Nature

Steven Heller
The Ink Revolution of Jason S. Logan
Jason S. Logan is imagining a revolution for natural, place-based ink that is equivalent to what Alice Waters did for food.


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 | August 16

In addition to his work as a painter, Monet maintained stunning gardens that, after World War II, were destroyed and left neglected. Gilbert Vahé brought the landscape back to its former glory. [BV]

What wine do you pair with Roast Beast from How the Grinch Stole Christmas? More thoughts on what fictional foods might taste like. [BV]


Observed | August 15

Hot outside? Cool off with strangely melancholy poolside photographs from Slovakian artist Mária Švarbová. [BV]

You‘re never too old to make the world smile: At 90 years old, Kimiko Nishimoto continues to delight the world with her creative self-portrait photography. [BV]


Observed | August 14

Over at the Smithsonian, a discussion of relevance. [BV]


Observed | August 13

A brief history of plastic: design’s favorite material. [BV]

NYC’s Uber cap won’t solve the city’s traffic problem: what the city really needs is a limit on private cars. [BV]


Observed | August 09

The Trump campaign asks its supporters to choose a Space Force logo from six proposed designs. (via James I. Bowie) [BV]


Observed | August 08

The hopes that data and design can revitalize urban areas. [BV]


Observed | August 06

Sticks and stones and all that: 25 legendary literary feuds, ranked. (And somehow many involved Dick Cavett.) [BV]


Observed | August 02

Do you remember them all? A history of Mac startup and crash chimes. [BV]

Famous landmarks, before they were finished. [BV]


Observed | August 01

Who really decides how language works? Grammar purity is one big ponzi scheme. [BV]

A new study has found that private ride options such as Uber and Lyft, and ride-hail services services like UberPool are resulting in more driving overall, making traffic worse + cities less livable. [BV]


Observed | July 31

Bless this Instagrammer: Wander. Roam. Replicate. [BV]

Where were you in 1988? [BV]


Observed | July 23

Need a little more Saul Bass on your walls? [BV]


Observed | July 20

Been enjoying GLOW? Check out the gorgeous ladies of Japanese wrestling. [BV]

Looking back at the design of the African Writers Series. [JH]


Observed | July 19

Let children play outside. Let them make mud pies and get dirty. [BV]


Observed | July 18

15 of the best illustrations of the 2018 World Cup. [BV]

Looking for a place to visit this summer? Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum looks amazing. [BV]


Observed | July 17

Interesting: Open offices result in less collaboration among employees. [BV]

Tim Berners-Lee, the man who created the world wide web, has seen his creation debased by everything from fake news to mass surveillance. But he’s got a plan to fix it. [BV]


Observed | July 13

Traveling this summer? 22 ambassadors recommend the one book to read before visiting their country. [BV]

Can cottage cheese follow Chobani’s lead and rebrand>a? to achieve the unthinkable—some curb appeal? [LS]


Observed | July 12

What’s Eating the World? The fifth issue of
Weapons of Reason, a publication with a limited run of eight issues, explores the effects of the food industry on our planet with saturated colors and infographics that any designer would appreciate. [LS]

Congratulations to Karen Hofmann, the new Provost of ArtCenter College of Design. She‘s the first woman to hold the position in the 88-year history of the College. [BV]


Observed | July 11

What is the meaning behind the Thin Blue Line flag? (via James I. Bowie) [BV]


Observed | July 09

One full hour of 1980‘s video game ads! [BV]



Jobs | August 18