The Design of Business | The Business of Design

How design works within complex organizations to shape decisions, products, and more. Guests include clients from many industries and designers in many fields.

Subscribe to The Design of Business | The Business of Design on or your favorite app, or follow Design Observer on .

Episodes

S11E3: The Healthy Materials Lab says Everyone Deserves a Healthier Home
In this episode of DB|BD, Healthy Material Lab co-founders Jonsara Ruth and Alison Mears explain why they focus on affordable housing, what harmful materials are lurking in our homes and how healthy alternatives can be made accessible and affordable at scale.


S11E2: How Franklin Leonard is using The Black List to Redesign Hollywood
Through the Black List, Franklin Leonard is making Hollywood a true meritocracy.


S11E1: How to Throw a Party to Change the World with Carrie Mae Weems
In this episode, Carrie Mae Weems talks about her work, her role in public life, the intersecting crises in the world, and the power of convening people through art to confront big truths.


S10E12: Decolonizing Design
Decolonizing Design: A Cultural Justice Guidebook is a guidebook to the institutional transformation of design theory and practice by restoring the long-excluded cultures of Indigenous, Black, and People of Color communities.


S10E11.5: Minisode
Kaleena Sales and Omari Souza discuss past episodes featuring Kunal Kapoor and Dori Tunstall.


S10E11: Dori Tunstall
Dr. Elizabeth “Dori” Tunstall is the Dean of the Faculty of Design at Ontario College of Art and Design.


S10E10: Kunal Kapoor
Kunal Kapoor is chief executive officer of Morningstar.


S10E9.5: Minisode
Kaleena Sales and Omari Souza discuss past episodes featuring Norman Teague and Kim Erwin.


S10E9: Kim Erwin
Kim Erwin is the Director of the Equitable Healthcare Lab and Associate Professor of Practice at IIT Institute of Design.


S10E8: Norman Teague
Norman Teague is a designer and community builder who specializes in custom furniture design.


S10E7.5: Minisode
Kaleena Sales and Omari Souza discuss past episodes featuring Richard Ting and Marcia Lausen.


S10E7: Marcia Lausen
Marcia Lausen is Director of the UIC School of Design and founder of the Chicago office of Studio/lab.


S10E6: Richard Ting
Richard Ting is the Vice President of Design for Revenue at Twitter.


S10E5.5: Minisode
Kaleena Sales and Omari Souza discuss past episodes featuring Perrin Drumm, and Annie Atkins.


S10E5: Annie Atkins
Annie Atkins is a graphic props designer for film and television.


S10E4: Perrin Drumm
Perrin Drumm is a writer, editor, and head of publishing at A24.


S10E3.5: Minisode
On this week’s minisode, Kaleena and Omari unpack the idea of branding, being branded, and choosing your own brand.


S10E3: Vernon Lockhart
Vernon Lockhart is the Executive Director of Project Osmosis, a Chicago based design education and mentoring initiative.


S10E2.5: Minisode
On this week’s minisode, Kaleena and Omari unpack the idea of design emancipation in their classrooms, and their practices.


S10E2: Jane Saks
Jane Saks is the President and Artistic Director of Project&, and the co-Founder and co-Artistic Director of M2M: Monuments to Movements.


S10E1.5: Minisode
Kaleena Sales and Omari Souza discuss the value of bridging a diversity of broad experience to a design team.


S10E1: Ernesto Quinteros
Redefining the boundaries between people, products, and patients: Ernesto Quinteros, the Chief Design Officer at Johnson & Johnson.


S10E0: Introducing Our Minisode Co-Hosts
Introducing The Design of Business | The Business of Design minisode co hosts, Kaleena Sales and Omari Souza.


S10E0: Introducing Our New Co-Hosts
A conversation between two of our new co-hosts, Dana Arnett and Kevin Bethune.


S9E12: Jessica Helfand + Ellen McGirt
Highlights of Season 9, and new hosts Dana Arnett and Kevin Bethune.


S9E11: Avery Willis Hoffman
Avery Willis Hoffman is a writer, director, producer, and curator. Hoffman recently joined Brown University as the inaugural artistic director of the Brown Arts Initiative.


S9E10: Quemuel Arroyo
Quemuel Arroyo is the first ever chief accessibility officer at the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority.


