FEATURED THIS WEEK : ALEXANDRA LANGE
It's been quite a while since architecture made my jaw drop. But it did, literally, as I walked down Swanston Street in Melbourne ten days ago. There, in the space of a few blocks, is a collection of buildings so bright, so prickly, so merchanical, so textural that they create their own context. A set of slideshows of what I saw on my first (and, I hope, not last) trip to four of Australia's eastern cities.
CHANGE OBSERVER : JOHN THACKARA
The writer Thomas Berry described the ecozoic
as the “reintegration of human endeavours into a larger ecological consciousness”. The ecozoic, Berry believed, would supplant the Anthropocene age, that we live in now, in which human needs take precedence over the health of the earth’s forests, oceans, and other living systems. Our species will only begin to make true progress, Berry believed, when we learn to cherish the vitality of all life-forms equally — not just our own.
PLACES : MARK FELDMAN
To what extent can photographs convey political and ecological content? In a review of several ambitious new projects and books, including Petrochemical America
and Arctic Voices
, Mark Feldman explores the challenge of blending environmental activism with artistic ambition. He focuses especially on promising collaborations among photographers, landscape architects, writers and scientists, all of which illuminate the impacts of oil on the global environment.
NEWS FROM DESIGN OBSERVER GROUP SPONSORS
What are you doing this summer? How about studying design history, theory and practice in Italy the birthplace of Western typographic tradition. You can at the Masters Workshop in Rome May 26-June 9, 2013.
Learn More >>
MFA Design Program >>
SVA Website >>
OBSERVATORY : MARK LAMSTER
Roman Vishniac is not a household name, but it probably should be. As a new retrospective at the International Center of Photography, curated by Maya Benton, makes plainly evident, Vishniac was one of the more versatile photographers of the twentieth century, and the breath of his accomplishment and legacy is only now beginning to come clear.
OBSERVATORY : OWEN EDWARDS
When I lived in London in the late sixties, the usual social divisions were fully in effect: The aristocracy, the middle class, and the plebs. On the streets of the city, however, there were two notable tribes: The Mods and the Rockers. The Mods wore tight suits and the Rockers wore leather jackets and jeans. The main distinctions between them, however, were their way of getting around: Rockers rode motorcycles and Mods rode scooters.
OBSERVATORY : JOHN FOSTER
Sometime in the mid-1960s, a junk dealer in Houston, Texas acquired 12 large notebooks that had been thrown out to the curb after a house fire. Filled with mysterious, double-sided, collaged watercolor drawings, the journals were eventually attributed to Charles August Albert Dellschau. Dellschau was a butcher for most of his life and only after his retirement in 1899 did he begin his incredible career as a self-taught artist. He began with three books entitled Recollections
which purported to describe a secret organization called the Sonora Aero Club.
CHANGE OBSERVER: PROJECT ARCHIVE
On learning about science, nutrition and politics at the Manhattan School for Children.
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.