Internet

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.



Observed
Announcing the New Places Journal
Our longtime partners have launched a strong new website


Chappell Ellison
You’ll Never Guess the Amazing Ways Online Design Writing and Criticism Has Changed
A call to support better desgn journalism.


Alexandra Lange
Premature Demolition
The Folk Art Museum, David Adjaye's market hall, and the first addition to the Morgan Library. If three makes a trend, then premature demolition qualifies.


Rick Poynor
Why Tatlin Can Never Go Home Again
Raoul Hausmann’s photomontage Tatlin at Home is much pinned on Pinterest, but what has become of the original?


Rick Poynor
The Compulsively Visual World of Pinterest
I have always liked Pinterest’s exclusively visual focus and unlimited boards structure. A week ago I joined.


Alexandra Lange
Year of the Women
A year-end wrap-up of my favorite stories. The common theme? Women and the making of design.


Alexandra Lange
Where We Work
A Kickstarter for co-working space Makeshift Society points to the light, space and tools creative freelancers need to be productive.


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.


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



Rob Walker
Object Lessons
Object Lessons is a new project that concerns itself with “the hidden lives of ordinary things.”


Alexandra Lange
Praise the Partner(s)
Salute Denise Scott Brown because she deserves it, but let's not forget the other partners.


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?



Observed
Saul Bass Google Doodle
Google celebreates Saul Bass with a Doodle.


Alexandra Lange
Instagramming Around Australia
Lessons from contemporary Australian architecture, plus what I saw on Instagram.


Alexandra Lange
After the Museum: The Tumblr
To create metamuseum.tumblr.com, a multi-museum, multi-curator Tumblr @MADMuseum, I saw it as a kind of curatorial game: Show Me What You’ve Got.


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


Alexandra Lange, and Mark Lamster
Lunch With The Critics: Third-Annual Year-End Awards
Idiosyncratic awards bestowed on architecture, design and media.


Alexandra Lange
3rd Annual Holiday Card Review
Holiday card designs for 2012 reveal the social media preoccupations of their buyers, whether it is Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram or old-fashioned (perhaps Downton Abbey-inspired?) stationery.


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
Crowdcrit vs. Apple Maps
An instant Tumblr responds to Apple's maps app, and demonstrates the art of the creative takedown.



Alexandra Lange
Critics Critical Criticism
Meta-criticism all over the blogosphere (but why only about books?)


Alexandra Lange
The Critical Olympics
What the best sports commentary does is just like criticism: it makes you care about the previously abstract.


Alexandra Lange
The Charismatic Megafauna of Design
Identifying the "charismatic megafauna" of design and the critical uses of their popularity.


Alexandra Lange
Introducing Strelka Press
On Strelka Press, a new "digital first" publisher of longform architecture and design criticism.



Observed
Women, Equity, Architecture
Parlour, a new Australian site with the tagline"Women, Equity, Architecture", has a dual project: creating a forum for discussion of and opportunities for women in architecture, and reporting on research, scholarship and the history of the same.


Alexandra Lange
Against Kickstarter Urbanism
You can Kickstart an edible spoon, but not a city.


Rick Poynor
This Post has Been Declared a Link-free Zone
Links can greatly enrich an online text, but are they also a counterproductive distraction from reading?


Alexandra Lange
Thinking in Tumblr
Don't write a book, make a Tumblr.


Alexandra Lange
Stop That: Minimalist Posters
Make a minimalist poster, see your work travel the digital world.


Alexandra Lange
Announcing LetsGetCritical.org
My new blog collects the best arts & culture criticism, essays and reviews.


Rick Poynor
The House That Design Journalism Built
Printed design magazines continue to fail and close. Where does that leave design writing and criticism?


Alexandra Lange
Would You Like Words With That?
A meditation on how we shop, organize and get rid of stuff online.


Rob Walker
Dedigitization
“Digital goods” are increasingly seen as having real value. Increasingly, though, things from the digital world are crossing over into physical manifestations that can be bought and sold.


Alexandra Lange
An Atlas of Possibility
The Institute for Urban Design's By the City/For the City project provokes crowd-sourced possibilities for New York's future.



