User Agreement

Welcome to Design Observer, and its related channels, Observatory, Change Observer, Places and Observer Media, which are owned and operated by Observer Omnimedia LLC,(“Observer”, “We” or “Us”)) and are collectively referred to here as the “Design Observer Group Sites.” This user agreement (”User Agreement”), which includes our Privacy Policy, sets forth the conditions for your use of the Design Observer Group Sites. Please read this User Agreement carefully, because by using the Design Observer Group Sites, you consent to these terms and conditions, including our collection and use of information about you in accordance with the Privacy Policy. If you do not agree with this User Agreement, you are not authorized to use the Design Observer Group Sites.

We may update this User Agreement, including our Privacy Policy, from time to time by posting the modified User Agreement on this page. If we determine that it is appropriate, we may post a notice of the change on the home pages of the Design Observer Group Sites. By continuing to use the Design Observer Group Sites after we have posted such modifications or notice, you agree to the modified terms.

We reserve the right at any time and from time to time to modify or discontinue, temporarily or permanently, the Design Observer Group Sites (or any part thereof) with or without notice. You agree that Observer shall not be liable to you or any third party for any modification, suspension or discontinuance of the Design Observer Group Sites.

Copyright

The Design Observer Group Sites’ content including, but not limited to, text, photographs, graphics, video and audio content, is protected by United States and international copyright laws and other intellectual property laws.

All individual articles, videos, content and other elements comprising the Design Observer Group Sites are also copyrighted works, and Observer (subject to the rights of its licensors and licensees under applicable agreements, understandings and arrangements) has rights therein. You must abide by all additional copyright notices or restrictions contained on the Design Observer Group Sites. By posting or submitting content on or to the Design Observer Group Sites (regardless of the form or medium with respect to such content, whether text, videos, photographs, audio or otherwise), you are giving Observer and its affiliates, agents and third party contractors the right to display or publish such content on the Design Observer Group Sites [and its affiliated publications (either in the form submitted or in the form of a derivative or adapted work), to store such content, and to distribute such content and use such content for promotional and marketing purposes].

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In furtherance of the foregoing, you agree that you will not: (i) submit material that is copyrighted, protected by trade secret or otherwise subject to third party proprietary rights, including privacy and publicity rights, unless you are the owner of such rights or have permission from their rightful owner to post the material and to grant Observer all of the rights granted herein; (ii) publish falsehoods or misrepresentations that could damage Observer or any third party; (iii) submit material that is unlawful, obscene, defamatory, libelous, threatening, pornographic, harassing, hateful, racially or ethnically offensive, or encourages conduct that would be considered a criminal offense, give rise to civil liability, violate any law, or is otherwise inappropriate; or (iv) post advertisements or solicitations of business.

Observer reserves the right to remove or not publish submissions without prior notice.

Digital Millennium Copyright Act

It is the policy of Observer to respond to notices of alleged copyright infringement, in compliance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) and other applicable laws. Our response to these notices may include removing or disabling access to material claimed to be the subject of infringing activity and/or terminating contributors. If we remove or disable access in response to such a notice, we will make a good-faith attempt to contact the submitter of the affected material or post, so that they may make a counter notification. We may also document notices of alleged infringement on which we act. Your complaint will also be a matter of record.

If you are a copyright owner or agent thereof and believe that any content appearing on the Design Observer Group Sites infringes upon your copyright, please submit notice, pursuant to the DMCA (17 U.S.C. § 512(c)) to our Copyright Agent with the following information: (i) an electronic or physical signature of the person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of the copyright; (ii) a description of the copyrighted work that you claim has been infringed; (iii) the URL of the location containing the material that you claim is infringing; (iv) your address, telephone number, and email address; (v) a statement by you that you have a good faith belief that the disputed use is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law; (vi) a statement by you, made under penalty of perjury, that the above information in your notice is accurate and that you are the copyright owner or authorized to act on the copyright owner's behalf.

