Preservation

Adam Harrison Levy
The Last Unknown Place in New York
If you want to see a version of the future you could try to take a boat to an island off the coast of the Bronx.


Adam Harrison Levy
The Oldest Living Things In the World
Climate change — once a distant fear — is already upon us, Rachel Sussman’s glorious, and vitally important book could not have come at a more crucial moment.


Owen Edwards
Rizzoli Erased
Owen Edwards remembers the elegant old Art Nouveau building that housed the Rizzoli bookstore, just what a bookstore ought to be.


Alexandra Lange
Lucia Eames, 1930-2014
An appreciation of Lucia Eames (1930-2014).


David Morris
The Public Library
“The public library is a singularly American invention.” An excerpt from the new book The Public Library: A Photographic Essay.


Mark Lamster
The Astrodome and the Challenges of Preservation
The Astrodome and the future of preservation.



Mark Lamster
Can the Doomed Astrodome Save Modernism?
The Astrodome and the Future of Modern Preservation


Mark Lamster
Lost Landmarks in New York and Fort Worth
Modern landmarks, in New York and Fort Worth, are destroyed before preservationist can act.



Observed
A Campaign to Save The Post Office
Tucker Nichols is campaigning to save the Post Office.


Rick Poynor
On My Screen: Shooting the Past
Stephen Poliakoff’s Shooting the Past, set in a fictitious photo library, is a film that could haunt you for years.



Observed
Neon: Bright Lights, Big City
Collector's Weekly interviewed architect Kirsten Hively, the created of the free iPhone app Project Neon.



Alexandra Lange
Art Matters to Architecture
In Indianapolis, a restored Milton Glaser mural allows us to see its Brutalist home as its architect intended: with color!



Observed
Leonard Ross : Photographs of Social Change
Leonard Ross was a distinguished photographer who believed that the camera had the power to transform society.


Alexandra Lange
Fixing South Street Seaport: Is New Architecture Enough?
Fighting over Ben Thompson's postmodernist landmark Pier 17 at South Street Seaport. Should it stay or should it go?


Alexandra Lange
Round Thermostats and Crystal Lanterns, Revisited
Old designs, new tricks: updates on lawsuits filed against the new Nest thermometer, and on behalf of midcentury masterpiece Manufacturers Hanover.


Alexandra Lange
A Memorial to (Random Access) Memory
What does "RAMAC Park" mean to you?



James Biber
Vestige(s) of Empire
Comparing the repurposing of two monuments to lost Empire: London's Commonwealth Institute and Berlin's Palast der Republik.


Alexandra Lange
TWA: Still Kicking
Not a disappointment: a first thrilling visit to Eero Saarinen's legendary flight center.



Alexandra Lange
Welcome Back, Overbite
Albert C. Ledner's mid-century scallops and portholes have staying power.



John Thackara
Knife Sharpening
Last week I was taught how to sharpen our kitchen knives by a wood carver, Howard Raybould, who's been honing his technique for 30 years



Alexandra Lange
Manhattan Museum Musical Chairs
Bye, bye Museum of American Folk Art. Hello the forward march of the Modern.



Photo by Jason Orton
Built Not to Last
Photo of prefab London housting development slated for demolition.



Gail Anderson
Gail Anderson’s Collection of Salt and Pepper Shakers
Gail Anderson shares her collection of Salt and Pepper Shakers.


Alexandra Lange
You Have to Pay for the Public Design
Does a preference for design for private consumption threaten our public space?



Alexandra Lange
Damned Icons
Terminal 3 sits there, empty, next to JetBlue’s so-so Terminal 5, as an object lesson about how preservation and redevelopment have to operate in tandem.



Mark Lamster
The Outlier: Philip Johnson’s Tent of Tomorrow
The latest World's Fair, Expo 2010, opened earlier this month in Shanghai. The US entry is pretty weak (someone and I can't recall whom, recently commented that it looks like a Lexus dealership).






Jason Orton
Tinder Boxes




Alexandra Lange
A Real Modern Monument
Peter Behrens’ AEG Turbine Hall is still in use and is still as striking as the day it was completed — so shouldn't that be the goal for every building?



