Rick Poynor
Exposure: Domestic Interior by Nicole Bachmann

Design for everyday life?

Debbie Millman
Robin Petravic + Catherine Bailey

Debbie talks with Robin Petravic and Catherine Bailey about running Heath Ceramics.

John Foster
Mechanical Mysteries

Drawing widgets in the sixties

John Foster
Debbie Millman
Ben Watson
Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
The Observatory: Such Watch
Steven Heller
User-Friendly Paul Rand

Paul Rand did not coin the term “user-friendly.” He would have hated its trendy sound.

Adam Harrison Levy
Geek Stories
Rob Walker
Object Vs. Object
Manuela Aguirre
Design for Care
Owen Edwards
A Michelangelo, at 100 mph Plus
Debbie Millman
Maria Giudice

Maria Giudice talks with Debbie Milliman about the early days of design on the internet, and what it's like to work for Facebook.

Alexandra Lange
Lucia Eames, 1930-2014
Angela Riechers
Angela Riechers on Banks
Shape: A Film About Design

Shape is a short film that is part of MakeShapeChange , a project aimed at young people to get them thinking about how the world is made around them and where design fits in.

The Hilda Stories

In a new video series from Herman Miller, Hilda Longinotti, George Nelson’s longtime aide-de-camp, recounts some of the greatest anecdotes from her 21-year run at the legendary New York City design atelier.

Very Cool Playgrounds

Over on Wired, Liz Stinson profiles Monstrum, a Danish design studio that specializes in fantastic wooden playgrounds.
Owen Edwards
The Quickest Fix
Alexandra Lange
Playing With Design: Fredun Shapur

Add Fredun Shapur to the pantheon of modern designers making winning and sculptural objects for children.

Owen Edwards
For Better or Worse, This Design Endures
Jeff Miller
Jeff Miller on Timing
Red Tractors

Red Tractors: 1958-2013 is new book by Lee Klancher from Octane Press.

Krista Donaldson
Krista Donaldson on Users

On this episode of Insights Per Minute Krista Donaldson comments on users of design.

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.

Alexandra Lange
Learning New Tricks
Rob Walker
No. 1 Object
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
Phil Patton
Niels Diffrient: The Human Factor

Phil Patton remembers Niels Diffrient. Photographs by Dorothy Kresz.

Guns and Design

Firearms are culturally significant objects and complex tools of meaning that can, perhaps, provide insight into the interconnection of people, objects, and society.

Alexandra Lange
Home Improvement
Alexandra Lange
The Fork and the World: Design 101

If you had to explain design to the uninitiated, where would you start?

Michigan Modern: Design that Shaped America

Michigan was an epicenter of modern design in postwar America, this summer the story will be told through a symposium at the Cranbrook Educational Community and an exhibition at the Cranbrook Art Museum.

Rob Walker
Bill for a Bowl
Kate Cullinane
The Original Paradox

The value of creating new designs, rather than being "original".

Alexandra Lange
After the Museum: The Tumblr

To create, a multi-museum, multi-curator Tumblr @MADMuseum, I saw it as a kind of curatorial game: Show Me What You’ve Got.

Alexandra Lange
George Nelson in Two Dimensions

Ignore the Coconuts and Marshmallows, admire George Nelson's modular graphics.

Debbie Millman
Louise Fili

Louise Fili discusses the importance of sketching, her obsession with typography and why she prefers working with small organizations.

John Foster
Accidental Mysteries

Once you use time, it is gone forever. Maybe that’s why we spend so much time looking at clocks.  

The Square

A new water bottle from Clean Bottle.

Rob Walker
De-weaponization by Design
Live/Work Contest Winner

Amanda Ip 's Innermix Desk design is the winner of Dwell on Design and Design Within Reach's Live/Work Contest.
Alexandra Lange
The Charismatic Megafauna of Design
Nancy Levinson
Design Indaba 2012

Design Indaba 2012 gathered creative people from graphic and product design, architecture and landscape, film and video, not to mention Danish gastronomy and Bollywood movies.

Alexandra Lange
Round Thermostats and Crystal Lanterns, Revisited
Debbie Millman
Malcolm Gladwell

A live episode of Design Matters with Debbie Millman withe special guest Malcolm Gladwell.