Our Copyright Agent can be reached as follows: By mail: Observer Omnimedia / Attn:
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Please be advised that you may be liable for damages if you materially misrepresent that a post or activity is infringing your copyrights.

Counter-Notification

In some instances a contributor who has submitted or posted materials identified as infringing may supply a counter-notification pursuant to sections 512(g)(2) and (3) of the DCMA. When we receive a counter-notification, we may reinstate the posts or material in question.

To file a counter-notification with us, a contributor must provide a written communication (by fax or regular mail or by email) that sets forth all of the items required by the DMCA. Please note that you will be liable for damages if you materially misrepresent that content or an activity is not infringing the copyrights of others. If you are not sure whether certain material infringes the copyrights of others, we suggest that you first contact an attorney. A sample counter-notification may be composed using the PDF forms at www.ChillingEffects.org

Trademark

Design Observer, and its related channels, Observatory, Change Observer, Places and Observer Media, and other logos and trademarks displayed on the Design Observer Group Sites (collectively “Trademarks”) are owned by or licensed to Observer. The Trademarks may not be used (i) in connection with any product or service that does not belong to Observer, (ii) in any manner that is likely to cause confusion about whether Observer is the source, sponsor, or endorser of the product or service, or (iii) in any manner that disparages or discredits Observer.

Links, Frames and Metatags

We are concerned about the integrity of the Design Observer Group Sites when any of them are viewed in a setting created by a third party that includes advertising or other materials that We have not authorized to be displayed with the Design Observer Group Sites. Neither you nor any third party shall make use of the contents of the Design Observer Group Sites in any manner that constitutes an infringement of our rights, including copyright or that has not been authorized by Us. You may not frame the content of Design Observer Group Sites unless you first obtain our express written consent. You may not use metatags or any other “hidden text” that incorporates our Trademarks or our name without our express written consent. You may link to the home pages of the Design Observer Group Sites as long as the link does not defame us or cast us in a false or misleading light. You may not link to one of our inner pages unless the link clearly identifies the Design Observer Group Sites as the location of the linked pages. To request permission for a use discussed in this section, please send a written request to Observer by email at hello [at] designobserver.com or by mail at P.O. Box 159, Falls Village, CT 06031. (We display our email address in this format to avoid receiving spam. When you email us, please replace “[at]“ with “@”. Design Observer Group Site has the sole discretion to grant or deny this permission.

Comments

We invite your questions, or comments about Observer or any of the issues addressed on the Design Observer Group Sites. You may send letters to Observer at P.O. Box 159, Falls Village, CT 06031, Attn: Letters to the Editor, or via email at hello [at] designobserver.com. By sending a letter to the Editor, you grant Observer a nonexclusive, royalty-free license to reproduce and distribute the letter, in whole or in part, for any purpose, in any media, whether now known or later created. Hard copies will not be returned to you.

Observer takes no responsibility for the comments posted on the Design Observer Group Site. Observer encourages comments to be short and to the point, and to be courteous to others in any exchange of comments. Observer discourages comments that are off-topic, unnecessarily antagonistic or defamatory, or in violation of other’s intellectual property rights. Observer reserves the right to edit or delete comments that do not adhere to these standards.

Advice and Opinions

The Design Observer Group Sites contains facts, views, opinions, and statements of third parties, users, and other organizations (“Third-Party Material”). Observer, its parents, affiliates, and subsidiaries (“Observer Parties”) do not make any representations concerning the accuracy or reliability of any Third-Party Material displayed on or distributed through the Design Observer Group Sites. You acknowledge that you rely upon any Third-Party Material at your own risk and you agree that the Observer Parties will not be held responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any loss or damage caused or alleged to have been caused in any way whatsoever related to any Third-Party Material displayed on or distributed through the Design Observer Group Sites.

