Business + Industry

Michale Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S1E9: Jay Parkinson
Dr. Jay Parkinson is the founder of Sherpaa, an online medical practice.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S1E8: Leslie Koch
Leslie Koch was the president and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S1E6: Douglas Powell
Douglas Powell is a Distinguished Designer at IBM. He directs a global effort to bring human-centered design to IBM.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S1E4: Barry Nalebuff
Barry Nalebuff teaches at the Yale School of Management. His specialty is game theory and its application to business strategy.


LinYee Yuan
Easy Being Green
In the United States, over a third of the food that we produce goes to waste.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S1E2: Molly Barton and Julian Yap
Molly Barton and Julian Yap are cofounders of Serial Box Publishing, which develops original episodic fiction.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S1E1: John Bielenberg
John Bielenberg is a designer, entrepreneur and imaginative advocate for a better world.


Rob Walker
Listening to Retail
Disquiet Junto has been listening to retail, and it’s changing my ears.


Debbie Millman
Todd Waterbury
Debbie Millman talks to Target’s Chief Creative Officer Todd Waterbury about how technology is changing consumption and about how smart phones have raised our expectations for how companies should interact with us.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
150 Years, 7 Minutes, 6 Seconds
Visualizing business data, a logo to mark Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation, and more.



Bonnie Siegler
Dear Bonnie: Fretting in Fredericksburg
This week Dear Bonnie gives an unhappy designer advice on contracts, fees, and client management.


Debbie Millman
Lynda Weinman
On this episode of Design Matters, Debbie talks to lynda.com’s Lynda Weinman about how the internet is challenging the traditional classroom model.



Rob Walker
Jony Ive: The Supercut
Finally! Someone made a supercut video of Jony Ive’s years of describing the awesomeness of Apple product design.


Paul Polak
An Open Letter to Larry Page
Paul Polack responds to Larry Page's statemet that he'd rather hand over his cash to Elon Musk (Tesla, SpaceX, Solar City) instead of donating it to a philanthropic organization.



Observed
Employee ID Badges
A deeper look into WWII era employee ID badges.


Michael Bierut
What Bill Knew
A 1991 speech by William Drenttel revealed what he knew about the business of design.


Bonnie Siegler
Dear Bonnie: Cheated in Chicago
This week Dear Bonnie — our truth-telling advice column from Bonnie Siegler — advises independent artist "Cheated in Chicago" on the best course of action when her work is being used by a large brand without her permission.


Maria Giudice + Christopher Ireland
Rise of the DEO
An excerpt from the book Rise of the DEO by Maria Giudice & Christopher Ireland.



Paul Polak
End Poverty or Bust
Five years ago, Steve Bachar and Paul Polak decided to create a venture capital fund that would only invest in socially responsible companies. There was only one problem. There were no companies to invest in that met the criteria


Alexandra Lange
Learning New Tricks
Harvard doesn't have any design courses, but I've found new friends in "material culture." What it's like for a critic to go back to school.


Cheryl Heller
Forget Poverty. Let’s Talk Business.
In a recent article on the future of design, I used Paul Polak as a case for why generalists are so important to the world right now.


Alexandra Lange
That Personal Touch
In the age of the digital signature, what does script mean?


Owen Edwards
The Best Management Memo … Ever!
Owen Edwards on the most effective eight words he's ever read.


Alexandra Lange
Home Improvement
The Sweethome, where Consumer Reports and Amazon product reviews meet.


Alexandra Lange
Anxiety, Culture and Commerce
Is the museum store a distraction or an enticement?



Soren Kaplan
Harnessing the Power of Surprise
Breakthroughs share three common characteristics: they challenge fundamental assumptions about existing products, services, business models, or organizations; they transform existing ways of doing business by rewriting rules or revolutionizing current practices; and they apply resources in entirely new ways, whether people, knowledge, relationships, or technology.