Alexandra Lange
Married at Moss
Alexandra Lange
Girard the Magnificent

Is it enough to be gorgeous? If so, Todd Oldham and Keira Coffee's 15-pound Alexander Girard wins Book of the Year.

Alexandra Lange
Reinventing the Thermostat

What the designer of the new Nest thermostat didn't learn from Henry Dreyfuss.

Eugenia Bell
Eliot Noyes

Eliot Noyes' under-recognized reputation deserves appreciation.

Alexandra Lange
When Modernists Get Crafty
Debbie Millman
Andrew Gibbs

In this podcast interview with Debbie Millman, Andrew Gibbs discusses his love of packaging, the role brands play in people's lives and his blog, The Dieline.

Alexandra Lange
Cooking with the Eameses

A new book chronicles one family's life with nine pieces of Eames.

Phil Patton
Audi Urban Future Summit 2011

Report on one of the latest conferences to take on the global theme of the city

Julie Lasky
Faraday Utility Bike

IDEO and Rock Lobster Cycles win people's choice award for utility bike prototype

Julie Lasky
Media Design Matters

Art Center offers a new graduate track in social design that combines communications and technologies strategies with field work.

The Editors
Yves Béhar Wins Second INDEX Award

Yves Béhar Wins Second INDEX Award for VerBien (See Better to Learn Better).

Phil Patton
The Green Dashboard

The design of instrument panels reflects the new technologies of hybrid and electric vehicles

Julie Lasky
Happy Birthday, Handsome

Getting tired of praise for the IBM Selectric? What else do you expect from writers?

Alexandra Lange
The Uses of Cranks
Alexandra Lange
Making Dieter Rams
William Underhill
Transensing: Glassware for the Blind

Award-winning glassware for the visually impaired.

Julie Lasky
Ringing in the New Air

Nendo's Bell-Orgel collection for Tokyo's Isetan department store.

Alexandra Lange
On GOOD: Why Are Car Seats So Poorly Designed?

If you want parents to use public transportation, first you have to fix the car seat.

By Alexia
My Studio H Experience

Adventures in design crits: A high school junior recounts her Studio H year working with onerous classmates and power tools.

Alexandra Lange
Vicarious Thrifting, via Twitter

On the lively, effective and erudite thrifting community on Twitter.

Julie Lasky
Chandigarh to Create Inventory of Corbu/Jeanneret Furniture

A committee convened by the government of Chandigarh, India, is assessing the value of site-specific furniture pieces designed by Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret a half-century ago.

Phil Patton
Another Wrong Turn for Chris Paine

Review of the documentary film Revenge of the Electric Car.

Phil Patton
Sustainable Gold

Phil Patton on the conference “Gold: Substance, Symbol and Significance."

Debbie Millman
Steve Frykholm, Herman Miller

After a 40-year career with Herman Miller, Steve Frykholm discusses life inside this iconic, National Design Award-winning furniture company.

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.

Phil Patton
On the Shoulders of Rebels

On the rocket-propelled grenade: one of the most successful designs on the planet.

Constantin Boym
True East

Meditations on the Middle Eastern incense burner.

Julie Lasky
Chandigarh on the Block

Furnishings designed for Corbusier's urban masterpiece are being sold at auction. How outraged should we be?

Phil Patton
Just My Typewriter

Commemorating the IBM Selectric, which turns 50 this year.

Julie Lasky
Design Indaba 2011

Review of Design Indaba 2011 conference in Cape Town, South Africa

Chaz Maviyane-Davies
Déjà Vu

Designer Chaz Maviyane-Davies on the reappearance of an old invention.

Ernest Beck
GlobalTap Update

GlobalTap water station update.

Alexandra Lange
Objects Fall From the Sky
Edited by Julie Lasky
Social Design in Three Dimensions: Four Examples

A business-school case study inspires MFA design students.

Julie Lasky
Bushpunk and the Future of Africa

Why Maker Faire Africa is a model for economic development

Alexandra Lange
Is No the Answer?

Bag bans, yes. But why is no plastic the answer?

Julie Lasky
Index Names Design Challenge Finalists

Among the seven projects dedicated to schoolchildren are educational games, classroom furniture and products that support comfort and hygiene.

Phil Patton
Charging Double

Comparing two new electric-car chargers: Blink and WattStation

Maria Popova
Rise of the Micro-Medici

On the value of microfunding creative ideas that stem from a single mind.