S9E9: Deborah Willis
Deborah Willis is an artist, curator, and a professor at New York University. Her most recent book is The Black Civil War Soldier: A Visual History of Conflict and Citizenship.


S9E8: Jan Diehm
Jan Diehm is a journalist at Polygraph and The Pudding.


S9E7: Lotenna Enwonwu
Lotenna Enwonwu is the global executive creative director at Coursera.


S9E6: Elizabeth Hargrave
Elizabeth Hargrave is an American game designer whose games include Wingspan, Mariposas, and Tussie Mussie.


S9E5: Lucia Lucas
Lucia Lucas is a baritone who made her U.S. debut in 2019 at Tulsa Opera as Don Giovanni.


S9E4: Na Kim
Na Kim is an associate creative director at the book publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux.


S9E3: Astra Taylor
Astra Taylor is an artist, activist, and founder of the Rolling Jubilee and the Debt Collective. Her latest book is Remake the World: Essays, Reflections, Rebellions.


S9E2: Melanie Keen
Melanie Keen is the director of Wellcome Collection.


S9E01: Ellen Mirojnick
Emmy-award winner Ellen Mirojnick has designed film costumes since the 1980s and most recently is the lead costume designer for the Netflix series Bridgerton.


S8E12: Nikil Saval
Nikil Saval is a Pennsylvania state senator and the author of Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace.


S8E11: Allissa Richardson
Allissa V. Richardson is a journalist and an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Southern California.


S8E10: Rosanne Somerson
Rosanne Somerson is president of the Rhode Island School of Design.


S8E9: Kat Vellos
Kat Vellos is a UX designer, facilitator, and connection coach.


S8E8: Nina Cooke John
Nina Cooke John is founder and principal of Studio Cooke John, and also teaches at Parsons School of Design.


S8E7: Maurice Woods
Maurice Woods is a principal designer at Microsoft and the founder and executive director of Inneract Project.


S8E6: Lisa Nakamura
Lisa Nakamura is the founding director of the Digital Studies Institute at the University of Michigan.


S8E5: Kelly Walters
Kelly Walters is the founder of the multidisciplinary studio Bright Polka Dot and an assistant professor of communications design at Parsons School of Design.


S8E4: Ari Melenciano
Ari Melenciano is an artist, creative technologist, educator, and the founder of Afrotectopia, a social institution fostering interdisciplinary innovation.


S8E3: Maxwell Anderson
Maxwell Anderson is the president of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation and Community Partnership.


S8E2: Deanna Van Buren
Deanna Van Buren is the co-founder of Designing Justice Designing Spaces, a nonprofit working to end mass incarceration by building an alternative infrastructure.


S8E1: Maurice Cherry
Maurice Cherry is the host of Revision Path and the principal and creative director at Lunch.


S7E12: Janelle Monáe
Janelle Monáe is a singer, songwriter, actor, and producer.


S7E11: Paola Antonelli
Paola Antonelli is senior curator of the department of architecture and design at the Museum of Modern Art.


S7E10: Elizabeth Alexander
Elizabeth Alexander is president of the Mellon Foundation.



S7E09: Mark Bloomfield + Shaun Borstrock
Mark Bloomfield is a jewelry designer and the founder of Electrobloom. Shaun Borstrock is associate dean for business and innovation at the University of Hertfordshire.


S7E8: James Rhee
James Rhee is executive chair and CEO of the fashion brand Ashley Stewart as well as the founder and president of the investment firm FirePine Group.


S7E7: Daniella Zalcman
Daniella Zalcman is a documentary photographer and the founder of Women Photograph.


S7E6: Courtney Cogburn
Courtney Cogburn is a professor at the Columbia School of Social Work and the co-creator of 1000 Cut Journey.


S7E5: George Gendron + Patrick Mitchell
George Gendron is writer in residence at MIT’s integrated design and management program. Patrick Mitchell runs Modus Operandi Design.


S7E4: Vivianne Castillo
Vivianne Castillo is senior design researcher at Salesforce.


S7E3: Sara Hendren
Sarah Hendren is an artist, design researcher, and professor at the Olin College of Engineering.


