Development


Paul Polak, and Mal Warwick
How to Solve India’s Poverty Crisis
A new look at how to end poverty in India.



Observed
Welcoming Dr. Paul Polak
Welcoming Dr. Paul Polak as a Design Observer contributing writer.



Observed
2012: The Year in Construction
Engineering News-Record, a weekly technical magazine that traces it's roots back to 1874, has announced the winners of their "2012 The Year In Contruction" photo competition.



Philip Nobel
Oops: Understanding Failure
A review of To Forgive Design: Understanding Failure, by Henry Petroski.



Observed
Design Indaba Online FilmFest
Design Indaba's online film festival features 10 of the Focus Forward short films.



William Drenttel, and OBlog
Update: Design For Change Goes Global
Design For Change, the international design project that gives young people a chance to make a design contribution in their villages and cities has now reached 34 countries, launched a new website and conference, as well as school and communities challenges.



Mark Lamster
Majority Report
Review of Design with the Other 90%: Cities



Courtney Drake, William Drenttel, and Deirdre Cerminaro
Design and the Social Sector: An Annotated Bibliography
This bibiography surveys the literature of social design — the spectrum from design process and thinking to the zones of social innovation.



Julie Lasky
Media Design Matters
Art Center offers a new graduate track in social design that combines communications and technologies strategies with field work.



Ramsey Ford
Expert Thinking About Global Aid
Suggestions for a crash course in development economics for social designers



Barbara Flanagan
Sleeping with the Fishes
Review of "Waltzing with Brando," an account of the actor's effort to inhabit and protect a Tahitian atoll.



Ramsey Ford
Design Impact Fellowship Program
Announcement of Design Impact Fellowship Program in India.



John Thackara
Does Bilbao Need Another Guggenheim?
Ideas for remaking Basque country that go far beyond fancy architecture.



Julie Lasky
Bushpunk and the Future of Africa
Why Maker Faire Africa is a model for economic development



Julie Lasky
Index Names Design Challenge Finalists
Among the seven projects dedicated to schoolchildren are educational games, classroom furniture and products that support comfort and hygiene.




Phil Patton
The Meek Shall Inherit the Market
Phil Patton writes in praise of frugal engineering, and not just for developing markets.



Meena Kadri
Tinkers, Hackers, Farmers, Crafters
Interview with Emeka Okafor, founder of Maker Faire Africa.



Maria Popova
The Language of Design Imperialism
Essay on the flawed language used to describe humanitarian design efforts and what it indicates.



The Editors
Humanitarian Design vs. Design Imperialism: Debate Summary
Bruce Nussbaum started a firestorm with the question "Is humanitarian design the new imperialism?" — and the conversation has spread through the blogosphere. Here, a digest of essays and related posts on this subject.



Robert Fabricant
In Defense of Design Imperialism
Weighing in on a controversy, frog design's Robert Fabricant supports global design interventions.


Kate Andrews
Dori Gíslason
Interview with design educator Halldór Gíslason about his work in Mozambique.


Aspen Editors
Aspen Design Summit Report: UNICEF Menstruation Challenge
At the Aspen Design Summit November 11–14, 2009, sponsored by AIGA and Winterhouse Institute, the UNICEF Menstruation Challenge Project proposed an “eco-system” whereby sanitary pads became a linchpin for local economic growth, for educational programs about health and hygiene and for research into materials that could be adapted to other countries.


Ernest Beck
Medellín, Colombia
Report on the city officials who turned around a notorious drugs-and-murder capital, winning the 2009 Curry Stone Design Prize for Transformative Public Works.



Bryan Mealer, and William Kamkwamba
The Doers Club
Design prodigy William Kamkwamba recalls building a windmill to generate electricity for his village in Malawi, Africa.



Alexandra Lange
Waiting On the Dream
I wrote a piece on the (lack of) development in Midtown West , also known as the Hudson Yards.



Debbie Millman
Grant McCracken
Grant McCracken is the author of Culture and Consumption IPlenitudeBig HairCulture and Consumption II: Markets, Meaning and Brand ManagementThe Long InterviewFlock and Flow, and Transforming Selves.  



Rob Walker
The Guts of a New Machine
The iPod, a digital music player, it weighing just 6.5 ounces and holding about 1,000 songs.



Observed | December 13


“Symbols don’t make it clear what you do, it just makes it clear who they are. The less they say, the better.” We celebrate 60 years of branding torchbearer Chermayeff & Geismar with this new retrospective video from the AIGA Design Archives. [LS]

Can biometrics help architects design better cities? [JH]


Observed | December 12

Mis-overestimating the user, aka “the reverse George Bush design effect”. [JH]

In Dubai: building a design culture, from scratch. [JH]


Observed | December 11

Why success stories are just propaganda. [MB]

“Design thinking is kind of like syphilis: it’s contagious and rots your brains.” [MB]


Observed | December 08

Designing an autonomous car—from scratch. (Ford says they’re ready.) [JH]

There is Nordic design and then there is incredible Nordic design. (This is the latter.) [JH]


Observed | December 07

Protect your design job! From robots! No, not the tagline of a new blockbuster movie: an article about how you can actually, um, protect your design job from robots. [JH]

New design guidelines announced for the city of San Francisco. Perhaps other cities will follow suit: better to serve humanity than to express hostility, no? At a minimum, we should strive for coherent and peaceful cities. [JH]


Observed | December 06

Airbnb: People think our logo is anatomically suggestive. New Jersey ice cream parlor: Hold my beer. (via James I. Bowie) [BV]

Saving faces...on eggs. [MPL]


Observed | December 05

Can design reduce stress in cities? [JH]

News from China: will design help “power the next stage of growth”? Some business leaders think so. Meanwhile, in Shenzhen, a new design center opens. And if you’re in Hong Kong later this week, threee days of design inspiration await you! [JH]

Type designer and House Industries co-founder Rich Roat has died, age 52. [JH]


Observed | December 02

A decade of Chip! [JH]

Can a logo be adorable? Air Malta thinks so. [JH]


Observed | December 01

Is this the end of an era? Is process passé? More here. [JH]

Design tool = privacy nightmare. [JH]

If God is in the details—maybe design is in the relationships? Nathan Shedroff thinks so. [JH]


Observed | November 30

Holograms and rainbow printing are just a few of the ways the new Hong Kong high-tech ID card is building in security. [JH]

It seemed like a good idea at the time? [JH]


Observed | November 29

Book lovers never go to bed alone. (Support public libraries!) [BV]

Cool new illustrations from London-based illustrator Fay Dalton for the original James Bond novels. [BV]

You’ve seen the decorations everywhere: How postwar Christmas embraced spaceships, nukes, cellophane. [BV]


Observed | November 28

From pickled sharks to compositions in silence, fake ideas and fake emotions have elbowed out truth and beauty. [BV]

Will there be grapes in 2050? Tour the facilities where scientists breed plants to survive the future. [BV]

Zuckerberg and the data visualization that’s become core to Facebook’s mythos. [BE]


Observed | November 27

Design for Neuroticism? Sign me up! Bot designers (yes, it’s a thing) frame bot characters around something called the “big five” (I was hoping for hippos, like on safari, but no luck). The big bot five is a “personality trait model according to which each personality has five dimensions — agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, extraversion, and openness”. [JH]

This just in from the department of first world problems: The Dip Clip is the brainchild of a problem encountered, a decade ago, by a group of designers who stopped during a short trip at a fast food drive-thru and “realized they could not easily enjoy their condiments without making a mess.” [JH]



Jobs | December 13