The Standard >>
View the road show schedule and registration details >>
Find out more about Sappi here >>
OBSERVERS ROOM : JOHN THACKARA
Since 1986 a powerful consulting industry has emerged to help global companies “manage” risk. How is it, then, that despite their efforts, the world is not a safer place? Because risk managers do not, by and large, advise their clients not to take
risky actions. On the contrary: their job is to make it possible for their client to take those actions anyway – but to make sure someone else
pays for any negative consequences. This phenomenon is happening with the energy sector. Rather than take a long-term perspective, "solutions" are being proposed that make sense for one country, but take no account of their impact on the biosphere as whole.
PLACES : ADELHEID FISCHER
Fifteen years ago Janine Benyus published Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature
, and ever since, as Adelheid Fischer writes, the book "has snared the imagination of countless readers, prompting professionals — from designers and computer scientists to materials engineers and business strategists — to begin rifling the great database of life for biology-based inspiration." Here Fischer argues that the ultimate value of the process may transcend any particular outcome. "The very act of looking to nature," she argues, "creates the conditions conducive to creativity."
OBSERVERS ROOM : JOHN THACKARA
You may think the only cost associated with your cellphone is what you paid at the store, but the price we pay for the five billion cellphones already made – and for the opportunity to buy a new one every 18 months – is a war that has taken more than five million lives and continues to cause appalling social and environmental destruction. Can we expect the manufacturing system to change, or do we need to look for new solutions?
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 eyes.
OBSERVERS ROOM : JESSICA HELFAND
For several days in the fall of 1915, American newspapers carried stories of the sinking of the SS Ancona, a luxury liner torpedoed by German submarines. Photographs of the Winters — and of fellow traveler Eugene Savage
, the American painter who’d won the Rome Prize a year after Ezra — were plastered everywhere.
OBSERVERS ROOM : ROB WALKER
Is there a word for creativity inspired by junk? There ought to be. I’d use it to describe the short story contest being run by Studio360 and Significant Objects right now, inviting the imaginative to dream up tales about cheap stuff picked up from a thrift store. It's a fun excercise, but an instructive one, too.
OBSERVER MEDIA : DEBBIE MILLMAN
In this audio interview with Debbie Millman, John Flansburgh discusses being the son of a Moderist architect, letraset, thinking that Anna Wintour smells nice, designing They Might Be Giants album covers and of course, making music.
CHANGE OBSERVER: PROJECT ARCHIVE
Report on Roudha Center, a proposal for a one-stop hub for Qatari women to learn the nuts and bolts of launching a business
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.