show

Observed
Announcing the New Places Journal
09.29.14

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
03.06.14

A call to support better desgn journalism.

Alexandra Lange
Premature Demolition
02.11.14

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
02.04.14

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
01.13.14

I have always liked Pinterest’s exclusively visual focus and unlimited boards structure. A week ago I joined.

Alexandra Lange
Year of the Women
Alexandra Lange
Where We Work
10.21.13

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
Alexandra Lange
That Personal Touch
Rob Walker
Object Lessons
06.10.13

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

Alexandra Lange
Praise the Partner(s)
Alexandra Lange
Home Improvement
Alexandra Lange
Anxiety, Culture and Commerce
Observed
Saul Bass Google Doodle
05.08.13

Google celebreates Saul Bass with a Doodle.

Alexandra Lange
Instagramming Around Australia
Alexandra Lange
After the Museum: The Tumblr
03.07.13

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
Alexandra Lange, and Mark Lamster
Lunch With The Critics: Third-Annual Year-End Awards
Alexandra Lange
3rd Annual Holiday Card Review
11.21.12

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
10.14.12

Digitizing the Miller House Collection, and other museum and corporate visual archives on Tumblr.

Rob Walker
Crowdcrit vs. Apple Maps
Alexandra Lange
Critics Critical Criticism
08.21.12

Meta-criticism all over the blogosphere (but why only about books?)

Alexandra Lange
The Critical Olympics
07.31.12

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
06.15.12

Identifying the "charismatic megafauna" of design and the critical uses of their popularity.

Alexandra Lange
Introducing Strelka Press
06.09.12

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

Observed
Women, Equity, Architecture
05.16.12

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
05.02.12

You can Kickstart an edible spoon, but not a city.

Rick Poynor
This Post has Been Declared a Link-free Zone
Alexandra Lange
Thinking in Tumblr
09.13.11

Don't write a book, make a Tumblr.

Alexandra Lange
Stop That: Minimalist Posters
Alexandra Lange
Announcing LetsGetCritical.org
08.31.11

My new blog collects the best arts & culture criticism, essays and reviews.

Rick Poynor
The House That Design Journalism Built
07.13.11

Printed design magazines continue to fail and close. Where does that leave design writing and criticism?

Alexandra Lange
Would You Like Words With That?
07.07.11

A meditation on how we shop, organize and get rid of stuff online.

Rob Walker
Dedigitization
06.08.11

“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
Maria Popova
A Voice for LGBTQ in the Middle East
06.01.11

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

Alexandra Lange
Vicarious Thrifting, via Twitter
05.21.11

On the lively, effective and erudite thrifting community on Twitter.

Alexandra Lange
All That Glitters (and Swoops)
04.12.11

What reviews of aberrant design and Van Cleef diamonds have in common: the death of the design show.

Alexandra Lange
Reading Out Loud
03.07.11

The disappearing physical on-ramps to reading.

Alexandra Lange
Neat Freaks
02.21.11

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

Alexandra Lange
I Was an Unhappy Hipster
02.17.11

In a renovation by an architect, for a critic, the bookshelves can be a battleground.

Rob Walker
Ghosts in the Machine
01.09.11

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
Rob Walker
Inside the Wild, Wacky, Profitable World of Boing Boing
12.01.10

How four people who do exactly what they want run one of the most popular blogs on the planet.

Alexandra Lange
Criticism Kerfuffle 2010
Rick Poynor
Adventures in the Image World
11.05.10

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
08.03.10

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
05.21.10

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
05.16.10

The recent changes on Tumblr are brilliant and not intuitive.

Alexandra Lange
Playground Apps
03.15.10

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

Mark Lamster
Observing Design
02.01.10

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
09.11.09

My new favorite source of procrastination is Reference Library.

Alexandra Lange
Healthy Home
09.09.09

My project involving vintage paper placements was featured on Ohdeedoh.

Alexandra Lange
Grounded
09.09.09

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

Teddy Blanks
Teddy Blanks on Figurines
08.18.09

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
08.17.09

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
08.17.09

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
08.17.09

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
08.17.09

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
08.16.09

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

The Editors
On Comments
07.29.09

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?
06.01.09

I am starting a blog, because some opinions are too hot for casual conversation.

The Editors
Design Observer Audience Survey
05.14.09


Debbie Millman
Allan Chochinov
05.01.09

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
03.11.09

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
01.09.09

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
10.15.08

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
02.07.08

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?
12.27.07

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
06.06.07

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?
08.29.06

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?
08.17.06

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
08.03.06

The "community" that I find on the internet is the communality of shared enthusiasms for marginalised subjects.

Rick Poynor
Emigre: An Ending
11.10.05

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?
07.01.05

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
06.15.05

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
05.30.05

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
04.01.05

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

Debbie Millman
Bad Boys of Design
03.01.05

Designers Michael Ian Kaye, Mark Kingsley, Petter Ringbom, James Victore and Armin Vit.

The Editors
Understanding and Action
01.02.05


Jessica Helfand
Time, Space and The Microsoft Colonialists
12.03.04

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
09.24.04

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
09.11.04


Michael Bierut
Vladimir Nabokov: Father of Hypertext?
01.11.04

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
01.02.04

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
12.16.03

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
11.12.03

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?


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