show

Observed
Charity Ball
04.30.14

A short film about Ethan King, a 15 year old from Michigan whose dream is to give soccer balls to kids all over the world.

Paul Polak
An Open Letter to Larry Page
John Thackara
A ‘Wild Mirror’ For Desk-Bound Workers
03.18.14

A new scheme in England connects office workers with living systems by means of a ‘wild mirror’: each workspace is twinned with an equivalent area of ecosystem regeneration.

John Thackara
Caloryville: The Two-Wheeled City
02.14.14

In China, ‘battery-bikes’ are outselling cars by four-to-one. Pedelec sales are soaring in Europe, too. Is this the start of system-wide phase-shift in transportation?

John Thackara
Ecuador, Open Knowledge, and ‘Buen Vivir’: Interview With Michel Bauwens
12.17.13

John Thackara interviews Michel Bauwens, founder of the P2P Foundation, is to lead a strategic policy project for Ecuador’s government called Free/Libre Open Knowledge (FLOK), also known as the social knowledge economy project.

John Thackara
Dementia: Care Before Cure
Alexandra Lange
Where We Work
Natalie Foster
Natalie Foster on Sharing
John Thackara
Between Sorrel And Supertanker
08.22.13

John Thackara reviews the recent Doors of Perception xskool.

Alexandra Lange
Rural Vacation | Urban Questions
08.20.13

Driving Vermont's rural routes I began to wonder: Why does this town get a brand-new energy-efficient supermarket, and that one a minimart-slash-video store-slash-bank?

Observed
Working For Free
07.15.13

A designer posts an ad on Craigslist for other professionals to provide work for free.

John Thackara
Trust Is Not An Algorithm
John Thackara
Cycle Commerce As An Ecosystem
05.21.13

John Thackara reviews new products, services and ingredients needed to help a cycle commerce ecosystem flourish in India’s cities, towns and villages.

John Foster
Drawn to Currency
John Thackara
Cycle Commerce: The Red Blood Cells of a Smart City
John Thackara
Healing The Metabolic Rift
01.14.13

John Thackara on the possibilities and issues global business leaders will face at the 2013 World Economic Forum.

John Thackara
Istanbul: City of Seeds
05.01.12

Rather than dream up exotic visions of “what could be”, an xskool looks for social and natural assets that already exist – and grows from there.

John Thackara
Design In The Light of Dark Energy
John Thackara
A Reading List for Mr. Mario Monti
02.14.12

A (mostly) online list of readings for the new Italian Prime Minister, Mr. Mario Monti, and anyone else who is ready for a cold hard look at our energy resources and options.

Alexandra Lange
Who Are We Competing For?
Fred A. Bernstein
The Next World’s Fair: A Proposal
08.30.11

Fred Bernstein makes a case for New York City to be the host of the next World's Fair.

Julie Lasky
Everything Must Go
05.25.11

A new blog speaks to our current interest in shedding material goods.

John Thackara
From Eds & Meds to Farms and Watersheds
04.27.11

Eds & Meds behemoths that bestride Pittsburgh's skyline are not the only game in town. Even a small meadow contains a lot of plants.

John Thackara
From Bankster HQ to Start-up Central in Iceland
Rob Walker
Fun Stuff
02.11.11

A result of the wrenching economic downturn is that we just don’t care about stuff anymore.

Rob Walker
Rob Walker’s Collection of Bicentennial Quarters
12.09.10

Rob Walker shares his collection of bicentennial quarters.

Alexandra Lange
“We Can’t Really Pay”
06.14.10

All of you print people who scorned bloggers but have moved into blogging and helm publications that “blog,” earth to you: You don’t pay.

Rob Walker
Valuing $0
03.13.10

Lewis Hyde wrote The Gift decades ago for an audience of artists, writers and other people who create. Chris Anderson, cited Hyde’s work in his book Free, published last year.

Aspen Editors
Aspen Design Summit Report: Sustainable Food and Childhood Obesity
11.24.09

At the Aspen Design Summit November 11–14, 2009, sponsored by AIGA and Winterhouse Institute, the Sustainable Food Project focused on accelerating the shift from a global, abstract food system to a regional, real food system via a robust portfolio of activities — including a grand challenge and a series of youth-engagement programs.

Dmitri Siegel
Lost In the Supermarket
09.10.09

Dmitri Siegel gets lost in the Supermarket and encounters incredibly grippy toothbushes, spouts, nozzles, Thorstein Veblen and Adolf Loos.

Allison Arieff
WeCommune
09.03.09

WeCommune offers a technology platform for people who want to share resources and build community within particular subcultures.

Michael Erard
A Short Manifesto on the Future of Attention
08.12.09

Maybe we should be considering a dilemma of a human nature: the future of attention.

John Thackara
Fish Systems and Design
08.11.09

Though gloomy predictions say we could see the end of seafood by 2048, several initiatives are rethinking the way we acquire fish.

Kurt Andersen, Julie Lasky, and Douglas Rushkoff
Kurt Andersen and Douglas Rushkoff: Part II
08.04.09

Kurt Andersen and Douglas Rushkoff continue their discussion of the future in light of the current economic calamity.

Julie Lasky, Douglas Rushkoff, and Kurt Andersen
Kurt Andersen and Douglas Rushkoff: Part I
07.29.09

Kurt Andersen and Douglas Rushkoff discuss the future in light of the current economic calamity.

John Thackara
From Philanthrocapitalism to An Eco-Social Economy
07.29.09

"Design for social impact" is a very troubling phrase.

Debbie Millman
Gong Szeto
03.20.09

Former principal of the interaction design firm io360, Gong Szeto is Director of design and product design at Peak6 Investments.

Mark Lamster
Seattle PI: RIP
03.07.09

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer was founded 146 years ago, when that city was an industrial backwater on Elliot Bay, a timber town with more logs than people.

Mark Lamster
Save the Library Redux
03.05.09

Could it be that the sour economy is the best friend of the good old library?

Mark Lamster
Who Needs Two?
01.14.09

In this brutal economy, the Yankees have enlisted Prudential Douglas Elliman to help them move high-end seats at their new stadium.

Rob Walker
Talk is Cheap
12.12.08

As the financial crisis snowballed this year, retail sales fell sharply. Curiously, many assessments of this development treated it as an exciting new trend.

Gong Szeto
Lehman's Bankruptcy Statement
09.16.08

I'm just a designer, but it doesn't take a genius to read a bankruptcy statement. Take a look at the Lehman Brothers statement dated Sunday, September 14, 2008. Read the whole thing down to exhibit A and the list of creditors — this is an historical document.

John Thackara
Alternative Trade Networks and the Coffee System
08.04.08

Alterative trade networks are emerging in the coffee industry, attempting to eliminate the middle man.

Debbie Millman
Grant McCracken, Part 2
03.18.05

Grant McCracken PhD, author and a research affiliate at MIT.

Debbie Millman
Grant McCracken, Part 1
03.11.05

Grant McCracken PhD, is an author and a research affiliate at MIT.


Creative Opportunities
  • Twitter Facebook Google+
    Tumblr Pinterest RSS

    Design Observer
    social media à la carte
  • Newsletter signup

  • Design Jobs
    Observer Jobs Spotlight