Rob Walker writes about technology, design, business, the arts, and other subjects. His column The Workologist appears in The New York Times Sunday Business section. Previously he wrote the Consumed column for The New York Times Magazine, and has contributed to many publications. He is co-editor (with Joshua Glenn) of the book Significant Objects: 100 Extraordinary Stories About Ordinary Things, and author of Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are.    

















































































































































10.03.08
Subconscious Warm-Up
The Speedo LZR Racer suits worn by
Michael Phelps and other world-class swimmers. Promoted as a design breakthrough and worn by the most victorious Olympian in history, it offers a potent blend of functional promise and emotional aspiration.












04.08.07
Back to Basics Egg & Muffin Toaster
In a recent issue of The 
M.I.T. Sloan Management Review, Michael Schrage, a business writer and an M.I.T. researcher, challenged what Bruce Greenwald, has said about the fate of all innovative technologies: “In the long run, everything is a toaster.”




















Observed | November 17

Discovering a mid-century design powerhouse through her recipes. [BV]

Vaughan Oliver’s work is a treasure store of rare and precious specimens. Now, there’s a book celebrating it. [BV]

Universal beauty is an old and compelling idea. Our species, however, is marked not by a particular aesthetic preference, but by the multiple paths of creativity itself. [BV]


Observed | November 16

Womens’ anatomy as ... design trend? [JH]

Google’s Ivy Ross on design and intuition. [JH]

Love Design Matters with Debbie Millman? Become a founding member today! [BV]

Good Design for a Bad World. [JH]

This ridiculous flowchart design has to be intentional, right? [BV]


Observed | November 15

Partners in design, at NYU. [JH]

Seventy years of Ferrari. More here. [JH]

The end of civilization as we know it: Israeli branding bots! [JH]

The questions just keep coming: should we teach facial recognition technology about race? [BV]


Observed | November 14

An in-depth look at nation branding. (via James I. Bowie) [BV]

Harvard Business Review, yet again, extols the virtues of empathy. Herewith, your friendly community reminder that our understanding of empathy tends to be flawed. [JH]

The blandification of graphic design. (Or, why you should just hire a good designer.) [JH]


Observed | November 13

German graphic design: a new book traces its rich visual, political, and cultural history. [JH]

How does 3D printing connect to real estate in Africa? A visualization of interconnected global issues. [BV]

Picasso bled his women for art. [MPL]

Do cities have colors? (via James I. Bowie) [BV]


Observed | November 10

It’s almost five o’clock, right? Judging beer by its cover, an oral history of craft beer label design. [BV]

The lowly pencil: “still much loved amongst the creative heroes of our generation.” [BV]

Book design inspires more than just readers—finding decorating ideas on the cover of a book. [BV]


Observed | November 09

The things we design to make cities more livable also help prevent terror attacks. [BV]

What happens when a designer spends a year channeling his energy–and skill set–into local politics. [BV]

How design can help an aging population through technology and personalization. [BV]


Observed | November 08

Designers and architects have signed the first Montreal Design Declaration, setting out ambitions for tackling world issues. [BV]

The birth, life, and death of old Penn Station. [BV]

Using photography to envisage how people with a rare genetic condition called achromatopsia see the world. [BV]

A look inside the design process with Lynn Buckley, a book cover designer at Penguin Random House. [BV]


Observed | November 07

Could good data design help make sense of the government’s fear of data and the crisis of the times? [BV]



Jobs | November 17