Gail Bichler + Jessica Helfand | The Observatory

Episode 134: Fast and Furious




Steven Heller | Essays

Exclusion Illustrated

Many respected Americans accepted eugenics. Justice Holmes wrote an 8 - 1 court decision that made forced sterilization federal law....
The Editors | Watch This Space

Design Observer Studio Sessions October 1

The Design Observer Studio Sessions continue our long-term commitment to hosting intimate and influential gatherings where we look together at the impact that design has on our lives and on the world around us....
Debbie Millman | Audio

Jacqueline Novogratz

On this episode, Jacqueline Novogratz talks about her long career fighting poverty around the world....
Jessica Helfand | The Self-Reliance Project

On Activism

A starting point for a new kind of dialogue—us with you, and you with yourself—because even and especially in a year such as this one, we know that at the core of all creative enterprise lies a singular, beating heart....
Steven Heller | Essays

Where Do I Put My Stuff: Saving Graphic Design Ephemera

Designers more often than not tend to be collectors, if not crazy hoarders, of design and pop culture stuff....
Debbie Millman | Audio

Claire Danes

On this episode Claire Danes talks to Debbie about her long career, and what she learned about spies from playing one. "A lot of times spies marry spies, for obvious reasons—same reason actors marry actors."...
Jessica Helfand + Sara Hendren | The Self-Reliance Project

On Ablerism

What does it mean, right now, to be self-reliant—to trust your voice, heed your mind, and connect to your own sense of what really matters?...
Steven Heller | Interviews

Undercovering a Lost Photographic Genius

Turning the pages I was transported into a surreal sphere that was created, as I read in the text on the exquisitely typeset pages, by Shimmel Zohar....
Debbie Millman | Audio

Bisa Butler

On this episode, artist Bisa Butler talks to Debbie about her career, and about how making a quilted portrait of her grandmother led to an artistic breakthrough....
Allison Arieff + Jessica Helfand | Audio

Episode 133: Urban Reckoning

With Allison Arieff: The Magic of Empty Spaces, cities during COVID-19, Solving All The Wrong Problems, harvesting honey, The Good Fight...

The Design Observer Cooperative

Observed | September 22

City Monitor is part of New Statesman Media Group’s innovative new data journalism division, which will provide essential business intelligence across topics such as energy, cities, banking, media, and technology, among others. Follow them here. [JH]

Nicolas Heller is helping save New York City, one Instagram post at a time. [BV]


Observed | September 21

Help support this monumental public messaging campaign promoting the patriotism of science, religion and voting from Class Action Collective. [BV]


Observed | September 17

The strange, uninspired history of Spotify’s bland logo. [BV]


Observed | September 16

Behold: Calamityware! (Via Kim Baer.) [JH]


Observed | September 01

Got a Very Serious Book to sell about the dangers of radical right-wing overreach? In book publishing, this is the summer of the Sith Lord design palette. (via Blake Eskin) [BV]


Observed | August 20

Design criticism is everywhere. Why are we still looking for it? A must-read essay from Jarrett Fuller. [MB]

Goodbye mosh pits, hello “personal platforms.” A new music venue in the UK was designed for socially distant concerts. [BV]


Observed | August 18

Contactless filming: design for never leaving home. [JH]


Observed | August 17

No books were harmed in the testing of these animals. [JH]


Observed | August 14

How do activism slideshows go viral on Instagram? By co-opting popular design aesthetics from brands. (via Blake Eskin) [BV]


Observed | August 13

Can you identify the city in which each picture was taken? A visual quiz. [JH]


Observed | August 06

On the power (and ephemerality) of street art. [JH]

The UX of LEGO interface panels. (via James I. Bowie) [BV]


Observed | August 03

Antica is a new type family designed by Ale Paul & the Sudtipos team. [JH]


Observed | July 31

Branding a pandemic. (via Kim Baer.) [JH]


Observed | July 28

Why do these Apple ads, from a company that takes such pride in design, feature four people who are clearly not trained designers, designing? [BV]


Observed | July 27

Communicative efficiency is not the same as communicative empathy, and one of the truly gut-punching limits of social media is how poorly it corresponds to the individual experience of human grief. A primer by Jason Fields. [JH]


Observed | July 22

Futurefeed is an online space where writers, artists, and thinkers are invited to experiment + explore ideas that are important to them over an extended period of time. [JH]


Observed | July 21

Open a new window somewhere in the world. [BV]

The X-Prize Mask Challenge is looking for a face mask that is attractive, innovative, and achieves the filtration efficacy on par with a surgical mask. PS: You also have to be under 25 years old to enter. (Via Kim Baer.) [JH]


Observed | July 16

How Mexico City crowdsourced a map of its riotous informal bus system. [BV]

The atlas of surveillance. (Yes, you read that right.) [JH]


Observed | July 15

Social Matter, Social Design challenges the way we look at, think of, and interact with the social world by emphasizing the role of materiality. [JH]

When governors are graphic designers: a continuing story. [JH]


Observed | July 14

Design For America, the World Design Organization, and IBM team up to launch the COVID Design Challenge. [JH]

A national reckoning: why It is falling to individuals to become their own interim museums and archives. [JH]


Observed | July 10

Together again for the very first time, Microsoft ditches backgrounds for foregrounds—like simulated office desks. [JH]

A new, coronavirus-inspired concoction at Alinea, one of the world’s most famous restaurants, is spurring backlash online. (via Blake Eskin) [BV]


Observed | July 08

A look inside the typography of the Biden campaign, by Hoefler & Co. [JH]



Jobs | September 26