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The Design Observer Group
Design Observer

WEEKLY EMAIL: MAY 31, 2012


Ezra Winter Project: Chapter Five

FEATURED THIS WEEK : JESSICA HELFAND

Ezra Winter Project: Chapter Five

In 1920, Warren Harding was elected President on a “Return to Normalcy” platform. But for Ezra Winter, nothing was normal.
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OBSERVATORY : RICK POYNOR

From the Archive: Graphic Metallica

Heavy metal’s extremity, as a set of aesthetic choices and as a way of life, exerts an enduring fascination. Years before it became fashionable for designers to talk about “flexible identities,” metal album cover artists were dedicated exponents. The challenge today for metal’s design interpreters is to find ways of referencing the genre’s musical and visual heritage without regurgitating imagery that has had all the life chewed out of it.
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OBSERVATORY : ALEXANDRA LANGE

Dress Your Family in Formica and Faux Bois

Is it a leap to think that, with her faux linen suits, Miuccia Prada is commenting not only on ladies who lunch, but on the kitchens in which they might fix a lunch? That her "linen" and Formica's 1940s Linen laminate are both postmodern commentaries on our desire for the look of handmade in a better, cheaper, faster (and no cigarette burn) world?
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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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PLACES : ROLF POTTS

Tourist Snapshots

Why do we take pictures when we travel? Why has photography become, as Rolf Potts says, a "tourist compulsion"? What has been lost and gained as our photo albums move from hard copy to digital? As the summer season starts, we are pleased to present Potts's recollections — snapshots — from his life on the road and with a camera, from a ninth-grade civics class trip to Washington to later journeys around the world.
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OBSERVATORY : JOHN FOSTER

Accidental Mysteries, 05.27.12

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 medieval coins and artifacts.
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OBSERVATORY : DAVID CABIANCA

Graphic Design is Dead, Long Live Graphic Design

Unlike painting or sculpture — but like architecture — graphic design is still governed by certain limits. Graphic designers, like architects, still abide by professional codes of practice. But when it is approached as a discipline, graphic design has the potential to question the codes that constitute and enforce its limits. By exploring the ways that graphic design is formally determined, it becomes possible for design to discover, invent and assert itself as a unique way to envision and communicate.
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OBSERVATORY : RICK POYNOR

Jan van Toorn: The World in a Calendar

Jan van Toorn’s calendar for 1972/73, designed for the Dutch printer Mart.Spruijt, is one of the most extraordinary and provocative graphic artifacts of its era. The calendar proposed a new form of engagement for the graphic designer as a mediator and manipulator of photographic meaning. The project still looks utterly remarkable 40 years later in a new reprint undertaken by de Ruimte, a design company in Amsterdam.
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Cabinet
A quarterly magazine of art and culture
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Audio: Design Matters Archive

AUDIO: DESIGN MATTERS ARCHIVE

Doyald Young

Doyald, typographer and author of The Art of the Letter and Logotypes.
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CHANGE OBSERVER: PROJECT ARCHIVE

Project

Climate Change Chocolate

While environmentalists debate the ethics and effectiveness of carbon offsets, designers work to make them appealing.
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OBSERVATORY ARCHIVE

past post past post past post

PLACES ARCHIVE: WINTER 2001

The High Line

High Line photographs from Joel Sternfeld.
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You CanYou Can't Change China, China Changes You
John Van De Water

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Francesca Serrazanetti & Matteo Schubert, editors

Zaha Hadid: Inspiration & Process in ArchitectureZaha Hadid: Inspiration & Process in Architecture
Francesca Serrazanetti & Matteo Schubert, editors

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