Third-Party Links

The Design Observer Group Sites contain links to other sites and resources on the Internet controlled by third parties. These links are provided solely as a convenience to our users and do not constitute an endorsement by Observer. Any concerns regarding another website should be directed to the site’s administrator. Observer reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to terminate links with any third parties or other websites that it deems inappropriate or inconsistent with the Design Observer Group Sites. Observer makes no representations about the content, functionality, or practices of these third-party sites and resources, and disclaim any and all warranties, express or implied, related to these third-party sites and resources.

Disclaimers

THE DESIGN OBSERVER GROUP SITES ARE AVAILABLE “AS IS.” TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED UNDER LAW, WE DISCLAIM ALL EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES WITH RESPECT TO THE DESIGN OBSERVER GROUP SITES OR ANY INFORMATION, GOODS, OR SERVICES THAT ARE AVAILABLE THROUGH THE DESIGN OBSERVER GROUP SITES, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION ANY WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE (EVEN IF THE PURPOSE WAS DISCLOSED).

WE DO NOT WARRANT THAT THE DESIGN OBSERVER GROUP SITES WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED OR ERROR-FREE. WE DO NOT MAKE ANY REPRESENTATIONS REGARDING THE ACCURACY OR COMPLETENESS OF ANY STATEMENT OR INFORMATION DISPLAYED, DISTRIBUTED, OR MADE AVAILABLE ON OR THROUGH THE DESIGN OBSERVER GROUP SITES OR AVAILABLE THROUGH LINKS ON THE DESIGN OBSERVER GROUP SITES. WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO CORRECT ANY ERRORS OR OMISSIONS IN THE DESIGN OBSERVER GROUP SITES. IF YOU RELY ON OUR SITE OR OBTAIN ANY MATERIALS OR GOODS AVAILABLE THROUGH IT, YOU DO SO SOLELY AT YOUR OWN RISK.

ALTHOUGH WE INTEND TO TAKE REASONABLE STEPS TO PREVENT THE INTRODUCTION OF VIRUSES, WORMS, “TROJAN HORSES” OR OTHER DESTRUCTIVE MATERIALS TO THE DESIGN OBSERVER GROUP SITES, WE DO NOT GUARANTEE OR WARRANT THAT OUR SITE OR MATERIALS THAT MAY BE DOWNLOADED FROM IT ARE FREE FROM SUCH DESTRUCTIVE FEATURES. WE ARE NOT LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES OR HARM ATTRIBUTABLE TO SUCH FEATURES.

Limitation of Liability

WE ARE NOT LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, LOSS OR INJURY BASED ON ERRORS, OMISSIONS, INTERRUPTIONS OR OTHER INACCURACIES IN OUR SITE, INCLUDING ANY CLAIM, LOSS OR INJURY THAT RESULTS FROM YOUR BREACH OF ANY PROVISION IN THIS USER AGREEMENT. WE ARE NOT LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, SPECIAL, PUNITIVE OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES (INCLUDING LOST REVENUES OR PROFITS, LOSS OF BUSINESS, OR LOSS OF DATA) ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE DESIGN OBSERVER GROUP SITES, ITS SERVICES, OR THIS AGREEMENT, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER SUCH LIABILITY IS BASED IN TORT, CONTRACT, OR OTHERWISE.

SOME STATES DO NOT ALLOW THE LIMITATION OF LIABILITY FOR THESE KINDS OF DAMAGES, SO THESE LIMITATIONS OR EXCLUSIONS MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU.

Termination

We reserve the right to terminate any services offered through the Design Observer Group Sites or to terminate the Design Observer Group Sites and this User Agreement at any time without notice, for any reason, including, in the case of the User Agreement, because of your violation of any of these provisions. The Copyright Disclaimers, Limitation of Liability and Governing Law Sections of this User Agreement survive any termination.

Governing Law

This Agreement is governed by and any disputes relating to this User Agreement should be decided under the laws of the State of Connecticut applicable to contracts made and completely performed there.

