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 | February 20

The Batbot Xtreme takes toy design to another level. [MPL]

Gerald Haltom‘s original 1958 sketches for the peace symbol. [MB]

Ugly buildings always photograph better at night (and other confessions of a former design magazine editor). [MB]

How Steven Heller redefined the design world. [MB]

Happy President‘s Day...? Ten times that Trump stirred up the design and architecture world. (And counting.) [MPL]


Observed | February 17

As the White House aims to stifle climate science, cities cooperate globally and plan locally, standing up to climate change. [BV]

The crude, vulgar, and celebrated art of Jean Dubuffet. [MPL]

Donald Judd on the relationship of artists and politics, 1970. [MB]

The most despised piece of furniture in the world has a name: Peggy. [MB]


Observed | February 16

The Statue of Liberty was modeled after an Arab woman. [MB]

Pratt Institute President Tom Schutte is the recipient of the 21st Rowena Reed Kostellow Award. [JH]

Why symbols matter. [MB]

Detroit, Design and the Future of Work—Detroit’s first exhibition as a UNESCO City of Design  [BV]

A Bug‘s Life meets Mulan and takes the form of this chair. [MPL]

Why do we have Wingdings and Dingbats? This short video explains all! [MB]


Observed | February 15

In the New Yorker this week, Design Observer contributor Rob Walker reviews the new Netflix series on design. [JH]

Charles and Ray Eames: a remembrance. [JH]

Fast Company‘s list of 2017‘s most innovative companies is out! [MPL]

What does industrialization look like? Take an aerial view.. [MPL]

Vasjen Katroi, a designer in Albania, makes a poster a day for a year. [JH]

Can corporate culture be designed? [JH]


Observed | February 14

Ikea’s best designed product of all time, according to it’s design chief. [JH]

If “design” becomes a synonym for “negotiate” we’re all in trouble. [JH]


Observed | February 13

“Almost alone among his countrymen, Johnson carried off his noxious politics with style.” Philip Johnson and the new American Fascism. [MB]

Journalist, curator, and longtime Head of Design at the V&A in London, Kieran Long is named Director of the Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design. [JH]

From The Atlantic, a deep dive into Apple’s flawless design aesthetic—and why it may just be a myth. [JH]

Madeline Stuart, who has Down Syndrome, designs and launches her own fashion line. [JH]


Observed | February 10

Timely explainer: what does the US Department of Housing and Urban Development actually do? [MB]

Creative dissent is central to political change. [MPL]

Ads, shorts, and the creative process of PES. (You have to watch “Fresh Guacamole.” You just have to.) [MPL]



Jobs | February 21