Botany Blueprint: Tara

Specimen #18: Tara (Caesalpinia spinosa) ith its flaming beans and razor-sharp noli me tangere spines, the tree we call, simply, “tara” (Caesalpinia spinosa), is a striking figure, in any landscape. My encounter with tara was by a Pacific tide pool, …

Fail? No, Win!

Hey, weekend, how you doing? Been looking forward to this one ending. This is a silly thing called Going to the Store, by David Lewandowski. There’s not much reason you’d know his name, but you’ve seen his work—he created the …

Sutnar's Controlled Visual Flow

Back in the pre-digital days, when paper companies could afford to produce ambitious promotions (the kind that drove environmentalists crazy, but made designers ecstatic), some of the promotions were more than sales tools. They were and have become seminal documents …

Following Up From Yesterday

Yesterday, David Ramos commented upon my conversation with Adobe’s Lea Hickman: Design curricula are failing to teach students how to work programmatically, and the best response, then, is to make software that tries to compensate for designers’ lack of knowledge? …

Guy Fawkes Is Going To Be Remixed Soon

A story used over the weekend as a funny-haha from New York Times tech reporter Nick Bilton talks about an ironic chain of money: the Guy Fawkes mask used by Anonymous members is an image owned and licensed by Time …

Fake Science in Design Writing

I’ve thought for a while the design disciplines in America have a too-cozy relationship with the same entities that separate our society by class and race—advertising and self-proclaimed tastemakers. It makes me deeply uncomfortable to hear design writers speak about …

Design Is an Echo Chamber

Social studies about the web are intriguing—they show just how social we are, with ideas and people flitting about like an unstoppable hive of bees, always looking for the next blossom. One thing I wondered about, in light of last …

Why I Work With My Hands, Still

When I left a design studio that I was a part of for over three years to go to a branding agency, my boss/mentor gave me a bone folder. “They won’t have any of these where you’re going!” he said. …

Song to the Siren

Looking again at cultural meta-conversations and changes in human thought from year to year, much like the case of Guido Jesus, Blue Monday, and Friggin’ in the Riggin’. Who’s heard of a lovely ballad called Song to the Siren? It’s …