Museums

Rob Walker
Object Journalism at Mmuseumm
The new season of Mmuseumm speaks to our present, by way of unlikely objects.


Rick Poynor
Exposure: Brodsky, the Tie Seller in Paris
Every photograph is an enigma


Rob Walker
The Craft of the Fake
A crafty art forger’s work inspires an idea: authorized forgeries.


Debbie Millman
Caroline Baumann
On this episode of Design Matters, Debbie Millman talks to Cooper Hewitt director Caroline Baumann about her career in museums and why the interest in design has surged in recent years. 


Jennifer Kabat
Exhibition as Inquiry: An Interview with Kieran Long
Guns, shoes and cheap jeans: Kieran Long has added all of these to the Victoria & Albert Museum’s permanent collection.


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?


Alexandra Lange
Criticism = Love
Why you have to love design to be a critic.



Alexandra Lange
Art On Campus
A review of the renovated Blaffer Art Museum and James Turrell's latest skyspace, "Twilight Epiphany."



Alexandra Lange
L.A. Loves Deborah Sussman
A Kickstarter for an upcming exhibition on the wotk of Deborah Sussman in Los Angeles.


Alexandra Lange
MoMA’s Modern Women
The Museum of Modern Art's new installation, "Designing Modern Women," could have made a bolder statement about the transformative role of women in 20th century design and architecture.


Elizabeth Guffey
Design For the Rest of Us: Where Are Design Museums’ Benches?
What a lack of benches in design musems means for the exhibits.


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
The Hotel that Dreamed It Was a Museum
The Walpole Bay Hotel: Living Museum, junk-clogged bane of hotel inspectors, or Wunderkammer?


Alexandra Lange
Nevermind the Masterpiece
What's your "Masterpiece of Everyday New York"? A broken umbrella? A shirtwaist? Discarded gum?


Alexandra Lange
How To Unforget
The straightforward logic of “A Handbook of California Design” makes it the first step in unforgetting two generations of makers.


Alexandra Lange
An ABC of the ABCs
Were you a child? Did you read books? Then the NYPL's "ABC of It" serves as a portal back in time.


Alexandra Lange
Anxiety, Culture and Commerce
Is the museum store a distraction or an enticement?



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
Architecture Without Signs
If you can't find the entrance, there's a problem with the architecture.


Rick Poynor
Utopian Image: Politics and Posters
By celebrating political posters for their design do we collude with the established order they seek to challenge?


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.


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


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


Alexandra Lange
Reintroducing the Tilletts
If you are interested in textile design, mid-century style, or creative partnerships, I would urge you to go visit “The World of D.D. and Leslie Tillett” at the Museum of the City of New York.


Rick Poynor
Robert Brownjohn: Photos at Street Level
The Victoria and Albert Museum has put 18 of Robert Brownjohn’s photographs on display for the first time.


Alexandra Lange
Shopping With Sandro, and Other Tumblr Delights
Digitizing the Miller House Collection, and other museum and corporate visual archives on Tumblr.


Alexandra Lange
Having Fun at the Museum
Blocks, rocket ships, playgrounds and balls: the hidden meaning of playthings at the Museum of Modern Art.


Rick Poynor
The Museum of Communicating Objects
Orhan Pamuk’s The Innocence of Objects is an illuminating guide to his Museum of Innocence in Istanbul.



Observed
Art Without Artists
Accidental Mysteries John Foster co-curated
Art Without Artists at the Gregg Museum of Art & Design at North Carolina State University.


Alexandra Lange
Someone Else’s Shangri La
An exhibition of Doris Duke's Honolulu mansion, Shangri La, proves a “Spanish-Moorish-Persian-Indian complex” works as theater.


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.


Alexandra Lange
Dress Your Family in Formica and Faux Bois
The materials of architecture and interiors in the fashions of Schiaparelli and Prada.


David Cabianca
Graphic Design is Dead, Long Live Graphic Design
A review of Graphic Design: Now in Production, opening May 26, 2012 in New York City.


Rick Poynor
The Strange Afterlife of Common Objects
In lstanbul shops like The Works: “Objects of Desire,” the novelist Orhan Pamuk found the artifacts for his newly opened Museum of Innocence.


Rick Poynor
On Display: Museum of Broken Relationships
The Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb is a public space consecrated to a universal experience of sadness and loss.


Alexandra Lange
Reassembling the American Dream
"Foreclosed" at the Museum of Modern Art asks what people really like about suburban living. And then, Can they do that with less?


Rick Poynor
Read All That? You Must be Kidding Me
Ellen Lupton’s essay about reading and writing for Graphic Design: Now in Production misses some key points.



David Stairs
Demythologizing Design: Another View of "Design with the Other 90%: CITIES"
David Stairs reviews "Design with other 90%:Cities"


Alexandra Lange
When Modernists Get Crafty
The Museum of Arts and Design's Crafting Modernism makes a good case for bringing back macrame.


