Nature

Rick Poynor
Exposure: Chimpanzee by James Mollison
Looking into the face of an ape



Sara Jamshidi
The Tree
Three perspectives



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
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.


Rick Poynor
On My Screen: The Back of Beyond
John Heyer’s The Back of Beyond, made for Shell Australia in 1954, is one of the country’s finest films.


John Thackara
Utopia is Here
Ridley Scott's film Blade Runner, made in 1982, portrays a dystopian Los Angeles as it might be in 2019. In just eight years we are due to find out whether or not the film was an accurate prediction.



Adam Harrison Levy
Sustainable Christmas Trees
From artificial firs to rented spruces, a report on alternatives to the chopped-down Xmas tree.






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.



Mark Dery
Paradise Fouled
Review of Crude, Joe Berlinger's documentary film about a lawsuit filed against Chevron by denizens of the Ecuadorean Amazon.



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



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.



Observed | July 20

Inside the high-profile Gilded Age resort you never heard of. [BV]

Some science to start your day: your brain doesn‘t contain memories—it is memories. [BV]


Observed | July 19

In the eye of the beholder: 2 photographers shoot radically different portraits of Detroit. [BV]


Observed | July 17

Karrie Jacobs discovered a manhole in the meadow in Prospect Park, a 526 acre park in Brooklyn and America’s premiere example of man-made nature. [BV]

It‘s World Emoji Day. Seriously. So what are the most popular emojis? [BV]

In case you missed it, there’s a woman’s name on the Declaration of Independence: Mary Katharine Goddard. She was the printer. [MB]


Observed | July 14

Rethinking prison design: the rise of the “justice hub”. [JH]

All hail the pepper mill! [JH]

Proving there is indeed no accounting for taste, Paris Hilton brags about her boyfriend’s tattoo “in a Disney font”. [JH]

Alan Kay on Quora: what you probably don’t know about Steve Jobs’s legendary 1979 visit to Xerox PARC. [MB]


Observed | July 13

Invaluable: a commonsense guide to PR and media relations from the brilliant Paul Ford. [MB]


Observed | July 12

The Mayor of London, announces the formation of a new social enterprise, Public Practice, to place talented designers and planners in local authorities for up to a year. [JH]

Just in case you need it: copyright law for balloon artists. [MB]


Observed | July 11

What’s the line between sampling ... and stealing? [JH]

Disability as design outcome. [JH]


Observed | July 10

Revealed at last: the world’s favorite color. [MB]


Observed | July 07

Leaving your footprint in nature, literally. [BV]

The creator of McMansion Hell on a new strain of modern houses for the masses. [BV]

Great piece: in the age of streaming TV, who needs title sequences? [MB]


Observed | July 05

Why do architects design furniture? [MB]

Steven Heller and Gail Anderson talk about their new book, ‘Type Tells Tales,’ a fascinating tour of books in which typefaces plays an active part in visual storytelling. [BV]

Design and exclusion. Full transcript here. [JH]


Observed | July 04

Why does the NRA hate modern architecture? [MB]

I wish Thom Browne had been around when I wore a grey uniform to school in the 1970s. Yikes! [JH]

Daddy, why are airplane windows round? [MB]

The alarmingly beautiful wiring inside the human brain. (Via Peter Lloyd Jones.) [JH]


Observed | July 03

Rethinking design in the age of fake news: how journalism is changing. [JH]

The extraordinary and mesmerizing detail of paper artistry. [JH]

Hats off to Claire Robinson, a design professor in New Zealand who wasn’t afraid to criticize the navy for crowdsourcing a design problem! [JH]

In defense of White House calligraphers. [MB]



Jobs | July 21