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Technology


04.03.14: Adam Harrison Levy

Data Loss
Adam Harrison Levy on losing everything he had stored on his phone for three years.
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02.19.14: Rob Walker

A Security Camera Worth Looking At
A thoughtful take on what security cameras should look like, and why.
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01.13.14: Rick Poynor

The Compulsively Visual World of Pinterest
I have always liked Pinterest’s exclusively visual focus and unlimited boards structure. A week ago I joined.
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12.30.13: Alexandra Lange

Year of the Women
A year-end wrap-up of my favorite stories. The common theme? Women and the making of design.
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12.19.13: Rob Walker

Mona Lisa Selfies
Inevitably, the famous Mona Lisa has crossed paths with the selfie — and the results are charming.
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10.21.13: Alexandra Lange

Where We Work
A Kickstarter for co-working space Makeshift Society points to the light, space and tools creative freelancers need to be productive.
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10.02.13: Rob Walker

Scenes from the Crowdcrit Revolution
Assessing the crowdcrit revolution of the past decade, and what  it could mean for serious thinking about design.
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08.30.13: Alexandra Lange

A World of Paste and Paper
Today's obsession with digital renderings sparked two exhibitions that suggest a handmade, but far from quaint, corrective.
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07.29.13: Rick Poynor

Soft Machine's Dysfunctional Mechanism
An alternative cover for the French release of The Soft Machine’s first album alludes to the history of the machine in 20th-century art.
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07.08.13: Rob Walker

Staring Back at Security Cameras
Why the ubiquitous security deserves as much scrutiny as it gives.
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06.03.13: Alexandra Lange

Home Improvement
The Sweethome, where Consumer Reports and Amazon product reviews meet.
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05.25.13: Rob Walker

The Hyperdocumented Sunset Strip
Using Google Street View Hyperlapse to revisit Ruscha's Sunset Strip.
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05.15.13: Rob Walker

Finding The Story
Emily Spivack's exhibition of unexpectedly interesting stories from eBay.
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04.17.13: John Thackara

Big, Hairy, and Agile
The UK government’s digital services platform, gov.uk, has won the Design of the Year award.
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03.07.13: Alexandra Lange

After the Museum: The Tumblr
To create metamuseum.tumblr.com, a multi-museum, multi-curator Tumblr @MADMuseum, I saw it as a kind of curatorial game: Show Me What You’ve Got.
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01.18.13: Rob Walker

What Are You Looking At?
The maps of the future will tell you what to look at. Sometimes, you should look elsewhere.
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10.26.12: Rob Walker

System As Photographer
System as photographer, and photographer as system.
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09.17.12: Rob Walker

Card Tricks
The digital doesn't annihilate the analog, and business card creativity proves it.
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06.27.12: Rob Walker

Observational Instruments, Observed
Peeping at the Venue project's delightful gear, and Google's Seussian Trekker
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06.09.12: Alexandra Lange

Introducing Strelka Press
On Strelka Press, a new "digital first" publisher of longform architecture and design criticism.
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06.07.12: Rick Poynor

On My Shelf: A History of the Machine
Erik Nitsche’s New Illustrated Library of Science and Invention is a landmark of modern, low-cost, mass-market, educational book design.
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06.01.12: Rob Walker

The Infrastructure of the Cloud
On the material structures we depend on to deliver us the immaterial digital world.
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04.09.12: Rob Walker

Where We Work
The computer-screen desktop, considered as a category of work space.
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03.26.12: Michael Erard

The Elements – Molecules, Atoms and Quarks – of Style
The cipher shared by great poets and the best brand namers is essentially that the littlest things mean the most.
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03.10.12: Alexandra Lange

City of Shoes: Is Urbanism Scalable?
Can Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh scale his online shoe business into a city?
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02.26.12: Rick Poynor

John McHale and the Expendable Ikon
Artist, graphic designer, information theorist, architectural critic, sociologist, futurist: it’s time to rediscover John McHale.
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02.13.12: Alexandra Lange

Round Thermostats and Crystal Lanterns, Revisited
Old designs, new tricks: updates on lawsuits filed against the new Nest thermometer, and on behalf of midcentury masterpiece Manufacturers Hanover.
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01.30.12: Owen Edwards

Designers Leap, Users Lag
Trying to meet the challenges designers and engineers set for us is pretty much hopeless, though we can have a lot of fun trying.
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01.25.12: John Thackara

