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The Design Observer Group
Design Observer

WEEKLY EMAIL: MAY 02, 2013


On the Trail of The Eater of Darkness

FEATURED THIS WEEK : RICK POYNOR

On the Trail of The Eater of Darkness

I stumbled upon The Eater of Darkness while undertaking research into visual prose, sometimes also called visual writing, for a lecture. First published in Paris in 1926, Robert M. Coates’s novel is a genre-busting collision of science fiction, murder mystery, and Dada and Surrealism, with artful typographic arrangements and fragmented syntax. An added bonus: the 1959 edition has an early cover design by Milton Glaser.
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PLACES : PETER HOLZHAUER & AARON ROTHMAN

Expect Everything

Since moving to Los Angeles several years ago, photographer Peter Holzhauer has amassed a significant body of work on the city. As Places photo editor Aaron Rothman writes, "because the city has been so heavily mythologized — as paradise or dystopia, or both — it can be difficult to resolve the idea of L.A. with its actual presence. Holzhauer's photographs — a graffitied tree suffused with Southern California light, a Jiffy Lube glowing in the night, a nondescript building with Korean signage topped by a billboard for a luxury condo —are balanced perfectly between materiality and idea." We're pleased to present a selection of Holzhauer's recent work.
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CHANGE OBSERVER : SOREN KAPLAN

Harnessing the Power of Surprise

Think about the first time you picked up an iPod, iPhone or iPad and experienced the touchscreen as an extension of your fingertips. Reflect back on the first time you played the Nintendo Wii, drove a Toyota Prius, used Purell hand sanitizer, discovered the trendy design of Method soap, visited Starbucks, or saw Cirque du Soleil. The list of the usual suspects of breakthroughs could go on and on. Though these things are all quite different from one another, they tend to produce similar feelings of positive surprise — with a hint of delight, wonder, and intrigue — when we first encounter them.
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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.
Apply Today! >>
Products of Design >>
SVA Website >>

OBSERVATORY : OWEN EDWARDS

The 99 Factor: A Man About Town & Country

I was recently reminiscing about a hero of mine and sometime mentor, Frank Zachary, one of the last of the great editors and art directors of what now seems the golden age of magazines, who turned ninety-nine not long ago. I worry that those of us who knew Frank, and were lucky enough to work for him, are getting older ourselves, and that his tremendous talent and eye for editorial photography is no longer known by many in the graphic design and magazine worlds.
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PLACES : NAOMI STEAD

Child's Play

Architecture is a creative profession. It is also, as Naomi Stead observes, often perceived as a kind of "child's play." "At university," she recalls, "students from other courses felt that we in architecture weren’t really studying at all; to them the studio seemed like some kind of uber-kindergarten, legitimated for academic credit. All that drawing and coloring and making of models! The architecture profession seemed from the outside, and perhaps even to us on the inside, to promise an idyllic eternal childhood of balsa and glue and gee-whiz drawings on computers."
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OBSERVATORY : JOHN FOSTER

The Inkblot and Popular Culture

Hermann Rorschach (1884-1922), who is still famous today for his psychoanalytic work using inkblots, was very familiar with a popular 19th century parlor game called Blotto. So much, in fact, that as a schoolboy, young Rorschach was nicknamed “Klecks,” (or, “inkblot”) by his friends — because of his fascination with the game. Players of the game would make up poems or stories based on what they saw from the folded paper inkblots they would create.
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CHANGE OBSERVER : JOHN THACKARA

A Roof, A Skill, A Market

One hundred million people living in the Sahel region of West Africa are either homeless, or live precariously in short-life structures. Because deserts are spreading, the bush timber they once used to build homes is no longer available; as a result, they are forced to use imported wood and corrugated iron to build houses. These modern materials have poor insulation properties, are unhealthy and uncomfortable to live with and cost cash to purchase that many poor families simply don’t have. To reverse this downward spiral into poverty, the Nubian Vault Association has evolved a unique approach that creates three kinds of value within local economies: a roof, a skill and a market.
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Audio: Design Matters Archive

AUDIO: DESIGN MATTERS ARCHIVE

Neville Brody

Neville Brody, British designer and art director, has been at the forefront of design for two decades.
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CHANGE OBSERVER: PROJECT ARCHIVE

Project

Comradettes

New women's fashion collection celebrating history of labor
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OBSERVATORY ARCHIVE

past post past post past post

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

Souvenir NationSouvenir Nation
William L. Bird Jr.

Building: Inside Studio Gang Architects Building: Inside Studio Gang Architects
Jeanne Gang and Zoƫ Ryan, Editors

The Where, the Why, and the How: 75 Artists Illustrate Wondrous Mysteries of ScienceThe Where, the Why, and the How: 75 Artists Illustrate Wondrous Mysteries of Science
Jenny Volvovski, Julia Rothman, Matt Lamothe

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