S7E2: Gene Lee
Gene Lee is senior vice president of customer experience and design at Mailchimp.


S7E1: Caroline Wanga
Caroline Wanga is chief culture, diversity, and inclusion officer and vice president of human resources at Target.


From the Archive: Georgia Lupi
Giorgia Lupi is a partner in the design firm Pentagram and an artist whose data-driven work is at MOMA in New York.


From the Archive: Forest Young
Forest Young is head of design and a global principal at the branding consultancy Wolff Olins who recently completed the Uber redesign.


From the Archive: Lee Moreau
Lee Moreau is Vice President of Design at EPAM Continuum, a global design and innovation consultancy based in Boston. He is also a visiting lecturer at MIT where he teaches design strategy and innovation.


S6E12: Todd Bracher
Todd Bracher is founder and creative director of Todd Bracher Studio.


S6E11: Valerie Casey
Valerie Casey is head of design at Walmart.


S6E10: Bon Ku
Dr. Bon Ku is assistant dean for health and design at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.


S6E9: Isolde Brielmaier
Isolde Brielmaier is the executive director of arts culture and community at Westfield World Trade Center.


S6E8: Mauro Porcini
Mauro Porcini is chief design officer at PepsiCo


S6E7: Valla Vakili
Valla Vakili is head of Citi Ventures Studio, an incubator for financial services.


S6E6: Archie Lee Coates IV
Archie Lee Coates IV is a founder of multidisciplinary creative studio Playlab, Inc., and executive director of Friends of +POOL.


S6E5: Kerby Jean-Raymond
Kerby Jean Raymond is the founder and CEO of the fashion label Pyer Moss.


S6E4: Reneé Seward & Chester Jenkins
Reneé Seward teaches communication design at the University of Cincinnati and is the founder of See Word Reading. Chester Jenkins is a partner in Constellation, which creates new typefaces, and Village, a coop that publishes them.


S6E3: Cindy Chastain
Cindy Chastain is senior vice president of customer experience and design at Mastercard.


S6E2: Billie Tsien
Billie Tsien is the co-founder of Tod Williams Billie Tsien architects, which works on buildings for museums, universities, and the Obama Presidential Center.


S6E1: Errol Morris
Errol Morris is a filmmaker whose documentaries include Gates of Heaven, The Thin Blue Line, and American Dharma.


S5E12: Dmitri Siegel
Dmitri Siegel is vice president of global brand at Sonos.


S5E11: Renata Souza
Renata Souza Luque is the creator of Thomy, an insulin kit for children with Type 1 diabetes.


S5E10: Eddie Opara
Eddie Opara is a multidisciplinary designer and a partner at the design firm Pentagram.


S5E9: Manuel Lima
Manuel Lima is a UX design manager at Google and the founder of the website Visual Complexity.


S5E8: Todd Waterbury
Todd Waterbury is the chief creative officer of Target.


S5E7: Susannah Drake
Susannah Drake is the founder of DLANDstudio, a landscape architecture and urban design firm.


S5E6: Lorna Solis
Lorna Solis is the founder and CEO of Blue Rose Compass, a nonprofit that helps gifted refugees develop their potential.


S5E5: Forest Young
Forest Young is head of design and a global principal at the branding consultancy Wolff Olins.


S5E4: Mariana Amatullo
Mariana Amatullo teaches strategic design and management at Parsons School of Design at The New School.


S5E3: Ellen Lupton
Ellen Lupton is the curator of contemporary design at Cooper Hewitt, the Smithsonian Design Museum.


S5E2: Jon Iwata
Jon Iwata is executive in residence at the Yale School of Management and a senior advisor to IBM.


S5E1: Lisa Smith
Lisa Smith is vice president of brand design at Chobani.


From the Archive: Ashleigh Axios
When Ashleigh Axios joined the White House’s Office of Digital Strategy in 2012 she wasn’t sure how she would fit in.


From the Archive: Leslie Koch
A conversation with Leslie Koch, who revitalized Governor’s Island, an abandoned military post in New York Harbor into a public park.


From the Archive: Deborah Berke
Deborah Berke is the founding partner of Deborah Berke Partners, designer of 21c Museum Hotels, and the Dean of the Yale School of Architecture.


