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Michael Bierut
Essays | Biography | Interviews & Articles | 79 Short Essays on Design | Contact

Archive: April 2005


Me and My Pyramid


MyPyramid, United States Department of Agriculture with Porter Novelli, 2005

This week, the Department of Agriculture unveiled a radical redesign of a beloved staple of American culinary life: the Food Pyramid. I feel sad.

The government's attempts to modify American diets have a fascinating history. I have fond memories of the old food pyramid, which was modified many times over the past years but maintained its basic configuration. Even as a child, I found it pretty easy to understand.

At the bottom sat the firm foundation: Grains...

READ MORE | COMMENTS (35)

The Supersized, Temporarily Impossible World of Bruce McCall


The R.M.S. Tyrannic ("The Biggest Thing in All the World"), Bruce McCall, 1973

I was in Chicago last week and from a distance glimpsed something I thought at first was a hallucination. It got bigger as I got closer, and then finally, there it was: the most enormous McDonald's I have ever seen.

This was no mirage, but a newly-opened restaurant built to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of McDonald's...

READ MORE | COMMENTS (12)

Homage to the Squares


Package design for Command Records, Josef Albers, 1960

A few months ago, I set off to see two exhibitions on view at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. The big one, Design is not Art, seemed to be intended as an ambitious, provocative statement on the relationship of those two sometimes contentious fields. The other, Josef and Anni Albers: Designs for Living, was something I assumed would be more of an amuse bouche, a modest survey of some familiar work to be sampled as a counterpoint to the main course.

I was in for a surprise.

It was Design is not Art that I was really looking forward to. The exhibition's name, however, should have provided a faint warning...

READ MORE | COMMENTS (9)



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