From the large number of critical comments about the new Design Observer 3.0 website, you’d think that the readers lost an old friend rather than gaining a few more. Design Observer, which began as a blog in 2003 and evolved into a website, is now an online media hub and is clearly changing with the times. One of the most important changes is indeed Change Observer. Funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, this website will report on design projects undertaken to improve health, education, and housing throughout the world. Its editors will explore the complications embedded in every aspect of design and social change, as well as encourage but also question–and maybe even challenge–the myriad efforts to make the world cleaner, greener, healthier, more prosperous, and more energy-efficient.
After almost a decade of design blog-kultur around the internet, Design Observer (to which I contribute essays), is expanding onto the next level of design journalism and criticism, demanding the kind of thoughtful and incisive commentary and reporting that is emerging on the websites of other fields. Bravo to the Design Observer Group for its ambitious work.