PLACES : PETER DEL TREDICI
The native plants movement has got it all wrong, says botanist Peter Del Tredici: “Landscape architects — and anyone else who works directly with vegetation — need to acknowledge that a wide variety of novel or emergent ecosystems are developing before our eyes.” In an engaging photo survey of ecological niches in the city, Del Tredici makes the case for spontaneous urban plants as flora of the future.
OBSERVATORY : FRANCISCO LARANJO
Critical graphic design is a vague and subjective term. The meaning of the word “critical” in relation to graphic design remains unclear, resulting in an overuse and misuse in design magazines, books and websites. And in recent years there has been disenchantment and even skepticism toward graphic design work that is labeled as critical.
OBSERVER MEDIA : DEBBIE MILLMAN
On this episode of Design Matters with Debbie Millman, Debbie talks to Michael Donovan & Nancye Green about their partnership in marragie and design, about how good business is good design, and about what it's like to work for yourself.
PLACES : CHRIS REED & NINA-MARIE LISTER
The word “ecology” has been co-opted so widely that it has lost real meaning, yet ecological thinking remains a powerful lens for understanding complex adaptive systems. In this rigorous overview of the term's origins and evolution, Chris Reed and Nina-Marie Lister explain how contemporary ecological models of “open-endedness, flexibility, resilience and adaptation” can inform design thinking.
OBSERVATORY : JOHN FOSTER
In 1973 photographer Rob Amberg moved to Madison County, NC and became a documentary photographer. Though other great documentary photographers in the past have simply “dropped in,” taken their images and left (take the WPA photographers, for example), Amberg and his wife live on a small farm in the same county he photographs. His subjects have been neighbors and acquaintances, friends of friends and strangers he has met.
OBSERVATORY : ADAM PLUNKETT
Having known next to nothing about visual poetry when I picked up an anthology of it this past year, I thought that I’d find one of two things in it: poems with drawings on them in the old tradition of illuminated books; or elaborate graphic representations of poems, backward ekphrases of, I don’t know, the river Acheron in Rothko paint.
OBSERVER MEDIA : SANDRA NUUT
Sandra Nuut is investigating spaces for contemporary fashion curation inside and beyond the museum, and is analyzing the collision between culture and commerce. On this episode of Insights Per Minute she ponders the love/hate relationship she has with a coat.
AUDIO: DESIGN MATTERS ARCHIVE
Podcast interview with Milton Glaser, graphic designer, illustrator, Lifetime Achievement Award recipient from the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, and 2010 recipient of the National Medal of Arts.
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CHANGE OBSERVER: PROJECT ARCHIVE
Rock Girl in Cape Town offers real and symbolic safe places for girls and women.
PLACES ARCHIVE: WINTER 1989
In 1989 Phoenix, Arizona, commissioned one of the first public art master plans. The city now has one of the strongest public art programs in the country.