Posts tagged ‘New York Times’

Tweeting on housing: Co.Design

via @FastCoDesign (Feb 12, 2012):

“America has changed dramatically since the 20th-century rise and proliferation of the suburban single-family home (and we’re not just talking about an influx of immigrants, but also more single-parent families, multi-generation families, and so on). The housing stock has not. Gang and Lindsay show how elegant little design tweaks here and there can redefine home ownership to better reflect both the social and financial realities of Americans today.”

Read the rest of the Co.Design article here. Read its source content, written by Jeanne Gang and Greg Lindsay and published in the New York Times, here.

Rendering of “The Garden in the Machine,” a proposal by Studio Gang “for transforming the inner-ring suburb of Cicero, Illinois, to better meet the living and working needs of its residents.” The proposal was developed for The Museum of Modern Art’s Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream exhibition.

February 19’s daily design idea is a quote from the Times article by Gang and Lindsay: “instead of forcing families to fit into a house, what if we rearranged the house to fit them?”

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February 19, 2012 at 10:56 pm Leave a comment

Quality-based rates for ad space?

Time reported that the “average amount paid to NBC for a 30-second commercial in the Super Bowl” this year was a whopping $3.5 million. And while I am definitely frustrated that this money wasn’t spent in a manner with more dynamic benefits (just ask the branding and web strategy firm btrax for some examples), I’m also frustrated that the commercials weren’t better designed.

As Stuart Elliott of the New York Times reported (Feb 5, 2012):

“Too many commercials fell back on tactics that were too familiar from a plethora of Super Bowl spots: anthropomorphic animals, second-class celebrities, slapstick violence and riding the coattails of popular culture. Risk-taking, rule-breaking ideas were as hard to find among the more than 50 commercials as good taste in a GoDaddy ad.”

So, February 18’s daily design idea is why not charge for ad space based on quality of ad?

photo of billboards in Times Square from 2003, by Flickr user ElvertBarnes

I know that quality is subjective, and that this idea would be difficult (if not impossible) to implement, but just imagine how great it could be. Consumers would experience better quality advertising. Agencies and their clients would have more incentive to make design quality a top priority. Smaller agencies and clients with small budgets would have a greater chance at exposure. And anyone profiting from the sale of ad space would still find high bidders from clients who could afford to pay for the exposure, but either couldn’t or wouldn’t pay for the higher quality design services.

What do you think?

February 18, 2012 at 9:37 pm Leave a comment

DeChristopher and his motives.

via GOOD (February 8, 2011), the New York Times (March 4, 2011), and the U.S. Department of Justice (March 3, 2011):

Recently, GOOD provided some background on the spontaneous (and – in my opinion – admirable) undercover actions of Tim DeChristopher: “Back in 2008, a multi-million dollar Bureau of Land Management land auction–one that was set to turn over hundreds of thousands of acres of public lands in southern Utah to oil and gas companies–was disrupted by a quiet, 27-year old economics student who simply walked in and started bidding. Today, Tim DeChristopher, aka Bidder70, is facing two felony charges for this act of civil disobedience.”

Yesterday, DeChristopher was found guilty by jury (a ruling that many predict will be appealed again); he faces up to 10 years in prison.


SALT LAKE CITY – Tim DeChristopher thanks his supporters, 3 March, 2011 just outside the federal courthouse where he was found guilty of two felonies for disrupting a Utah BLM oil and gas lease auction in 2009. PHOTO ©2011 by Ed Kosmicki/Ed Kosmickiphotosourcewest.com801 455 5573

Kirk Johnson’s blog post “Do Motives Matter? The DeChristopher Verdict” brings up some weighty questions in the wake of this trial. After pointing out that “the American legal system tends to pay obsessive attention to a person’s motives and mental state” (which can make the difference between vandalism and a hate crime, for example), Johnson writes that “Judge Dee Benson told the lawyers that the case would not be about why Mr. DeChristopher did what he did, but only whether he did it. Federal energy policies and concern about climate change, which were in fact the core drivers of Mr. DeChristopher’s actions, as he has said in many interviews, would not be put on trial, Judge Benson ruled.”