From the Archive: Audrey Gelman and Emily Oberman
Audrey Gelman is co-founder and CEO of The Wing, a social club and co-working space for women. Pentagram partner Emily Oberman worked on the brand identity.


From the Archive: Neri Oxman
Neri Oxman leads the Mediated Matter research group at the MIT Media Lab. She treats art, science, and engineering as part of design.


From the Archive: Danny Meyer and Paula Scher
Danny Meyer is the founder of Shake Shack. Paula Scher designed its graphic identity.


S4E12: Jessica Dimmock
Jessica Dimmock is a photographer and filmmaker. Her latest project is the Netflix documentary series Flint Town.


S4E11: Andrew Essex
Andrew Essex is the author of “The End of Advertising: Why It Had to Die, and the Creative Resurrection to Come.”


S4E10: Abbott Miller
Abbott Miller is a partner in the design firm Pentagram.


S4E9: Karin Fong
Karin Fong is a founding member of Imaginary Forces, a creative company specializing in visual storytelling and brand strategy.


S4E8: Somi Kim
Somi Kim is senior director of healthcare solutions at Johnson & Johnson Design.


S4E7: Lisa Strausfeld
Lisa Strausfeld is an information architect and data visualisation pioneer. Her studio is InformationArt.


S4E6: Margaret Gould Stewart
Margaret Gould Stewart is vice president of product design at Facebook.


S4E5: Heather McIntosh Cassano
Heather McIntosh Cassano is director of user experience at Google, leading a team focused on workplace apps.


S4E4: Ben Watson
Ben Watson is the chief creative officer of Herman Miller, the furniture and workspace design company.


S4E3: Arthur Cohen
Arthur Cohen is CEO and co-founder of LaPlaca Cohen, a strategy, design, and marketing firm for the cultural world.


S4E2: Kevin Bethune
Kevin Bethune is vice president of Strategic Design at BCG Digital Ventures.


S4E1: Stella Bugbee
Stella Bugbee is the editor in chief and president of New York Magazine’s The Cut.


S3E12: Vishaan Chakrabarti
Vishaan Chakrabarti is the founder of Practice for Architecture and Urbanism and the author of A Country of Cities: A Manifesto for Urban America.


S3E11: Melissa Harris
Melissa Harris is editor at large of the Aperture Foundation and the author of A Wild Life: A Visual Biography of Photographer Michael Nichols.


S3E10: Randy Hunt
Randy Hunt is the head of design at Artsy and the former VP of Design at Etsy.


S3E9: Natasha Jen
Natasha Jen is a partner in the design firm Pentagram.


S3E8: Ravi Naidoo
Ravi Naidoo is the founder of Interactive Africa as well as Design Indaba, an annual conference in Cape Town.


S3E7: Liz Danzico
Liz Danzico is creative director for NPR, where she guides both visual design and user experience.


S3E6: Scott Frankel + David Korins
Scott Frankel composes musicals including Grey Gardens and War Paint. David Korins designed the sets for War Paint, Hamilton, and many other productions.


S3E5: John Maeda
John Maeda is global head of computational design and inclusion at Automattic and the author of the annual Design in Tech report.


S3E4: Timothy Geithner
Timothy Geithner was Secretary of the Treasury from 2009 to 2013. He chairs the Program on Financial Stability at the Yale School of Management.


S3E3: Lucienne Roberts
Lucienne Roberts runs the studio LucienneRoberts+ and the publisher GraphicDesign+.


S3E2: Claire Weisz
Claire Weisz is is the principal-in-charge of WXY, an architecture and design practice focused on innovative approaches to public space, structures, and cities.


S3E1: Giorgia Lupi
Giorgia Lupi is the co-founder and design director of Accurat, a data-driven studio, and an artist whose work is at MoMA.


S2E12: Dana Arnett + Patrick Palmer
Dana Arnett is a vice chairman and a founding partner of VSA Partners, a branding and marketing company based in Chicago. Patrick Palmer leads the strategy practice at VSA.


S2E11: Khoi Vinh
Khoi Vinh is a principal designer at Adobe.


S2E10: Robert Brunner
Robert Brunner is a founder of Ammunition, a design firm based in San Francisco. He has designed products from the Apple PowerBook to Beats by Dre headphones.


