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The Design Observer Group
Design Observer

WEEKLY EMAIL: AUGUST 02, 2013


Soft Machine

FEATURED THIS WEEK : RICK POYNOR

Soft Machine's Dysfunctional Mechanism

When a French record label released The Soft Machine’s first album in 1968, it commissioned a new front cover. The designer, Claude Caudron, opted to confound the band’s gooey name with some no-nonsense hardware from the days when machines were unequivocally machines. His Neo-Dadaistic cover collage signals the album’s anarchic avant-pop music, while alluding to the history of the machine in 20th-century art.
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OBSERVATORY : ROB WALKER

Looking Better, All The Time

A book documents "eleven walks with expert eyes," in an attempt to see the world in new ways. I was predisposed to like it, and I did. That's partly because it offers a framework for thinking about looking, and partly because it includes specific, usable tactics. It left me speculating about a "seeing" curriculum.
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PLACES : NANCY LEVINSON

Beyond the Pritzker: Women, Architecture, and the Politics of Family Leave

Lately the subject of women's status in architecture — long dismissed as essentialist and unnecessary — has bounded back onto the agenda. As recent articles, books, exhibitions, online discussions and petition campaigns all attest, the full integration of the profession remains a fraught and unfinished business. Places editor Nancy Levinson argues that it's time to engage the larger sphere of political activism — to translate the widespread awareness of tenacious inequality into an ongoing campaign with concrete goals.
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NEWS FROM DESIGN OBSERVER GROUP SPONSORS

The MFA in Design for Social Innovation prepares students to apply the principles and ethics of social innovation as filters for understanding and as a discipline for engaging with and improving the world through design.
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OBSERVER MEDIA : DEBBIE MILLMAN

Hartmut Esslinger

On this episode of Design Matters, Debbie Millman talks to German-American industrial designer and co-founder of frog design, Hartmut Esslinger, about working for Steve Jobs in the early days of Apple, about how creating the design template for Apple, or any product line, is similar to playing music and about his book Design Forward: Creative Strategies for Sustainable Change.
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OBSERVATORY : MARK LAMSTER

A Coda on Party Wall

"If you follow art and can't stomach a certain level of pretentiousness, you'll forever be stuck in the shallow end of the pool." This nugget of wisdom comes from New York Times book critic Dwight Garner, from a review of Draw It With Your Eyes Closed, a collection of projects from Paper Monument, the art-centric offshoot of the literary magazine N+1. I've found it applies equally to the field of architecture.
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OBSERVATORY : JOHN FOSTER

The Portrait in Snapshot Photography

Since the beginning of photography in the mid-nineteenth century and for roughly 150 years since, portraits have always been a dominate theme. As a snapshot collector, portraits of people are probably the most common image to find. Close ups, waist high views and full body shots are the big three, however most photographic portraits are poorly composed, poorly lit, and run of the mill. Composition alone does not make a great portrait — it’s the little things that are more difficult to define.
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OBSERVATORY : KWAME DAWES

Coffee Break

The puzzles in some poems are like detective stories, with every detail clearly part of the unfolding mystery. "Coffee Break" is the opposite. Its casual pleasures and worries make the existence of the mystery disarming — which is itself very much true to the kind of surprise in the poem.
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Audio: Design Matters Archive

AUDIO: DESIGN MATTERS ARCHIVE

Eric Kandel

Eric Kandel is a psychiatrist, neuroscientist and professor at Columbia University.
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CHANGE OBSERVER: PROJECT ARCHIVE

Project

DesigNYC, Round 2

Report on second round of pro bono design initiatives fostered by DesigNYC.
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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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Architects from A to ZArchitects from A to Z
Paul Cattermole and Simon Forty

Peter Kluska: Landscape ArchitecturePeter Kluska: Landscape Architecture
Peter Kluska

The Designer as: Author, Producer, Activist, Entrepeneur, Curator, and Collaborator: New Models for CommunicatingThe Designer as: Author, Producer, Activist, Entrepeneur, Curator, and Collaborator: New Models for Communicating
Steven Mccarthy

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