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The Design Observer Group
Design Observer

WEEKLY EMAIL: SEPTEMBER 14, 2012


Designing Design into Society

FEATURED THIS WEEK : SCOTT BOYLSTON

Designing Design into Society

Social innovation requires social interaction, and it was social interaction that defined the range and the quality of creative solutions that emerged from the three-day workshops of Design Ethos 2012: Vision Reconsidered. Yet the intimate interaction within the six charettes demanded that some terms designers have come to embrace — and the assumptions those terms come wrapped in — were as much a focus of the iterative developmental process as the subject matter itself.
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PLACES : DESPINA STRATIGAKOS

Why Architects Need Feminism

Are we really ready to be post-feminist? Inspired by a series of Van Alen Institute roundtables held this spring — and by the alarming attrition rate of women practitioners — Despina Stratigakos advocates for an expanded role for next-wave feminism in architecture and design. Understanding feminism "as a matrix of politically conscious social, spatial and environmental strategies," she argues, could spur us to experiment with new models for a "more sustainable and inclusive architecture culture."
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NEWS FROM DESIGN OBSERVER GROUP SPONSORS

Being sustainable has never been so profitable. See how the country's most innovative companies are improving their bottom line by staying the course on sustainability. Look into Sappi's paper mills that are setting a new standard for environmental responsibility.
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SVA's MFA Designer As Author is predicated on the growing need for content providers throughout the visual media. On October 13th an information session will be held that will allow you to learn more about the program.
Register today >>
MFA Design Program >>
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OBSERVATORY : ALEXANDRA LANGE

Someone Else's Shangri La

Doris Duke's Honolulu mansion, called Shangri La, falls into the category of so bad it's good, except in this case all the over-the-top elements are museum quality. I appreciate seeing rubies and rugs and architecture and landscape and lighting all together. This mixing is what a design museum should do, but too often one category is broken out from the domestic herd.
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PLACES : GABRIELLE ESPERDY

The Incredible True Adventures of the Architectress in America

Back in the '70s, second-wave feminists were organizing and agitating, forming alternative communities, creating new spatial practices and attempting to pry open what a contemporary reporter called the "exclusively male preserve" of the American architecture profession. Gabrielle Esperdy revisits their "amazing adventures fighting for gender equality" and measures the distance we've traveled since. It's pretty far, she concludes — but not far enough.
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OBSERVATORY : JESSICA HELFAND

Bill Moggridge 1943-2012

Bill Moggridge was the first person I knew who understood that interaction design could be a revolutionary medium for change. He understood that the screen was a blank canvas with no visible lingua franca. He made everything sound possible and could make the dullest design project sound utterly fascinating — everything seeming somehow more exotic because of his glorious British accent. And he was unpretentious: a rarity among people whose gifts are so extraordinary, and whose contributions to public life are so indelible and rich.
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OBSERVATORY : RICK POYNOR

John Stezaker: Images from a Lost World

The question that inevitably returns with John Stezaker’s collages is: how does he manage to gain so much traction and resonance from such limited means? Usually one of his pieces will consist of just two found photographs, or a film still and a postcard, and put like that it may not sound like anything at all. The British collage artist, who never takes his own pictures, has just won a major prize for his contribution to photography.
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OBSERVATORY : JOHN FOSTER

Accidental Mysteries, 09.09.12

Kindra Murphy is a graphic designer and Associate Professor of Design at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design whose client list includes Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, the Walker Art Center, the New York Times Magazine and various non-profits. As I am prone to do, I discovered her incredible Flickr photostream quite by accident, and glad I did. Her collection of ephemera eye candy culls popular culture with such thoughtfulness it is worth sharing today.
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OBSERVATORY : MARK LAMSTER

Mr. Wright Comes to Moloch

"A place fit for banking and prostitution and not much else...a crime of crimes...a vast prison...triumph of the herd instinct...outgrown as overgrown....the greatest mouth in the world...humanity preying upon humanity...carcass...parasite...fibrous tumor....pig-pile...Inconguous mantrap of monstrous dimensions!"
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Sappi
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Audio: Design Matters Archive

AUDIO: DESIGN MATTERS ARCHIVE

Grant McCracken, Part 1

Grant McCracken PhD, author and a research affiliate at MIT.
Listen >>
More Design Matters Archive >>

CHANGE OBSERVER: PROJECT ARCHIVE

Project

Solo Kota Kita

Report on a design-oriented sysem for providing information about community resources in Indonesia as an aid for budgeting.
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OBSERVATORY ARCHIVE

past post past post past post

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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RECENT BOOKS RECEIVED

A Wilderness of Error: The Trials of Jeffrey MacDonaldA Wilderness of Error: The Trials of Jeffrey MacDonald
Errol Morris

Collage Culture: Examining the 21st CenturyCollage Culture: Examining the 21st Century's Identity Crisis
Aaron Rose and Mandy Kahn

Sustainable Design: A Critical GuideSustainable Design: A Critical Guide
David Bergman

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