Where food is concerned, the relationship between what things look like and how we respond exists at its most primal level: what is a gut reaction, after all, if not something that attacks your
Design Matters Wins People’s Choice Design Award
Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum announced the People's Choice Design Award — and Design Observer's own Debbie Millman, the creator of the popular Design Matters series of podcast interviews, was the surprise winner.
National Design Award Trophy
In October 2011, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum unveiled a new trophy for the National Design Awards. Originally designed as an asterisk in silicon carbide by Winterhouse in 2000, the new glass trophy is by Corning GlassLab.
Announcement: Rob Walker Joins Design Observer
We are pleased to announce that Rob Walker is joining Design Observer as a contributing writer — and as the newest blogger in our Observers Room.
Gail Anderson’s Collection of Salt and Pepper Shakers
Gail Anderson shares her collection of Salt and Pepper Shakers.
Best of DOG 2010
Hardly exhaustive, here are some of the highlights of essays and blog posts on the Design Observer Group during 2010.
Dogs and Their Designers
Design Observer posted an open call for designers to submit photos of themselves with their canine companions. These are the results...
Cats and Their Designers
Behold: our collection of feline wonders, and the designers who named them.
Paper, Plastic, or Canvas?
Dmitri Siegel explores the explosive popularity of canvas totes and the history of the plastic bags they aim to replace. From Anya Hindmarch to Ireland's PlasTax, Siegel examines the role of design in sustainability.
10 Reasons to Buy a Design Observer T-Shirt
Buy the Design Observer T-Shirt for a holiday gift.
Design Observer T-Shirt
Design Observer offers a T-shirt through Artefacture.
People's Design Awards
The People's Design Awards are happening as we speak — with public voting open until October 21st. Design Observer welcomes the support of our readers: VOTE TODAY.
Design Observer's Aniversary Party: 11.05
Design Observer 5th Anniversary Party. NYC. 11.05.08.
Hurricane Watch: Gustav Emergency Relief
Taking Things Seriously XIII
Taking Things Seriously XI
Cranbrook Commencement Address
"I come to you, like all commencement speakers, as an emissary from the future." The commencement address delivered by Julie Lasky at the Cranbrook Academy of Art on May 9, 2008.
Rosamond W. Purcell
Taking Things Seriously XII
Slide Shows on Design Observer
"Ode To My Toaster"
Ode To My Toaster, a poem by Allan Chochinov.
Taking Things Seriously X
Taking Things Seriously IX
Taking Things Seriously VIII
Chika Azuma: Taking Things Seriously VII
Beth Daniels: Taking Things Seriously VI
Taking Things Seriously V
Taking Things Seriously IV
Taking Things Seriously III
It's Easy to Criticize. . . Not
Convention was disrupted last Thursday night in New York City at Designism 2:0 when the sometimes "self-congratulatory" nature of the Art Director Club's social conscience-raising event was upended by
media critic Michael Wolff's unforgiving critique of design's do-goodery.
Taking Things Seriously II
Taking Things Seriously I
Coney Island Bin Laden
In 2004, the paper targets at the Coney Island shooting gallery featured a hand-drawn Osama Bin Laden.
The Designer As Gumshoe
The aim in this essay is not to raise mass consciousness about gum pollution. Over the past year, I've been something of a gumshoe, investigating and documenting patterns of gum goop, and talking to perpetrators and victims alike. Now I'm ready to share my findings.
It is clear that in the last decade, the rural poor in America have gotten poorer. But having safe water is not something most of us think of as a problem in our country. If you'd like to help, Buy A Meter.
My Dirty Little Secret
Gardening is its own infuriating design challenge. You fret and you rethink and you second-guess yourself constantly, and then for one delirious, thrilling moment something blooms and you feel utterly triumphant. And then it dies and you are back where you started.
I'm Not Ready to Make Nice
How Hollywood Nailed The Half-Pipe
have mastered a particularly persuasive (and as it turns out, rather literal) form of spin that makes Road Runner look like dryer lint.
Polling Place Photo Project
Polling Place Photo Project
seeks to advance innovation in citizen journalism by documenting local voter experiences during the U.S. midterm elections on Tuesday, November 7...