Alexandra Lange
UN, Now and Then
On the United Nations five-year renovation, systems and sustainability upgrade and preservation effort.



Mark Lamster
Save the Library
These are tough times for those of us who care about books. The publishing industry is in a tailspin; electronic readers and the Internet are challenging the primacy of the printed page.



Observed | January 20

Five months after becoming director of the Museum of Arts and Design, Jorge Daniel Veneciano is stepping down on Jan. 31 to turn his attention to the cultural sector. [JH]

From Portland-based designer Ilisha Helfman, a color palette tool for fountain pens with a custom-cut Canson paper top so you can make notes for each pen or sample ink vial. [JH]

On this historic day in America, as we struggle to honor truth, tolerance, and a deeply uncertain future, let us remember that inclusiveness is not only a matter of race and gender and nationality, but also a question of mutual respect and cross-disciplinary freedom. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: doctors who create! [JH]

The day has come. Here’s a reading list for designers in Trump‘s America. [MPL]

“Taking cues from the Girl Scouts, Soviet-era Constructivism, the WPA, and Kara Walker…” Behind the branding of the Women’s March on Washington. [MB]


Observed | January 19

Design as a proactive response to disaster, and the challenges for climate change. [JH]

In a design exploration that has taken nearly two years and six significant iterations of the prototype—during which the app’s usage has grown eightfold to 4 million daily active users—Slack introduces threaded conversations. Meanwhile, Mozilla (remember them, before Netscape?) introduces a revamped design identity. [JH]

In the US, nuclear plant design goes modular. [JH]

The lost signs of Montreal. [MB]

Paula Scher, Christoph Niemann and more visionary designers: coming soon on Netflix. Watch the trailer here! [JH]

Apple vs.Samsung: it‘s not over! [JH]

Design, detente—and defiance. [JH]

“Trump sits for hours with architects and designers, instinctively pointing to what he likes and doesn’t like.” The President-elect as design client. Sad! [JH]


Observed | January 18

“They’re the spiritual successors to the visual metaphors of early graphical user interfaces, but there’s a big difference between an icon shaped like a trash can and the tilt of a robotic eyebrow.” Visualizing AI—and why it may not be as ‘user-friendly’ as you’d think. [JH]

Trump, His Gilded Taste, and Me, a strange and prescient piece by the late Herbert Muschamp (via Paul Goldberger). [MB]

From the Department of Thespian Schadenfreude: when good actors have bad auditions. (Spoiler alert: they’re still pretty good.) [JH]

From The Amplifier Foundation—an extraordinary initiative that needs to be funded, now—before it’s too late. [JH]

From our friends at Continuum, a cogent, level-headed argument explaining why so many corporate-level design thinking initiatives are inevitably doomed to failure. [JH]

Shepard Fairey, Jessica Sabogal, and Ernesto Yerena launch a campaign to fund public art to protest the inauguration and beyond. [MB]


Observed | January 17

Extraordinary motion graphics from the French motion graphics genius Maxime Causeret, with music by Max Cooper. [JH]

The long lost connection between and Marilyn Monroe’s most famous scene and Design Observer’s own Bonnie Siegler. [MB]

Juventus—an Italian soccer team— reveals its pared down, minimalist new logo. You know what happens next. [JH]

“I want to create new things.” A New York Times profile of legendary book designer Irma Boom. [MB]

Peter Mendelsund on family, memory, and W.G. Sebald. [MB]

The suit is dead. Long live the suit! [JH]


Observed | January 16

V&A Head Designer Annabel Judd is taking on science. And here’s what’s happening Stateside. [JH]

Wells Fargo rejects a Black Lives Matter debit card. [JH]

Richard Prince disavows his appropriated Instagram portrait of Ivanka Trump and returns the money they paid him for it. [MB]


Observed | January 13

Yves Béhar designs a robot for the elderly he’s calling a “companion”. [JH]

Mr. Poopie explores the uncanny visual relationship between poop and ice cream. (Via Modes of Criticism.) [MB]



Jobs | January 22