Alan Thomas is Editorial Director for the Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Chicago Press and a photographer of urban landscape. As a publisher, he acquires and develops books in literary and cultural criticism and related fields. As a photographer, he has work in the Museum of Contemporary Photography's Midwest Photographer's Project and the Catherine Edelman Gallery's Chicago Project. In 2012, his one-person show at the Seagull Foundation for the Arts, Calcutta, surveyed photographs made over two decades in Chicago, Tokyo, and Calcutta. Thomas studied literature and photography as an undergraduate at Princeton University and holds an M.Phil. in English Studies from Oxford University. He tweets on publishing, the humanities, and photography at @alnthomas.





Observed | October 23

How the design of bird feeders might have impacted the evolution of bird beak sizes. [JH]


Observed | October 20

It’s Friday. Let’s play! We‘re excited to follow Playtime, a new exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum. [BV]

Scandalous art. [MPL]

Everything you ever wanted to know about storyboarding, but were afraid to ask. [JH]


Observed | October 19

Invision introduces Studio, software for designing on screen. More here. [JH]

“We’re designing relationships now as opposed to designing artifacts.” IDEO sets its sights on AI. [JH]


Observed | October 18

The problem with ‘fast-casual architecture’. [BE]

The race to create the perfect city: the history behind mankind’s need to design ideal urban living. [BV]

Design, dreams—and Blade Runner. [JH]

Design, doodling—and sports. [JH]


Observed | October 17

The current threat level is violet: one nation under cynicism. [BV]

Design and dissent: the reissue. [JH]

Lucienne Roberts: “We’re on a mission to show what graphic design can do.” [MB]

It’s time for companies to let design expand its influence to the core of the business. [JH]


Observed | October 16

It was scary when the graphic designers seized control of the country... [BE]

Does design thinking live up to the hype? Business leaders apparently think so. (Not sure design leaders would agree.) [JH]

Spark Awards: call for entries announced. More here. [JH]


Observed | October 13

Poster Girls! An exhibition of work by forgotten women at the forefront of graphic design. At the London Transport Museum. [JH]

Half the universe’s missing matter has just been finally found. [BV]

Another view of Google, design, and the future. [JH]


Observed | October 12

Rob Walker thinks this is the best headline he’s seen in a while. We agree. [JH]

Can design minimize hate speech? [JH]

Three designers win MacArthur “genius” grants. [JH]


Observed | October 11

Get some advice from your potential future self. [BV]

Three design projects that promote good mental health. [MB]


Observed | October 10

A look at the iconic New York Film Festival poster. [BV]

Do you want to know everything? Oxford has your answer. [BV]

Did you know there are scissors in the MoMA permanent collection? Of course they‘re orange. [BV]


Observed | October 09

School buses: A massive mass transit system in need of a tech upgrade. [BV]

How to train an algorithm to understand a hurricane. [BE]



Jobs | October 23