Nancy Levinson
Pillow Culture

Beyond sleep: the exhibition Pillow Culture looks at the pillow as designed object and technological artifact.

Debbie Millman
Alexandra Lange + Jane Thompson

Alexandra Lange and Jane Thompson discuss the power of imagination, Marimekko, Sir Lady Jane and Benjamin Thompson.

Alexandra Lange
Little Boxes

AMAC Plastic Boxes are back at the Container Store: a rainbow classic sold at Design Research, part of the MoMA design collection, and starting at $0.39.

Julie Lasky
Bigshot Camera Update

Reporting the status of an innovative children's camera in development

Phil Patton
Keith Richards and His Amazing Portable Cassette Recorder

With the recent announcement that Sony has discontinued the Walkman, Phil Patton meditates on the powerful influence of portable music technology.

Alexandra Lange
You Have to Pay for the Public Design

Does a preference for design for private consumption threaten our public space?

Alexandra Lange
GourmetLive: The Architecture of Food
Alexandra Lange
What I Would Have Bought in Sweden

While the Swedish modern architecture we saw ran to blank surfaces of stone, glass and stucco, every store was bursting with color and pattern.

Ernest Beck
Safe Agua

The first collaboration between Designmatters at Art Center College of Design and Chile’s Un Techo para mi País creates fresh ideas for water usage in a Santiago slum.

Phil Patton
The Meek Shall Inherit the Market

Phil Patton writes in praise of frugal engineering, and not just for developing markets.

Alexandra Lange
In T: The Zootopian

In early August I had the pleasure of traveling (by plane, train, local train and subway) to Sonneberg, Germany to interview toy designer Renate Müller.

Mark Lamster
Dishing on Design Research
Kaomi Goetz
The Utility Collective

Report on the Utility Collective, a furniture business that emphasizes local materials and production.

Steven Heller
Heller on Heller

Vignelli Celebration: Steven Heller talks about the redemptive qualities of having the same name as Vignelli's Hellerware.

Alexandra Lange
In Dwell: Hands Off the Icons

In the 
October 2010 issue of Dwell, which celebrates the magazine’s tenth anniversary by revisiting its own (generally happy) homeowners, I offer the following Argument.
Phil Patton
Mitsubishi i-MiEV Electric Car

Review of Mitsubishi's i-MiEV electric car.

Peter Wolf
Pet Projects

Essay on design as an underutilized force for the humane treatment of animals.

Meena Kadri
Tinkers, Hackers, Farmers, Crafters

Interview with Emeka Okafor, founder of Maker Faire Africa.

Phil Patton
Murray T.25 City Car

Report on Gordon Murray's conversion from revolutionary race car designer to creator of one of the greenest city cars ever.

Alexandra Lange
Fix the Car Seat

Having just returned from a vacation where the logistics of the car seat were a primary part of trip planning, I have a plea on behalf of all parents, and a challenge for industrial and car designers: FIX THE CAR SEAT.

William Underhill
D-Rev Blue Star Jaundice Treatment

Report on Blue Star, D-Rev's affordable jaundice treatment for newborn babies in the developing world.

Krista Donaldson
The Real Cost of Free

Do you give the poor farmer a pump if you know it will transform her crops and move her family from just scraping by into the middle class? It’s hard to say no, isn’t it? But you should.

Ernest Beck
New Meaning at ICFF

A review of the 2010 International Contemporary Furniture Fair.

Alexandra Lange
On Fast Company: Why Do Designer Toys Suck?

Spare me the good-looking trophy toys. I’ll take an operational plastic garbage truck any day.

Alexandra Lange
Why do Most Designer Toys Suck so Badly?

Though they exude an organized playfullness, designer toys are rarely as practical as they look.

Alexandra Lange
On Archpaper: Saccharine Design

My review of
Marcel Wanders’ exhibition Daydreams at the Philadelphia Museum of Art for The Architect’s Newspaper just went online and let’s just say I was not impressed.
Alexandra Lange
Fischer Price Airport

I bought this from Ebay for my son for Christmas — the toy my friend had that I always wanted to take home with me.

Amanda Hurley
Hold Your Sawhorses!

Brazilian architecture firm StudioMK27 creates a controversial furniture collection based on the designs of construction workers.

