PLACES : NAOMI STEAD
How will the accelerating transition from print to digital publishing affect the practice of architecture criticism? Naomi Stead surveys the scene and is optimistic about the possibilities. "Despite predictions of the death of criticism, it seems to me that a radical rethinking of critical practice might be prompted by the potentials of writing for online media —
and that this rethinking might result in a new belle-lettrism."
OBSERVATORY : FELICE C. FRANKEL AND ANGELA H. DEPACE
, a new book by Felice C. Frankel and Angela H. DePace (Yale University Press 2012) demonstrates the power of good design in communicating scientific findings through a series of before and after images that analyze the communication challenges and offers specific solutions.
PLACES : IAN BALDWIN
Blacktop lots, congested streets, CO2 pollution — for a century now the city has been struggling to accommodate the automobile and its nonnegotiable needs for space and speed. Ian Baldwin reviews the recent literature on parking and automobility, including ReThinking a Lot
and Reinventing the Automobile
, and argues that most of our current strategies work better for cars than cities.
OBSERVATORY : MARK LAMSTER
The camera and the railway, born of the same era, have since their earliest days encouraged us to take ownership of the physical spaces of our nation, and with varied consequences. This relationship, between the railroad, the landcape, and the mediating lens of the camera, is the subject of "Permanent Way," a new exhibition at Apexart
in Tribeca, that places contemporary American railway photography in the context of historical images and documents from the nineteenth century.
OBSERVATORY : RICK POYNOR
The appearance of Occasional Papers
’ Graphic Design: History in the Writing, edited by Belgian designer Sara De Bondt and French design historian Catherine de Smet, is a heartening sign that the project of graphic design history is being taken up by new hands
— as it must be if it’s going to develop. The field needs to inspire an inquisitive new generation of map-makers to enter this still only patchily charted terrain.
OBSERVATORY : ADAM HARRISON LEVY
Contributing writer Adam Harrison Levy remembers his father and reflects on being a father himself: a Design Observer short film.
OBSERVATORY : ROB WALKER
Scrutinize the dispute between a museum and a condo development in Dallas, and it takes on monster-movie tones
. In a sense, the Museum Tower is
a monster — like Frankenstein’s, constructed with no ill intent, but transformed by its design flaws into a civic menace. It's a parable of familiar worries around space and control.
D-Crit: Design as subject matter. Criticism as literary genre.Learn at SVA >>
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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 2008
is a bold proposal by a team of Chicago urban designers for how cities can ensure the availability of an increasingly scarce resource.