Public + Private

Rob Walker
Defending The Standpipe
A curious concentration of designs to discourage people from sitting on standpipes.


Rob Walker
The Art of Redaction
A batch of visually "redacted" photos, courtesy of the FBI.


Rob Walker
Object in the News: The Face Privatizer
Tabloid-press subject Vanessa Stiviano makes fascinating (mis)use of a sun visor as media-age privatizer.


Alexandra Lange
Not Afraid of Noise: Mexico City Stories
A photographic tour of Mexico City, house by house, wall by wall.


Rob Walker
A Security Camera Worth Looking At
A thoughtful take on what security cameras should look like, and why.


Alexandra Lange
Premature Demolition
The Folk Art Museum, David Adjaye's market hall, and the first addition to the Morgan Library. If three makes a trend, then premature demolition qualifies.


Alexandra Lange
Where We Work
A Kickstarter for co-working space Makeshift Society points to the light, space and tools creative freelancers need to be productive.


Rob Walker
Staring Back at Security Cameras
Why the ubiquitous security deserves as much scrutiny as it gives.



Alexandra Lange
Beyond Gorgeous
Is prettiness a distraction? Yes, when it comes to taking Alexander Girard seriously.


Alexandra Lange
Why Bernadette Fox Is Scary
The heroine of Where’d You Go, Bernadette is an award-winning female architect. Don’t envy her life.


Alexandra Lange
Having Fun at the Museum
Blocks, rocket ships, playgrounds and balls: the hidden meaning of playthings at the Museum of Modern Art.


Alexandra Lange
Let’s Talk About Women in Architecture
A panel on Women in Design, and questions about whether such panels should exist.


Alexandra Lange
The Shape of Lunch
"Lunch Hour NYC," a new exhibition at the New York Public Library, defines the midday meal as an urban invention.


Rick Poynor
On Display: Museum of Broken Relationships
The Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb is a public space consecrated to a universal experience of sadness and loss.


Alexandra Lange
Downton Abbey: Fell In Love With a House
Downton Abbey, for all its melodrama and dropped teacups, is really the story of falling in love with a house.



John Foster
A New American Picture: Doug Rickard and Street Photography in the Age of Google
When Google launched Street View in 2007, it was just the ticket for photographer Doug Rickard.


Alexandra Lange
TWA: Still Kicking
Not a disappointment: a first thrilling visit to Eero Saarinen's legendary flight center.


Alexandra Lange
The Only Thing There’s Just Too Little Of
What parenthood and artistic endeavor have in common: not enough time.



Alexandra Lange
Simple Pleasures
In all these new parks, I feel like I am searching for atmosphere, a designed quality above and beyond the ordinary spaces for children, and I am not finding it.



Alexandra Lange
The Personality of Parks
Until Pier 6 at 
Brooklyn Bridge Park opened, my only experience of parks as a parent had been of neighborhood parks






Alexandra Lange
(Women and) Children First
Pier 6 at Brooklyn Bridge Park is one more way New York City is attempting to be child-friendly.



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]

“Apple’s designers have long had an influence in the company which is barely imaginable to most designers elsewhere.” In this week’s New Yorker, Ian Parker’s profile of Sir Jonny Ive and the future of Apple. [JH]


Observed | November 24

The complex history of flash photography. [BV]



Jobs | December 12