Virtual Boring Agent
The Virtual Boarding Agent Orly Airport in Paris. It's spooky, clever and very well executed — and most people seem to ignore it after a first casual glance.
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01.09.12: John Thackara

A Reading List for Mr. Monti
When the new Italian Prime Minister, Mr. Mario Monti, gave his acceptance speech to the Italian Senate before Christmas, he used the word "growth" 28 times and the word "energy" — well, zero times.
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11.23.11: Michael Erard

What I Didn’t Write About When I Wrote About Quitting Facebook
The author writes about the genre you could call the Social Media Exile essay.
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11.05.11: John Thackara

Turn-Key Food Hives
There's almost no contact between the health apps crowd and the food system crowd.
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10.27.11: Owen Edwards

A Demanding Man: Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs was more like a great architect than a corporate CEO. Yet, there are those who ask, "Isn't the ultimate measure of a human being the way they treat other people?" In the case of Steve Jobs, this requires some reflection.
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09.01.11: Rick Poynor

Chris Foss and the Technological Sublime
Is cult science fiction artist Chris Foss’s work just highly effective illustration, or can it be seen as a visionary form of art?
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06.29.11: John Thackara

Geeked-out Gardening
A “computer that runs your garden” also known as an Automated Garden Facility (AGF), also known as Garduino.
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06.08.11: Rob Walker

Dedigitization
“Digital goods” are increasingly seen as having real value. Increasingly, though, things from the digital world are crossing over into physical manifestations that can be bought and sold.
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05.26.11: Rick Poynor

A Dream World Made by Machines
Adam Curtis’s All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace is a complex, demanding, audacious piece of television.
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02.22.11: Alexandra Lange

ISO The Digital Sidewalk Critic
Why is it so hard to say, "I hate my iPad"?
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02.01.11: John Thackara

If It's Not the Destination and It's Not the Journey...
A team at Rutgers University, uses ultrasonic sensors, GPS receivers and cellular networks to find empty parking spaces. While technically impressive, this is an absurdly over-complicated answer to the wrong question.
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01.10.11: Alexandra Lange

Is No the Answer?
Bag bans, yes. But why is no plastic the answer?
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01.09.11: Rob Walker

Ghosts in the Machine
Everyday we are busy producing fresh masses of life-affirming digital stuff. What happens to this “stuff” when we die?
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12.30.10: Rob Walker

Global Entertainment
Entertainment via web-based geography.
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12.13.10: Carl Schoonover

Portraits of the Mind
The book, Portraits of the Mind: Visualizing the Brain from Antiquity to the 21st Century (Abrams) documents this overlooked dimension over two millennia of obsession with the brain.
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12.01.10: John Thackara

Jellyfish Farm
Scientists warn that most natural seafood could disappear by 2048.
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11.29.10: John Thackara

In the Air of Madrid
Our world is awash in eco information, but starved of meaning.
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11.05.10: Rick Poynor

An App for the Self-Replacing Book
British artist Tom Phillips’A Humument, must be one of the most successful artist’s books ever published. Now, in an entirely logical development, comes The Humument app for the iPad.
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10.25.10: John Thackara

From Easter Island to Three Mile Island
You don't need to know how a combustion engine works to drive your car to work. Why should you need to know anything about the programming behind the pixels just to get around the web?
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07.16.10: Rob Walker

The Song Decoders
Pandora, is convinced it can guide you, to music that you like. The premise is that your favorite songs can be stripped to parts and reverse-engineered.
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04.21.09: Steven Heller

Father of Shrek, Grandfather of Tweet
William Steig was the father of vanity license plate abbreviations and the grandfather of the Instant Messenger, SMS, iChat, and Twitter shorthand.
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04.09.09: Jessica Helfand

What's The Story?
And what becomes of all those dead tweets, anyway — all those long-expired, evaporated updates?
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04.06.09: Mark Lamster

Wiretapped!
Would you believe it's those shifty Canucks, and not the spooks at the NSA, who have the Lamster phonelines tapped? Outrageous but true.
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03.03.09: Gabrielle Esperdy

Less Is More Again — A Manifesto
We have amazing electronic tools at our disposal; culture has modernized at staggering, computer processed speeds. But the tools are abused and cultural change is stupefying. Things are over-designed because new tools must be exploited; here, design says “look what I can do!”
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01.28.09: Rob Walker

Dumb and Dumber 2.0
American consumers have long shown an “exceptional willingness” to buy, for instance, technology products before their utility is clear.
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10.15.08: Dmitri Siegel

