Public Art

John Foster
Exploring Art Environments
SPACES is a nonprofit 501c3 public benefit organization incorporated in 1978 for the purposes of identifying, documenting and advocating for the preservation of large-scale art environments.

Véronique Vienne
Image Making, Reclaimed
Etienne Hervy, art director of the International Graphic Design Festival in Chaumont, France, asked a painter, not a graphic designer, to create a pair of posters for this year’s event.

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.

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

Graphic Advocacy: International Posters for the Digital Age
An exhibition of 118 socially, environmentally, and politically-motivated print posters by an international cadre of artists and designers.

Rick Poynor
The Incidental Pleasures of Street Art
Sprawling, evolving, accreting: a collection of recent street art photos from Portugal and Spain.

Rob Walker
Street Life
In praise of street art that draws attention to more than just itself.

John Foster
Chinese Propaganda Posters
Accidental Mysteries for May 26, 2013 focuses on vintage Chinese propaganda posters.

Alexandra Lange
Dream Weaver
On a retrospective of the work of midcentury sculptor Ruth Asawa at Christie's, her first solo show in New York in 50 years.

Alexandra Lange
Portlandia + Timelessness
No better place to consider what looks timeless now than downtown Portland.

Debbie Millman
ON! at the Contemporary Art Center in Cincinnati
In this special Design Matters video episode, Debbie Millman gives you on a preview the new exhibit ON! at the Contemporary Art Center in Cincinnati.

Seattle Art Museum will change permanently when Doug Aitken’s newest art installation — a giant LED and glass display called Mirror — is revealed.

Alexandra Lange
Instagramming Around Australia
Lessons from contemporary Australian architecture, plus what I saw on Instagram.

London Transport Museum Poster Colletion
A wonderful way to spend an hour (or more). The poster collection from the London Transport Museum.

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

John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries for February 17, 2013 focuses on the material culture of the Cold War.

Filming Love in Times Square
From 11:57pm on February 13th until 12am February 14th British artist Tracey Emin turned Times Square into a big Valentine's Day card.

Ed Ruscha
Sign Painters
Ed Ruscha's forward to Sign Painters, a new book from Princeton Architectural Press.

Mark Lamster
High (Line) Anxiety
Is the High Line above criticism?

Chaz Maviyane-Davies
Occupy America 2011
Graphic designer Chaz Maviyane-Davies adapts a vision of repression

Alexandra Lange
Up From Zero, the Novel
A post-9/11 fiction scooped by reality.

Matthew Stadler
Publication Studio: What’s It Like?
On any given day the storefront is home to book production, bookstore, endless packing and shipping, a half-dozen hangers-on, curious drop-ins, lost tourists: a composite day in the life of Publication Studio, Portland.

Michael Russem
Postage Stamps by AIGA Medalists
It was not until 1958 when Lester Beall’s Freedom of the Press was issued, that a (future) AIGA Medalist would design an official government postage stamp.

Mark Lamster
Beauty on the Border
Stop-you-in-your-tracks beauty on the US/Canada border.

Thomas de Monchaux
In Search of Sukkah City
Sukkah City: NYC, a design/build architecture competition taking place at Union Square Park in New York City, Fall of 2010.

Alexandra Lange
Has the High Line Ruined Us?
I went to
Brooklyn Bridge Park on opening day in the pouring rain with stroller.

Julie Lasky
Description of CO2 CUBES: Visualize a Tonne of Change, a multimedia installation created for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Conference of the Parties (COP-15), held in Copenhagen in December 2009.

Australians All Let Us Text
"New Anthems" art project by Inkahoots for Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts in Brisbane, Australia.

John Emerson
Pressed into Service
Interview with Lincoln Cushing, co-author of Agitate! Educate! Organize!: American Labor Posters.

Alexandra Lange
What's to Be Done with Governors Island?
I wish that the New Yorker had written a visioning story, talking about what role the Governors Island could play in the New New York.

Michael Bierut
When Design Gets in the Way
When it comes to fulfilling simple human desires, can design get in the way? A call for more incrementalism in design.

Mark Lamster
While it's true that the events of 9/11 have begotten a good number of ill-conceived memorials, the latest, set for unveiling today at the Yankees' spring training home in Tampa, might just be the least successful, artistically.

Observed | October 24

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, “’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]

Spy is back! [MB]

In a landmark patent case, Supreme Court Justices use Volkswagen Beetle as cultural shorthand for design brilliance. [JH]

Jobs | October 24