Paul Polak
End Poverty or Bust
Five years ago, Steve Bachar and Paul Polak decided to create a venture capital fund that would only invest in socially responsible companies. There was only one problem. There were no companies to invest in that met the criteria

Paul Polak, and Mal Warwick
How to Solve India’s Poverty Crisis
A new look at how to end poverty in India.

Cheryl Heller
Forget Poverty. Let’s Talk Business.
In a recent article on the future of design, I used Paul Polak as a case for why generalists are so important to the world right now.

Manisha Sharma
Gendered Arrangements: India
Girls are considered a burden in Indian society, the issue is popularly known as the “missing girls” phenomenon.

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

Mark Lamster
Majority Report
Review of Design with the Other 90%: Cities

Courtney Drake, William Drenttel, and Deirdre Cerminaro
Design and the Social Sector: An Annotated Bibliography
This bibiography surveys the literature of social design — the spectrum from design process and thinking to the zones of social innovation.

Photo by Milton Rogovin
The Poetry of Simplicity
Pablo Neruda on the photographer Milton Rogovin

Photo by Taslima Akhter
The Raveled Sleeve of Care
Photo by Taslima Akhter showing living conditions for Bangladesh's garment workers.

Aspen Editors
Aspen Design Summit: Update 09.25.10
Dateline Aspen. An on-going report on progress on the six projects developed at the Aspen Design Summit in November 2009.

Mimi Zeiger
Food Not Bombs
Report on Food Not Bombs, an activist network, now about to turn 30, that distributes free vegan meals.

Photo by Teun Voeten
Hell Under Wheels
Photo from Teun Voeten's newly reissued book on New York's Tunnel People.

Ernest Beck
SELCO: Case Study Synopsis & Teaching Objectives

This case study about SELCO, a solar energy company in India, provides an opportunity to examine the strategy of a business with a social purpose and a heavy reliance on innovative design.

Jen Roos
Cup of Heroes
Thoughts on design, sports, and the author's return to a South African township during the World Cup.

Photo by Pieter Hugo
Permanent Error
Photo by Pieter Hugo of Ghana's Agbogbloshie slum.

Aspen Editors
Aspen Design Summit Report: Hale County Rural Poverty Project
At the Aspen Design Summit November 11–14, 2009, sponsored by AIGA and Winterhouse Institute, the Hale County Rural Poverty Project conceived of a socio-economic model of resource allocation through an online platform for accelerated regional development in the Black Belt counties of rural Alabama.

Aspen Editors
Aspen Design Summit: Initial Report
Initial report on the 2009 Aspen Design Summit, sponsored by AIGA and Winterhouse Institute.

Bradford McKee
New Grub Street
Interview with photorapher Jonas Bendiksen following the opening of his exhibition "The Places We Live."

Ernest Beck
Chulha Stove

Report on the Chulha stove designed by Philips to reduce indoor air pollution in developing countries.

Bryan Mealer, and William Kamkwamba
The Doers Club
Design prodigy William Kamkwamba recalls building a windmill to generate electricity for his village in Malawi, Africa.

Teun Voeten
Under Cover
Teun Voeten photograph of Kabul, Afghanistan, 2007. The situation for widows in Afghanistan is desperate...

Observed | October 24

In Estonia, a one-day design summit stresses the importance of indiscipinarity, teams—and trust. [JH]

“Don’t think that the world of design belongs to designers.” Opening comments from Mark Wigley at the third Istanbul Design Biennial. [JH]

No assigned desks in this new open-plan office created by Clive Wilkinson for the New York office of Publicis. [MB]

“Good design means your phone doesn’t explode.” The New Yorker’s Om Malik weighs in on the Apple Samsung case. [JH]

An entertaining website to launch GT America, a new typeface from Grilli Type. [MB]

Observed | October 21

More on ballot design and its many problems. [JH]

Design is the new currency. [JH]

If Hillary is elected, “...you’re going to have taco trucks on every corner”, warned Latinos for Trump’s Marco Gutierrez. Lana Rigby designs a citywide fleet of taco trucks that double as voter registration booths. [JH]

“Design is the art and science of improving the interface between human beings and their environment.” A new design incubator at MIT. [JH]

Observed | October 20

“Ignore the fads and go back to the typographic principles of print — keep your type black,” says Kevin Marks. More from Cory Doctorow on the web’s “plague” of grey type. [JH]

The Wall Street Journal on design books as eye candy. [JH]

The New Yorker on urban housing, inequality, density, democracy—and Le Corbusier. [JH]

Observed | October 18

Could bad buildings damage your mental health? [MB]

Dutch Design Week! Here’s the program. [JH]

Observed | October 17

Wine labels—and how their design impacts what we want to buy. [JH]

From India, a story on design mistakes for startups. [JH]

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Zur Farbenlehre (“Theory of Colors”), 1810. [MB]

A call to action for design justice. [JH]

The eerie secret apartments of the New York Public Library system [MB]

“Not knowing what you’re doing is a skill you can’t teach.” An interview with Richard Turley (ex-Businessweek, ex-MTV) on his move to Wieden+Kennedy. [MB]

Observed | October 14

“How do you approach an art empty of figures and evident narratives?,” asks New York Times art critic Holland Cotter, writing about the late minimalist painter Agnes Martin. "How do you find out what, if anything, is in it for you? What do you do to make it your own?” To which Martin herself was known to reply: “You go there and sit and look.” A retrospective of Martin’s work is on view at the Guggenheim Museum in New York through early January. [JH]

Magenta debuts! A new online source for design, cultural criticism, and more. [JH]

David Bowie had a vast collection of Memphis furniture. [MB]

Observed | October 13

Non-car designer designs non-car. [JH]

Democratic design—between cultures. [JH]

A day in the life of Tobias Frere-Jones. [MB]

Louise Fili, Goddess of typographic splendor! [JH]

Observed | October 12

Ice cream! Complimentary slippers! And design awards for a check-in counter! Highlights of service design for those traveling to (and from) Japan. [JH]

Philanthropists donate 8.1 billion for a new design center at Colorado State University. [JH]

Can happiness be designed? More evidence pointing to the fact that this is possible. (Bear in mind that “design” is used rather loosely, here—but is strategically positioned as an antidote to technology.) [JH]

Jobs | October 25