Maria Popova
A Voice for LGBTQ in the Middle East
Interview with Esra'a Al Shafei, founder of Ahwaa, a portal for LGBTQ issues in the Middle East


Alexandra Lange
Vicarious Thrifting, via Twitter
On the lively, effective and erudite thrifting community on Twitter.



Alexandra Lange
All That Glitters (and Swoops)
What reviews of aberrant design and Van Cleef diamonds have in common: the death of the design show.




Alexandra Lange
Reading Out Loud
The disappearing physical on-ramps to reading.


Alexandra Lange
Neat Freaks
Organizing things neatly = what IBM, Ray Eames, Herbert Matter and Tumblr have in common.


Alexandra Lange
I Was an Unhappy Hipster
In a renovation by an architect, for a critic, the bookshelves can be a battleground.



Rob Walker
Ghosts in the Machine
Everyday we are busy producing fresh masses of life-affirming digital stuff. What happens to this “stuff” when we die?


Alexandra Lange
Shopping D/R at Etsy
Want to recreate D/R this Christmas? Etsy provides the goods.




Rob Walker
Inside the Wild, Wacky, Profitable World of Boing Boing
How four people who do exactly what they want run one of the most popular blogs on the planet.


Alexandra Lange
Criticism Kerfuffle 2010
There are people trying to write their way to a future of architecture criticism. But it isn't just the writing that's the problem.



Rick Poynor
Adventures in the Image World
This is a blog about visual culture. It reflects my interests, enthusiasms, concerns and bêtes noires across the spectrum of visual phenomena.



Adrian Shaughnessy
Publishing in the Age of the Internet
Design/Research, published by Unit Editions, are collectable "papers" which, focus on design and visual communication, from the past, by placing it in a future context.






Alexandra Lange
The Anti-Enthusiasts
Design Blogs: The Vacuum of Enthusiasm, my Design Observer manifesto on what the world of design on the internet needs, lives on in the comments.



Alexandra Lange
The Naive Tumblr
The recent changes on Tumblr are brilliant and not intuitive.









Alexandra Lange
Playground Apps
I wonder if the young, male inventors of foursquare haven’t missed a big market: moms.



Mark Lamster
Observing Design
I'm pleased to announce that I've joined the distinguished slate of contributing editors to Design Observer, what I consider to be the premier site on the web for writing on design in its many disciplines.



Alexandra Lange
Just Looking
My new favorite source of procrastination is Reference Library.



Alexandra Lange
Healthy Home
My project involving vintage paper placements was featured on Ohdeedoh.



Alexandra Lange
Grounded
Alexandra Jacobs's feature on Zappos didn't address my burning question: Why is Zappos so ugly?



Teddy Blanks
Teddy Blanks on Figurines
Significant Objects is a much-discussed experiment conducted by Joshua Glenn and Rob Walker. This story by Teddy Blanks is recorded as an MP3...



Rachel Berger
Significant Objects: #1 Mom Hooks
Significant Objects is a much-discussed experiment conducted by Joshua Glenn and Rob Walker. The third of five stories is by Rachel Berger...



Teddy Blanks
Significant Objects: Porcelain Scooter
Significant Objects is a much-discussed experiment conducted by Joshua Glenn and Rob Walker. The fourth of five stories is by Teddy Blanks...



Jessica Helfand
Significant Objects: Elvis Chocolate Tin
Significant Objects is a much-discussed experiment conducted by Joshua Glenn and Rob Walker. The fifth of five stories is by Jessica Helfand...



Adam Harrison Levy
Significant Objects: Star of David Plate
Significant Objects is a much-discussed experiment conducted by Joshua Glenn and Rob Walker. The first of five stories is by Adam Harrison Levy...



Alexandra Lange
Shelf Life
Lizzie Skurnick's Shelf Discovery is a new book about rereading classic teen novels with an adult eye.



The Editors
On Comments
Reader comments are an important part of our site, with many visitors enjoying them as much as the original articles. So keeping the discussion as interesting as possible is to everyone's advantage. Here are the rules for comments at Design Observer.



Alexandra Lange
Why This blog?
I am starting a blog, because some opinions are too hot for casual conversation.



The Editors
Design Observer Audience Survey




Debbie Millman
Allan Chochinov
On this episode of Design Matters with Debbie Millman, Debbie speaks with Allan Chochinov, editor-in-chief of Core77.com, the widely read design website.



