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Design Observer

WEEKLY EMAIL: APRIL 26, 2012


Ezra Winter Project: Chapter Four

FEATURED THIS WEEK : JESSICA HELFAND

Ezra Winter Project: Chapter Four

In a letter to his wife Vera during the summer of 1922, Ezra Winter writes: I promise to love and cherish you as much as is reasonable. I regret I must add the "reasonable" but that is a reservation which you put in. It takes all of the meaning out of the first part of this sentence — just as it did to all you promised me.
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PLACES : MARK FELDMAN

Visualizing the Ends of Oil

For years visual artists have been documenting — critiquing — the environmental degradation of the planet. Mark Feldman looks closely at how the photographers Edward Burtynsky and Chris Jordan have struggled to visualize the consequences of oil, from extraction to use to waste. But what are the ultimate political or social effects? As Feldman asks: "To what degree can these photographs circulate as fine art images — making the usual circuit of galleries and museums — and at the same time be enlisted as evidence in environmental writing and politics?"
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OBSERVATORY : RICK POYNOR

Studio Culture: The Materialism of Matter

I visited this design studio in Denver last year. Studio is something of an understatement. Matter, founded by former hardcore punk and now typophile Rick Griffith, is more like a studio/print shop/dance club with a store selling funky self-printed material out front. As a space, the Matter studio has a thickness of texture that comes from leaving the shell battered, rough and unfinished, like a lovingly arrested ruin-in-progress.
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FROM OUR SPONSORS

Eventually Everything: The 2012 D-Crit Conference, featuring graduating students of the SVA MFA in Design Criticism, and moderated by Change Observer co-editor Julie Lasky, will take place on May 2, 2012 at the Visual Arts Theatre in New York City. 
The 2012 DCrit Conference >>
DCrit at SVA >>
SVA Website >>

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 May 10 in Washington DC.
More about Volume 5 of The Standard >>
View the road show schedule and registration details >>
Find out more about Sappi here >>

OBSERVATORY : MARK LAMSTER

NYPL: Where's the Model?

After several years flying under the public's collective radar, an opposition is beginning to coalesce in response to the New York Public Library's proposed Central Library Plan, which calls for a transformation of the NYPL's main research library, at a cost of some $350 million. What will these renovations look like?
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OBSERVATORY : DEBBIE MILLMAN

Hillman Curtis, 1961-2012

I met Hillman Curtis for the first time on February 17, 2006, when I interviewed him for my radio show Design Matters. He was tall and beautiful and soft-spoken, and I was a nervous wreck. Nothing had prepared me for coming face to face with him, and as we set up for the taping, I had to adjust my frenetic energy to connect with his serene and gentle manner. It was certainly not what I expected.
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OBSERVATORY : ROB WALKER

Dancing About Ruins

Remix culture often points to quoting creativity — making art out of other people's art. But what about making art with junk, detritus, debris? It seems harder and more satisfying to make something from what had appeared to be nothing. I've been hunting for examples, large and small, of projects and expression that draw inspiration from "the great big mountain of garbage."
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PLACES : THOMAS FISHER

Design's Invisible Century

The 20th century has been called the "invisible century" of science, with the ground-breaking discoveries of Einstein and Freud revolutionizing our understanding of particle phsyics and human psychology. The 21st century, argues Tom Fisher, is poised to become the invisible century of design, with designers playing ever more influential roles in the "seemingly invisible" sphere of "organizations and operations, policies and procedures, systems and infrastructures" — all of which, as Fisher points out, ultimately determine the health and prosperity of buildings, landscapes and cities.
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OBSERVATORY : ALEXANDRA LANGE

Fixing South Street Seaport: Is New Architecture Enough?

Howard Hughes International would like to replace Ben Thompson's Pier 17 at South Street Seaport with an elegant SHoP Architects-designed glass box. In a New York Times CityRoom post last week, longtime real estate reporter David Dunlap asked, “Does Pier 17 Deserve Another Chance?” I think it does.
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OBSERVATORY : JOHN FOSTER

Accidental Mysteries, 04.22.12

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 Superheroes.
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OBSERVER MEDIA : DEBBIE MILLMAN

Randy J. Hunt

In this audio interview with Debbie Millman, Etsy creative director Randy J. Hunt discusses landing a job with Milton Glaser, his record label and the challenges and approaches of managing a brand as diverse as Etsy.
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OBSERVATORY : MARK LAMSTER

A Century at the Ballpark

Fenway marks its centennial this afternoon. There will be a ceremony, and then a good-old-fashioned day game against the Yankees, their opponents when the place opened a century ago. The place has changed over the years, but there's still no better place to watch a ballgame.
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Meaningful work is creating impact. A positive future is taking shape.
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Wednesday May 2, New York City
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Mayo Clinic Transform 2011
Designers and leaders talk innovation in healthcare.
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Audio: Design Matters Archive

AUDIO: DESIGN MATTERS ARCHIVE

Spoken Word Broadcast

All spoken word show featuring poems, prose and a short story.
Listen >>
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CHANGE OBSERVER: PROJECT ARCHIVE

Project

San+Co

A pilot project developed for India provides santiation and electricity in a single venture.
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OBSERVATORY ARCHIVE

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PLACES ARCHIVE: WINTER 2001

Village Vices: The Contradiction of New Urbanism and Sustainability

A critique of New Urbanism focusing not on its traditionalism but on the unsustainability of its planning models.
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