OBSERVER MEDIA : MEGAN WHITMARSH
Megan Whitmarsh is a Los Angeles based artist who works predominantly in textiles. She has worked with Robert Wilson, Todd Oldham, Amy Sedaris, David Byrne, the New Museum, and MTV. On this episode of Insights Per Minute she considers originality.
CHANGE OBSERVER : JOHN THACKARA
I was stopped in my tracks by this perplexing sight in one of those endless corridors at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. Who commissioned such a thing, and why? What, if anything, was in their mind? Where did they procure that cheesy stick-on foliage? Is that a robot digging away behind the window – or does it have a driver? What does he make of the living wall that’s not, in fact, alive?
NEWS FROM DESIGN OBSERVER GROUP SPONSORS
Design History, Theory and Practice in Rome - the birthplace of Western typographic tradition. The Masters Workshop in Rome is an exciting way to learn about type and typography, book and lettering design, as well as architecture, art, archaeology, epigraphy, and even Italian cuisine.
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OBSERVER MEDIA : ALEXANDRA LANGE
Alexandra Lange is an architecture and design critic, author and Design Observer contributor. On this episode of Insights Per Minute she contemplates performance.
OBSERVATORY : ADAM HARRISON LEVY
With all the rich food recipes and lush Thanksgiving slideshows, we thought you might appreciate a more utilitarian approach to food. And when it comes to food, painter Alex Katz keeps it simple. He has eaten the exact same breakfast for the past twenty years.
OBSERVER MEDIA : STANLEY HAINSWORTH
Stanley Hainsworth is the founder and Chief Creative Officer of Tether, and a branding genius (think Gatorade, Starbucks, Lego). In this episode of Insights Per Minute he talks about acting.
PLACES : PETER BO RAPPMUND
Last week marked the 40th anniversary of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act, which intensified the oil rush on Alaska’s North Slope and ended one of the most vigorously fought conservation efforts in American history. Photographer Peter Bo Rappmund has documented nearly every mile of that massive structure. “There is a tension,” he writes, “between the reality of its elegant utilitarian function and the sheer audacity of the consummation: a perfectly engineered, efficient structure dedicated to the ruthless and expedient exhaustion of nonrenewable resources.”
OBSERVATORY : MARK LAMSTER
I'm not much of a Biblical scholar, but I recently had the pleasure to contribute a short essay to the collection Unscrolled: 54 Writers and Artists Wrestle with the Torah
, edited by that redoubtable Man in Blazer, Roger Bennett. The conceit: take up a portion of the Torah, and reinterpet it in the manner of your choosing. Aimee Bender, A.J. Jacobs, Sam Lipsyte, and Adam Mansbach were among the luminaries to take the bait. And yours truly, of course.
OBSERVER MEDIA : DEBBIE MILLMAN
In this interview with Debbie Millman, Terry Teachout discusses the early days of blogging, the poetics of theater, what it's like to be a drama critic for The Wall Street Journal
, and his new book, a biography of Duke Ellington.
OBSERVATORY : JOHN FOSTER
Police cars of the past used to display little more than a star on the side of the vehicle. The usual look for the car was black, with reversed white door panels and the official city emblem or star was emblazoned on the side. Today, the look of police cars range from friendly and approachable "community peacekeepers" to intimidating “SWAT-style enforcers,” to low profile “stealth” vehicles.
CHANGE OBSERVER : PAUL POLAK
Five years ago, Steve Bachar and Paul Polak decided to create a venture capital fund that would only invest in companies capable of: Transforming the livelihoods of at least 100 million customers living on $2 a day or less; Generating at least $10 billion in annual revenues; and Earning sufficient profits to attract commercial financial investment. There was only one problem. There were no companies to invest in that met the criteria. Among social entrepreneurs, design for scale is as rare as hen’s teeth.
CHANGE OBSERVER: PROJECT ARCHIVE
Hospitals and healthcare facilities in developing countries face problems ranging form overcrowding to underfunding and a lack of available staff, medical equipment and supplies. Project Dose helped solve one of those issues.
PLACES ARCHIVE: WINTER 2001
High Line photographs from Joel Sternfeld.