Jessica Helfand
My Facebook, My Self
But as projections of ourselves, one's Facebook identity, made visible through one's photo albums, inhabits a public trajectory that goes way beyond who and what we are.





Debbie Millman
Jessica Helfand
Jessica Helfand discusses growing up in a family of collectors, her love of visual biography and why history should be more important to designers than it seems to be.



Dmitri Siegel
Design by Numbers
Dmitri Siegel discusses Stephen Baker's new book The Numerati and how data-mining and personalized content may impact design.



Adrian Shaughnessy
Look and Feel / Nip and Tuck
If clients are happy to refer to the output of graphic designers as look and feel, where's the harm?



Steven Heller
What's In A Name?
In only a few short years, blogs have significantly evolved. And if blogs, and the people who engage with them, are to be respected, then we should all know who everyone is, and everyone — whoever and whatever they have to say — should not hide behind the digital veil.



Adrian Shaughnessy
The 2012 Olympic Logo Ate My Hamster
Designers often bemoan the lack of coverage given to graphic design in mainstream media. Yet when design catches the attention of journalists and commentators it usually results in a vicious mugging rather than hearty praise.



William Drenttel
What Ever Happened to Half.com, Oregon?
But back in 1999, in its Netflix-like heyday, Half.com was hot. And it did something quite remarkable. As a publicity stunt, it bought a town and renamed it. Someplace in Oregon. I wondered what ever happened to Half.com, Oregon — the first dot com city in the world?



Dmitri Siegel
World 6.0: Same as the Old World?
Edward Castronova's recent book Synthetic Worlds: The Business and Culture of Online Games sheds some light on the increasingly tangled relationship between MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games) and the game of life.



Adrian Shaughnessy
Living Without The Internet
The "community" that I find on the internet is the communality of shared enthusiasms for marginalised subjects.



Rick Poynor
Emigre: An Ending
Issue 69 of Emigre will be the last. In its heyday, it was the most consistently interesting design publication produced by anyone, anywhere. By 1990, it was one of those magazines you simply had to get hold of and read straight away.



Rick Poynor
We Are All Editors Now. Or Are We?
Many designers aspire to be editors. But being an editor is not simply about choosing some things you like and throwing them together. Editing is about deep engagement with content and the construction of meaning.



Debbie Millman
Design Blogs: The Good, the Bad and the Nasty
Rick Poynor, Armin Vit, Bryony Gomez-Palacio, Jen Beckman, Adrian Hanft and Bennett Holzworth discuss the finer points of design blogging.



William Drenttel
Maps of Cyberspace
It is the internet that has changed our perception of space, precisely because the sheer volume of interconnectivity is beyond our imagination, whether it be language-based, data-based, or community-based. Add black holes and photographs of asteroidal moons around Jupiter, and our world seems increasingly expansive. Yet, if we cannot map it, how can we understand it?



Debbie Millman
Marian Bantjes, Alexander Gelman + Michael Surtees
An interview with Marian Bantjes, Alexander Gelman and Michael Surtees of DesignNotes.



Debbie Millman
Bad Boys of Design
Designers Michael Ian Kaye, Mark Kingsley, Petter Ringbom, James Victore and Armin Vit.



The Editors
Understanding and Action




Jessica Helfand
Time, Space and The Microsoft Colonialists
If Microsoft displayed its marketing genius by introducing "Spaces" three weeks before Christmas, its failure as a compelling editorial product — as evidenced by its restrictive format, its templated narrowcasting, its uninspired design parameters — illuminates its ultimate weakness: these spaces have nothing to do with space, in all its rich, fascinating and deeply human complexity.



Jessica Helfand
Gentlemen Prefer Blogs
Watching Annie Duke beat out a half-dozen male competitors in the
World Poker Tournament this week, I experienced an odd case of déjà vu. It wasn't because of some Proustian memory of my own poker prowess — far from it, infact. Rather, what I felt was an odd sort of parallel universe with something I've been ruminating about for some time: namely, my presence here on Design Observer as the sole female contributor, and the scarcity of women who regularly participate in discussions here on this site.



William Drenttel
Font Forensics, Or Whether George W. Bush Is Hiding Something




Michael Bierut
Vladimir Nabokov: Father of Hypertext?
The innovative narrative technique developed by Vladimir Nabokov for his 1962 novel "Pale Fire" -- essentially a single epic poem with footnotes and commentary -- anticipated hypertext, the internet, and the interconnected world of blogs.



