OBSERVATORY : ALEXANDRA LANGE
On Saturday afternoon, after dropping my son at a birthday party, I voted. For the first time in my experience it wasn't for a person, but for places, technology and trees
. My City Council distrct has launched participatory budgeting, allowing community members to vote on how to spend $1 million in discretionary funds. Projects ranged in price from $350,000 for safety improvements to the fast-moving street at the end of my block, to $40,000 for new benches in Prospect Park. These homely numbers provided a reality check.
OBSERVATORY : RICK POYNOR
“Creativity,” much as we depend on it, is perilously close to becoming one of those overused, tuneless, cheerleading terms like “vision” or “innovation” that sometimes make you wonder whether the very opposite is most likely to be the outcome. Peter Bil’ak’s Works That Work magazine reclaims the word from the stultifying embrace of branding culture and design thinking by being wonderfully low-key and “vernacular” about it.
NEWS FROM DESIGN OBSERVER GROUP SPONSORS
Taking place in the French capital of Champagne province, the SVA Products of Design summer immersive workshop is a delicious foray into the growing field of food design. Emphasizing a maker-driven, cooking-centric approach, the program will reveal new perspectives unto the ways that we engage and identify with our food.
Apply Today! >>
Products of Design >>
SVA Website >>
OBSERVATORY : MARK LAMSTER
About fifteen years ago, when I was an editor at Princeton Architectural Press, I asked Phyllis Lambert to write a short introduction to a book of Ezra Stoller photographs of the Seagram Building. Deeply immersed in the research for the show and book that would become Mies in America
, she declined my offer. I recall, also, her mentioning that she planned to write something on the building herself in the future, something substantial. Now we have that book: Building Seagram
, a unique hybrid that is at once a work of the highest architectural scholarship, a memoir, and an argument for civic responsibility.
OBSERVATORY : JOHN FOSTER
A collection of microscopes and telescopes; medical devices and quackery; patent models and salesman's samples; early projectors, still and motion cameras; motors, archaic electrical devices and machinery; globes and surveying instruments; telegraphy and telephones; televisions and radios; as well as objects from our industrial past and household items such as typewriters and sewing machines.
OBSERVER MEDIA : DEBBIE MILLMAN
On this episode of Design Matters with Debbie Millman, Debbie talks to digital strategist and author Amy Webb about George Michael and music theory, why she makes herself available to her clients 24/7 and how she gamed online dating to find her husband (who was a little shocked).
CHANGE OBSERVER: PROJECT ARCHIVE
While environmentalists debate the ethics and effectiveness of carbon offsets, designers work to make them appealing.
PLACES ARCHIVE: WINTER 2008
As the planet warms, rising seas will endanger coastal communities around the world. Engineer Guy Nordenson proposes a bold plan to protect New York City.