show

Jennifer Kabat
Exhibition as Inquiry: An Interview with Kieran Long
Alexandra Lange
Premature Demolition
Rick Poynor
Why Tatlin Can Never Go Home Again
Alexandra Lange
Criticism = Love
02.01.14

Why you have to love design to be a critic.

Alexandra Lange
Art On Campus
11.18.13

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

Alexandra Lange
L.A. Loves Deborah Sussman
11.08.13

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

Alexandra Lange
MoMA’s Modern Women
Elizabeth Guffey
Design For the Rest of Us: Where Are Design Museums’ Benches?
Alexandra Lange
A World of Paste and Paper
Rick Poynor
The Hotel that Dreamed It Was a Museum
08.29.13

The Walpole Bay Hotel: Living Museum, junk-clogged bane of hotel inspectors, or Wunderkammer?

Alexandra Lange
Nevermind the Masterpiece
07.23.13

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

Alexandra Lange
How To Unforget
Alexandra Lange
An ABC of the ABCs
07.01.13

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
05.14.13

Is the museum store a distraction or an enticement?

OBlog
Change of State
05.03.13

"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
04.18.13

If you can't find the entrance, there's a problem with the architecture.

Rick Poynor
Utopian Image: Politics and Posters
03.10.13

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
Alexandra Lange
Patterns of Houston
02.17.13

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
12.10.12

Idiosyncratic awards bestowed on architecture, design and media.

Alexandra Lange
Reintroducing the Tilletts
Rick Poynor
Robert Brownjohn: Photos at Street Level
11.18.12

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
10.14.12

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

Alexandra Lange
Having Fun at the Museum
Rick Poynor
The Museum of Communicating Objects
10.05.12

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

OBlog
Art Without Artists
09.25.12

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
09.10.12

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
07.28.12

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
David Cabianca
Graphic Design is Dead, Long Live Graphic Design
Rick Poynor
The Strange Afterlife of Common Objects
Rick Poynor
On Display: Museum of Broken Relationships
Alexandra Lange
Reassembling the American Dream
Rick Poynor
Read All That? You Must be Kidding Me
01.09.12

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"
12.19.11

David Stairs reviews "Design with other 90%:Cities"

Alexandra Lange
When Modernists Get Crafty
Rick Poynor
On Display: The Kirkland Museum
10.22.11

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?
Alexandra Lange
What the Cooper-Hewitt Needs: More Design, Less Talk
09.19.11

My six suggestions for how to fix the National Design Museum.

Tom Vanderbilt
Interface Time
08.15.11

Review of "Talk to Me" at Museum of Modern Art

Alexandra Lange
Let’s Go! World’s Fairs of the 1930s
06.15.11

"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
06.14.11

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
06.08.11

Mexican designer/artist Pedro Reyes opens a temporary sanatorium in Brooklyn.

Alexandra Lange
Manhattan Museum Musical Chairs
05.12.11

Bye, bye Museum of American Folk Art. Hello the forward march of the Modern.

Alexandra Lange
In T: High Fiber
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.

Rick Poynor
Wim Crouwel: The Ghost in the Machine
04.01.11

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
Mark Lamster
The Once & Future Whitney Museum
12.23.10

The Whitney: An Architectural Tour.

Alexandra Lange
Networks Before the Internet
Nancy Levinson
News/Print
Alexandra Lange
Join the Conversation!
10.25.10

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
Change Observer: "Small Scale" Reviewed
Alexandra Lange
Uncommon Ground
10.07.10

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
09.07.10

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”
08.03.10

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
06.03.10

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
06.01.10

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

Allan Chochinov
Bellagio Design Symposium: Core77 Report
05.12.10

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
04.22.10

One of the pleasures of teaching is when your students actually surprise you.

Mark Lamster
Staggered Profiles
04.19.10

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
04.02.10

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
02.03.10

In MoMA’s 
Rising Currents exhibition, certain tropes of contemporary waterfront design immediately surfaced.
Alexandra Lange
Hands-On: The Gropius Touch
01.20.10

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
01.12.10

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
01.11.10

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
12.14.09

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

Alexandra Lange
Look Again
11.29.09

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
11.16.09

My first encounter with the expanded Brooklyn Children’s Museum made me ask several questions.

Alexandra Lange
Review: The Price of Fitting In
11.06.09

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
11.04.09

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
11.03.09

Nearly thirty years ago, Tom Wolfe made quite a splash with his reactionary little attack on modern architecture.

Mark Lamster
A Renaissance Who Dunnit
11.02.09

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
10.03.09

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
09.22.09

I'm not sold on Arad as an architect, but his material experimentation is certainly admirable

Alexandra Lange
Rearranging, Part 2
08.20.09

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
08.06.09

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
07.17.09

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
06.29.09

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
06.25.09

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
06.12.09

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
06.11.09

Earlier this week, plans were released for the new Jewish museum in Moscow.

Mark Lamster
Tormented Youth
06.05.09

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

Mark Lamster
Urban Camouflage
05.27.09

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
05.20.09

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


Mark Lamster
Back to the Future
05.11.09

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
04.07.09

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
11.19.08

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
06.05.08

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%
04.07.08

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
11.11.07

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
08.20.07

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
03.08.07

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
07.14.06

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
06.09.06

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
04.03.06

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
01.19.06


Lorraine Wild
Exhibitions by Renzo Piano and 2x4
07.04.05

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
04.03.05

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
10.29.04

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
08.10.04


Michael Bierut
To Hell with the Simple Paper Clip
07.14.04

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
06.06.04

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
03.21.04

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
03.16.04


Rick Poynor
Remember Picelj
12.02.03

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.


Creative Opportunities
  • Twitter Facebook Google+
    Tumblr Pinterest RSS

    Design Observer
    social media à la carte
  • Newsletter signup

  • Design Jobs
    Observer Jobs Spotlight




Places Journal
Mail Chimp