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Frederico Duarte
Frederico Duarte on Boarding Passes
Frederico Duarte graduated from D-Crit with his thesis on the influence of social changes on product and furniture design in Brazil.


Bryn Smith
Bryn Smith on Designer Dogs
Bryn Smith is a writer, graphic designer, and critic based in Brooklyn. She writes about design for Core77, Designers & Books and L’ArcoBaleno, among others, and teaches in the graduate graphic design program at the Rhode Island School of Design.


Angela Riechers
Angela Riechers on Banks
Angela Riechers is a Brooklyn-based art director and writer specializing in design, media, and visual culture.


Brigette Brown
Brigette Brown on Umbrellas
Brigette Brown is a 2013 graduate of SVA MFA Design Criticism program who has worked for the Museum of Latin American Art, written for Disegno and Surface, researched for Metropolis, and edited a publication for Domus.


Anne Quito
Anne Quito on Quiet
Anne Quito will graduate in May 2014 from SVA’s MFA Design Criticism program. In 2009, she earned a master’s degree in Visual Culture from Georgetown University.


Anna Marie Smith
Anna Marie Smith on “Apples to Apples”
Anna Marie Smith is currently working on her MFA in Design Criticism from the School of Visual Arts, with particular interest in social media, video game design, and branding within the Young Adult demographic.


John Thackara
John Thackara on Avatar
John Thackara is a writer, speaker and design producer, and director of Doors of Perception. In addition to this blog, he is the author of twelve books including In The Bubble: Designing In A Complex World and Wouldn't It Be Great If….


Steven Heller
Steven Heller on Panic
Steven Heller is the co-chair (with Lita Talarico) of the School of Visual Arts MFA Design / Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program and the SVA Masters Workshop in Rome. He is a prolific writer.


Debbie Millman
Debbie Millman on Sleep
Debbie Millman is a designer, author, educator, strategist and host of the podcast Design Matters.


John Bertram
John Bertram on Silence
John Bertram is a graduate of Yale School of Architecture and the principal of Bertram Architects in Los Angeles. He is co-editor (with Yuri Leving) of Lolita - The Story of a Cover Girl: Vladimir Nabokov's Novel in Art and Design, and the editor of Venus Febriculosa, a website devoted to contemporary literature and the art and design of books.


Jeff Miller
Jeff Miller on Timing
Jeff Miller is a leading industrial designer and the Vice President of Design at Poppin. On this episode of Insights Per Minute, he speaks about timing.


Cheryl Heller
Cheryl Heller on Words
Cheryl Heller is the Founding Chair of the first MFA program in Design for Social Innovation, at SVA. She has founded two companies and taught creativity to leaders and organizations around the world.


John Caserta
John Caserta on Obfuscation
John Caserta is a Providence-based designer, artist and educator.


Megan Whitmarsh
Megan Whitmarsh on Originality
Megan Whitmarsh is a Los Angeles based artist who works predominantly in textiles. Although she also creates comic books, paintings, drawings, and stop-action animation, Whitmarsh is best known for her hand-embroidered canvases and soft sculptures.


Alexandra Lange
Alexandra Lange on Performance
Alexandra LangeAlexandra Lange is an architecture and design critic, and author of Writing About Architecture: Mastering the Language of Buildings and Cities.


Stanley Hainsworth
Stanley Hainsworth on Acting
Stanley Hainsworth is the founder and Chief Creative Officer of Tether, a creative agency based in Seattle, WA. Before starting Tether in 2008, he was the VP-global creative at Starbucks. Prior to joining Starbucks, Stanley was global creative director at Lego in Denmark from 2001 to 2004.


Krista Donaldson
Krista Donaldson on Users
Krista Donaldson, PhD, is a mechanical and design engineer based in San Francisco who focuses on development in less industrialized economies as CEO of the nonprofit firm D-Rev (Design Revolution).


Mariana Amatullo
Mariana Amatullo on Honesty
Mariana co-founded Designmatters in 2001. As the head of the Department, she is responsible for the strategic leadership of a dynamic portfolio of global and national educational projects, research collaborations and publications at the intersection of art and design education and social innovation.



Wendy Ju
Wendy Ju on Fun
Wendy Ju is a PhD graduate of the Center for Design Research at Stanford University, and the founder of Ambidextrous magazine, Stanford University's Journal of Design.



Enrique Allen
Enrique Allen on Introductions
Enrique Allen is currently the co-director of the Designer Fund where he provides angel funding, mentorship and connections to designers creating businesses with positive social impact.


Sean Adams
Sean Adams on Typography
Sean Adams is a partner at AdamsMorioka in Beverly Hills. Sean is President ex officio and past national board member of AIGA, and President ex officio of AIGA Los Angeles. He teaches at Art Center College of Design.