S2E9: Ashleigh Axios
Ashleigh Axios is the design exponent at Automattic and a former creative director for the White House’s Office of Digital Strategy.


S2E8: Teddy Blanks
Teddy Blanks is a co-founder of CHIPS, a Brooklyn-based design studio, who specializes in film titles.


S2E7: Grace Jun
Grace Jun is the executive director of Open Style Lab, a nonprofit that aims to make fashion accessible to people with disabilities.


S2E6: Michael Rock
Michael Rock is founding partner and creative director of 2x4, a global design consultancy. He has worked with brands including Nike, Prada, Target, and Kanye West.


S2E5: David Rockwell
David Rockwell is the founder and president of the architecture and design firm the Rockwell Group and a theatrical set designer.


S2E4: Lee Moreau
Lee Moreau is a principal at Continuum, a global innovation design firm.


S2E3: Bobby C Martin Jr
Bobby C. Martin, Jr., is a founding partner of the agency OCD | The Original Champions of Design.


S2E2: Neri Oxman
Neri Oxman leads the Mediated Matter research group at the MIT Media Lab.


S2E1: Audrey Gelman and Emily Oberman
Audrey Gelman is co-founder and CEO of The Wing, a social club and co-working space for women. Pentagram partner Emily Oberman worked on the brand identity.


S1E12: Teddy Goff
Teddy Goff was the digital director for Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection effort and an adviser to Hillary Clinton in 2016.


S1E11: Steve Duenes
Steve Duenes is an Assistant Editor at The New York Times who oversees a team of visual journalists.


S1E10: Danny Meyer and Paula Scher
Danny Meyer is the founder of Shake Shack. Paula Scher designed its graphic identity.


S1E9: Jay Parkinson
Dr. Jay Parkinson is the founder of Sherpaa, an online medical practice.


S1E8: Leslie Koch
Leslie Koch was the president and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island.


S1E7: Susan Sellers + Cynthia Round
Susan Sellers was creative director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Cynthia Round was its senior vice president of marketing and external relations.


S1E6: Douglas Powell
Douglas Powell is a Distinguished Designer at IBM. He directs a global effort to bring human-centered design to IBM.


S1E5: Bruce Cohen
Bruce Cohen is an Oscar-winning film producer and president of the board of directors of the American Foundation for Equal Rights


S1E4: Barry Nalebuff
Barry Nalebuff teaches at the Yale School of Management. His specialty is game theory and its application to business strategy.


S1E3: Deborah Berke
Deborah Berke is the founding partner of Deborah Berke Partners, the architect of the 21c Museum Hotels, and the Dean of the Yale School of Architecture.


S1E2: Molly Barton and Julian Yap
Molly Barton and Julian Yap are cofounders of Serial Box Publishing, which develops original episodic fiction.


S1E1: John Bielenberg
John Bielenberg is a designer, entrepreneur and imaginative advocate for a better world.


S1E0: Trailer
A quick preview of Season 1, with Michael Bierut, Jessica Helfand, and a few of their guests.



Observed


The not-so-quiet panic from climate scientists.

Donald Trump has been framing Chinese immigrants as mostly “military-age” men, here to stir trouble from within. “And it sounds like to me, are they trying to build a little army in our country? Is that what they’re trying to do?” he said in a campaign stop last month. But one immigrant who traveled through Ecuador to the U.S. border told the AP that it’s not true. “It is impossible that they would walk on foot for over one month” to organize an attack, he said. “We came here to make money.” Another, who hopes to make enough to bring his wife and children, said, “This trip is deadly. People die. The trip isn’t suitable for women — it’s not suitable for anyone.” 

“You need to kick that f***ing door down!” Vice President Kamala Harris was the guest of honor at an AAPI Heritage Month event this week and encouraged attendees to break through the barriers they still face. “We have to know that sometimes, people will open the door for you and leave it open, sometimes they won't. And then you need to kick that f***ing door down," as the audience cheered. "Excuse my language," she laughed.

This is why we can’t have nice things. An art installation project called the Dublin Portal experience, a 24/7 live cam and screen offering a real-time link between Dublin and New York City, is being ruined by “a small minority of people” doing “inappropriate things.”

