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WEEKLY EMAIL: FEBRUARY 25, 2010


Sweating the Small Stuff

FEATURED THIS WEEK : JULIE LASKY

Sweating the Small Stuff

Overwhelmed, overcaffeinated and too proud to abbreviate unless I really had to, I judged TED 2010 through the demands of the 140-character bitch goddess. I loved this year's theme. Not because "What the World Needs Now" represented TED curator Chris Anderson's reasonable view that the people in charge of solving global problems are failing abysmally, and that fresh, immediate action is needed. No, I loved it because almost every speaker felt obliged to complete the sentence, "What the world needs now is….," boiling down their insights into dollops of conceptual stock.
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PLACES : GEORGIA TECH

Imagining – A Better Future

Keynote: 3.12.2010
Debate and Discussions: 3.13.2010

The Georgia Tech College of Architecture is hosting a major symposium as part of its T. Gordon Little Lecture Series in the Imagination. IMAGINING — A Better Future will feature debates and discussions with Thom Mayne, Liz Diller, Michael Meredith, Alejandro Zaera-Polo, Paul Finch, Jeffrey Kipnis, Alan Balfour, Jennifer Bonner and Mack Scogin.
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CHANGE OBSERVER : JUSTIN KEMERLING

The Volunteer Design Chronicles (Lincoln, NE)

We are a small part of a global movement working on a local level to create a sustainable future. It's the kind of effort that's important enough to bring in talented people who are ready to roll up their sleeves and get to work.
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PLACES : THOMAS FISHER

How Haiti Could Change Design

Earlier this month on Places we published an essay by Hector Fernando Burga, a young architect in Miami wondering how to apply his professional knowledge to the rebuilding of Haiti — and realizing that there exist few structures to organize designers' participation in what will be a lengthy and complex process. Here Thomas Fisher argues that we should expand our usual pedagogical and professional approaches, in which designers are hired by clients who generate projects, and which Fisher likens to the doctor-patient medical model. Fisher proposes that we adopt as well a public-health model emphasizing prevention, in which designers would focus less on reacting to crises after they happen and more on proactively intervening in disaster-prone areas, with the goal of limiting damage in the future.
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OBSERVATORY : JESSICA HELFAND

Prisoners of Logic

Filled to overflowing with the cryptic residue of my addled mind, my sketchbooks accompany me wherever I go: they're my mobile studio. At turns wildly chaotic and compulsively neat, they're densely packed with questions, yet vexingly devoid of answers. If there is a palpable representation of lunacy, this may well be it —though a more forgiving description might be that they're eclectic, which is to say they're all over the place. In sum, they are honest, if random, representations of the way I think. What they lack is consistency.
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OBSERVATORY : ERIC BAKER

Today, 02.20.10

Here are Today's images.
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CHANGE OBSERVER : JESSICA HELFAND

Better Living Through Artistry

Spend one day in the streets of Ahmedabad, India, with their maniacal motorists and daredevil rickshaws and you immediately recognize the oasis of quiet that the temple or mosque provides. Step into SEWA's Trade Facilitation Centre, where hundreds of women cut and sew, measure and mend, bind and stencil, and you realize you've entered a parallel kind of environment: it's a design temple.
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PLACES : TIMOTHY MENNEL

Working for the People

Earlier this week on Places architectural historian Keith Eggener explored a perceptual link between Robert Moses and the architect-vigilante played by Charles Bronson in Death Wish. Power broker, master builder, public servant — the life of Robert Moses was nothing if not big-scale. It's a life that would seem made for some sweeping narrative treatment — a movie by Orson Welles, an opera by Robert Wilson. Or a novel. To complete his doctoral degree in geography, Timothy Mennel produced not a typical dissertation but instead Everything Must Go: A Novel of Robert Moses's New York. For Mennel, the creation of a work of fiction, based on the facts, afforded the freedom to probe the complexity of Moses and his era — a complexity we inevitably grasp only in partial and contingent ways. Here we present an excerpt from a chapter that finds Robert Moses and Frank Lloyd Wright — his cousin by marriage — motoring through Harlem and the Bronx. 
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Audio: Design Matters Archive

AUDIO: DESIGN MATTERS ARCHIVE

Bad Boys of Design

Designers Michael Ian Kaye, Mark Kingsley, Petter Ringbom, James Victore and Armin Vit.
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CHANGE OBSERVER: PROJECT ARCHIVE

Project

Kick4Life

AIDS education mixes with soccer in plans for a new Lesotho stadium.
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PLACES ARCHIVE: SUMMER 2000

Portfolio: Uneasy Spaces

New York City photographer Elizabeth Felicella focuses on what she calls "landscape of security."
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