OBSERVATORY : RICK POYNOR
The academic publisher Berg has just sent me its design catalogue for 2012. As I checked out recent and forthcoming titles, I felt exhilarated by these signs of industrious scholarship, serious thought and intellectual commitment to design, and regretful that so little of this material is likely to make it into the field’s everyday discourse, let alone the public realm. Shouldn’t it be part of an academic’s brief to communicate more widely?
OBSERVATORY : JOHN THACKARA
Humanitarian crises caused by civil wars or natural disasters, such as in Haiti, often trigger a wave of support from us, the public. But our support raises two difficult questions: first, do our generous donations actually have the desired effect – or any positive effect? and second, what kind of evidence is available to ensure that any debate about aid is well-informed and that the people most affected are given a prominent voice?
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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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 >>
PLACES : JERRY HERRON
In the first half of the 20th century, in Detroit, the architect Albert Kahn, artist Diego Rivera, and industrialists Henry and Edsel Ford all contributed to shaping the image — and the mythology — of the city as industrial powerhouse. Jerry Herron argues that their collective vision foreshadowed the dramatic decline of Detroit in the second half of the century. Here Herron traces the intersecting lives and careers of Kahn, Rivera and the Fords.
OBSERVATORY : MARK LAMSTER
After decades of trying to expand its Marcel Breuer flagship, and
with the white flag now waving high over Madison Avenue, the Whitney has finally managed to sneak an entire new building right under Breuer's projecting facade. Symbolically it's perfect: it looks like a giant shipping crate, which is precisely what it is.
OBSERVATORY : ROB WALKER
People are fasinated with the artist's studio, the writer's desk. But if you think about the space where creative labor actually gets done, and what writers and designers really look at all day, the relevant framework is probably not a room, or a window. It’s a screen.
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 St. Louis Bus Passes from the 1940s.
OBSERVER MEDIA : DEBBIE MILLMAN
In this audio interview with Debbie Millman, radio producer Roman Mars discusses going to college at 15 to study science and then leaving science for radio, the connection between 'zines and radio, how to tell a good story and the reason he named his show "99% Invisible".
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 2001
A critique of New Urbanism focusing not on its traditionalism but on the unsustainability of its planning models.