Gabriel Brodbar
Gabriel Brodbar on Iatrogenesis
Gabriel Brodbar is the Executive Director of the NYU Reynolds Program in Social Entrepreneurship at New York University.


David Womack
David Womack on Space
David Womack is the executive creative director of experience design in the mobile and social group at R/GA. He is also on the faculty of the MFA in interaction design program at School of Visual Arts in New York.


Steff Geissbühler
Steff Geissbühler on Color Blind
Steff Geissbühler is among America’s most celebrated designers of integrated brand and corporate identity programs.


Liz Gerber
Liz Gerber on Feedback
Liz Gerber is the Junior Breed Chair of Design at Northwestern U. and Faculty Founder of Design For America.


Rob Forbes
Rob Forbes on Perfection
Rob Forbes’ career includes work in both the Arts and Business fields. Forbes is best known as the Founder of Design Within Reach and for the vision of a business that has grown into the leading retail destination for modern design in the US.


Jake Nickell
Jake Nickell on Creating
Jake Nickell is the co-founder of skinnyCorp and Threadless.com, along with a “bunch of other little projects”.


Sara Ivry
Sara Ivry on Language
Sara Ivry is the host of Vox Tablet, the weekly podcast of Tablet Magazine, and a writer who has contributed to the New York Times, Bookforum, the Boston Globe, and other publications.


J.D. McClatchy
J. D. McClatchy on Relationships
J. D. McClatchy is the author of six books of poetry and many texts for musical settings, including eight opera libretti.


Steven Heller
Steven Heller on Recommendations
Steven Heller is the co-chair (with Lita Talarico) of the School of Visual Arts MFA Design / Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program and the SVA Masters Workshop in Rome. He is a prolific writer.


John Foster
John Foster on Colloquialisms
John Foster has been a longtime collector of self-taught art and vernacular photography, as well as an artist, designer, and art curator.


Chip Kidd
Chip Kidd on Ready
Chip Kidd is a Designer/Writer in New York City. His book cover designs for Alfred A. Knopf, where he has worked non-stop since 1986, have helped create a revolution in the art of American book packaging.


Natalie Foster
Natalie Foster on Sharing
Natalie Foster is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of Peers.


Adam Harrison Levy
Adam Harrison Levy on Questions
Adam Harrison Levy is a writer and film-maker. He teaches at the School of the Visual Arts. In 2012 he was a Poynter Fellow at Yale University.


Thomas Fisher
Thomas Fisher on Survival
Thomas Fisher is dean of the College of Design at the University of Minnesota.


Mark Lamster
Mark Lamster on Complaining
Mark Lamster is the architecture critic of the Dallas Morning News and a professor at the University of Texas at Arlington School of Architecture.


Marvin Heiferman
Marvin Heiferman on Photography
Marvin Heiferman, a curator and writer, develops exhibitions, websites and publications that explore visual culture.


Joanna Radin
Joanna Radin on Potential
Joanna Radin is Assistant Professor in the Section for the History of Medicine at Yale University, where she also holds affiliations with the departments of History and of Anthropology.


John Maeda
John Maeda on Loops
We’re in the same loop. Culture lags. Art and design have to pick up the slack.


Wendy MacLeod
Wendy MacLeod on Fasting
Wendy MacLeod ia an award-winning playwright.


Ricky Jay
Ricky Jay on Collecting
Ricky Jay is considered one of the world's great sleight of hand artists.


Alice Twemlow
Alice Twemlow on Home
Alice Twemlow is the co-founder and chair of a two-year graduate program in Design Criticism at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. She is also a PhD candidate in the History of Design department at the Royal College of Art, London.


Nicholas Christakis
Nicholas Christakis on Networks
Nicholas A. Christakis, MD, PhD, MPH, is a social scientist and physician who conducts research on social factors that affect health, health care, and longevity.


Ralph Caplan
Ralph Caplan on Titles
Ralph Caplan is a writer and communications consultant and lectures on design. He is the former editor-in-chief of I.D. Magazine and the author of several books.


Rob Walker
Rob Walker on Seeing
Rob Walker is a technology/culture columnist for Yahoo News. He is the former Consumed columnist for The New York Times Magazine, and has contributed to many publications.


Jessica Helfand
Jessica Helfand on Brevity
Jessica Helfand, a founding editor of Design Observer, is an award-winning graphic designer, writer, and educator.



