Business + Industry

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 | September 23

The reason your neighborhood increasingly resembles a boring shopping mall is because somebody’s banker prefers it that way [MB]

A pantheon of record sleeve designers pick their favorites. [MB]

Molly Young and Teddy Blanks team up to produce a periodic table of NYC trash. [JH]

The Financial Times, on the comfort—and value—of Gerrit Rietveld’s classic zig-zag chair. [JH]

A new book suggests that design is at the core of all innovation. [JH]

90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visual content is processed 60,000 times faster than text. [JH]

“In just a few years, understanding programming will be an indispensable part of active citizenship.” Reflections on the ethical dimensions of coding. [JH]


Observed | September 22

Farewell, Rollo Tamasi. Remembering the remarkably versatile director Curtis Hanson and his best movie, L.A. Confidential. [MB]

“Design to me is about improving our daily life—it is not about creating another lamp or another chair.” Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde wins the design innovation medal in London. [JH]

A deepening interest in helping to define what design in China actually means. [JH]

The EpiPen is just one more example in a long tradition of designers “solving” design problems by adding instructions, rather than fixing the underlying design itself. [JH]

TestLab Berlin—an immersive design program from ArtCenter in California. [JH]

The art schools Fidel Castro built—and then neglected. [MB]


Observed | September 21

In December, DC Comics and IDW Publishing will publish “Love Is Love,” a 144-page comic book whose proceeds will benefit Equality Florida and its fund for those affected by the June 12 attack at the Pulse nightclub in Florida. [JH]

Disney characters with a military aesthetic: painting as propaganda in (North!) Korea. [JH]

Can you get a patent for a paper bag? Apple can! [JH]

Valued at $246 billion, Tencent is Asia’s most profitable company. Here’s what went into designing their corporate headquarters. [JH]


Observed | September 20

“Design/Build” and why it’s good for everyone, especially the economy. [JH]

A new book brilliantly exposes the often overlooked relationship between architecture and the political process. [JH]

Frank Gehry redesigns Eisenhower memorial after a now-well publicized family critique. [JH]

Kickstarter projects, city by city, illuminate where creative communities live in the United States. [JH]

All 14 issues of legendary Herb Lubalin 60s magazine Avant Garde are now online! [JH]


Observed | September 19

Taschen’s new luscious book on vintage car brochures. [JH]

"Its participatory nature, in which viewers are invited to make use of the fixture individually and privately, allows for an experience of unprecedented intimacy with a work of art.” Artist Maurizio Catalan has replaced the toilet in a public restroom at the Guggenheim Museum with a fully functional replica cast in 18-karat gold. [MB]

New Zealand student designs inflatable bird bath with implications for combating oil spills worldwide. [JH]

At the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, you can now get a degree in health care interior design. Here’s why. [JH]

"At fifteen seconds after 9:41 a.m., on September 11, 2001, a photographer named Richard Drew took a picture of a man falling through the sky—falling through time as well as through space. The picture went all around the world, and then disappeared, as if we willed it away.” A masterful piece by Tom Junod on one of most famous — and horrifying — pictures from 9/11. [MB]

As Solari boards disappear from train stations and airports, they’re showing up elsewhere. [MB]

Design “weeks” is now a global thing—and coming to a country near you! [JH]

Stephen Wolfram on how to teach computational thinking. (Thanks to Blake Eskin.) [MB]



Jobs | September 25