Design Observer

About
Books
Job Board
Newsletters
Archive
Contact



Observatory

About
Resources
Submissions
Contact


Featured Writers

Michael Bierut
William Drenttel
John Foster
Jessica Helfand
Alexandra Lange
Mark Lamster
Paul Polak
Rick Poynor
John Thackara
Rob Walker


Departments

Advertisement
Audio
Books
Collections
Dear Bonnie
Dialogues
Essays
Events
Foster Column
From Our Archive
Gallery
Interviews
Miscellaneous
Opinions
Partner News
Photos
Poetry
Primary Sources
Projects
Report
Reviews
Slideshows
The Academy
Today Column
Unusual Suspects
Video


Topics

Advertising
Architecture
Art
Books
Branding
Business
Cities / Places
Community
Craft
Culture
Design History
Design Practice
Development
Disaster Relief
Ecology
Economy
Education
Energy
Environment
Fashion
Film / Video
Food/Agriculture
Geography
Global / Local
Graphic Design
Health / Safety
History
Housing
Ideas
Illustration
India
Industry
Info Design
Infrastructure
Interaction Design
Internet / Blogs
Journalism
Landscape
Literature
Magazines
Media
Museums
Music
Nature
Obituary
Other
Peace
Philanthropy
Photography
Planning
Poetry
Politics / Policy
Popular Culture
Poverty
Preservation
Product Design
Public / Private
Public Art
Religion
Reputations
Science
Shelter
Social Enterprise
Sports
Sustainability
Technology
Theory/Criticism
Transportation
TV / Radio
Typography
Urbanism
Water


William Drenttel
Essays | Biography | Contact

Archive: September 2008


Designersforobama.org?

Obama
Poster design by Nicholas Rock, 2008

Would you like to own designersforobama.org? What would you do with it?

Last February, in the heat of the primary campaign, Winterhouse got (very) excited about Barack Obama's candidacy, and we asked what designers could do to help his campaign. We wondered whether there wasn't some opportunity for collective action, or for a specific initiative, or for a news source about the campaign focused on design issues, or maybe even a citizen journalism project. So we rushed out and bought this historic URL — designersforobama.org. (As fortune tellers, we're one-for-one: we also bought designersfordean.org in 2003...

READ MORE | COMMENTS (19)

Whose Flag?


Adbusters' poster, design by Pedro Inoue, 2008

Recently, I received a poster on a topic I care about, issued by an organization I respect. It's a call-for-entries for a flag design competition being hosted by Adbusters, on the topic of global citizenship. The jury consists of 7 judges, 4 of whom are contributors to Design Observer, and all of whom are capable critics, respected in the field.

The seven person jury, however, consists entirely of white men.

Nearly a decade into a new century, I believe it is unacceptable for a design organization, foundation, board of directors, magazine or other enterprise, to mount an initiative with an all male panel of judges — or, put another way, "white, native English-speaking men from the U.S., British Isles or Australia." Such behavior is no longer acceptable and should not be tolerated by a community of designers (or any other community).

Designers around the world should just say no.

This is a competition for a flag to represent global citizenship — in this, the year of Barack Obama; the year of the 45th anniversary celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech; and the year we celebrate the 88th anniversary of the U.S. 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote...

READ MORE | COMMENTS (175)

Hurricane Watch: Gustav Emergency Relief

Hurricane Gustav is hitting New Orleans and Gulf States region today. Here's a quick summary of major resources for designers (and others). The single best resource is the Gustav Wiki with hundreds of leads and links, as well as news and facts.

AIGA NOLA
activated its network last week, even initiating a phone tree to reach hundreds of members. AIGA members (or creatives in allied fields) are encouraged to contact president@neworleans.aiga.org or relief@aiga.org to access the AIGA network for assistance. AIGA National is coordinating with local chapters throughout the southern states.

AIGA and Chopping Block are again turning on DisplacedDesigners.com as a place to enter needs, or to offer help. The site does work and needs / offers to help will be quickly approved.

Other Resources...

READ MORE | COMMENTS (4)
William Drenttel is a designer and publisher, and editorial director of Design Observer. He is a partner at Winterhouse, a design consultancy focused on social change, online media and educational institutions, and a senior faculty fellow at the Yale School of Management.


Recent Video


National Design Award Trophy

National Design Award Trophy

In October 2011, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum unveiled a new trophy for the National Design Awards. Originally designed as an asterisk in silicon carbide by Winterhouse in 2000, the new glass trophy is by Corning GlassLab.


Design Observer Archive


2012
March

2011
December
October
August
July

2010
December
November
October
September
August
May

2009
November
October
July
June
May
January

2008
November
October
September
July
June
March
February
January

2005
December
October
September
August
July
May
April
March
February
January

2006
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
April

2005
November
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January

2004
December
November
October
September
July
May
April
March
February
January

2003
December
November
October
September





DESIGN OBSERVER JOBS




WILLIAM DRENTTEL: RECOMMENDED BOOKS


Radical Coherency: Selected Essays on Art and Literature
David Antin

Designing Media
Bill Moggridge

The Story of Eames Furniture
Marilyn & John Neuhart

The Oxford Companion to the Book
Michael Suarez & H. R. Woudhuysen, editors

Canti: Poems
Giacomo Leopardi

Circus: The Photographs of Frederick W. Glasier
F. W. Glasier, P. Kayafas, D. Walk & L. Sante

Mimi's Dada Catifesto
Shelley Jackson

Invisible
Paul Auster

Otto Neurath
Nader Vossoughian

Pictorial Webster's: A Visual Dictionary of Curiosities
John M. Carrera