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Observatory

WEEKLY EMAIL: FEBRUARY 05, 2010


Howling at the Moon: The Poetics of Amateur Product Reviews

FEATURED THIS WEEK : ALICE TWEMLOW

Howling at the Moon: The Poetics of Amateur Product Reviews

An Amazon reviewer called N.A. Cat Lover, who turns out to be a doctor from Tampa, Florida, bought a self-washing, self-flushing cat toilet. His review is not just hilarious; it can also be seen as an example of a democratizing impulse in design criticism.
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ANDY CHEN

Left Me Speechless

I don't know what to make of this image. Clearly, it's an over-Photoshopped portrait of Cindy McCain that looks like something straight out of the X-Files. Then again, the notion that Mrs. Maverick is openly championing gay rights is a bit alien after all.
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MARK LAMSTER

Big Book, Small Reward

Among the trends I'd like to see disappear in this new decade, right up there with urban taxidermy and use of the term "foodie," is the mania among design professionals for obscenely fat monographs.
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MEREDITH DAVIS

Who Owns Student Work?

The prevailing opinion at many design and art schools is that the faculty and university have some "ownership rights" in the output of any class. (Hence, the free art that graces of the pages of so many college recruiting brochures.) But what happens when the student enters into a client relationship within the context of curriculum or university activities? In other words, when does a student own their own work?

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ERIC BAKER

Today, 01.30.10

Here are Today's images.
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SARAH WILLIAMS GOLDHAGEN

Moshe Safdie

In judging any urban development, one must consider what it replaced, what it is and what it might have been instead. As to the first and the second: Moshe Safdie's nearly completed Mamilla Alrov Center in Jerusalem, the last portion of a 28-acre mixed-use development, is superb.
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ERIC BAKER

Today, 01.23.10

Here are Today's images.
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OBSERVATORY ARCHIVE

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POEM OF THE WEEK

"Visiting the Library in a Strange City"

A poem by Franz Wright.
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RECENT BOOKS RECEIVED

Unimark International: The Design of Business and the Business of Design Unimark International: The Design of Business and the Business of Design
Jan Conradi

For Love and Money: New IllustrationFor Love and Money: New Illustration
Liz Farrelly & Olivia Triggs

Architectural GraphicsArchitectural Graphics
Francis D. Ching

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