Michael Bierut
Graphic Design Criticism as a Spectator Sport
Michael Bierut on logo redesign outrages, what they mean, and why we should demand more.


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.


Alexandra Lange
Shopping With Sandro, and Other Tumblr Delights
Digitizing the Miller House Collection, and other museum and corporate visual archives on Tumblr.


Rob Walker
Making "Making" Mass
A visit to an outpost of TechShop, the aspriing "Kinko's for geeks," in North Carolina.


Rob Walker
The Bizarro Storytelling Exercise
The Bizarro Story Exercise: The value in thinking hard about the worst.


Rob Walker
The Infrastructure of the Cloud
On the material structures we depend on to deliver us the immaterial digital world.



Adrian Shaughnessy
When Less Really Does Mean Less
Since the banking crises of 2008, designers fromWestern nations are learning painfully to adapt to the new reality: less is the new normal.


John Thackara
From Milk to Superfoods: Supping with the Devil?
The social and ecological crimes Big Food is committing, in other parts of the world, so that you and I can eat what we damn well feel like.


Alexandra Lange
What the Cooper-Hewitt Needs: More Design, Less Talk
My six suggestions for how to fix the National Design Museum.


Rick Poynor
From the Archive: Raging Bull
A response to Michael Bierut’s essay about the relationship between bullshit and design, and the discussion that ensued.


Rick Poynor
From the Archive: Down with Innovation
Designers have too readily accepted the caricature of themselves as airheaded stylists. Visual form is a vital expression of culture.



Alexandra Lange
New Apple HQ, 1957
Wouldn't it be more radical for Apple to move back to town?



Helen Walters
Design and Business Education: The System Is Not Good Enough
In the past few years, there have been interesting attempts from within both business and design schools to elevate the potential of design and creative thinking as drivers of differentiated value.


John Thackara
How the Banks Want to Make China Sick — and Broke
Is it me, or are some banking people incredibly stupid as well as being venal and sociopathic?



Michael Bierut
Jerry Della Femina, Mad Men, and the Cult of Advertising Personality
A review of Jerry Della Femina’s From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbor, published in a new edition on the occasion of the debut of the fourth season of the AMC series Mad Men.



Jane Margolies
Skin
Report on maternity clothes made in Colombia with local labor. (No seamstresses under the age of 50 need apply.)



Project
Kiva
Report on Kiva, the pioneering microfinance site, which won a 2009 INDEX award for humanitarian design.



Debbie Millman
Dan Pink
Dan Pink is an entrepreneur, speaker and the author of three groundbreaking books on the changing dimensions of the workplace. 



John Thackara
The Innovator Next Door
Whether it's narrowly defining innovation as technology, or imposing solutions on communities, John Thackara discusses the mistakes made by large companies.



Debbie Millman
Seth Godin
Seth Godin is the author of Purple Cow and All Marketers Are Liars.



Debbie Millman
Live From Las Vegas with Rossi Ralenkotter
Debbie Millman interviews Rossi Ralenkotter — President of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority — and Emmy Award nominated Set Designer Susan Benjamin.



Debbie Millman
Brand Consulting
A discussion about branding, design and cultural anthropology with leading practitioners in each discipline.



Debbie Millman
Grant McCracken, Part 2
Grant McCracken PhD, author and a research affiliate at MIT.



Debbie Millman
Grant McCracken, Part 1
Grant McCracken PhD, is an author and a research affiliate at MIT.



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]

Shepherd Fairey’s protest posters. [JH]

Beautiful data: NYC-style but open and available to all. [JH]


Observed | January 12

The newly-minted field of “behavioral design” looks to have pretty much nothing to doing with design. Is taking design’s name in vain OK? I’m starting to wonder. [JH]

Sleep Mode is an exhibition on the art of the screensaver at Het Nieuwe Institute, Rotterdam. [MB]

Engineers at UCLA have come up with a design that offers unlimited phone bandwidth. [JH]



Jobs | January 19