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The Design Observer Group
Design Observer

WEEKLY EMAIL: MAY 17, 2012


Gene & Jackie Lacy

FEATURED THIS WEEK : AMELIA LACY

Gene & Jackie Lacy

Strains of Stan Kenton’s music fill a large, open studio in the Merchants Bank building in downtown Indianapolis. Simple white linen curtains are pushed away from the room’s tall windows; wide Venetian blinds have been pulled open to reveal the growing city below. Gauguin, Picasso and Mondrian prints cover the walls. Around the studio, perched at drawing boards, are eight designers, illustrators and typographers creating the designs that will soon become ads and logos for such corporations as Weimer Typesetting, American United Life Insurance Company (AUL) and Eli Lilly & Company.
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OBSERVATORY : JOHN THACKARA

Who Is the Arne Jacobsen of Urban Food?

The largest food exporter in Sweden is Ikea (meatballs). For every meal eaten in a UK restaurant, nearly half a kilo of food is wasted. About 40 percent of the food produced in the United States isn’t consumed. Every day, Americans waste enough food to fill the Rose Bowl. US citizens waste 50 per cent more food today than they did in 1974. Doggy bags are taboo in Danish restaurants. Waste is just one of many wicked problems concerning food in cities.
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OBSERVATORY : RICK POYNOR

The Strange Afterlife of Common Objects

The pictures shown here were taken last week in a shop called The Works: “Objects of Desire” in the Çukurcuma district of Istanbul. No matter how seasoned you may be as a browser of junk shops, quirky antique dealers and flea markets, The Works is one of the great rococo emporiums of bric-a-brac. In shops like these, Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk found the objects for his newly opened Museum of Innocence.
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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 : MARK LAMSTER

The War Against Sixties Architecture

A few days ago news broke that, absent some last-minute stay, John Johansen's Mummers Theater in Oklahoma City will face demolition. This comes on the heels of a report, just a week earlier, that Johansen's Mechanic Theater in Baltimore is also slated for destruction. It would be a crime to lose them.
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OBSERVATORY : ROB WALKER

Managing Digital Durability

Digital things can seem definitively less durable than physical ones, but that's misleading. In reality, digital stuff can linger on both by design, and by default. The question becomes: How to deal with that? This stuff is already here; maybe it can be made to be here in a better way.
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PLACES : KEITH EGGENER

The Uses of Daylight

Earlier this year Keith Eggener assessed the career of the now forgotten early 20th-century Kansas City architect Louis Curtiss, and argued that Curtiss's obscurity has less to do with intrinsic merit than with the politics of professional reputation. Here — with an analysis of the Boley Building, which featured one of the first glass curtain walls in America — he makes good on his claim that Curtiss's legacy deserves new attention.
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OBSERVATORY : THE EDITORS

Our Mothers, Our Selves

Last year, we shared designers' baby pictures: this year, we're honoring mothers themselves — your mothers, with you.
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PLACES : PLACES EDITORS

Going Viral: AIANY Global Dialogues

A lecture and panel discussion on May 21 at the New York Center for Architecture will explore the impact that social media, technology and device culture are having on design process and practice. Places is among the journals featured in the accompanying exhibition, Voices Going Viral.
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OBSERVATORY : ALEXANDRA LANGE

The Mother of Us All

Reyner Banham wasn't cowed by many, but even he was nervous about meeting Esther McCoy. As Banham wrote, "Until about 1960, the rest of the world had practically no idea at all about architecture in California... Then this extraordinary book came out in 1960, and — suddenly — California architecture had heroes, history, and character." A new book of McCoy's writings has just been published, and you should get it.
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Audio: Design Matters Archive

AUDIO: DESIGN MATTERS ARCHIVE

Ze Frank

Ze Frank is a writer, designer and host of The Ze Frank Show.
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CHANGE OBSERVER: PROJECT ARCHIVE

Project

St. Augustine School Chicken Project

Report on the sustainability program at St. Augustine parochial school in the South Bronx.
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OBSERVATORY ARCHIVE

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PLACES ARCHIVE: WINTER 2005

Campus Design as Critical Practice

How to turn a lackluster midwestern campus into an international cultural destination. 
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Giancarlo De Carlo: Inspiration & Process in ArchitectureGiancarlo De Carlo: Inspiration & Process in Architecture
Francesca Serrazanetti & Matteo Schubert, editors

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Francesca Serrazanetti & Matteo Schubert, editors

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

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