Landscape

Rick Poynor
Exposure: American Hermit by Alec Soth
Alone in the great outdoors


Rick Poynor
Exposure: The Colossi of Memnon by Francis Bedford
Mysterious emanations from the desert



John Thackara
Food As A Commons
People go hungry not because of a shortage of production, but because the food available is too expensive, or they lack the land to grow it on. In California, the prototype of a combined social, political and technical solution has been launched which promises to unlock the food system crisis.


Alexandra Lange
Mariana Griswold Van Rensselaer, Freelancer
One of the incidental pleasures of Judith Major’s new book on pioneering architecture critic Mariana Griswold Van Rensselaer is the glimpse it gives into the life of a cultural journalist at the turn of the past century.


Alexandra Lange
A World of Paste and Paper
Today's obsession with digital renderings sparked two exhibitions that suggest a handmade, but far from quaint, corrective.


Rick Poynor
David Maisel and the Apocalyptic Sublime
David Maisel’s photographs are visions of the Earth as we have never seen it full of beauty and terror.



Observed
Change of State
"Change of State" — a site specific projection on the facade of the New Museum during Ideas City Festival, Saturday, May 4th, 2013.


Alexandra Lange
Portlandia + Timelessness
No better place to consider what looks timeless now than downtown Portland.



Observed
Flickr Collection of the Week: Signs of Pittsburgh
Bright cursive hope and rust-covered despair, sigils of titans and corner store shingles, the quick and the decaying done for, encomiums to vanished glory and the name of an immortal beer-and-a-shot bar.


Alexandra Lange
Patterns of Houston
How do you critique the urbanism of Houston? Look for patterns.


Rob Walker
What Are You Looking At?
The maps of the future will tell you what to look at. Sometimes, you should look elsewhere.


Rob Walker
13 Striking Landscape Fictions
Thirteen “landscape fictions,” photographs of the natural world — made distinctly unnatural.


Alexandra Lange
Hiking the Museum
Ennead Architects’ new Natural History Museum of Utah works to make natural history seem like the ongoing process of discovery that it is, layering geology and topography, paleontology and interactivity.


Rob Walker
Observational Instruments, Observed
Peeping at the Venue project's delightful gear, and Google's Seussian Trekker


Alexandra Lange
The Well-Tempered Environment
Water features, old trees, food trucks. Three elements of the architecture of outdoor civic life in North Texas.


Alexandra Lange
Decorating Brutalism: The Interiors of Kevin Roche
How do you decorate a brutalist building? For architect Kevin Roche, the answer was brown, mirrors, and trees.


Alexandra Lange
Lessons from the High Line
How can the High Line become a new paradigm, and not a dead end?



Barbara Flanagan
The Dissing of Summer Lawns
How one Californian was forced (and inspired) to exchange sod for low-water plants.


Alexandra Lange
Jane Austen, Landscape Architect
Trapped by a ha-ha: bad romance and good landscapes in Mansfield Park.


Alexandra Lange
Jane Austen, Architect?
Why is Austen next to Ballard on the Designers & Books lists?


Alexandra Lange
Muddying the Waters
Explore New York's watery edges with the graduating class at D-Crit.



Julie Lasky
DesigNYC, Round 2
Report on second round of pro bono design initiatives fostered by DesigNYC.



Jason Orton
Tinder Boxes




Hal Clifford, and Jason Houston
Stone River: The Passion of Jon Piasecki
Landscape architect Jon Piasecki, talks about nature, the woods, and a recent multi-year stone works project in New York State — Stone River



William Drenttel, and Jon Piasecki
The Stonework of Jon Piasecki
"Stone construction is one of the most enduring traces of human activity. Any effort to quarry, cut and stack it is one that requires a powerful incentive, extensive planning and specialized skill." The Stone River project of Jon Piasecki.



Justin Partyka
The East Anglians
Image from photographer Justin Partyka's series, The East Anglians, about the decline of rural culture in the UK.



Karrie Jacobs
A Thousand Points on Light: Part I
Debate between lighting designer Leni Schwendinger and Dark-Sky advocate Susan Harder about proper illumination of urban, suburban and rural environments.



Jason Orton
Going Coastal
Photo of Holliwell Point, Essex County, England by Jason Orton.



Observed | December 09

The design team behind all things Harry Potter have a shop where their work is all on glorious display—much of it for sale! More here. [JH]

Need to explain the design process to someone who would prefer it in the form of a cartoon? Here you go. [MB]


Observed | December 08

Good design can also help the formerly homeless heal, and the socially isolated build community.” (Can it, really?) [JH]

Experience design! Service design! And now we have—wait for it—aggressive design! Samsung plans to remedy this with the Galaxy 8: no bevels, no home button, all screen. (Not aggressive at all.) [JH]

Christmas, and the incessant promotion that surrounds it, is still too weeks away—but there’s an antidote! Behold: The 2016 Haters Guide to Williams Sonoma. [JH]

How DNA technology can find out if your favorite bargain t-shirt was made with slave labor. [MB]

Pantone 15-0343—aka “greenery”—is named the 2017 color of the year. [JH]

“We’re ripe for a new cultural movement. Culture movements and art and punk rock thrive under bad presidents.” MIT Media Lab’s Joi Ito on how Donald Trump is like the Sex Pistols. [MB]


Observed | December 07

A video by the American Museum of Natural History superbly demonstrates population expansion over multiple millennia. [JH]

A wonderful profile on design goddess Louise Fili—because we can’t get enough of her exquisite work, not ever! [JH]

A historic ruling by the Supreme Court on the Apple Samsung case explains what happened, and why. [JH]

“A sheet of parchment is the end product of a bloody, protracted, and very physical process that begins with the death of a calf, lamb, or kid, and proceeds thereafter through a series of grimly anatomical steps until parchment emerges at the other end. Like laws and sausages, if you love parchment it is perhaps best not to see it being made.” [MB]


Observed | December 06

Can design change the world? [JH]

Researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory introduce software that lets anyone design (and test) their own drone. [JH]

How a 40-year-old movie predicted today’s media dystopia. [MB]

Students and staff at RISD work with NASA to design for a new audience: life on Mars. [JH]

Best Christmas commercial of the season. Thanks, Poland! [JH]


Observed | December 05

In India, the Design Yatra is a pan-India initiative that aims to touch people’s lives through design. [JH]

How humans became consumers: a history. [MB]

From Carissa Carter at the Stanford d-school: let’s stop talking about THE design process. [MB]

Design and healthcare: a story from the UK. [JH]

How design thinking turned the Rotterdam Eye Hospital into a bright and comforting place. [MB]

The largest 3D printed object in the world debuts at Design Miami. [MB]


Observed | December 02

Design is the best weapon we have against fake news. [MB]

Frank Gehry’s design for Washington DC’s Eisenhower Memorial, long resisted by the former president’s grandchildren, inches towards approval. [MB]

“I myself am a color man; I love colors. When I see colors, my heart and emotions are taken.” Swiss design takes Shanghai! [JH]


Observed | December 01

Intentionally ugly design! Discuss amongst yourselves. [JH]

Forget the cyborg. Meet the eyeborg! [JH]

Windows new design language, set for release in 2017, is being described as a cross between holographic and augmented reality. [JH]

Design in the age of Napoleon. [JH]



Jobs | December 09