Observer: Not Dead Yet

For a medium that is regularly pronounced to be living on borrowed time, the magazine seems to be in a surprisingly perky state of health. If you took the industry’s temperature by scanning the racks in Borders, you might find …

Observer: Critical Omissions

The term “critical design” has been gaining currency in design circles for several years, and in 2007, it went public in the titles of three imaginative exhibitions. Two of these shows, in the U.K. and Belgium, dealt with three-dimensional design. …

Observer: Paper Trails

I was traveling back to London from the French region of Provence when I saw the posters. The Eurostar train leaves from Avignon; I had some time to kill before its departure, so I left the bags at the station …

Observer: Encyclopedia Erratica

  “One of the key features of graphic design is it involves selecting the appropriate image making tools out of it’s ability to generate meaning rather than preference.” You probably had to read that sentence twice, and even if you …

Observer: Sexy Nextness

There was a time when I was obsessed with the new. The most obvious reason for this is that all journalists are obsessed with what’s new(s). That’s our job. It doesn’t matter how great today’s story is; tomorrow there must …

Observer: Strained Relations

The French curator and writer Nicolas Bourriaud’s book Relational Aesthetics is the most influential work of art criticism to appear in the past decade. First published in 1998 and translated into English in 2002, it’s a fashionable art-world bestseller that …