Development


Paul Polak, and Mal Warwick
How to Solve India’s Poverty Crisis
A new look at how to end poverty in India.



Observed
Welcoming Dr. Paul Polak
Welcoming Dr. Paul Polak as a Design Observer contributing writer.



Observed
2012: The Year in Construction
Engineering News-Record, a weekly technical magazine that traces it's roots back to 1874, has announced the winners of their "2012 The Year In Contruction" photo competition.



Philip Nobel
Oops: Understanding Failure
A review of To Forgive Design: Understanding Failure, by Henry Petroski.



Observed
Design Indaba Online FilmFest
Design Indaba's online film festival features 10 of the Focus Forward short films.



William Drenttel, and OBlog
Update: Design For Change Goes Global
Design For Change, the international design project that gives young people a chance to make a design contribution in their villages and cities has now reached 34 countries, launched a new website and conference, as well as school and communities challenges.



Mark Lamster
Majority Report
Review of Design with the Other 90%: Cities



Courtney Drake, William Drenttel, and Deirdre Cerminaro
Design and the Social Sector: An Annotated Bibliography
This bibiography surveys the literature of social design — the spectrum from design process and thinking to the zones of social innovation.



Julie Lasky
Media Design Matters
Art Center offers a new graduate track in social design that combines communications and technologies strategies with field work.



Ramsey Ford
Expert Thinking About Global Aid
Suggestions for a crash course in development economics for social designers



Barbara Flanagan
Sleeping with the Fishes
Review of "Waltzing with Brando," an account of the actor's effort to inhabit and protect a Tahitian atoll.



Ramsey Ford
Design Impact Fellowship Program
Announcement of Design Impact Fellowship Program in India.



John Thackara
Does Bilbao Need Another Guggenheim?
Ideas for remaking Basque country that go far beyond fancy architecture.



Julie Lasky
Bushpunk and the Future of Africa
Why Maker Faire Africa is a model for economic development



Julie Lasky
Index Names Design Challenge Finalists
Among the seven projects dedicated to schoolchildren are educational games, classroom furniture and products that support comfort and hygiene.




Phil Patton
The Meek Shall Inherit the Market
Phil Patton writes in praise of frugal engineering, and not just for developing markets.



Meena Kadri
Tinkers, Hackers, Farmers, Crafters
Interview with Emeka Okafor, founder of Maker Faire Africa.



Maria Popova
The Language of Design Imperialism
Essay on the flawed language used to describe humanitarian design efforts and what it indicates.



The Editors
Humanitarian Design vs. Design Imperialism: Debate Summary
Bruce Nussbaum started a firestorm with the question "Is humanitarian design the new imperialism?" — and the conversation has spread through the blogosphere. Here, a digest of essays and related posts on this subject.



Robert Fabricant
In Defense of Design Imperialism
Weighing in on a controversy, frog design's Robert Fabricant supports global design interventions.


Kate Andrews
Dori Gíslason
Interview with design educator Halldór Gíslason about his work in Mozambique.


Aspen Editors
Aspen Design Summit Report: UNICEF Menstruation Challenge
At the Aspen Design Summit November 11–14, 2009, sponsored by AIGA and Winterhouse Institute, the UNICEF Menstruation Challenge Project proposed an “eco-system” whereby sanitary pads became a linchpin for local economic growth, for educational programs about health and hygiene and for research into materials that could be adapted to other countries.


Ernest Beck
Medellín, Colombia
Report on the city officials who turned around a notorious drugs-and-murder capital, winning the 2009 Curry Stone Design Prize for Transformative Public Works.



Bryan Mealer, and William Kamkwamba
The Doers Club
Design prodigy William Kamkwamba recalls building a windmill to generate electricity for his village in Malawi, Africa.



Alexandra Lange
Waiting On the Dream
I wrote a piece on the (lack of) development in Midtown West , also known as the Hudson Yards.



Debbie Millman
Grant McCracken
Grant McCracken is the author of Culture and Consumption IPlenitudeBig HairCulture and Consumption II: Markets, Meaning and Brand ManagementThe Long InterviewFlock and Flow, and Transforming Selves.  



Rob Walker
The Guts of a New Machine
The iPod, a digital music player, it weighing just 6.5 ounces and holding about 1,000 songs.



Observed | September 26

Is there a punctuation mark for that? Actually, yes. An online showcase of unused punctuation marks suggests they would improve our written communication. [BV]

If Apple were taking an elementary interaction design class today, it would fail. [JH]


Observed | September 25

Without a Net: The Digital Divide in America” is a new documentary by Rory Kennedy exploring how access to technology is increasingly shaping every child’s future. [MB]

Data visualization porn. [BV]

After uproar from its customers, General Mills is restoring the artificially lurid colors of Trix. [MB]

The surprising history (and future) of paperweights. [MB]


Observed | September 22

Misaligned type. Inconsistent styling. The iOS 11 release is sloppy. [BV]


Observed | September 21

You need to listen to Change Lab: Conversations on Transformation and Creativity, a new podcast hosted by Lorne Buchman, president of ArtCenter College of Design. [BV]

The Independent Art Book Fair is this weekend, free, and in Brooklyn. And our friend Steve Kroeter, head of Designers and Books, will be featured on the panel discussion. [BV]


Observed | September 20

The toxic history of soda pop: Coca-Cola was viewed as a health drink, “containing the properties of the wonderful Coca plant and the famous Cola nuts.” Sounds uplifting. [BV]

The beauty of Slovakian Socialist Era sterile, geometric, old swimming pools. [BV]

Architectural cakes. Yum! [MPL]


Observed | September 19

“Real life” Lego House to open in Denmark this month. Hopefully it’s too big to step on. [BV]

In the you-can’t-make-this-up department: scientists once dressed frogs in tiny pants to study reproduction. [BV]

Penguin’s Steinbeck reissues feature Walker Evans Polaroids. [MPL]


Observed | September 18

Paul McNeil‘s six favorite faces. [MPL]

“Segregated Innovation”, or, why the empathy concept is deeply flawed. [JH]

An epic battle erupts between London‘s Science Museum + Natural History Museum during Twitter’s #AskACurator day. [BV]

Meet the font detectives. [MB]


Observed | September 15

Start you Friday right: A brief history of sex on the internet. [BV]


Observed | September 14

Expand your mind, or boggle it. “We are three-dimensional creatures living in a potentially 10-dimensional world.” [BV]

In India’s ‘rape capital,’ designers change how people picture assault. [BE]

Photographs lie. Even great photographs. Especially great photographs. [JH]


Observed | September 13

A look back at the design of the ten-pound note. [JH]

In design as in politics, who decides? [JH]

Design as a learning system, and other insights about where it’s all heading. [JH]


Observed | September 12

Steven Heller discusses the history and power of the swastika: from good to evil. [BV]

Roadways aren’t just the arteries of transportation and commerce, they can be the catalysts for more sustainable design. [BV]

The beautiful master plans of America’s national parks. [MB]

Is the act of standardization through design a subtle gesture of colonization? Skin color-tweaked emojis are only half the battle. Look at this. [JH]



Jobs | September 26