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Design Observer

WEEKLY EMAIL: DECEMBER 12, 2013


Martin Sharp: From Satire to Psychedelia

FEATURED THIS WEEK : RICK POYNOR

Martin Sharp: From Satire to Psychedelia

I was saddened to hear about the death of the Australian graphic artist Martin Sharp. In the 1960s, Sharp was a brilliant innovator in illustration whose cartoons, collages and designs erased artificial distinctions between applied image-making and fine art. The handful of iconic images of posters, record sleeves and covers for Oz magazine circulating on the Internet give only a partial sense of Sharp’s visual concerns in those years.
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CHANGE OBSERVER : JOHN THACKARA

Dementia: Care Before Cure

When War was declared on Terror, a Security Industrial Complex (SIC) boomed. For the purveyors of full-body scanners, high-end police trucks, and Total Information Domination software, Terror has been good business. But is the world is a safer place? Most voices agree that no, it is not. The proclamation of a war on dementia promises similar divergence between language and effect. The net effect of war-speak is to diminish social solidarity. But there are solutions.
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OBSERVATORY : BY MARIA GIUDICE & CHRISTOPHER IRELAND

Rise of the DEO

Change used to be much less popular. In business, it was an outcome: the result of deliberate, often measured efforts to reach a new goal or solve a significant problem. Considered inherently risky, it was administered in small doses. Today, while change retains its prescriptive quality in some circumstances, for most businesses it’s in the bloodstream.
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THE GIFT OF WORKING HAPPY

'Tis the season to run from the stores to the parties, to deck the halls, to re-connect with old friends and avoid awkward relatives. And yet, like all other seasons, we still need to get our work done. So Design Observer and Poppin have teamed up to help one lucky reader through the season of doing-it-all with a very special sackful of gifts.
Enter Today!

OBSERVATORY : ADAM HARRISON LEVY

Artist's Cookbook: Joel Meyerowitz

Can food be a metaphor for marriage? Photographer Joel Meyerowitz first tasted pasta con le sarde while on honeymoon with his wife, Maggie Barrett. They were in Sicily and saw it on the menu. Instantly they were intrigued; they were familiar with lobster with pasta, shrimp with pasta, clams with pasta, but sardines with pasta?
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OBSERVER MEDIA : JOHN THACKARA

John Thackara on Avatar

John Thackara is a writer, speaker and design producer, and director of Doors of Perception. People seem most impressed by the fact that he once drove a big red London bus. On this episode of Insights Per Minute he impresses us with thoughts on the brain and why Avatar is real.
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OBSERVER MEDIA : DEBBIE MILLMAN

Susan Szenasy

On this episode of Design Matters with Debbie Millman, Debbie talk to Susan Szenasy, editor in chief of METROPOLIS, about her long career as a magazine editor, about sustainability in design and about what it takes to succeed as a designer. “You have to have a predisposition for inquiry and for curiosity.”
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PLACES : ANDRĂ© GIESEMANN & AARON ROTHMAN

Life of the Party

Hamburg photographer André Giesemann focuses on how architectural space is defined by the human activity it makes possible. Photo editor Aaron Rothman discusses two related projects by Geisemann: first, a series of photographs of empty nightclubs in the harsh, flourescent light of day; and, at the opposite end of the spectrum, a series depicting showrooms and other lifeless spaces designed to be looked at, but not used.
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OBSERVER MEDIA : STEVEN HELLER

Steven Heller on Panic

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the School of Visual Arts MFA Design program and the SVA Masters Workshop in Rome. He writes the Visuals column for the New York Times Book Review, a weekly column for The Atlantic online and The Daily Heller.  He has written more than 160 books on graphic design, illustration and political art. So he knows a thing or two about deadlines. On this episode of Insights Per Minute he describes panic.
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OBSERVATORY : JOHN FOSTER

Japanese Municipality Logos

In Japan, city municipalities are identified by some of the most forward-thinking, abstract logos I have seen in a long time. In contrast, American cities are overwhelmingly identified by pale interpretations of trees, the town square, fountain, or other more literal representations, like a city landmark. In Japan, it’s almost like each city has tried to outdo the other with the better abstract symbol — colorful and distinctive marks to identify their place.
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OBSERVER MEDIA : DEBBIE MILLMAN

Debbie Millman on Sleep

Debbie Millman is a designer, educator, author and host of the Design Matters podcast that airs right here on Monday afternoons. On this episode of Insights Per Minute she discusses sleep.
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OBSERVATORY : MARK LAMSTER AND ALEXANDRA LANGE

Lunch with the Critics: Fourth-Annual Year-End Awards

Like the Nieman Marcus catalog, the Rockettes, and Mannheim Steamroller, the Lunch With The Critics Year-End Awards has become a holiday tradition, beloved and hotly anticipated. Our intrepid critics, Alexandra Lange and Mark Lamster, celebrate (and castigate) the best and worst architecture and design of 2013.
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PLACES : MITCH EPSTEIN & ERIC WILLIAM CARROLL

American Power: Live

Photographer Mitch Epstein’s series American Power, which investigates energy politics in cities and landscapes across the country, has taken many forms: exhibitions, books, billboards, a website, and now a theatrical performance. His stage collaboration with cellist Erik Friedlander premiered at the Walker Art Center last month. We are pleased to present an interview with Epstein by photographer Eric William Carroll and a portfolio of images from the project.
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OBSERVATORY : WARREN LEHRER

The Rise and Fall of Bleu Mobley

Warren Lehrer’s A Life in Books contains 101 books within it, all written by Lehrer’s protagonist — Bleu Mobley — who finds himself in prison looking back on his life and career. Can books act as a means of understanding himself and a half-century of American/global events? Can your own books be your memoir?
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Audio: Design Matters Archive

AUDIO: DESIGN MATTERS ARCHIVE

Seth Godin

Seth Godin is the author of Purple Cow and All Marketers Are Liars.
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CHANGE OBSERVER: PROJECT ARCHIVE

Project

Everything Must Go

A new blog speaks to our current interest in shedding material goods.
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OBSERVATORY ARCHIVE

past post past post past post

PLACES ARCHIVE: WINTER 1983

An Interview with James Turrell

A 1983 interview with James Turrell, then beginning his transformation of the Roden Crater. The monumental work is scheduled to open to the public in 2012.
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RECENT BOOKS RECEIVED

A Life In Books: The Rise and Fall of Bleu MobleyA Life In Books: The Rise and Fall of Bleu Mobley
Warren Lehrer

Why Photography MattersWhy Photography Matters
Jerry L. Thompson

Five Conversations on Graphic Design and Creative Writing Five Conversations on Graphic Design and Creative Writing
Maura Frana, Leigh Mignogna, Liz Seibert

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