More than 100 high-profile French art world figures have signed an open letter supporting the Palais de Tokyo in Paris after longtime patron Sandra Hegedüs withdrew her funding, saying, “I don’t want to be associated with the new, very political direction at the Palais de Tokyo...dictated by the defence of wokeism, anti-capitalism, pro-Palestine, etc.’” At issue was the show Past Disquiet, which focuses on four “museums in exile” and is constructed as a touring exhibit. From the response to Hegedüs: “These words and these methods, using a popular tribunal on social networks… are dangerous for the art world, for artists and for the freedom of institutions, as well as for our democracy.”

The pageant system is a toxic workplace, according to Miss USA Noelia Voigt and Miss Teen USA UmaSofia Srivastava, who announced their resignations last week. Srivastava said her "personal values no longer fully align with the direction of the organization," and Voigt cited mental health reasons in a statement, then later accused the Miss America Organization of providing "a toxic work environment ... that, at best, is poor management and, at worst, is bullying and harassment." Miss Colorado Arianna Lemus resigned in solidarity on Friday, writing that Voigt and Srivastava's "voices have been stifled by the constraints of a contract that undermines their rights and dignity.” 

Democracy, it’s a design thing! Last March, a federal judge ruled that New Jersey’s ballot — a confusing design known as the “county line” system — was likely unconstitutional and couldn’t be used in June’s primary. One county has unveiled their new ballot design, which looks awfully familiar. 

Heading to NY Design Week? Here’s the itinerary. (It’s May 16-23.)

Ann Pizzorusso, a geologist and Renaissance art historian, says she has finally solved one of the art world’s enduring mysteries: where in the world was the Mona Lisa when she was sitting for Leonardo da Vinci? It took her dual expertise to find the clues that were there all along. “Geologists don’t look at paintings, and art historians don’t look at geology,” she says. 

Three chatbots explain themselves

Here’s the first design proposal to replace Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge, which collapsed last March. It's from an all-star team: Carlo Ratti Associati — the architecture firm led by architect and MIT professor Carlo Ratti — WeBuild, an Italian construction group, and Michel Virlogeux, a French structural engineer known for his work with Foster + Partners designing the world’s tallest bridge.  Their version has a longer span, a raised clearance, and the aesthetic of an enduring landmark. “The team hopes to deliver a bridge that is more contemporary visually and is also safe and durable for decades to come.”

Design as an act of neighborly pettiness.

The Biden Harris campaign is looking for a design lead and a graphic designer. (Both positions are full-time and based in Wilmington, Delaware.)

Mexico City is facing a desperate but unsurprising water crisis.  But, Javier Sánchez, founder of architectural firm JSa, says that by returning to ancient water technologies—like efficient rainwater harvesting—homes can be both beautiful and water-self-sufficient. 

Climeworks, a Swiss start-up, has just unveiled Mammoth, the world’s biggest carbon-absorbing plant. Located in Hellisheidi, Iceland, Mammoth is designed to remove 36,000 metric tons of carbon each year, the equivalent of taking 8,600 cars off the road. “It’s a drop in the bucket, but it’s a much bigger drop in the bucket than any we’ve seen so far,”  Klaus Lackner, who heads the Center for Negative Carbon Emissions at Arizona State University, tells the Washington Post. 

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has instituted a voluntary “Secure by Design” pledge for enterprise software makers. It affirms they are improving, documenting, and publicly sharing a host of security protocols, fixes, and best practices. All the cool kids seemed to have signed up.    

Veterans are now playing an essential role in helping VA health centers design new facilities by piloting design simulators and assessing physical mockups before construction begins.  

It's hard out there for a young designer, says Nendo founder Oki Sato. "You have to think about materials and the process — not just human-centered, but for the planet — and we have to think about how it will be recycled in the future as well.”

Fast Company’s global design editor, Mark Wilson, sat down with Fuse Project founder Yves Béhar, Neri & Hu Design cofounder Rosanna Hu, IKEA CEO Jesper Brodin, and Mattel Chief Design Officer Chris Down and asked how AI was impacting their businesses. “The era of designing general devices and or apps that work the same way for everyone is going to be over soon,” says Béhar. Good ideas come from teams, but in the future, says Hu, “we might be able to get something in three minutes.” But Brodin asked the big questions. “What are the risks to humanity? How are we impacting truth?”

