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Frederico Duarte
Frederico Duarte on Boarding Passes
Frederico Duarte graduated from D-Crit with his thesis on the influence of social changes on product and furniture design in Brazil.


Bryn Smith
Bryn Smith on Designer Dogs
Bryn Smith is a writer, graphic designer, and critic based in Brooklyn. She writes about design for Core77, Designers & Books and L’ArcoBaleno, among others, and teaches in the graduate graphic design program at the Rhode Island School of Design.


Angela Riechers
Angela Riechers on Banks
Angela Riechers is a Brooklyn-based art director and writer specializing in design, media, and visual culture.


Brigette Brown
Brigette Brown on Umbrellas
Brigette Brown is a 2013 graduate of SVA MFA Design Criticism program who has worked for the Museum of Latin American Art, written for Disegno and Surface, researched for Metropolis, and edited a publication for Domus.


Anne Quito
Anne Quito on Quiet
Anne Quito will graduate in May 2014 from SVA’s MFA Design Criticism program. In 2009, she earned a master’s degree in Visual Culture from Georgetown University.


Anna Marie Smith
Anna Marie Smith on “Apples to Apples”
Anna Marie Smith is currently working on her MFA in Design Criticism from the School of Visual Arts, with particular interest in social media, video game design, and branding within the Young Adult demographic.


John Thackara
John Thackara on Avatar
John Thackara is a writer, speaker and design producer, and director of Doors of Perception. In addition to this blog, he is the author of twelve books including In The Bubble: Designing In A Complex World and Wouldn't It Be Great If….


Steven Heller
Steven Heller on Panic
Steven Heller is the co-chair (with Lita Talarico) of the School of Visual Arts MFA Design / Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program and the SVA Masters Workshop in Rome. He is a prolific writer.


Debbie Millman
Debbie Millman on Sleep
Debbie Millman is a designer, author, educator, strategist and host of the podcast Design Matters.


John Bertram
John Bertram on Silence
John Bertram is a graduate of Yale School of Architecture and the principal of Bertram Architects in Los Angeles. He is co-editor (with Yuri Leving) of Lolita - The Story of a Cover Girl: Vladimir Nabokov's Novel in Art and Design, and the editor of Venus Febriculosa, a website devoted to contemporary literature and the art and design of books.


Jeff Miller
Jeff Miller on Timing
Jeff Miller is a leading industrial designer and the Vice President of Design at Poppin. On this episode of Insights Per Minute, he speaks about timing.


Cheryl Heller
Cheryl Heller on Words
Cheryl Heller is the Founding Chair of the first MFA program in Design for Social Innovation, at SVA. She has founded two companies and taught creativity to leaders and organizations around the world.


John Caserta
John Caserta on Obfuscation
John Caserta is a Providence-based designer, artist and educator.


Megan Whitmarsh
Megan Whitmarsh on Originality
Megan Whitmarsh is a Los Angeles based artist who works predominantly in textiles. Although she also creates comic books, paintings, drawings, and stop-action animation, Whitmarsh is best known for her hand-embroidered canvases and soft sculptures.


Alexandra Lange
Alexandra Lange on Performance
Alexandra LangeAlexandra Lange is an architecture and design critic, and author of Writing About Architecture: Mastering the Language of Buildings and Cities.


Stanley Hainsworth
Stanley Hainsworth on Acting
Stanley Hainsworth is the founder and Chief Creative Officer of Tether, a creative agency based in Seattle, WA. Before starting Tether in 2008, he was the VP-global creative at Starbucks. Prior to joining Starbucks, Stanley was global creative director at Lego in Denmark from 2001 to 2004.


Krista Donaldson
Krista Donaldson on Users
Krista Donaldson, PhD, is a mechanical and design engineer based in San Francisco who focuses on development in less industrialized economies as CEO of the nonprofit firm D-Rev (Design Revolution).


Mariana Amatullo
Mariana Amatullo on Honesty
Mariana co-founded Designmatters in 2001. As the head of the Department, she is responsible for the strategic leadership of a dynamic portfolio of global and national educational projects, research collaborations and publications at the intersection of art and design education and social innovation.



