FEATURED THIS WEEK : RICK POYNOR
As we move deeper into the 21st century, it becomes ever clearer that the ultimate, most intimate territory for design is not electronics, or interiors, or furniture, or the web. It is us — our own living, breathing, biological selves. Appearances matter more than ever, we are constantly told. If so, the personal makeover has become our most fundamental design task and it is almost a duty now to polish, restyle, enhance and upgrade.
PLACES : ALAN THOMAS
"Once great but now peripheral cities are good reminders of globalization’s fickleness," writes Alan Thomas. "Calcutta is one of these, and the breathtaking completeness of its demotion would be hard to match." In a portfolio of recent photographs, Thomas portrays a city that has remained on the fringes of India's boom, and where planning proceeds "as if without a map."
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PLACES : RICHARD INGERSOLL
"Urban development has eaten away the clear edges of cities," writes Richard Ingersoll, "leaving ambiguous empty spaces." Ingersoll explores how innvovative landscape architects and urbanists are grappling with these "patchy areas," and he proposes an alternative approach he calls "civic agriculture" — the reconceptualization of cities as diverse agricultural zones, from productive parks to allotments, with the ultimate goal of a richer public realm.
OBSERVATORY : BOB HICOK
"A line will take us hours maybe," wrote William Butler Yeats. "Yet if it does not seem a moment's thought,/ Our stitching and unstitching has been naught." Few things take more work than the illusion of ease, which should make the tossed-off appearance of Hicok's "Life" seem impressive not just for the felt effortlessness of his lines but for the ease with which they lead you through a range of experience. How could "drinking tea" and "eating lunch" be interesting?
OBSERVATORY : MICHAEL BIERUT
Sadly, James Gandolfini passed away yesterday. Fortunately, he will live forever as Tony Soprano. In this post from our archive, Michael Bierut sorts through the untold quantities of gobbagool on The Sopranos
, and tells us what we've learned, from a design point of view.
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AUDIO: DESIGN MATTERS ARCHIVE
Rossi Ralenkotter, President/CEO for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. Susan Benjamin, Emmy Award nominated Set Designer.
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CHANGE OBSERVER: PROJECT ARCHIVE
IDEO and Rock Lobster Cycles win people's choice award for utility bike prototype
PLACES ARCHIVE: WINTER 2006
In the Seattle Public Library, Rem Koolhaas and OMA work to transform architecture into media interface.