Design by Numbers
Dmitri Siegel discusses Stephen Baker's new book The Numerati and how data-mining and personalized content may impact design.
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05.30.08: Jessica Helfand

Reflections on The Ephemeral World, Part One: Ink
An elegy to the makeready — those sheets of paper, re-fed into a press to get the ink balances up to speed, leaving a series of often random, palimpsest-like, multiple impressions on a single surface — in the digital age.
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03.28.08: Matthew Peterson

The Cuckoo Bird and the Keyboard
Designers are famously nauseated by novices' use of neutral quotes — or dumb quoes — in place of true quotes. Why do we care so much? Should we?
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02.07.08: Adrian Shaughnessy

Look and Feel / Nip and Tuck
If clients are happy to refer to the output of graphic designers as look and feel, where's the harm?
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01.11.08: Cheryl Towler Weese

Is Apple Soft on Crime?
Here's the real question: could a climbing crime rate and the rise of the iPod be related? Has the iPod's design increased its likelihood of theft, and if so, what role could Apple's designers play in developing solutions?
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07.07.07: Richard Turley

Off the Grid
When you abandon most of the rules, how do you define a mistake? How to art direct a newspaper from the middle of the muddy Glastonbury music festival.
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04.25.07: Thomas de Monchaux

What If Apple Is Bad for Design?
Every commentary on the ubiquity of the iPod, or on the divertingly near prospect of the Apple iPhone, seems to emphasize that what distinguishes Apple is something called "Design." Design, or a particular understanding of it, has been good for Apple. But is Apple good for design? What if the answer is no?
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04.08.07: Rob Walker

Back to Basics Egg & Muffin Toaster
In a recent issue of The M.I.T. Sloan Management Review, Michael Schrage, a business writer and an M.I.T. researcher, challenged what Bruce Greenwald, has said about the fate of all innovative technologies: “In the long run, everything is a toaster.”
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10.29.06: Michael Erard

The G Word
Google has launched an effort to keep people from using their name as an all-purpose verb. Don't want to be evil? Then don't act as if you can win if you constrain the creative productivity of language.
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05.19.06: Michael Bierut

Eight-and-a-Half by Eleven
An installation of over 10,000 tiled pieces 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper redeems what has often been dismissed as a banal graphic format.
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03.12.06: Adrian Shaughnessy

Google and the Tyranny of Good Design
The Google logo — that scrap of oddball typography — is perhaps the most famous piece of graphic design in the world today. In its own small way, it's a little beacon of insurrection, in a world where graphic designers have become the agents of conformity.
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07.08.05: Jessica Helfand

New Models for Design Efficiency: Introducing Otto
eniac Link http://www.newyorker.com/ http://www.library.upenn.edu/exhibits/rbm/mauchly/jwm8.html http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B0001NBMAS/ref=pd_sxp_f/002-9888674-0621611?v=glance&s=dvd
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06.22.05: Jessica Helfand

The Adventures of Cynic Boy and Design Mom in 3D
Brainwashed I may be, but I distinctly noted an homage to Salvador Dalí — with perhaps a gentle nod to René Magritte — last night while sitting through Robert Rodriguez's ludicrous, yet oddly luscious new movie, The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl in 3D.
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04.24.05: Rick Poynor

Eduardo Paolozzi, 20th Century Image-Maker
If a visual artist created more concentrated, exhilarating images of science, technology and the media realm during the mid-20th century than British artist Eduardo Paolozzi, then I would like to see them. Paolozzi, who died on 22 April aged 81, was first of all a sculptor, but the screenprints he produced in the 1960s rank as masterpieces of the medium.
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03.31.05: Momus

Paper Spends More Time With Its Family
I remember the first time I noticed paper coming back as a sort of small, particularised, opaque digital ghost of itself. It was in 1996. There was much talk, at the time, of "the paperless office". People were beginning to refer to paper mail derisively as "snail mail". But computers, as if they felt sorry for the displaced and humiliated paper, began to find other roles for the stuff. More ornamental, decorative, playful roles...
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02.16.05: Jessica Helfand

The New Paper Chase: Cyberspace on The Auction Block
On February 23, Christies in New York will auction more than 1,000 items dating as far back as the early 17th century, all of it tracing the history of cyberspace.
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11.30.03: Rob Walker

The Guts of a New Machine
The iPod, a digital music player, it weighing just 6.5 ounces and holding about 1,000 songs.
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11.30.03: Rob Walker

Digital Tools for Making Brilliant Mistakes
The many options for digitally antiquing your 21st-century self-expression.
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