Severability

If any provision of this Agreement is deemed unlawful, void, or for any reason unenforceable, then that provision is considered severed and will not affect the validity and enforceability of any remaining provisions.


Observed


Everything you ever wanted to know about the origins of Dutch design (but were afraid to ask).

A meditation on the history of design—and the rise of strategy—from Jarrett Fuller.

A meditation on analog beauty—and vernacular signage—from Elizabeth Goodspeed.

Richard Stengel makes a compelling case that journalism should be free to save democracy. “According to the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, more than 75% of America’s leading newspapers, magazines, and journals are behind online paywalls. And how do American news consumers react to that?” (Subscription required.) 

Please, please, pleaseget some sleep.

The Supreme Court allows Idaho to ban transgender health care for minors. For now.

Historically, we’ve invested huge resources to keep cities and nature separate. But we now know that the health of the soil and the health of people are the same story. So, what does this have to do with design? Join the unstoppable John Thackara and Milan Politecnico professor Ezio Manzini today at 11 am ET as they discuss this critical—and surprisingly overlooked—environmental issue.

Conducted through audio interviews, Ana Miljački's I Would Prefer Not To is an oral history project on the topic of the most important kind of refusal in architects’ toolboxes: refusal of the architectural commission. (Miljački, an architectural historian and theorist, is also Director of the Critical Broadcasting Lab at MIT.) Produced in conjunction with the Architectural League of New York, this podcast features conversations with a number of fascinating practitioners including Diller + Scofidio's Elizabeth Diller, WXY partner Claire Weisz (who we interviewed in Season Three of The Design of Business | The Business of Design) and Nina Cooke John (a Season Nine guest).

This past winter, a diverse cohort of students from the MADE Program at Brown + RISD and Harvard immersed themselves in a wealth of data provided by the City of Boston with the mission of uncovering novel, meaningful, and joyful perspectives on navigating and understanding the urban environment. Their resulting projects—a series of interactive exhibits ranging from envisioning the evolving contours of the coastline to revealing the secret lives of the city’s trees—will be on view this week at the Boston Museum of Science.

Designers are leaving corporate life in droves, re-designed out of their own jobs. “The strategic design gold rush is over,” reports Robert Fabricant.  So, where are they going? “[A} new class of platforms and networks have emerged, including NeolDesign Executive CouncilChief Design Officer School, Design Leadership Job Board, and Design Leaders.” This isn’t a bad thing, he says. “These platforms specifically target ‘fractional’ design leaders who are looking to support one another, collaborate on projects, better communicate their value, and source new income-generating opportunities, both individually and collectively.” 

A new project designed to amplify Indigenous-owned businesses on Google Maps and Google Search gets high marks from Huitzilli Oronia, a Chicana designer from Denver, Colorado, and the creative production agency Hook.  Oronia contributed Google’s Indigenous-owned attribute icon and associated launch materials to the initiative. “This wasn’t just another campaign; it represented an opportunity to help Indigenous business owners share their heritage and foster deeper connections between the businesses and their consumers,” she says.

Yet another social app built around talk, not text! 

Faith Ringgold, the multimedia artist whose soaring work documented race, class, family, community, justice, and the African American experience in the U.S., has died. She was 93. Her work included painting, sculpture, mask- and doll-making, textiles, performance art, and children’s literature. “Few artists have kept as many balls in the air as long as Faith Ringgold,” the New York Times art critic Roberta Smith wrote in 2013. “She has spent more than five decades juggling message and form, high and low, art and craft, inspirational narrative and quiet or not so quiet fury about racial and sexual inequality.”

Nike is under fire for its “needlessly revealing and sexist” Team USA women’s track and field kit. “Wait, my hoo haa is gonna be out.”