At the screening of Gary Hustwit’s new documentary, Eno, visionary musician Brian Eno said: "Algorithms cannot be in the hands of individuals like Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg."⁠ It’s a capitalism thing. “Well, one thing that is really, really clear to me is that whoever designs the algorithms, designs the future. And it’s completely terrifying to me that the design of those algorithms is, in fact, almost 99 percent made by a few young Americans who want to make a lot of money. If profitability is the main goal of the design, then we’re going to end up with the same kind of shit that we got from social media.”

Did you know that since 1956, each Eurovision host broadcaster has had to come up with its own logo? Some are generic and forgettable, while others are more professional (and maybe also forgettable) (and speaking of forgetting, Istanbul completely forgot to design one in 2004, which is where at least one generic stand-in proved useful). As a suite of visual emblems, they're fascinating as a collective snapshot, sitting at the intersection of typography, globalism, and the amped-up TV culture of the music business. Among our favorites is the 2017 logo, which claims to have taken its inspiration from a traditional Ukrainian necklace, or namysto—considered to be a protective amulet and a symbol of beauty and health—and in this case, a way to honor and celebrate diversity.

Wonderful job opportunity—perhaps for a newly-minted MFA grad—working with the amazing people at Cita Press, where they celebrate the spread of culture and knowledge by publishing the writings of women authors whose works are open-licensed or in the public domain. Through its library of collaboratively designed free books, Cita honors the principles of decentralization, collective knowledge production, and equitable access to knowledge.

Struggling to figure out what to watch on Netflix? You're not alone! That's a challenge that still keeps Steve Johnson, Netflix’s VP of design, up at night.

How does color function In factories, schools, and hospitals? In the 1950s, it functioned like this. (Part Two is here.)

As if Prime Minister Justin Trudeau didn't have enough on his plate, public response to a new identity program sparks controversy (and ridicule). "It looks like a moose getting a prostrate exam!" one person noted. "It looks like a Minecraft character milking an elk!" observed another. Behold: the communications kerfuffle around the design of a new logo for the Canadian Army.

Every object we bring into the world has a contextual backdrop, and every design decision is a compromise. How long should objects last? Charlie Humble-Thomas—a student at the RCA in London—ponders the question of what he calls “conditional longevity”. 

The United Methodist Church has reversed its denomination’s anti-LGBTQ policies and teachings and lifted all bans on same-sex marriage and gay clergy. The fight to allow same-sex marriage and gay clergy has been part of a painful debate within major Protestant denominations in the U.S. for nearly fifty years. Click through for a timeline of major milestones of the last five decades. 

AAPI History Month turns 45 this year.  Most people credit its establishment to Jeanie Jew, a fourth-generation Chinese American and a co-founder of the congressional Asian-Pacific staff caucus. Her grandfather had helped build the Transcontinental Railroad in the 1800s and then was killed amid anti-Asian unrest, a story which moved her colleagues on the Hill. In 1979, with support from California Rep. Norm Mineta and Hawaii Senators Daniel Inouye and Spark Matsunaga, President Jimmy Carter issued a proclamation designating the first week of May as “Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week.”

The impossible dilemma of Black female leadership. “In predominantly White spaces, a Black woman is expected to code-switch, mimic White culture, and either explicitly or implicitly affirm harmful propaganda about Black people, in order to signal that she can be trusted by the establishment,” says Shauna Cox in Nonprofit Quarterly Magazine.

Weimar, Germany—the city that was home to both Germany’s post-1918 government and the first (of three) Bauhauses—has taken the courageous step to re-examine the school’s relationship to National Socialism. Organized by the Klassic Stiftung Weimar and running from May 9 through mid-September, three exhibitions take on this immense subject: The Bauhaus As a Site of Political Contest, 1919-1933, will be at the Museum Neues Weimar; Removed – Confiscated – Assimilated, 1930/37 at the Bauhaus Museum; and Living in the Dictatorship, 1933 -1945 at the Schiller Museum. A review in today's Guardian looks at the complexity and coordination of this trio of shows, and delves into the historical nuance—and torment—of its political and artistic history. 



Jobs | May 24