Rick Poynor
On Display: The Kirkland Museum
If I had to pick just one Denver museum to revisit, it would be the fabulous Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art.


Alexandra Lange
Should We Boycott the New Barnes?
More ethical quandaries about buildings and food.


Alexandra Lange
What the Cooper-Hewitt Needs: More Design, Less Talk
My six suggestions for how to fix the National Design Museum.



Tom Vanderbilt
Interface Time
Review of "Talk to Me" at Museum of Modern Art


Alexandra Lange
Let’s Go! World’s Fairs of the 1930s
"Designing Tomorrow" at the National Building Museum showcases the optimisim, futurism and dreamy design ideas of the 1930s.


Rick Poynor
Lost Inside the Collector’s Cabinet
The Collector’s Cabinet at the Frederic Marès Museum in Barcelona is a mind-bending, sense-bedazzling palace of artifactual wonders.



Robin Cembalest
Shrink Rap
Mexican designer/artist Pedro Reyes opens a temporary sanatorium in Brooklyn.



Alexandra Lange
Manhattan Museum Musical Chairs
Bye, bye Museum of American Folk Art. Hello the forward march of the Modern.


Alexandra Lange
In T: High Fiber
"Knoll Textiles, 1945-2010" opens new territory in midcentury design – upholstery – and shows us more than a few new female designers.




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.



Rick Poynor
Wim Crouwel: The Ghost in the Machine
Far from suppressing his own creative personality in the way he advised, Wim Crouwel was expressing it to the full.


John Thackara
Afghan Culture Museum
A project to create a virtual museum of Afghan culture has been launched in Paris by an independent producer, Pascale Bastide.


Mark Lamster
The Once & Future Whitney Museum
The Whitney: An Architectural Tour.


Alexandra Lange
Networks Before the Internet
A new exhibit at the Noguchi Museum shows how small and intertwined were the worlds of mid-century art, design and architecture.


Nancy Levinson
News/Print
The Last Newspaper, New City Reader, Newsstand: Print news may be dying, but it's alive in the galleries.


Alexandra Lange
Join the Conversation!
I am hosting this week's Glass House Conversations, inspired by the comments (on and off the blogosphere) in reaction to my negative review of the Museum of Modern Art's "Small Scale, Big Change" exhibition.





Alexandra Lange
Uncommon Ground
Exhibition review of "Small Scale, Big Change: New Architectures of Social Engagement," Museum of Modern Art, New York.



Alexandra Lange
Coming to the V&A: Tower of Power
It is not often that 
a museum blogs about Postmodernism, Michael Sorkin (one of the great take-downs) and credits the (female) renderer who made the AT&T Building look the best it ever has.



William Drenttel, and Julie Lasky
Reasons Not to Be Pretty: Symposium on Design, Social Change and the “Museum”
In April 2010, 22 designers, historians, curators, educators and journalists met at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center in Italy to discuss the museum’s potential role in relation to design for social change. This is a report on their conversation.









Alexandra Lange
My .02 on the Whitney
Everyone has taken their shot at outrage regarding the Whitney's move to a Renzo Piano building at the base of the High Line.



Dominique Browning
Loose Canon
Review of "Why Design Now?" Cooper-Hewitt National Design Triennial, New York. Through January 9, 2011.



Allan Chochinov
Bellagio Design Symposium: Core77 Report
Allan Chochinov of Core77, sums up his experience at the Bellagio Design Symposium, the annual Salone Del Mobile Furniture Fair in Milan and being hostage to the whims of a volcano.



Alexandra Lange
Junior Critics
One of the pleasures of teaching is when your students actually surprise you.



Mark Lamster
Staggered Profiles
The Whitney has never given up its dreams and now has its eyes on a plot at the foot of the High Line in the Meat Market, with Renzo Piano as designer.



Mark Lamster
A Very Good Book
Anyone who sees fit to pontificate on the status and future of the book should be legally obligated to see the MET's exhibition of the Limbourg brothers' Belles Heures of Jean, Duc de Berry.









Alexandra Lange
In AN 02: As the Tide Turns
In MoMA’s 
Rising Currents exhibition, certain tropes of contemporary waterfront design immediately surfaced.



Alexandra Lange
Hands-On: The Gropius Touch
I couldn’t believe no one else had noticed that Ati Gropius Johansen was coming to the MoMA, and it seemed like a piece of history.



Alexandra Lange
Snip Snip Snip
The Museum of Arts & Design’s Slash: Paper Under the Knife, is the must-see of the winter season.



Mark Lamster
Big City, Big Game
As a kid, I was never one for the dinosaurs at the American Museum of Natural History. I preferred the darkened precincts of the Hayden Planetarium, specifically the giant mechanical spider that was its Zeiss Mark VI projector, a truly amazing contraption.