Jonathan Schultz
One World Futbol

Report on One World Futbol produced by Hope Is a Game-Changer.

Phil Patton
One Car Per Family

Report on Yves Béhar's design for a new "people's car."

Julie Lasky

Essay on the revival of beauty in 21st-century design.

Alexandra Lange
The Mysteries of Retail

I don’t spend more than $100 easily and certainly not for something breakable, without function, or something for my kid that costs more than anything I own.

Ernest Beck

Report on prototype for GlobalTap water refilling stations.

Alexandra Lange

This Urchin Pouf is an expensive contemporary design object I truly adore, hence my shock at seeing an extremely cheap version in the new CB2 catalog.

Mark Lamster
Ralph Rapson: Forgotten Hero of Design Merch

If you're familiar with Cambridge, or just Harvard Square, you probably know Ben Thompson's wonderful Design Research building, now celebrating its 40th anniversary.

Rick Landesberg
The Bleating Edge

Rick Landesberg's photo of an innovative design in Haiti for keeping goats in their place.

Julie Lasky
Bigshot Camera

Report on a camera that children assemble to learn about science and engineering principles.

Jane Withers
In Praise of Shadows

Essay adapted from "In Praise of Shadows: New European Lighting Design," presented at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, September 19–October 18, 2009.

Alexandra Lange
Making Kids Modern: Or is it Their Moms?

An informal experiement aims to determine whether or not kids have an interest in the likes of Alexander Calder or Alexander Girard.

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.

The Editors
And Speaking of Sustainability...

Proceedings of a 2003 seminar about Timeship, a visionary project designed by Stephen Valentine for storing the frozen remains of people awaiting reanimation.

Andrea Codrington
Freeplay Fetal Heart Rate Monitor

Report on the Freeplay fetal heart rate monitor, which won the 2009 INDEX award in the Body category.

Ernest Beck

Report on Peepoobag, a new self-sanitizing, single-use, biodegradable container for human waste.

Dmitri Siegel
Lost In the Supermarket

Dmitri Siegel gets lost in the Supermarket and encounters incredibly grippy toothbushes, spouts, nozzles, Thorstein Veblen and Adolf Loos.

Jane Margolies
Pig 05049

Report on Pig 05049, a book cataloging all of the products made from a single pig, which won the 2009 INDEX award in the Playful Learning category

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.

Phil Patton
Triple-Digit Inflation
Alec Appelbaum

Report on the FLAP bag, a multipurpose messenger bag for developing-world populations.

Alexandra Lange
Sitting Pretty

Design Within Reach is selling a reissue of a Jens Risom chair for $1100.

Ernest Beck
Olive Drab: BKLYN DESIGNS 2009

Ernest Beck reviews Brooklyn Designs 2009.

Julie Lasky
Back to the Garden

Report by Julie Lasky about the 2009 International Furniture Fair in Milan.

Debbie Millman
Daniel Formosa

Daniel Formosa, a founder of Smart Design, is a member of the design team that developed IBM’s first personal computer, the OXO Good Grips kitchen tools and XM Satellite Radio. 

Murray Moss
Design Hates a Depression

"Design tends to thrive in hard times," says The New York Times's Michael Cannell. No, it doesn't. It tends to suffer.

Andrew Blauvelt
Towards Relational Design

Is there any overarching philosophy or connective thread that joins so many of today’s most interesting and increasingly diverse designs from the fields of architecture, graphic, and product design? I believe we are in the a third major phase in modern design history, moving towards an era dominated by relationally-based design activities.

Adam Harrison Levy
The Inventor of the Cowboy Shirt

A few years ago, I found myself lost inside a shopping mall with Jack A. Weil, better known as Jack A, the man who, in 1946, invented the snap-buttoned cowboy shirt.

Randy Nakamura
Steampunk'd, Or Humbug by Design

In this time of cultural recycling, Humbug is a word perhaps best used to describe Steampunk, a subculture supposedly born out of a mash-up of DIY (do-it-yourself), Victoriana, punk, science fiction, Japanese anime and the urge to re-skin one’s computer as 19th century bric-a-brac. If the number of recent articles in the mainstream press is any reliable barometer, Steampunk is the next big thing.