Wendy Ju
Wendy Ju on Fun
Wendy Ju is a PhD graduate of the Center for Design Research at Stanford University, and the founder of Ambidextrous magazine, Stanford University's Journal of Design.



Enrique Allen
Enrique Allen on Introductions
Enrique Allen is currently the co-director of the Designer Fund where he provides angel funding, mentorship and connections to designers creating businesses with positive social impact.


Sean Adams
Sean Adams on Typography
Sean Adams is a partner at AdamsMorioka in Beverly Hills. Sean is President ex officio and past national board member of AIGA, and President ex officio of AIGA Los Angeles. He teaches at Art Center College of Design.


Gabriel Brodbar
Gabriel Brodbar on Iatrogenesis
Gabriel Brodbar is the Executive Director of the NYU Reynolds Program in Social Entrepreneurship at New York University.


David Womack
David Womack on Space
David Womack is the executive creative director of experience design in the mobile and social group at R/GA. He is also on the faculty of the MFA in interaction design program at School of Visual Arts in New York.


Steff Geissbühler
Steff Geissbühler on Color Blind
Steff Geissbühler is among America’s most celebrated designers of integrated brand and corporate identity programs.


Liz Gerber
Liz Gerber on Feedback
Liz Gerber is the Junior Breed Chair of Design at Northwestern U. and Faculty Founder of Design For America.


Rob Forbes
Rob Forbes on Perfection
Rob Forbes’ career includes work in both the Arts and Business fields. Forbes is best known as the Founder of Design Within Reach and for the vision of a business that has grown into the leading retail destination for modern design in the US.


Jake Nickell
Jake Nickell on Creating
Jake Nickell is the co-founder of skinnyCorp and Threadless.com, along with a “bunch of other little projects”.


Sara Ivry
Sara Ivry on Language
Sara Ivry is the host of Vox Tablet, the weekly podcast of Tablet Magazine, and a writer who has contributed to the New York Times, Bookforum, the Boston Globe, and other publications.


J.D. McClatchy
J. D. McClatchy on Relationships
J. D. McClatchy is the author of six books of poetry and many texts for musical settings, including eight opera libretti.


Steven Heller
Steven Heller on Recommendations
Steven Heller is the co-chair (with Lita Talarico) of the School of Visual Arts MFA Design / Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program and the SVA Masters Workshop in Rome. He is a prolific writer.


John Foster
John Foster on Colloquialisms
John Foster has been a longtime collector of self-taught art and vernacular photography, as well as an artist, designer, and art curator.


Chip Kidd
Chip Kidd on Ready
Chip Kidd is a Designer/Writer in New York City. His book cover designs for Alfred A. Knopf, where he has worked non-stop since 1986, have helped create a revolution in the art of American book packaging.


Natalie Foster
Natalie Foster on Sharing
Natalie Foster is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of Peers.


Adam Harrison Levy
Adam Harrison Levy on Questions
Adam Harrison Levy is a writer and film-maker. He teaches at the School of the Visual Arts. In 2012 he was a Poynter Fellow at Yale University.


Thomas Fisher
Thomas Fisher on Survival
Thomas Fisher is dean of the College of Design at the University of Minnesota.


Mark Lamster
Mark Lamster on Complaining
Mark Lamster is the architecture critic of the Dallas Morning News and a professor at the University of Texas at Arlington School of Architecture.


Marvin Heiferman
Marvin Heiferman on Photography
Marvin Heiferman, a curator and writer, develops exhibitions, websites and publications that explore visual culture.


Joanna Radin
Joanna Radin on Potential
Joanna Radin is Assistant Professor in the Section for the History of Medicine at Yale University, where she also holds affiliations with the departments of History and of Anthropology.


John Maeda
John Maeda on Loops
We’re in the same loop. Culture lags. Art and design have to pick up the slack.


Wendy MacLeod
Wendy MacLeod on Fasting
Wendy MacLeod ia an award-winning playwright.


Ricky Jay
Ricky Jay on Collecting
Ricky Jay is considered one of the world's great sleight of hand artists.


Alice Twemlow
Alice Twemlow on Home
Alice Twemlow is the co-founder and chair of a two-year graduate program in Design Criticism at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. She is also a PhD candidate in the History of Design department at the Royal College of Art, London.


