OBSERVATORY : MARK LAMSTER
In the span of a few cataclysmic days, architecture has lost two of its greatest visionaries. Lebbeus Woods died this past Tuesday, just as the flood waters of Hurricane Sandy were beginning to retreat from New York. Woods's death was preceded by that of John Johansen, the modernist pioneer and relentless searcher, who passed away at 96 a week earlier. The two shared a deep sense of humanism and a commitment to the practice of architecture as a social art.
PLACES : KATE BERNHEIMER & ANDREW BERNHEIMER WITH VERA LEUNG
In this Halloween installment of an ongoing series on architectural fairy tales, fabulist Kate Bernheimer and her architect brother, Andrew, investigate the shape of fear itself. Re-imagining a Brothers Grimm fairy tale at the site of a World War II bombing, Andrew Bernheimer and Vera Leung design and fabricate a model for the unsettling tale “The Boy Who Set Forth to Learn What Fear Was.”
OBSERVATORY : ALEXANDRA LANGE
In Leo Lionni’s 1959 children’s book Little Blue and Little Yellow
, two dots of color are best friends. In school they sit in neat rows with Little Brown, Orange, Olive and White. After school they run and jump. One day they hug each other … until they are green. In assembling his tale Lionni was just doing what came naturally, particularly to a graphic designer at mid-century: creating relationships between shapes, creating a cloud of connotations, making an indelible mark by leaving things out.
OBSERVATORY : MICHAEL BIERUT
Style was never discussed when I was a student. There was a vague sense that genuine style emerged unconsciously in its own time, like breasts or facial hair. Trying too hard would derail the process and result in something less than authentic. What a wonderful promise: within each of us is a unique voice that will reveal itself, but only through patience and practice. But where does style come from? Put more broadly, why do people do what they do? And what does it mean?
OBSERVATORY : JOHN FOSTER
Change happens. It’s been happening for millions of years, and it’s happening now. Sometimes things are altered intentionally and sometimes without notice or warning. Today, I share with you a few things that have been altered or changed by man from the original form. I have avoided the changes that occur from nature and focus on the ways people alter themselves, the earth, or objects.
OBSERVER MEDIA : DEBBIE MILLMAN
In this audio interview with Debbie Millman, Scott Stowell discusses using color separation in elementary school, interning at M&Co, Colors
magazine, starting his own studio and the importance of language in design.
OBSERVATORY : ROB WALKER
Technology not only affects photography these days, it increasingly serves as the photographer. Here are some recent examples following the lead of Street View, security cameras, and drones. As these image-making systems become more familiar, many people increasingly seem to follow their lead: photograph constantly, upload it all, expect that only a fraction will be seen more than once (if that).
PLACES : TERRY EVANS & ALAN THOMAS
For four decades Terry Evans has been photographing the landscapes of her native American Midwest. Her recent work has focused on the aerial view as a way to grasp the ecological complexity of a prairie that is increasingly “disturbed, cultivated, militarized." "From the vantage of a Cessna," writes Alan Thomas, "Evans could tell different stories of the prairie — stories of irrigation and extraction, flooded fields and drained wetlands, feedlots and bomb targets." In coordination with a retrospective at the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City, we are pleased to present a selection of Evans's work.
CHANGE OBSERVER: PROJECT ARCHIVE
Report on One World Futbol produced by Hope Is a Game-Changer.
PLACES ARCHIVE: WINTER 2005
How to turn a lackluster midwestern campus into an international cultural destination.