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The Design Observer Group
Design Observer

WEEKLY EMAIL: MAY 09, 2013


Our Shopping Lists, Our Selves

FEATURED THIS WEEK : JESSICA HELFAND

Our Shopping Lists, Our Selves

Lists are the practical roadmaps by which we quantify our obligations. They're scorecards for accomplishment, spreadsheets for success. At once truncated and annotated, they urge us to consider hierarchy and value, want and need. Lists embrace both duty (what we’re meant to do) and aspiration (what we yearn to do), thereby perpetuating the enduring illusion that maybe we’re actually making progress.
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CHANGE OBSERVER : PAUL POLAK

Transforming Solar Pumping to Eliminate Rural Poverty

If I want to water my petunias, I turn on the tap outside my house, hold my thumb over the end of a battered green hose, and water away. If a small farmer in Ghana or China wants to water a small patch of vegetables he’s growing to sell in the local market, he breaks his back hauling water in two buckets or sprinkling cans from a nearby stream. It takes six hours a day every other day for three months to water a tenth of an acre of vegetables that he hopes to sell for $100.
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OBSERVATORY : JOHN THACKARA

Paranoid But Pretty

In his new show at the German Architecture Center (DAZ) Matthias Megyeri has developed a design language for the artefacts of protection and security in public space. Megyeri poses the question: does protection have to be inconsistent with harmony and beauty? His answer is a family of padlocks, chains, fences, and razor wire that he describes as ‘lovable objects’. Megyeri’s show prompted me to Google “design” and “homeland security” once again and question: "Are we safer?"
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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 >>

PLACES : DAVID HEYMANN

Please Save Modernism from the Modern

The Museum of Modern Art's decision to tear down the Folk Art Museum has incited huge controversy and intense debate. But as David Heymann argues, "While some claim the Folk Art Museum should be preserved because it’s a great Modernist building, and therefore part of the MoMA collection, rather than its campus, no one has unequivocally answered the question of why it is so. The discourse remains one of opinions asserted as imperatives: I love it / I never liked it / it must be saved / tear it down. So I think it’s an important question. Here is why I think the American Folk Art Museum is a great Modernist building."
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OBSERVATORY : DANIELLA ZALCMAN

New York + London: A Vision of Home

When I moved from New York City to London late last year, I decided to create a series of double exposures. The images are part New York, part London, and collectively represent my vision of home.
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OBSERVATORY : JOHN FOSTER

Enjoying TypeToy

This week's Accidental Mysteries highlights the blog TypeToy — an online collection of mid-century design and typography created by Aaron Eiland. According to Aaron, the name of the blog is derived from the playfulness he sees from much of the work of that era.
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OBSERVER MEDIA : DEBBIE MILLMAN

Wendy MacNaughton and Caroline Paul

On this episode of Design Matters, Debbie Millman talks to Wendy MacNaughton and Caroline Paul about their first book collaboration, Lost Cat; Wendy's journey from advertising to Rwanda to illustration; and Caroline's path from Stanford to firefighter to author.
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Food Design in France
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Audio: Design Matters Archive

AUDIO: DESIGN MATTERS ARCHIVE

Andrew Geller, Alastair Gordon & Jake Gorst

Andrew Geller, Alastair Gordon and Jake Gorst, talk about Jake's documentary Leisurama.
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CHANGE OBSERVER: PROJECT ARCHIVE

Project

Solo Kota Kita

Report on a design-oriented sysem for providing information about community resources in Indonesia as an aid for budgeting.
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OBSERVATORY ARCHIVE

past post past post past post

PLACES ARCHIVE: WINTER 2009

Reclaiming the Ruin

The second coming of Detroit.
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RECENT BOOKS RECEIVED

Vernier: Fashion, Femininity and FormVernier: Fashion, Femininity and Form
Robin Muir and Becky Conekin

Negro Building: Black Americans in the World of Fairs and MuseumsNegro Building: Black Americans in the World of Fairs and Museums
Mabel O. Wilson

Maynard L. Parker: Modern Photography and the American DreamMaynard L. Parker: Modern Photography and the American Dream
Jennifer A. Watts, Editor

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