The Design Observer Twenty





Connect 4: Design Bridges

Design shapes our world, no question. But who gets to do the shaping? The professional graphic design field, like so many other industries and spaces, has long been dominated by white people. Indigenous, Black, and other designers of color are changing that dynamic; design students have a chance to change it further.

The young creatives of color in this podcast are starting that journey. Here, they talk with their mentors—some of today’s most influential BIPOC graphic designers—about finding inspiration and confidence; beginning a career in the arts (and explaining it to your parents!); and what it’s like working within the largely white design field.

The mentors and mentees in this podcast were brought together by Connect 4: Networking for Equality in Design. Connect 4 is a growing initiative and current collaboration between the Mercy College Design + Animation program, Pentagram, and design leaders that supports design students of color by opening real pathways to leadership. Learn more about Connect 4 on Instagram: @cnnct4.

This podcast was produced by Hawk and Paw Productions in collaboration with Mercy College, Pentagram, and Design Observer. The theme music was composed by Isabel Sanchez.

Min Lew and Zaiah Sampson: Finding Your Creative Voice
Feeling confident in yourself and your work—especially when you’re still a student—can be a challenge.


Kojo Boateng and Brian Jean: Making Decisions, Making Your Mark
Brian Jean and Koto Boateng talk about decision-making as a creative, about being a Black designer, today and in the past—and why now is a great time to enter the design world.


Victor Newman and Ana Amaro: Becoming an Animator
In this episode, hear student Ana Amaro and her mentor, creative director Victor Newman talk about how they each found their calling and first encountered their animated favorites.


Natasha Jen and Adnan Bishtawi: How Do You Survive as a Designer?
How can you stay inspired, make great work, take care of yourself—and still pay the bills?


Forest Young and Sakinah Bell: Follow Your Curiosity, Find Your Inspiration
Finding joy, purpose, and personal evolution through creation.


Eddie Opara and Tyriq Moore: How Do You Build Knowledge as a Designer?
How learning and discovering new things is at the heart of being a good designer.


Man-Wai Cheung and Angel Blanco: “Mom, Dad, I Want to Be a Designer”
Man-Wai Cheung, founder and creative director of Adolescent and design student Angel Blanco, talk about choosing a creative career as first generation immigrants—and how they each explained that choice to their parents.


Jonathan Jackson and Avalon Garrick: Time for Change
Jonathan Jackson, Creative Director at We Should Do It All, and design student Avalon Garrick talk about the joys and challenges of finding their footing as creatives.



Observed


Brian Collins on design clichés. [JH]

The Tate Modern’s “public” viewing area allows museum visitors to look straight into the homes of the residents of a nearby building: interested readers can nerd out on the forty-seven page ruling that explains why a design decision can fall prey to the laws of public nuisance. [JH]

Lou Dorfsman and Al D’Amato’s powerful advertisement from 1962: an appraisal. (Via Natalia Pangaro.) [JH]

Remembering Carin Goldberg. [JH]

Coming soon to The Design Museum in London, an exhibition on design and history—organized by the Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei. [JH]

Will the future of design be collaborative? Figma’s Yuhki Yamashita thinks so. [JH]

Designers and layoffs. [JH]

Proving that America really is in crisis, the US State Department changes its official font to Calibri. Discuss! [JH]

The artist whose book covers distilled the nineteen-eighties. (via Mike Errico) [JH]

Ruth Adler Schnee, one of the more important textile designers of midcentury modernism, dies at 99. [JH]

In Denmark, thinking—and designing—out of the (grey) box. [JH]

Jerald Cooper’s aim is to make architecture and design more accessible by using layman’s language to break down barriers typically set up by white academics with advanced degrees. [JH]

Corn husks were just the start: a Mexican designer in London writes his own rules. [JH]

Wieden+Kennedy London launches standalone branding and design studio—called—NOT Wieden+Kennedy. (Play their logo generator yourself, here.) [JH]

Inclusive design, at Microsoft. [JH]

Best design stories of 2022, from The Guardian. [JH]

Penmanship, cursive, handwriting—what’s the point? [JH]

Set on half an acre in the lovely hamlet of High Falls, New York, the studio that once served Marc Chagall is for sale. [JH]

After escaping from a creatively-repressed and unsatisfactory graphic design career, Sticht became a public safety officer at the University of Rochester. (There’s hope for us all!) [JH]

Weird and wonderful artifacts, via Jason Kottke. [JH]

Design fiction—a speciulative pracrtice that combines science fiction, design thinking, and foresight—might be the next innovation in business. [JH]

For the love of drawing. [JH]

Design and sex. [JH]

Design nerds—rejoice! [JH]

In the latest issue of Print, Paul Sahre discusses his grammy nomination with Debbie Millman. [JH]

Both standard and limited collector’s editions of MuirMcNeil’s System Process Form are now available at Volume, together with a range of uniquely seductive rewards.

Also from Volume: a never-before-seen selection of Paul Burgess photographs documenting the British band, Pulp. Compiled by Burgess and Louise Colbourne, This Is Hardcore is available for pre-purchase now. [JH]

We were sad to hear that the visionary George Lois, died last week. He was 91. [BV]

Chicago Design Through the Decades opens today and runs through the end of the year. The project starts with Art Deco in the 1920s and goes through the 2020s with digital portraits produced using neural networks. [BV]



Jobs | February 05