Ettore Sottsass
When I Was a Very Small Boy

Ettore Sottsass: "Everything we did was entirely absorbed in the act of doing it, in wanting to do it, and everything we did stayed ultimately inside a single extraordinary sphere of life. The design was life itself, it was the day from dawn till dusk, it was the waiting during the night..."

Michael Bierut

Charles Brannock only invented one thing in his life: that metal thing in shoe stores that the salesman uses to measure your feet. Is it the most perfect invention of the 20th century?

Allan Chochinov
"Ode To My Toaster"

Ode To My Toaster, a poem by Allan Chochinov.

Rob Walker
Timeless Object

What makes a useless-seeming watch potentially more valuable — in identity terms — than, say, regular jewelry?

Alice Twemlow
Design Criticism's Winding Road

To what extent does design criticism inspire a reaction; to whom is criticism addressed and what happens as a result of it being read? This article discusses the way in which an excerpt from a review of a 1955 Buick unexpectedly inspired a painting by one of the world's best-known Pop artists, Richard Hamilton.

Jessica Helfand
Another Myth Brilliantly Debunked

The Folding Paper Box Association of America would influence more than just packaging regulations: a half century before the Poynter Institute would claim authorship for its revolutionary Eye-Trac research, the FPBAA was already tracking viewers' visual responses to packaging...

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...

Thomas de Monchaux
What If Apple Is Bad for Design?

Every commentary on the ubiquity of the iPod, or on the divertingly near prospect of the Apple iPhone, seems to emphasize that what distinguishes Apple is something called "Design." Design, or a particular understanding of it, has been good for Apple. But is Apple good for design? What if the answer is no?

Jessica Helfand
Art Director Ken

Art Director Ken is is a charmed, if mildly cautionary tale, for it brings to mind the potentially superficial nature in which we judge a person, an identity — indeed, an entire profession.

Jessica Helfand
My Cup Holder Runneth Over

When we're not hiding behind our nail-technician-primed hands, drinking our barrista-blended beverages, IMing, text-messaging, and push-button withdrawing more money from the ATM to pay for all of these things, who are we?

David Stairs
Charles Eames Among the Bullrushes

What interests me is the tendency for even uneducated Ugandans to observe and learn from their surrounding world, a fundamental hallmark of design thinking.

William Drenttel
Dangerous Beauty: The Art of the Shiv

A shiv is a weapon crafted from the limited resources of a prisoner's closed world. Crudely constructed from such things as spoons, shoelaces and upholstery tacks, shivs are about masked utility: it's an innocuous object with improbably toxic intent (whether used to attack others or to protect oneself...).

Jessica Helfand
Crafting All The Way To The Bank

Craft is a tricky word. When we feel ourselves pulled in by the unforgiving vortex of digitized everything, we plead for craft, throwing it out like a life preserver — a desperate appeal to the forgotten soul. In those moments, it becomes a metaphor for a kind of imperiled humanity. But what about craft, we ask?

Jessica Helfand
Separated at Birth: Method? Or Madness?

Karim Rashid's method© cleaner is strikingly similar to that of a discount depot: coincidental congruousness?

Michael Bierut
Innovation is the New Black

Innovation is the latest buzzword to overtake the design profession. What does it mean?

Alexandra Lange
Married with Tchotchkes

For many design-obsessed couples registering at Moss requires more strategy than playing the stock market.

Rick Poynor
In Memoriam: My Manual Typewriter

The fully evolved typewriter is a 20th-century industrial archetype. It feels inevitable, almost elemental, like one of those object types, such as a chair or a fork, that simply had to exist in this universe of forms.

Adrian Shaughnessy
The Designer as Buffoon

The "Designer as Buffoon" phenomenon can be seen in two big-budget, prime-time advertising campaigns currently showing on British television. Both Ford and Ikea are promoting their respective products by offering us pumped-up caricatures of designers and inviting us to guffaw at them.

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
The Ikea Riot: Unsatisfied Excess?

When Ikea threw open the doors of a new store in London, the result was mayhem as customers stampeded. Evidence of social breakdown, or a sign that the utopian argument for low-cost modernist design has been won?

Jessica Helfand
Code (PMS) Blue

Hospital rooms are architectural oddities: they're all function with no form. To the extent that, in matters of critical care, timing is everything, why should it matter? Then again, why shouldn't it?

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.

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.

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