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The Design Observer Group
Observatory

WEEKLY EMAIL: JANUARY 19, 2012


Remembering Eva Zeisel

FEATURED THIS WEEK : JOHN FOSTER

Remembering Eva Zeisel

Eva Zeisel, a pioneer of 20th-century industrial design, celebrated her 105th birthday with family and friends last November 13, 2011. After a long and extraordinary life, she passed away less than two months later on December 30. Like so many others who appreciated her influence in modernist design, I was sad to hear of her passing. Her life, at times, read like a Hollywood script.
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ADAM HARRISON LEVY

A History Of The World In 100 Objects

I've been told that our civilization will be known for our diaper landfills and our nuclear waste sites. Other fragments of our culture might survive as well: bits of Tupperware, mountains of lithium batteries or maybe the traces of our highway system. The foundation of a skyscraper might make for a breakthrough excavation but the islands of plastic bottles floating in the oceans may prove puzzling. Perhaps we will bury a cache of digital archives somewhere, to be deciphered one day like the hieroglyphics on an Egyptian sarcophagus.
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MICHAEL ERARD

Imaging the Brain

Like the map of the American West, the parts of the human brain are named for its explorers, who had a penchant for honoring each other with slices of cerebral territory. Broca. Wernicke. Heschl. Brodmann. Rather unhelpfully to someone who doesn't live and breathe brain anatomy.
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PAT KIRKHAM

Reassessing the Saul Bass and Alfred Hitchcock Collaboration

Drawing upon a wide range of sources, including interviews with designer and filmmaker Saul Bass and film director Billy Wilder, this article reassesses the evidence, scholarship and debates about the contributions made by Bass to three films directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
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JOHN FOSTER

Accidental Mysteries, 01.08.12

Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age.
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OBSERVATORY ARCHIVE

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POEM OF THE WEEK

Green Farmhouse Chairs

A poem by Donald Hall.
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RECENT BOOKS RECEIVED

Learn World CalligraphyLearn World Calligraphy
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All the Roads are Open: The Afghan JourneyAll the Roads are Open: The Afghan Journey
Annemarie Schwarzenbach

R 20th Century: 10 Years in TribecaR 20th Century: 10 Years in Tribeca
Zesty Meyers & Evan Snyderman, editors

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