Winterhouse Awards for Design Writing
In partnership with AIGA, we launched the Winterhouse Writing Awards for Design and Criticism, an initiative to increase the appreciation of design by recognizing new voices in design criticism and commentary. Here are the 2006 recipients.
Threat Advisory Pandemic Alert System (TAPAS)
How do we measure the danger level from the Avian Influenza A (H5N1) virus? What we lack is that one Tom Ridge-like bit of inspiration that would lend clarity to these confusing times. We took our cue from a certain John James Audubon. Herewith, one option for Homeland Security. Yes, we know: it's for the birds.
Living Without The Internet
The "community" that I find on the internet is the communality of shared enthusiasms for marginalised subjects.
Dangerous Beauty: The Art of the Shiv
A shiv is a weapon crafted from the limited resources of a prisoner's closed world. Crudely constructed from such things as spoons, shoelaces and upholstery tacks, shivs are about masked utility: it's an innocuous object with improbably toxic intent (whether used to attack others or to protect oneself...).
The Right Stuff
is yet another in a long line of stories in which posessions loom large, at once shining beacons of material success and wagging fingers of moral turpitude. When will we have enough
"Oui, Oui, Oui" All The Way Home
On a sweltering day last August, my daughter and I embarked with a friend on a 6-day tour of Paris: Kid Paris, the Paris of candy stores and carousels and more than a few weird new ice cream flavors.
Weather Report: 53 Degrees F. Heavy Snowfall Predicted
The weather is fucked up. "Science is a way of making sense of the world. Design is a way of making the world make sense."
A Mosaic of Vision and Memory
Language, in the service of the visual, is a conceptual catalyst: and in Umberto Eco's latest book,
The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana,
words meet pictures in a captivating and indeed, an astonishing way.
Design Gone Mad
A Blog Poem, Part I
| March 30
Your afternoon distraction:
How TV opening titles got to be so damn good
A rabbit hole worth falling down:
Archivo Grafica Italiana
showcases Italy’s graphic design legacy.
the first ever Latvian design award
| March 29
one writer dives into the belly of the assembly-required beast:
How 12 hours in the biggest Ikea in the U.S. destroyed my soul
obsession with hula girls
almost wrecked Hawai‘i. [BV]
What author uses the most exclamation points? Or,
literature by the numbers
Trying to save you from yourself a
Dutch town installs traffic lights on the ground for texting pedestrians
. “They were looking down there anyway.” [BV]
| March 28
could ban Heineken‘s red star logo
over communism concerns. [MPL]
Annals of material culture
: the Bodlean Library at Oxford mounts an exhibit of ledgers revealing what famous people once paid for shoes. [JH]
New one-pound coin in Britain
is designed by a 17-year-old
Design as tourism :
| March 27
The smartphone with
a mission to be used less often
Ethics can‘t be a side hustle
. (Thanks to Ashleigh Axios.) [MB]
Target is redesigning
to take on Amazon. [MPL]
| March 24
A history of the zipper
Designer vs Developer: Google‘s YouTube and podcast series aims to
help bridge understanding
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak
on the early days of design at Apple
| March 23
Norway has redesigned its banknotes:
here’s a preview
. (Via Kevin Hicks.) [JH]
Gurafiku founder Ryan Hageman on
Japanese graphic design
How a photo of a tour van became a “lovely graphic tool”
in the hands of Harry Pearce
The US Supreme Court
rules that design elements can be copyrighted
... if you’re a cheerleader, that is. [JH]
| March 22
10 notebooks for designers
. (And they‘re not all Moleskines.) [MPL]
All of Frida Kahlo‘s anguish, beauty, and pain in, what else,
A collection of
East German beer and drink labels
"The standards of good design don’t change when designing for doing good.”
Why the Resistance doesn’t need another logo
“So now is a good moment to think about
how protest works and what it can achieve
An exhibition on the visual history of protest
opens tomorrow at the Imperial War Museum in London. [JH]
| March 21
Why Christopher Gray was
the witty architectural historian everybody loved
The Resistance has a
from the 70s and 80s. [MB]
Roman Mars ranks government logos
| March 30
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