Jessica Barness is a design theorist whose scholarly work has been published and exhibited internationally. Her research interests are diverse and include interactive environments, sound studies, and critical practices in design. She is an associate professor in the School of Visual Communication Design at Kent State University.



Observed | April 25

Two years after dropping a controversial family crest, Harvard Law School is struggling to introduce a new seal. (via James I. Bowie) [BV]

AIGA Design for Democracy: Building Community Power needs you. And you need to have your design on the NASDAQ screens in Times Square during NYCxDESIGN week. Submit by the end of the month. [BV]


Observed | April 24

“If our taste is dictated by data-fed algorithms controlled by massive tech corporations, then we must be content to classify ourselves as slavish followers of robots.” [BV]

Do you know Susan Kare? It’s likely you see her work every day. Alexandra Lange’s thoughtful profile of the woman who designed the suite of icons that made the Macintosh revolutionary, and who made it smile. [BV]


Observed | April 20

Is the selfie dead? (You wish!) [BV]


Observed | April 19

Rube Goldberg got tech right. [BV]

Design and obsession. [JH]


Observed | April 18

Design and icons. [JH]


Observed | April 16

Eric Markfield’s Real MTA map reflects the current (woeful) state of the New York subway system in real time. Only lines with good service (no delays, no service changes or planned work) are shown. [MB]

Design and euthanasia. [JH]


Observed | April 13

What are you listening to? How? A fun look back at old-school headphones. [BV]

Opening next week check: Jade Doskow’s Lost Utopias, documenting the remains of World’s Fair sites, at the Front Room Gallery in NYC. [BV]


Observed | April 12

A day in the life of Mike Katz, the last of a dying breed: 70mm film projectionists. [BV]

The Accessible Icon began as a street art project and is now a rival to the 1968 Wheelchair Symbol. (via James I. Bowie) [BV]


Observed | April 09

Will Burtin’s contributions to design can be characterised as important as Albert Einstein’s contributions to science.” [BV]


Observed | April 06

Behind Microsoft‘s AI design. [MPL]

Researchers are trying to understand how switching to electronic devices is affecting our memory and our literacy by studying a lowercase g + type designer Andy Clymer on the “g” he just couldn’t make work. [BV]


Observed | April 05

Claire Weisz receives Medal of Honor from the American Institute of Architects NY Chapter. [JH]


Observed | April 04

Itty bitty birds. [MPL]

The twin film phenomenon: two movies that are not only about the same thing, but are often released around the same time. [MPL]


Observed | April 03

Visualizing Earth, from the side. [MPL]

Graphics sparking change. [MPL]


Observed | April 02

Pantone wants to curb your road rage with ‘nature-inspired’ car mood lighting. [BV]

Did you ever have a myspace account? Did you remember to delete all those old photos? Our old photos follow us online, and it‘s changing culture. [BV]


Observed | March 30

Get ready for next Christmas early with what’s sure to be the toy flying off the shelves! [JH]

Mobster Times! [JH]

Christopher Scoates will leave the Cranbrook Museum to become the director of the Museum of Arts and Design. [JH]


Observed | March 29

Yankees’ plans to depict ballplayers in the medium of beer foam thwarted. (via James I. Bowie) [BV]


Observed | March 28

How service design is changing the way cities work. [JH]

Jens Müller and Julius Wiedemann’s A History of Graphic Design is out now from Taschen. More here. [JH]



Jobs | April 26