Jessica Helfand
Mind the Light, Light the Mind
As I began to describe Quaker Meeting for Worship — where one sits in silence for some period of time, in a large room with any number of other congregants, and where one stands to speak, on virtually any topic, when moved to do so — I realized that this presented a compelling metaphor for blogging.



William Drenttel
Design URLs
As a service to our readers over the holidays, here is a list of the twenty URLs we found to be available, and more interestingly, the close to one hundred URLs we found to be taken.



Jessica Helfand
Implausible Fictions
At what point does the designer's interpretation threaten to skew, or misrepresent or somehow implausibly amplify information in a manner that might be considered irresponsible?



Observed | August 30

Tactical urbanism: coming soon to a city near you. [MB]

Proving that they are brave as well as brilliant, who better than the Italians to redesign, um, cow poop? [JH]


Observed | August 29

3D printed garments at the U of Hertfordshire + a dress literally worth its weight in salt. [JH]

British artist Sarah Crake looks at the intersection of the biological and the bibliographic, excavating (and visualizing) the bacteria on a 1735 copy of Ovid’s Metamorphoses. [JH]

In Greenville, designers are linked directly with manufacturers and suppliers in real time, in what General Electric calls a “digital thread.” This means they can collaborate in ways that have changed the work process while making it more likely that problems or defects are spotted sooner. [JH]

"Sitting up: a brief history of chairs", by Witold Rybczynski. [MB]

"Stanford Business School will offer a two-week class in 2017 co-taught by media personality Tyra Banks focused on “building and protecting a personal brand.” [MB]

"I decided that that was where I wanted to be: this is modern, this is new, this is everything.” Jane Thompson, the writer and design theorist who brought modernism to American shopping, has died at 89. [MB]


Observed | August 26

Two conferences on design and health: the Transform Conference, at the Mayo Clinic and this October at Cornell, a symposium on Hospitality, Health and Design. [JH]

New museum explores the relationship of possession to loss, the madness inherent in love, and the undeniable importance of the individual’s voice in recording and interpreting history and its sweep. [JH]

Design first. Act later. [JH]

Smart design in The Hague leads to an actual conviction. Maybe design can save the world after all? [JH]


Observed | August 25

Great discoveries in the annals of UI: boosting empathy through Botox? (Yes, you read that right.) [JH]

In Washington, Federal agencies are starting to use design thinking to creatively address mission objectives and improve processes. (Not sure whether this is a good thing.) [JH]

Open to any resident of one of the 16 UNESCO “Cities of Design”a design competition focused on eliminating homelessness. [JH]

Design as a synonym for feelings? Forbes India says so. [JH]

The Rational Dress Society introduces Jumpsuit, an ungendered, multi-use monogarment for everyday wear. [MB]

Sci-fi typography obsessives, look no further! [JH]


Observed | August 24

177 film critics from around the world pick the 100 greatest films of the 21st century (so far). [MB]

Collage is cool again. (Was it ever not?) A new book from Thames and Hudson tells us why. [JH]

The amazing Anne Trubek on handwriting, and why it matters. [JH]

Susan Gardner started "gluing things" to the front of her Cobble Hill home as a therapeutic exercise after 9/11. Fifteen years later, it’s a Brooklyn landmark. [MB]

Boston’s Museum of Science announces a design competition launched by the U.S. Department of Defense. [JH]

Looking for something meaningful in these last, dog days of summer? Help San Francisco design its future transit system! [JH]

A visit with Jennifer Kinon, design director of Hillary for America. [MB]

When bad design leads to bad things. [JH]


Observed | August 23

Engineers at Princeton University have designed a scalable microchip that promises to boost efficiency and slash energy consumption. [JH]

Forget 3D Printing: at MIT’s aptly-named Self Assembly Lab, they’re onto the fourth dimension. [JH]

The Huffington Post alerts the public to the value of white space in design. Cue the modernists! [JH]

True to form, Mozilla is (sort of) open sourcing their new brand identity, inviting the world to comment on seven possible directions developed by Michael Johnson of Johnson Banks. [MB]



Jobs | August 30