Observed | January 22

A new book explores the cold heart of Frank Lloyd Wright. [BV]


Observed | January 20

A facial recognition app with what appear to be endless weaponization possibilities. Truly. [JH]


Observed | January 15

A beautiful remembrance by Melissa Harris about Mercy Cunningham, in the New York Review of Books this week. [JH]


Observed | January 14

Are typefaces political? Researchers find "serif and bold is rated as more conservative, while sans serif and italics is rated as more liberal" [MB]

Congratulations to the entire AIGA community on their wonderful new executive director, Bennie F. Johnson! Here’s to bright futures. [BV]


Observed | January 13

Anyone interested in a “book about the future of human beings, as viewed by some of today‘s most creative minds working at the intersection of biology and technology...Think of it as a guide to your future self.”? Because we are! #FundThis [BV]


Observed | January 10

Donald Norman says we have to change the way we educate designers. [JH]


Observed | January 09

This is a very specific genre and Andrew Cushing is nailing it with Veronica Gent-level skills: “Name a fake startup and I’ll write an ad for it in the style of an NYC subway campaign.” [MB]

Take 2 minutes and ride shotgun through mid-century LA with Ed Ruscha’s photos and Jack Kerouac’s words. [BV]


Observed | January 08

“The short answer is that the intersection of art + science is in my blood... my favorite kind of artist residency is one where I get to work with scientists.” Our very own Jessica Helfand joins Caltech as a Winter 2020 artist-in-residence. [BV]

Royal Mail has released a set of stamps celebrating a golden era of British video game design from the 1980s and 90s. [BV]


Observed | January 07

Los Angeles’ favorite logos. (via James I. Bowie) [BV]


Observed | January 02

Brand New‘s Armin Vit ranks the top twelve clickbait-iest design stories of 2019. [MB]


Observed | December 30

New research finds that typefaces are perceived as having political characteristics, with sans serif fonts seen as more liberal, and serif fonts as more conservative. (via James I. Bowie) [BV]


Observed | December 29

Desperately sad to announce that Vaughan Oliver died peacefully today, with his partner Lee by his side. Great loss of friend and design hero. Vaughan Oliver (1957—2019). [AS]


Observed | December 27

Continuing the blessed holiday tradition that began at Design Observer, now at Curbed, Alexandra Lange + Mark Lamster review the year in design (with a special look back over the decade‘s greatest hits & misses). [MB]


Observed | December 17

A photographer captures the sculptural landscapes of California skateparks. [BV]


Observed | December 11

Matisse felt an intense love for books, and the care and attention he lavished on them included not just his illustrations, but also the selection of paper, typeface, and layout. [BV]


Observed | December 10

Stanford’s d.school attempts to move beyond Post-its on whiteboards. (via James I. Bowie) [BV]


Observed | December 06

“I simply wanted to explore the interiority of both myself and others. I wanted to focus on what connected us rather than what separated us.” Painting friends in mid-conversation, Alex Bradley Cohen hides as much as he reveals. [BV]

Yello is a great new newsletter from journalist Hunter Schwarz “about the culture, branding, and visual rhetoric of politics in America.” Here are his 101 picks for visual moments that defined politics in the 2010s, including Edel Rodriguez’s melting Trump. [MB]


Observed | December 04

How do you bring an 18th-century Agateware teapot to life? Crafting it calls for an intricate process of moulding and layering clay materials, to mimic the agate stone. [BV]

Check out French artist
Paul Sougy’s stunning mid-century scientific illustrations of plants, animals, and the human body. [BV]


Observed | November 29

London-based studio Dorothy has developed a map of the United Kingdom using the titles of more than 1,400 pop songs. #CartographyRules [BV]


Observed | November 21

The icons of our popular culture depicted as ancient ruins. (via James I. Bowie) [BV]


Observed | November 14

“Other bad films fascinate because they define an area of heroic obsession, horrifically misapplied. The heroism and the misapplication are inseparable. Anyone can commit himself body and soul to a clearly formulated project of obvious importance or quality, but to throw your last dollar, your last scrap of energy, into something ill-conceived and absurd from the beginning: That takes a human being.” Phil Christman on the reasons we watch bad movies. [BV]

Congratulations to Côte d’Ivoire-based artist Joana Choumali on being the first photographer from the African continent to be awarded one of the world’s most prestigious photography prizes, the Prix Pictet. [BV]


Observed | November 13

We are very excited for the next chapter of The Great Discontent and send all our congratulations to Hugh Weber and the TGD community: we look forward to new stories and new journeys. [BV]


Observed | November 12

Gorgeous redesign of The Atlantic by Peter Mendelsund and Oliver Munday. [MB]


Observed | November 11

Out TODAY, Jessica Helfand’s FACE: A VISUAL ODYSSEY from MIT Press. From Chuck Close, it’s “Everything you ever wanted to know about the face, plus lots you never knew you would want to know—and a few things you wish you didn’t. A must-read as well as a treasury of images.” [BV]



Jobs | January 26