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The Design Observer Group
Design Observer

WEEKLY EMAIL: APRIL 19, 2013


Cover Story

FEATURED THIS WEEK : ROB WALKER

Cover Story

Some architecture students treated the most recent edition of Columbia GSAPP's annual, Abstract, like garbage. But were they really reacting to the "book" (which was really an iPad app) or its "cover" (a plastic box that looked like a book)? The possibilities for representing digital material with a physical marker are pretty interesting — but perhaps book-shaped plastic isn't the best answer.
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PLACES : DENNIS DEHART

Confluences

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.
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OBSERVATORY : ALEXANDRA LANGE

Architecture Without Signs

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.
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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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Products of Design >>
SVA Website >>

OBSERVATORY : JOHN THACKARA

Big, Hairy, and Agile

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.
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PLACES : LAWRENCE VALE & ANNEMARIE GRAY

The Displacement Decathlon

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.
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OBSERVATORY : JOHN FOSTER

The Imagination of Playgrounds

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.
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OBSERVER MEDIA : DEBBIE MILLMAN

Jennifer Sterling

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.
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Food Design in France
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Audio: Design Matters Archive

AUDIO: DESIGN MATTERS ARCHIVE

Daniel Formosa

Daniel Formosa, Ph.D. is a consultant in product design and research, and a founder of Smart Design.
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CHANGE OBSERVER: PROJECT ARCHIVE

Project

IDEO Innovators in Residence

IDEO.org unveils its first class of fellows.
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OBSERVATORY ARCHIVE

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PLACES ARCHIVE: WINTER 2003

Portfolio: Timothy Hursley

Tim Hursley photographs the pro-bono buildings of the Rural Studio and the legal brothels of Nye County, Nevada.
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RECENT BOOKS RECEIVED

Between Page and ScreenBetween Page and Screen
Amaranth Borsuk and Brad Bouse

Design for EmotionDesign for Emotion
Trevor van Gorp and Edie Adams

Material ManifestationsMaterial Manifestations
Rensselaer Architecture, Shaker Museum Mt. Lebanon

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