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The Design Observer Group
Design Observer

WEEKLY EMAIL: MAY 10, 2012


Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum

FEATURED THIS WEEK : BILL MORAN

Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum

When you arrive in the city of Two Rivers, Wisconsin you discover a smokestack of epic proportions. Measuring fourteen stories with 6-foot-tall brick letters that spell Hamilton — a 200-foot-tall sign for the Hamilton Wood Type foundry built in 1880 on the western shore of Lake Michigan. The center of the city is still dominated by warehouses and manufacturing plants that date back to the 1890s. Because the craft of making wood type and wood cabinetry generated so much sawdust, the company still uses it to heat its entire six block complex.
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PLACES : ZHANG XIAO & AARON ROTHMAN

The Last Days of Kaixian

On November 4, 2008, water rose over Kaixian, China — the final chapter in a history that dated back two millennia. Located on the Yangtze River, 180 miles upstream from the Three Gorges Dam — the largest water control project on earth — Kaixian was the final town submerged by the dam’s reservoir. Zhang Xiao, a photographer then working for a newspaper in nearby Chongqing, documented the town’s final dismantling. We are pleased to present a portfolio of his images.
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PLACES : AN XIAO MINA

Art Village: A Year in Caochangdi

In January 2011 An Xiao Mina traveled from her native Los Angeles to the Beijing arts district of Caochangdi to work in the studio of artist Ai Weiwei. She arrived to find an uneasy place. Months earlier the residents — a mix of local and international artists and provincial migrants — had been notified by state authorities that Caochangdi was slated for demolition. Here Mina recounts a volatile but gratifying year spent "in a city that seemed to change with vertiginous speed."
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NEWS FROM DESIGN OBSERVER GROUP SPONSORS

Learn to be a design critic through SVA's D-Crit program. Design as subject matter, criticism as a literary genre and the range of tools with which to practice design criticism.
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Sappi created Ideas that Matter to recognize and support designers who generously donate their time and talent to charitable activities. Since 1999, the grant program has contributed million, funding over 500 projects. Sappi believes that creative ideas can be a powerful force for social good. 2012 grant applications are due July 20.
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OBSERVATORY : JOHN FOSTER

Accidental Mysteries, 05.06.12

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 nonsense diagrams.
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OBSERVATORY : ROB WALKER

Assignment Creativity

A recent book on "the art of the art assignment" offers a pleasing antidote to recent discourse on the subject of creativity. It's messy, open-ended, inspiring, chaotic, useful, and gave me a new appreciation for the assignment as a form.
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OBSERVER MEDIA : DEBBIE MILLMAN

Steven Heller

In this audio interview with Debbie Millman, Steven Heller discusses the big ideas that have changed graphic design – including the UPC code, teen magazines, white space and the pointed finger.
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PLACES : DOLORES HAYDEN

Lunch with Giambattista Nolli

Earlier this week we published Michael Ezban’s study of Monte Testaccio, the Roman landfill that has been, at various times, quarry, wine cellar, military bunker, festival site and inspiration for landscape architects. Today we present another source of inspiration: Giambattista Nolli’s map of Rome, engraved in 1748, with a poem by architect and urbanist Dolores Hayden.
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Audio: Design Matters Archive

AUDIO: DESIGN MATTERS ARCHIVE

Virginia Postrel

Virginia Postrel, author of The Substance of Style, also writes for The New York Times business section.
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CHANGE OBSERVER: PROJECT ARCHIVE

Project

Ringing in the New Air

Nendo's Bell-Orgel collection for Tokyo's Isetan department store.
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OBSERVATORY ARCHIVE

past post past post past post

PLACES ARCHIVE: WINTER 1983

In No Order Whatsoever

Just before his death in 1984, the influential urban planner Kevin Lynch compiled a list of topics he thought important for the future of cities. The list is as relevant as ever.
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RECENT BOOKS RECEIVED

U:D/R 04 EnglandU:D/R 04 England's Burning: The Story of the English riots told in pictograms.
Stephen McCarthy

Next Nature: Nature Changes Along with UsNext Nature: Nature Changes Along with Us
Koert van Mensvoort & Hendrik Jan Grievink, editors

Steve JobsSteve Jobs
Walter Isaacson

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