Nicholas Christakis
Nicholas Christakis on Networks
Nicholas A. Christakis, MD, PhD, MPH, is a social scientist and physician who conducts research on social factors that affect health, health care, and longevity.


Ralph Caplan
Ralph Caplan on Titles
Ralph Caplan is a writer and communications consultant and lectures on design. He is the former editor-in-chief of I.D. Magazine and the author of several books.


Rob Walker
Rob Walker on Seeing
Rob Walker is a technology/culture columnist for Yahoo News. He is the former Consumed columnist for The New York Times Magazine, and has contributed to many publications.


Jessica Helfand
Jessica Helfand on Brevity
Jessica Helfand, a founding editor of Design Observer, is an award-winning graphic designer, writer, and educator.



Observed


Sara Little Turnbull was tiny but fierce (she stood a not-very-towering 4'11). The designer once described as “corporate America's secret weapon” was a leading practitioner for more than six decades, and remains an inspiration to countless women in design, technology, and (notably) in science. On her podcast, Lost Women of Science, American journalist Katie Hafner discusses the woman, the legend—and the N-95 mask.

Following President Biden's  2021 executive order to transform the customer experience, agencies have been rethinking how they can create organizational change and best practices—even at NASA—where design is leveraged in an effort to both build and sustain trust.  

In 1951, Henrietta Lacks was diagnosed with cervical cancer. During a biopsy, a sample of her cancerous cells were collected without her knowledge. Education around Lacks has increased recently, and a statue and historical marker were dedicated to her last year in her birthplace of Roanoke. Now, a statue design contest is underway: they'll be accepting submissions until March 15. 

Goodbye war rooms, corner offices and—yikes—physical libraries, which have allegedly “gone the way of the landline and the Dictaphone” in law offices. Post-pandemic, with remote and hybrid work on the rise, a more collaborative, equitable spatial allocation means a more flexible, and some say more productive workplace. 

Can design be a catalyst for societal progress? Asmita Kerkar thinks it can. Her design philosophy is hinged on nurturing spaces that foster empathy and facilitate community engagement, grounded in a commitment to sustainability and inclusivity. She channels her passion into creating equitable environments, bridging the gap between design and social change

I love it. What is it?

Following the light. Letting the actors move. Envisioning—and sculpting—a mood. Jack Fisk, the production designer behind There Will Be Blood, The Revenant, and Killers of the Flower Moon, among many other award-winning films, explains it all

Tyler Perry puts the planned $800 million expansion of his studio in Atlanta on hold after seeing OpenAI’s text-to-video model Sora, which debuted Feb. 15. “Being told that it can do all of these things is one thing, but actually seeing the capabilities, it was mind-blowing,” he said. With AI, there’s no need to travel to locations or build specialized sets. The future impacts are concerning, he says. “[A]s I was looking at it, I immediately started thinking of everyone in the industry who would be affected by this, including actors and grip and electric and transportation and sound and editors, and looking at this, I’m thinking this will touch every corner of our industry.”

The racism in the yield curve: Groundbreaking research from Destin Jenkins, an assistant history professor at Stanford University, reveals how the $4 trillion municipal bond market has historically excluded Black taxpayers and disproportionately benefited infrastructure projects in white communities. (Jenkins’s research focuses on the American state, racial capitalism, and the built environment; you can watch him explain his research in a recent fireside chat with bond professionals here.)

Tesla is recalling 2.19 million vehicles because of a problem with a font. If you don’t think design matters at this point, you can’t be helped.

There’s a lot of plastic hidden in our clothes. Like, a lot.

Singapore is set to require all flights departing the country to use sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) by 2026.

What’s in a label? Well, the truth, mostly. Lawsuits filed against  Gorton’sALDIConagraBumble Bee Foods, Mowi, and Red Lobster are challenging Big Fish to back up the sustainability and eco-friendly labels they put on their seafood products and brands. “From what I see, there’s a good chance at least some of the companies defending themselves are engaging in false advertising, although they may not realize what they’re doing,” says Arlin Wasserman, the founder of sustainability consultancy Changing Tastes.

