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Monthly Archives: March 2009

(from the article) –  “Promoted as the “in” word in design circles in recent years, ‘innovation’ has become a mantra devoid of meaning. Glorified by the likes of Bruce Nussbaum of BusinessWeek and David Kelly of IDEO, “innovation” blurs the boundaries between the worlds of engineering and design. It devalues the real strength of industrial design by forcing an analytical structure over the process of developing a non-analytical design. Similarly, it makes engineering play design, while over-selling its value in defining the “right design”.


Bernard Madoff , apparently, was obsessed with design.   All his furnishings were black and gray,  he hated curves.  

This could be a problem since his office was located in Philip Johnson’s “lipstick” office building.


Bernard Madoff’s corporate jet.   Very ugly color actually.

Maybe this is a good thing ?????

dubai towers - dubai

dubai towers - dubai

dancing towers  dubai

dancing towers dubai

This is the most appealing “green design” idea I’ve seen in quite a while.

TRU Organic Spirits is putting the friendly back in environmentally friendly. Not only are its lemon- and vanilla-infused vodkas and their aromatic gin completely certified USDA organic, but the Monrovia, California-based company plants at least one seedling in Central America (through its nonprofit partner Sustainable Harvest) for every bottle sold–that’s 50,000 last year.   TRU commissioned an independent report, to be released next week, showing that each tree planted has the potential to absorb 790 square kilos of carbon dioxide, whereas the carbon footprint of each bottle in its relatively lightweight packaging is merely 1.04 square kilos–making the product an eye-popping 760 times carbon negative!  At that rate, a single glass would be enough to offset your carbon footprint for a day.


(from the article)  ” If you wanted to win a market by design, the creed offered two paradigms: The Artist and the Process. Both are ineffective today.    The “Artist” can be defined as the business-model behind self-branded design stardom, with the requisite mannerism to justify the stature. The notion that publicity alone makes products fly off the shelf was defamed long ago as Target aborted Philippe Starck’s product-line. The lesson was loud and clear: Products must deliver far more than mere association with stardom. With that in mind, execs will surely think twice before betting the farm on unruly flamboyance. Against that “unreliable” branded-personality design management, multidisciplinary agencies push the notion of large teams and a rigid process. The message of the process crowd is simplistic, “have a few more disciplines in place and we can create the winning product with the right design.” Here comes the ethnographer and the strategist and the focus-group studies and the 500-page dissertations, and so on. I have yet to see any hard proof that these large processes yield higher rates of success in design. I have met more than a few large organizations that will not take this any longer. The process method managed to stifle creativity and nourish argumentative myopics while exhausting corporate budgets and personnel. The case of Doug Bowman, Google’s just-resigned lead designer and the 41 shades of Blue sounds painfully familiar. As you churn out more creative work, more data-points and more “scientific” validation, your design never gets better.  “

An article in FASTCOMPANY magazine that blows the whistle on the business practices of William McDonough, a celebrity “green architect.”   

I have personally shown videos of his work, including his design at Oberlin College in which “a building should be like a tree.”  

(from the article)  –  “Then there is McDonough’s “great story” about Oberlin College and his “building like a tree.” McDonough’s stunning Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies facility was completed in 2000; by the next year, actress Susan Sarandon, in a voice-over for The Next Industrial Revolution, a documentary on McDonough, was describing how “the building produces more energy than it consumes,” a claim echoed later that year in a Metropolis magazine profile on the architect. Four years later, in a 2005 TED conference speech, McDonough was still highlighting his own achievement, telling conferees, “Here’s a building at Oberlin College we designed that makes more energy than it needs to operate.” However, John H. Scofield, an Oberlin physics professor who has taught in the building, began monitoring its energy use when it was completed in 2000. He calculated that it was consuming more than twice the energy projected and drawing 84% of its power from local power plants, rather than renewable sources. “We should sue William McDonough + Partners,” Scofield told The Oberlin Review in 2002 (he is not a spokesperson for the university). ”



An advertisement from the February 1961 issue of Fortune Magazine.


An advertisement from 1962 Fortune Magazine by Alcoa Aluminum.   The transmission tower is compared via the sketchbook to a pretty pretty snowflake.


An advertisement from 1961.   This image would make a great basis for a pop art painting.    For example in this style:



An advertisement for Alcoa Aluminum, from Fortune magazine 1959.

The sales mechanism in play here is obvious.