PLACES : DENNIS DEHART
Photographer Dennis DeHart has been following the rivers as his guide to the Inland Pacific Northwest. His photos examine the incredible contradictions of this region, shaped by engineered river systems, New Deal irrigation projects, nuclear production facilities, junkyards and hydroplane races, and ten thousand years of Native American fishing and land use.
OBSERVATORY : ALEXANDRA LANGE
I love graphic design. I understand the importance of way-finding systems. I own a label maker. I wish I had a color-coded closet. But architecture needs to work without words. The building should point your way to its entrance without an arrow. The visitor desk should not require a level change. If everyone is putting their feet on the wall, the bench is too close.
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.
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OBSERVATORY : JOHN THACKARA
The UK government’s digital services platform, gov.uk
, has won the Design of the Year
award — and if I were running a big IT consulting firm grown fat on big government contracts, I’d be worried. Gov.uk is a revolutionary web operation that governments around the world are beginning to notice. Twenty four UK government departments will be on the site by the end of the month. In all, the program will replace 2,000 websites. And it’s all been built in just over a year by an in-house team that began with just 12 people, and now numbers a still modest 150.
PLACES : LAWRENCE VALE & ANNEMARIE GRAY
As plans unfold for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Lawrence Vale and Annemarie Gray consider the case of Vila Autódromo, a former fishing colony on the Olympic site whose residents have organized to resist displacement. They compare ongoing events in Rio to the demolition of Atlanta's Techwood Homes, the first public housing in America, prior to the 1996 Olympics.
OBSERVATORY : JOHN FOSTER
There is a picture by the American photographer Helen Levitt (1913 - 2009) that has always remained with my imagination. Taken in 1940, it is an image of 5 boys playing high atop an abandoned doorway in New York. Though the children could easily be hurt if they fell from their perch, these children are having the time of their young lives. With skinned knees and plenty of daring, these little pirates have created a playground from their imagination and city streets. Levitt was famous for her many marvelous photographs of children at play.
OBSERVER MEDIA : DEBBIE MILLMAN
On this episode of Design Matters with Debbie Millman, Debbie talks to designer, artist and typographer Jennier Sterling about the process behind her typgraphical designs, how money should be designed, the way teaching has influenced her career and coping with controversy over her work.
CHANGE OBSERVER: PROJECT ARCHIVE
IDEO.org unveils its first class of fellows.
PLACES ARCHIVE: WINTER 2003
Tim Hursley photographs the pro-bono buildings of the Rural Studio and the legal brothels of Nye County, Nevada.