VII Observations

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Women's Day, Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan, 2004
Photo by Alexandra Boulat


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Uncertain Journeys, Lesbos, Greece, 2015
I felt conflicted about photographing the refugees as they arrived in Greece.


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U.S. Marines, Fallujah, Iraq, 2004
Combat engulfed the forces’ advance, as insurgents engaged them with sniper fire and RPGs in one of the fiercest battles yet


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Syrian Refugee, Lesbos, Greece, 2015
...their journey had not ended—it was just their next step into the unknown.


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Subway Attendant, Pyongyang, North Korea, 2007
The idea that ’life imitates art’ takes on a whole new meaning in North Korea.


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Polluted Garden, Romania, 1995
Broken Dream: Twenty Years of War in Eastern Europe


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Mustard Field, Bangladesh, 2015
Places in this photograph do not exist anymore.


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GoGo Anna, NYC, 2005
Immediately after photographing Anna she barked at me...


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Fur Coat, Dongling, China, 2012
I was stepping out of a car on a trip to a village in landlocked Anhui province in central China when she caught my eye.


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Faith, Swiebodzin, Poland, 2011
Representing transcendent aspects through a visual art as photography is an interesting challenge.


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Displaced Women, Sudan, 2007
I could not have imagined what a powerful moment it would represent.


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Dancer, Verona, Italy, 2004
“...and the magic appeared and she made my day.”


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Cheerleaders, Lexington, KY, 2005
It was the stark contrast that makes a photographers job so crazy and wonderful sometimes.


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Chechen Fighters, Contact Sheet, Grozny, Chechen Republic (Russia), 1995
At that moment in time there was not a more dangerous place on earth.


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Balloons, Kabul, Afghanistan, 2002
Children are allowed again to enjoy kites and other items banned by the Taliban


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Light Overcoming Darkness
Donald Trump kisses his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on July 20, 2016.


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Older Sisters Rule
A young girl dreams of becoming a summer festival queen like her older sister, Conesville, Iowa.


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Your Civic Duty, An Incredible Right
A woman casts her ballot in the Afghan presidential election in Herat, Afghanistan, on Oct. 9, 2004. For the first time in 20 years, Afghan women were allowed to vote in the 2004 presidential election.


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The Three Amigos
In 2000, November 7th was election day. And what a day it was.


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The Rough Rider
Supporters of Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega attack elected Vice President Guillermo (Billy) Ford in Panama City, May 10, 1989.


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I Do Solemnly Swear
President-elect Barack Obama is sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts as the 44th president of the United States on the West Front of the Capitol as his wife Michelle looks on in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 20, 2009.


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Make America Great Again?
Inside the convention the Jumbotron projected a vision of strength and unapologetic aggression. Speech after speech worked to reinforce the need for order and security.


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Who Needs a Hug?
US President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton embrace on the third day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center, July 27, 2016, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


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Trick or Treat
Children across the country celebrate Halloween dressed as goblins, Hollywood starlets, and super heroes. Pictured here in Tampa, FL, Wonder Woman, Cat Woman, and Princess Leia prepare for Halloween treats and frightful adventures.


The Editors
Announcing VII Observations
VII Observations is a new partnership between VII and Design Observer.



Observed | May 18

A Qin dynasty document from the third-century B.C.E, titled “The Volume of Crime Scene Investigation—Burglary,” pointed up fingerprints as a means of evincing whodunnit: The surprising history (and future) of fingerprints. [BV]


Observed | May 16

Glamour shots of chickens. [BV]

This Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center presents The Ark. [BV]


Observed | May 15

There’s very little advice or collective wisdom about how to properly end a creative project. (h/t Kottke.org) [BV]


Observed | May 14

Some afternoon eye candy: 1930s interior architecture illustrations. [BV]

Katherine Small Gallery is a new gallery in Somerville, Massachusetts dedicated to small exhibits about graphic design and typography. Their first exhibit is “Ivan Chermayeff: Mostly Early Covers”. [BV]


Observed | May 11

Explore the Marché du Film with the 14 craziest movie posters in Cannes. [BV]

An integral part of NYCxDESIGN, the Design Pavillion opens tomorrow in Times Square and is hosting some amazing talks next week. [BV]


Observed | May 10

How multimodal city councilor Michelle Wu gets around Boston. [BV]

Rather than a golden ratio or a moral judgment, beauty is more like a radical jolt that awakens us to the world. [BV]


Observed | May 09

The rise of the rural creative class. [BV]

Congratulations to design director extraordinaire Fred Woodward on receiving the 2018 SPD Herb Lubalin Award for Lifetime Achievement. [BV]

A thoughtful response to the recent “two spaces after a period” research. (via James I. Bowie) [BV]


Observed | May 08

Opening this Friday, Penguin Random House and Strand Book Store present Be My Cover, an exhibit of contemporary cover design. [BV]

Women, design, New York. Discuss! [JH]


Observed | May 07

Where is design going? [JH]

A brief history of the dust jacket. [JH]


Observed | May 04

Friday Fun: stained-glass windows of R. Crumb comics. [BV]

A lovely profile of Maira Kalman, “for whom image and word are intertwined and of equal importance”. [BV]


Observed | May 03

Truthiness, Kinfolk, and everything you ever wanted to know about the death of authenticity. [JH]

Maps for Good! [JH]


Observed | May 02

Julian Rothenstein’s compendium of rare and wonderful alphabets and signs, A2Z+, is out now from Princeton Architectural Press. [MPL]

Jesse Reed and Hamish Smyth’s newest book is a celebration of the original emoji. More here. [JH]


Observed | May 01

Class, colonialism, and self-creation in My Fair Lady. [MPL]

Fixing Amazon. [MPL]

A new book from Harvard University Press looks at privacy law and its relationship to the design of new technologies. [JH]


Observed | April 30

Anne Quito reviews an unusual design exhibition in Barcelona. More here. [JH]

Modern boy and modern girl! A trip down memory lane with vintage Japanese graphic design. (h/t Joe Freedman.) [JH]


Observed | April 27

YouTube Face is, sadly, clickbait attaining human form. [BV]

Don’t try and disrupt everything. Focus on actual problems. The six guys you ate lunch with don’t count as “user research.” Allison Arieff on why design criticism matters. [JH]



Jobs | May 21