Eve M. Kahn
Green Sleeves
Review of “Ethics + Aesthetics = Sustainable Fashion” at Pratt Manhattan Gallery, November 20, 2009 - February 20, 2010.



Alexandra Lange
Look Again
When visiting the Eero Saarinen exhibit at Museum of the City of New York, be sure to look at the photographs from Look Magazine.



Alexandra Lange
Smaller Wonder: Brooklyn Children's Museum
My first encounter with the expanded Brooklyn Children’s Museum made me ask several questions.



Alexandra Lange
Review: The Price of Fitting In
My review of the new exhibit at the Center for Architecture, Context/Contrast: New Architecture in Historic Districts, 1967-2009.



Alexandra Lange
Back to School
If you stand in a certain spot in the second room of the MoMA’s new exhibition Bauhaus 1919-1933: Workshops for Modernity you can see Marcel Breuer becoming modern.



Mark Lamster
From Bauhaus to My House
Nearly thirty years ago, Tom Wolfe made quite a splash with his reactionary little attack on modern architecture.



Mark Lamster
A Renaissance Who Dunnit
Tomorrow the Metropolitan Museum will put on display a sculpture of a boy archer that made headlines about a decade ago when a New York art historian claimed it was the work of Michelangelo.



Alexandra Lange
White Knight
With the opening of Less and More, the new exhibition of Dieter Rams' work, I'm reminded of how frustrating it is that his past work is not in production.



Mark Lamster
Ron Arad at MoMA
I'm not sold on Arad as an architect, but his material experimentation is certainly admirable



Alexandra Lange
Rearranging, Part 2
I thought about the power of categories as I visited two exhibitions at the MoMA: Waste Not by Song Dong and No Discipline by Ron Arad.



Alexandra Lange
Speechless
Amongst my grandfather's things, we found a postcard of the Denver Art Musuem, designed by Gio Ponti in 1971.



Mark Lamster
A Plea for Crazy in Architecture
John Beckmann of the firm Axis Mundi is promoting an alternative to the Jean Nouvel tower that looks like a half-baked amalgam of several MVRDV projects.



Mark Lamster
Meet James Ensor
It's been some three decades since James Ensor has had a major museum exhibition in the US, which makes MoMA's new show a rare pleasure.



Mark Lamster
MAS Macho
Behold the Museum aan de stroom (MAS), Antwerp's new municipal history museum. The building, designed by the Dutch architects Neutelings Riedijk, is due to open late next year.



Mark Lamster
Red Star
The New York-Amsterdam connection has been much in the news of late, and rightly so, as this is the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's Dutch-sponsored voyage of American discovery.



Mark Lamster
Moscow's Jewish Museum
Earlier this week, plans were released for the new Jewish museum in Moscow.



Mark Lamster
Tormented Youth
Next week the MET will put on display Michelangelo's "Torment of Saint Anthony," reputedly the artist's first painting.



Mark Lamster
Urban Camouflage
As the Magritte Museum was prepared for its unveiling, the building was cloaked by a brilliant trompe-l'oeil construction wall, very much in the spirit of the artist.



Julie Lasky
This End Up: Renzo Piano's Modern Wing

Julie Lasky reviews the Art Institute of Chicago's Modern Wing.





Mark Lamster
Back to the Future
Over on the Itinerant Urbanist, Karrie Jacobs recently wrote about her first impression of Daniel Libeskind's addition to the Contemporary Jewish Museum, in San Francisco.



Mark Lamster
Look Both Ways: On the Streets of Philadelphia
Last week I found myself with a couple of hours to kill in Philadelphia and decided to spend them at the art museum.



Alexandra Lange
The Brooklyn Children's Museum
The Brooklyn Children's Museum is hardly subtle in its attempt to please the Toys "R" Us crowd.




Alice Twemlow
Graphic Design at the Museum
The work of Graphic Thought Facility, a London-based graphic design consultancy, is on exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago until August 17. It’s the first time the Art Institute has staged a show solely on contemporary design...



Lorraine Wild
100%
So, it’s 1966 and two guys are hanging around their Los Angeles apartment, musing about the sort of things that people mused about in the Sixties. The aesthetic philosophers in question were the artist Ed Ruscha and the artist/comedy writer/composer/performer Mason Williams...



Michael Bierut
How To Be Ugly
Whether reactionary spasm or irrevocable paradigm shift, the new trend is making design that looks ugly. The trick is to surround it with enough attitude so it will be properly perceived not as the product of everyday incompetence, but rather as evidence of one's attunement with the zeitgeist.



David Stairs
Why Design Won't Save the World
After ten months in Africa, I recently visited the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum to see Design for the Other 90%. Here, I thought, was an exhibition I could enthusiastically embrace. Unfortunately...