Nex Benedict, a transgender teen from Oklahoma, died the day after their peers assaulted them in a school bathroom. They had been bullied for ages, but the assaults began in earnest a few months after Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt signed a bill in 2022 that required public school students to use bathrooms that matched the sex listed on their birth certificates. This piece from the Independent provides essential context for the assault and details of Benedict’s life.

Chatbot versions of Adolph Hitler, Donald Trump, and Unabomber Ted Kaczynski are among 100 chatbot “characters” on the busy far-right social network Gab. Most of the characters are playing to type, spewing conspiracies about COVID-19, vaccines, U.S. elections, climate change, Holocaust denial, and more. It goes downhill from there.

“People came here or already lived here, young people with lots of energy and ideas and ideals who wanted to start things,” observes Syd Staiti, Executive Director of Small Press Traffic, a Bay Area poetry organization and archive. They're turning 50 this year—and they're not alone! Bravo to all the hard-working artists and arts organizations on this list—and here's to the next 50.

Self-disruption allows companies to stay ahead of the curve, anticipating and responding to changing market dynamics rather than reacting defensively; it fosters a culture of innovation, encouraging employees to think creatively and take calculated risks; and it can even open new revenue streams and markets, ensuring long-term sustainability. Sam Aquillano, the former Executive Director of the Design Museum in Boston, explains it all.

In New Jersey, the ballot is structured in a way that favors endorsed candidates. Three candidates are making a persuasive case on why this might be a critical design problem.

TikTok has become a target of parents, policymakers and regulators who are concerned about the company’s data-collection practices and the platform’s effect on young people’s mental health—including whether there is a risk for addictive design.

Australia's first moon rover rover will collect samples of lunar soil known as regolith, from which NASA will attempt to extract oxygen — a key step toward establishing a sustainable human presence on the moon and producing rocket fuel to support future missions to Mars. And they need design help.

Thai graphic designer Chalermpol Jittagasem has created a new typeface family to help immigrants improve their English pronunciations. “I've seen so many Asian Americans subjected to truly cruel shaming for speaking English with a strong accent and incorrect pronunciation, even though they, like me, are living in the most diverse state in the US,” he says. 

Design Justice AI was announced in 2023; the Global Humanities Institute is sponsored by the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes and the Mellon Foundation and is a partnership of four university-based centers at Rutgers, University of Pretoria, Australia National University, and University of Connecticut. Things are gearing up for a summer meeting in Pretoria; bookmark and follow along. 

Marsha Ann Maytum, founding principal of Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects (LMSA) and longtime champion of environmental, social, and justice causes, has died at 69. “Her quiet, tenacious brand of leadership is notable, especially in a profession where ego often proliferates,” says architect Kim Gould.  “It is as if her enormous humility gave her a change maker superpower, to the point that thinking ‘what would Marsha do’ is something others actually do.”

“But what you don't know is that that sweater is not just blue, it's not turquoise, it's not lapis, it's actually cerulean.” Miranda Priestly, the deliciously vicious fashion editor from The Devil Wear Prada, will be back in the U.K. spotlight in a new musical adaptation of the novel and film from Elton John. Vanessa Williams will be playing the devil herself

Restoration AI? Architects and designers have been using AI to help manage large data sets and visualize ideas for better decision-making. But can AI tools also help assess structural damage in aging infrastructure and underresourced communities? 

Anywhere this is a camera, this is a risk

In Chicago: A Love Supreme.

“For decades, Charlene Prempeh writes, ”Black designers have been sheathed in an invisible cloak.” Her new book uncovers just a few of the cracks and erasures and oversights: from postwar African-American cartoonist Jackie Ormes, to mid-century West African riffs on “Tropical Modernist” architecture pioneered by John Owusu Addo and Oluwole Olumuyiwa, to the rise of more recent Black British fashion stars like Bianca Saunders and Samuel Ross, this is one exhilerating (and expansive!) list.

Glen Weldon—host of NPR's buzzy Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast— calls the Yorgos Lanthimos film Poor Things a weird and intoxicating and unforgettable “visual tasting menu”—and makes his own (rather compelling) case for why it should win this year's Oscar for Production Design.

Design-led accessibility … at Starbucks.



Jobs | February 28