AI is rewriting the internet. Here’s what to expect from Microsoft’s Copilot, Google’s Gemini, and OpenAI’s ChatGPT-4. “These AI tools are vast autocomplete systems, trained to predict which word follows the next in any given sentence. As such, they have no hard-coded database of ‘facts’ to draw on — just the ability to write plausible-sounding statements. This means they have a tendency to present false information as truth since whether a given sentence sounds plausible does not guarantee its factuality,” says reporter James Vincent. Yay! The future sounds…?

The National Governors Association has launched a new Health Equity Learning Network to support policy solutions and share strategies to reduce health inequities in the U.S.

Daniel Kahneman, the Nobel Prize-winning psychologist who became known for his groundbreaking work in bias, heuristics, and how people make decisions, has died at 90. Kahneman became widely known for his 2011 book Thinking, Fast and Slow, which aimed to “improve the ability to identify and understand errors of judgment and choice, in others and eventually ourselves, by providing a richer and more precise language to discuss them.”

Maqroo means readable: Leo Burnett Dubai agency has partnered with Omantel telecom network to create a new dyslexia-friendly Arabic font. “Arabic is one of the oldest and most beautiful languages in the world. With 12 million words it is also the most complex, making it even harder for those with dyslexia to learn it,” says Leo Burnett Dubai art director Abdo Mohamed. (It’s also beautiful.)

Wicked looks good.

The much anticipated Humane AI Pin has arrived, an expensive, subscription-based wearable chatbot — or “second brain” — that nobody seems to like very much. Yet, I guess.

Who will represent working-class life?documentary about the UK-based photographer Tish Murtha is asking important questions about which stories are told visually — and supported by the art establishment — and why. “She showed the reality of poverty and deprivation in communities where the misery of unemployment had been allowed to settle by the Westminster political classes who considered it a price worth other people paying for the boon of undermining trade union power,” writes Peter Bradshaw. “But in capturing the faces, particularly the faces of children, Murtha showed her subjects’ humour, optimism and refusal to be cowed.”

An employee who worked as an art installer secretly hung one of his own paintings in the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich, and we’re not that mad about it. “He was carrying tools; that’s why he went totally unnoticed,” said Tine Nehler, a museum spokesperson. “As a technician, he was able to move around all areas of the building outside of opening hours.”

Marian Bantjes critiques the design and logic (and design logic) of the food pyramid (and pyramids in general).

Lesly Pierre Paul’s New Vision Art School turns to the arts as a way to continue local traditions and keep neighborhood children out of gangs. 

Tahnee Ahtone joins the Nelson Atkins Museum in Kansas City as Curator, Native American Art. She was previously the Director and Curator at the Kiowa Tribal Museum in Carnegie, Oklahoma.

News we love: founded in 2002 by Nínive Calegari, a teacher, and McSweeney's founder (and author) Dave Eggers, 826 Valencia receives a $1 million donation from Yield Giving, a massive philanthropy effort by Amazon co-founder MacKenzie Scott.

Next week, Case Western will host design anthropologist Christina Wasson, who will deliver the 2024 Applying Anthropology to Real World Problems Lecture. Entitled The Participatory Design of Indigenous Heritage Archives, Wasson will describe how she has adapted participatory design methods to develop archives that preserve indigenous languages. (Thursday, April 18, at 4 p.m. in Mather Memorial Building, Room 201.)

Margerete Jahny belonged to a rare demographic of industrial designer: she was East German—and female—and according to design historian Günter Höhne, she was the first East German industrial designer, of any gender, with a university education.

New “networks” and “platforms” targeting “fractional” design leaders who are looking to support one another, collaborate on projects, better communicate their value, and source new income-generating opportunities, both individually and collectively. More on the reinvention design leaders are facing, by Robert Fabricant.

Democratic state lawmakers in Colorado are ending the practice of anonymous surveys to determine which bills should live or die. The change to make all parts of the survey public comes months after a judge ordered lawmakers to stop using their previous secret ballot system to prioritize legislation because it violated Colorado’s open meetings law, reports the Longmont Leader.



Jobs | April 20