Nature

Rick Poynor
Exposure: Chimpanzee by James Mollison
Looking into the face of an ape



Sara Jamshidi
The Tree
Three perspectives



John Thackara
Food As A Commons
People go hungry not because of a shortage of production, but because the food available is too expensive, or they lack the land to grow it on. In California, the prototype of a combined social, political and technical solution has been launched which promises to unlock the food system crisis.


Alexandra Lange
Mariana Griswold Van Rensselaer, Freelancer
One of the incidental pleasures of Judith Major’s new book on pioneering architecture critic Mariana Griswold Van Rensselaer is the glimpse it gives into the life of a cultural journalist at the turn of the past century.


Alexandra Lange
Someone Else’s Shangri La
An exhibition of Doris Duke's Honolulu mansion, Shangri La, proves a “Spanish-Moorish-Persian-Indian complex” works as theater.


Alexandra Lange
Hiking the Museum
Ennead Architects’ new Natural History Museum of Utah works to make natural history seem like the ongoing process of discovery that it is, layering geology and topography, paleontology and interactivity.


Rick Poynor
On My Screen: The Back of Beyond
John Heyer’s The Back of Beyond, made for Shell Australia in 1954, is one of the country’s finest films.


John Thackara
Utopia is Here
Ridley Scott's film Blade Runner, made in 1982, portrays a dystopian Los Angeles as it might be in 2019. In just eight years we are due to find out whether or not the film was an accurate prediction.



Adam Harrison Levy
Sustainable Christmas Trees
From artificial firs to rented spruces, a report on alternatives to the chopped-down Xmas tree.






William Drenttel, and Jon Piasecki
The Stonework of Jon Piasecki
"Stone construction is one of the most enduring traces of human activity. Any effort to quarry, cut and stack it is one that requires a powerful incentive, extensive planning and specialized skill." The Stone River project of Jon Piasecki.



Mark Dery
Paradise Fouled
Review of Crude, Joe Berlinger's documentary film about a lawsuit filed against Chevron by denizens of the Ecuadorean Amazon.



Karrie Jacobs
A Thousand Points on Light: Part II
Continuation of debate between lighting designer Leni Schwendinger and Dark-Sky advocate Susan Harder about proper illumination of urban, suburban and rural environments.



Karrie Jacobs
A Thousand Points on Light: Part I
Debate between lighting designer Leni Schwendinger and Dark-Sky advocate Susan Harder about proper illumination of urban, suburban and rural environments.



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]

Good design continues to be good business. [JH]


Observed | March 27

Disappointed by history on your last vacation? Check out these ancient ruins reconstructed with architectural GIFs. [BV]

Prettier in pictures: The stunning skylines of China’s megacities [BV]


Observed | March 26

We Heart Milton. [JH]

Can you learn design ... online? [JH]



Jobs | April 20