Jessica Helfand | The Self-Reliance Project

Reflecting




Debbie Millman | Audio

Design Matters at 15: Esther Perel

Debbie talks to therapist and author Esther Perel about marriage, polyamory, and adultery....
Jessica Helfand | The Self-Reliance Project

Harvesting

What kind of work would you make if you thought no one was looking?...
Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand | Audio

Episode 123: Closing Doors, Opening Doors

Looking at COVID=19: Flattening the curve, Washington Post designers Harry Stevens on visualizing social distancing, Alissa Walker on how dots are people, Stephen Sondheim at 90...
Jessica Helfand | The Self-Reliance Project

Breathing

Breathing is one of those things you take for granted. Until you can’t....
Steven Heller | Essays

A Tale of Two Covers

Which was a better message for it respective readerships?...
Jessica Helfand | The Self-Reliance Project

Looking

What it means to be a maker during this pandemic....
Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand | Watch This Space

Design Observer Studio Sessions

Like many of you, we’re trying to make a safe haven out of something that can feel like solitary confinement....
Debbie Millman | Audio

Design Matters at 15: David Cay Johnston

David Cay Johnston talks to Debbie about the fun of investigative journalism....
Steven Heller | Interviews

The Plot Against America: Prop Story Redux

If you watch the six part HBO adaptation of Philip Roth’s novel The Plot Against America, which premiered on March 16, please keep your eye on the props....
Debbie Millman | Audio

Design Matters at 15: Elizabeth Alexander

Debbie talks to Elizabeth about the journey of her extraordinary life and about how death makes us think about what we truly value....


Observed | March 27

When the SXSW Film Festival was cancelled, many filmmakers were left without a way to debut their work—so our friends at Mailchimp stepped in. Watch them all now. [JH]


Observed | March 24

The final lecture in the Walker Art Center’s Insights Design Lecture Series with Amsterdam-based designer Ruben Pater will be streamed live and for free on March 31. [JH]


Observed | March 23

British experience designers Bomoas and Parr launch The Fountain of Hygiene competition, calling for designers to propose new forms of hand-sanitizer pumps as well as more creative hygiene solutions. [JH]

Los Angeles-based artists Juan Delcan and Valentina Izaguirre created an animated video (shot with a iphone) that uses matches to illustrate the impact of social distancing. [JH]


Observed | March 20

Emerging artists pay it forward during the health crisis by buying each other‘s work on Instagram. [JH]

Watch Charles and Ray Eames ‘Solar Do-Nothing Machine’ because ‘toys and games are the prelude to serious ideas’. [BV]

On this week’s New Yorker cover Christoph Niemann takes on the spread of the novel coronavirus, evoking a world in which the health of an individual and the health of the public seem, increasingly, to be interdependent. [BV]

“I can’t recall another time when a painting dominated headline news so incessantly; when the public came together to express love and hate for an artwork so passionately; or certainly, when curation was a nationwide discussion.” — George Millership on John William Waterhouse’s “Hylas and the Nymphs” [BV]


Observed | March 19

Graphic design for public health. [JH]


Observed | March 13

Seeing wonder in the small - looking at Ernst Haeckel found in his illustrations of microscopic life. [BV]


Observed | March 12

National Parks posters featuring quotes from one-star reviews. (via James I. Bowie) [BV]

Property of Opaqueness is a collaborative dance performance by artist and choreographer Takahiro Yamamoto and is part of The Unknown Artist, an exhibition at the Center for Contemporary Art & Culture, curated by Lucy Cotter. [BV]


Observed | March 10

Photographer Larry Racioppo spent the ’90s capturing NYC’s makeshift streetball courts: ’the closer I looked, the more interesting they became. Many are really a form of folk art.’ [BV]


Observed | March 06

Friday afternoon eye candy (literally): Jonny Trunk’s book, Wrappers Delight, provides a window into classic sweet package design. [BV]


Observed | March 05

Process Music is the second Kenneth FitzGerald album (of writing) and so worthy of your support! [BV]

Erica Walker studies urban noise at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health and her goal is to raise awareness about how constant sound is affecting people’s lives and health. (Spoiler: there’s a lot of noise and it’s not good.) [BV]


Observed | March 04

Do we need a completely new approach to marketing books? Part one of a thought-provoking series from Designers and Books. [BV]

Design fiction is a mix of science fact, design, and science fiction...it recombines the traditions of writing and storytelling with the material crafting of objects.” (via Blake Eskin) [BV]


Observed | March 03

Museums and the Duomo cathedral in Milan reopened Monday, but visitors are asked to stand three feet apart. [BV]

Beyond the Visible: Space, Place, and Power in Mental Health is a symposium later this month at Yale School of Architecture that seeks to make designers and architects aware of their capacity to improve access to and perceptions of mental health. [BV]


Observed | February 26

The current NYC subway map is one of the most consulted in human history. In 1979 Michael Hertz, helped design it. He died last week at 87. [BV]

Why are music-streaming interfaces becoming visually indistinguishable? (via James I. Bowie) [BV]


Observed | February 21

Katie Holten has created a New York City Tree Alphabet. Each letter of the Latin alphabet is assigned a drawing of a tree from the NYC Parks Department’s existing native and non-native trees, as well as species that are to be planted as a result of the changing climate. For example, A = Ash. [BV]


Observed | February 20

A brilliant essay by the pitch-perfect Molly Young—every last word resonates. And thank you for the nod to my glossary! [JH]


Observed | February 19

Vanity plate victory! In Kentucky, an 80-year old atheist triumphs in battle for ‘IM GOD’ license plate. [JH]


Observed | February 18

For 15 years, the Exercise Book Archive has been compiling an extensive digital archive of children’s school notebooks from countries like the US, Ghana, Latvia, Brazil, and Finland. [BV]


Observed | February 12

“We can’t just be about making things pretty.” —Jessica Helfand talks with Lorne Buchman on the latest Change Lab podcast from ArtCenter. [BV]

Could anyone be the girl (or boy) with a Pearl earring? (via Joy Miller) [BV]


Observed | February 04

Humans at work”: the new call of Posterheroes is inviting the international creative community to share their message about the future of work. [BV]

The pitfalls and the potential of the new minimalism. [BV]



Jobs | March 31