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Design Observer

WEEKLY EMAIL: JANUARY 28, 2010


Logorama

FEATURED THIS WEEK : ADRIAN SHAUGHNESSY

Logorama

A world colonized by brands is the theme of a new film by French designers and filmmakers H5. Logorama is a slick animated movie that appears to lampoon both the Hollywood blockbuster and the world of branding. But is that really what it is doing?
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CHANGE OBSERVER : ERNEST BECK

GlobalTap

More than 1 billion people worldwide lack access to clean water. The rest of us have an unlimited flow from the tap. Daniel H. Whitman, a Chicago architect and social entrepreneur, wants to link these two extremes.
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OBSERVATORY : ALICE TWEMLOW

Howling at the Moon: The Poetics of Amateur Product Reviews

An Amazon reviewer called N.A. Cat Lover, who turns out to be a doctor from Tampa, Florida, bought a self-washing, self-flushing cat toilet. His review is not just hilarious; it can also be seen as an example of a democratizing impulse in design criticism.
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PLACES : GAVIN BROWNING, MICHELLE FORNABAI

ink

Tonight Studio-X — an initiative of the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia — is opening "ink," a show of ink-on-Mylar drawings by artist-architect Michelle Fornabai. The exhibition was shown last summer at Studio-X Beijing, and tonight's event will feature a simulcast between participants in Bejing and New York including Fornabai, GSAPP dean Mark Wigley, and filmmaker Jonas Mekas. Places is pleased to present a selection of images from "ink."  
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OBSERVATORY : SARAH WILLIAMS GOLDHAGEN

Moshe Safdie

In judging any urban development, one must consider what it replaced, what it is and what it might have been instead. As to the first and the second: Moshe Safdie's nearly completed Mamilla Alrov Center in Jerusalem, the last portion of a 28-acre mixed-use development, is superb.
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PLACES : CHRISTINE MACY

Dams Across America

Last week we featured articles and videos that focus on the prospect of a new era of public works — and the challenges of making that happen. So naturally we were interested in Dams, the latest in the Library of Congress Visual Sourcebooks, just published by Norton. As Christine Macy notes, dams are a monumental presence in the landscape, and controversial too — hailed as feats of engineering and vilified as destroyers of habitat. Here we offer an excerpt and a slideshow focusing on the legacy of the 1930s and '40s, with period images suggesting  the complex, years-long construction processes of Tennessee Valley Authority dams and of Hoover and Grand Coulee, two of the largest hydroelectric dams in the U.S. Something to contemplate as the current administration struggles to stimulate the economy and smarten the energy grid. 
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OBSERVATORY : ERIC BAKER

Today, 01.23.10

Here are Today's images.
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PLACES

Visualizing the Future of
Environmental Design

UC Berkeley Spring Program
College of Environmental Design
2.3.10 – 2.6.10


UC Berkeley's spring celebration will focus on the global dynamics and sustainability challenges that could have not been foreseen when the CED was founded in 1959.
More information
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CHANGE OBSERVER : MITCH EPSTEIN

Why Not in My Backyard?

Amos Coal Power Plant, Raymond City, West Virginia 2004 from American Power.
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Audio: Design Matters Archive

AUDIO: DESIGN MATTERS ARCHIVE

Jonah Lehrer

Jonah Lehrer, editor-at-large for Seed Magazine, and contributor to NPR's Radio.
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CHANGE OBSERVER: PROJECT ARCHIVE

Project

Chulha Stove

Report on the Chulha stove designed by Philips to reduce indoor air pollution in developing countries.
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OBSERVATORY ARCHIVE

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PLACES ARCHIVE: WINTER 2006

The State of City Planning Today

A veteran city planner and educator analyzes the anemia of U.S. planning, and detects signs of life in neighborhood activism.
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