Dan Nadel
This is Not My Design Life Now
In the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum's current triennial exhibition, Design Life Now, the selections in graphics and pop culture are conservative and long out-of-date. To Dan Nadel, 2006 looks a lot like 2000.



William Drenttel
Move It Down . . . A Little to the Right
That some years ago, some poor sign installer went to put the first letter of the name of the museum up on the wall, and someone screamed, "No, you idiot! Lower! Much Lower! Get it down close to the edge. And a quarter-inch to the right." That the building is the Guggenheim Museum, and that the architect was Frank Lloyd Wright, makes this photographic detail especially interesting.



Debbie Millman
Paola Antonelli
An interview with Paola Antonelli, curator in the department of architecture and design at the Museum of Modern Art.  



William Drenttel
Meet Me in St. Louis: The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts
The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts makes the radical assumption that the experience of art is about contemplation. Take your time. You are alone here. The light will change if you stay long enough.



Adrian Shaughnessy
Robert Brownjohn and The Big Idea




Lorraine Wild
Exhibitions by Renzo Piano and 2x4
Both architect Renzo Piano and graphic designers 2x4 are at the top of their respective games as designers, but the way they approach their own exhibitions (at LACMA and SFMOMA, respectively) places them at opposite poles of a style of communication, and maybe even belief.



Michael Bierut
Homage to the Squares
The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum's exhibition Design is not Art provides a useful contrast to an simultaneous exhibition of the work of Josef and Anni Albers, and demonstrates differences between art and design.



Rick Poynor
Fear and Loathing at the Design Museum
James Dyson has accused the Design Museum in London of ruining its reputation with frivolous exhibitions. For many bemused onlookers, his complaints were out of touch with evolving public perceptions of design.




Jessica Helfand
Ladislav Sutnar: Mechanical Beauty




Michael Bierut
To Hell with the Simple Paper Clip
Answering the question "What's your favorite designed object?" with something humble and anonymous may be a tiresome cliche, but it's one that resonates with editors of the New York Times Magazine and curators at the Museum of Modern Art.



Rick Poynor
Modernising MoMA: Design on Display
MoMA is broadening its approach to graphic design. Recovering this material history will assist us in understanding our broader cultural history and help to educate a more aware generation of visual communicators.



Rick Poynor
Jan van Toorn: Arguing with Visual Means
Jan van Toorn’s designs embody an idea about citizenship. They address viewers as critical, thinking individuals who can be expected to take an informed and skeptical interest in the circumstances of their world.



Jessica Helfand
Blanket Statements




Rick Poynor
Remember Picelj
The English-speaking world knows little about the design history of Communist Europe. Few will have heard of the distinguished Slovenian Ivan Picelj. His prints ask us to remember; they are full of yearning.



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]


Observed | November 30

From graphic design to ... pediatric oncology! One student’s inspiring and decidedly non-traditional path. [JH]

The convergence of design and development. [JH]

Exquisite, hand-printed books by Romano Hanni. [JH]


Observed | November 29

Does design come from crocodiles? [JH]

How the Toronto Symphony Orchestra uses graphic design. [JH]

Graphic Design 101—a pretty good description of what designers do, and how to attract a good one. [JH]

Buckingham Palace, as you’ve never seen it—rendered in gelatin—and more unusual design materials. And on the subject of food design, I give you: the enduring mystery of the Oreo! [JH]

The always amazing Rafael Esquer: Alfalfa Studio lights up New York! [JH]


Observed | November 28

How can a DIY design platform be valued at $345 million? Here’s how! [JH]

2017 Biomimicry Global Challenge announced: you have until the end of April to submit your proposals. [JH]

This week: with a particular look at science, experts on visual culture analyze a group of ten news and media photographs. Free and online. [JH]

Are creative directors really just ‘false messiahs’? Here’s one top executive who values data over design. [JH]

The untold story of Disaster Girl. [MB]


Observed | November 25

Launching next year: Norway’s new banknotes, designed by Metric and Snøhetta. [MB]

These quotation marks are why I have trust issues. [MB]

Quote of the week, from the CEO of Jaguar, Dr. Ralf Speth: “If you think good design is expensive, you should look at the cost of bad design.” [JH]

Can robots be designed to be responsible? [JH]

History’s most powerful protest art. [MB]


Observed | November 23

It’s another amazing OK Go video! “The One Moment” is mostly made up of 4.2 seconds of action, slowed w-a-y down. Explanation here. [MB]

Question for the long weekend ahead: Can good design be measured? [JH]

How to design a design museum. [MB]

DIY graphic design! [JH]

“His art has been one long warning that liberal democracy is a frail moment of light surrounded by forests of shadow and evil.” A new show of Anselm Kiefer’s work at the White Cube in Bermondsey. [JH]



Jobs | December 02