On top of that, “whether the [Bureau of Land Management] was correct in its decision to offer these parcels for oil and gas lease sales was not the question which this jury was asked to resolve. The jury was asked to determine whether Mr. DeChristopher’s disruption of the BLM’s auction of oil and gas leases violated federal law. We believe that the jury properly found that it did,” Carlie Christensen, U.S. Attorney for Utah, was quoted as saying in the U.S. Department of Justice press release about the trial.

I have mixed feelings about admitting this, but I agree. DeChristopher did break the law, but by accepting that risk he managed to make a huge difference. DeChristopher himself even admits it: “I had signed a piece of paper downstairs [before entering the auction] saying that it was a federal offense to bid without intent to pay. But I decided I could live with those consequences, and I couldn’t turn my back on this chance to make an impact.”

March 4’s daily design idea is what would you risk to make an impact?

March 4, 2011 at 11:21 pm 1 comment

“Pick Your Cupid” by Ji Lee.

I found this op-art from the New York Times to be too good not to share:

Illustration by Ji Lee, discovered via swissmiss. (There will be more of my own content coming in the near future, I promise.)

February 14’s daily design idea is enjoy your Valentine’s Day, whatever kind of lover you may be.

February 14, 2011 at 1:06 pm Leave a comment

Mermaid in Shanghai.

Today marks day 125 of Expo 2010 in Shanghai, and I’d like to celebrate by showing off some images from my favorite pavilion interior: Denmark.


photo via Boston.com (April 28, 2010):
“Denmark’s famed Little Mermaid statue is displayed after it was unveiled in Denmark Pavilion at the World Expo site on the trial day Sunday, April 25, 2010 in Shanghai, China. The 5-foot (1.5-meter) statue honoring Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen left Copenhagen Harbor for first time in 97 years for Shanghai’s Expo” (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)


photo via the New York Times (Philippe Lopez/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images)

September 1’s daily design idea is sometimes sharing an important part of your identity makes the boldest design statement.

September 1, 2010 at 2:57 pm Leave a comment

We’re on a boat?

via the New York Times (July 14, 2010):

“In the middle of tomorrow, a great ribbed ghost has emerged from a distant yesterday.

On Tuesday morning, workers excavating the site of the underground vehicle security center for the future World Trade Center hit a row of sturdy, upright wood timbers, regularly spaced, sticking out of a briny gray muck flecked with oyster shells.

Obviously, these were more than just remnants of the wooden cribbing used in the late 18th and early 19th centuries to extend the shoreline of Manhattan Island ever farther into the Hudson River. (Lower Manhattan real estate was a precious commodity even then.)

“They were so perfectly contoured that they were clearly part of a ship,” said A. Michael Pappalardo, an archaeologist with the firm AKRF, which is working for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to document historical material uncovered during construction.

By Wednesday, the outlines made it plain: a 30-foot length of a wood-hulled vessel had been discovered about 20 to 30 feet below street level on the World Trade Center site, the first such large-scale archaeological find along the Manhattan waterfront since 1982, when an 18th-century cargo ship came to light at 175 Water Street.

The area under excavation, between Liberty and Cedar Streets, had not been dug out for the original trade center. The vessel, presumably dating from the mid- to late 1700s, was evidently undisturbed more than 200 years.

News of the find spread quickly. Archaeologists and officials hurried to the site, not only because of the magnitude of the discovery but because construction work could not be interrupted…”


Photo by Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

July 15’s daily design idea is how (if at all) do you enjoy disruptive surprises during your work process?

July 15, 2010 at 7:10 am Leave a comment

Extreme domestic transformation.

via the New York Times (January 14, 2009):

In one spectacular Hong Kong apartment, there are “at least 24 different layouts that Mr. [Gary] Chang, an architect, can impose on his 344-square-foot apartment, which he renovated last year. What appears to be an open-plan studio actually contains many rooms, because of sliding wall units, fold-down tables and chairs, and the habitual kinesis of a resident in a small space.

“In the last two decades, he has renovated four times, on progressively bigger budgets as his company, Edge Design Institute, has grown. His latest effort, which took a year and cost just over $218,000, he calls the “Domestic Transformer.”

Watch the video to start appreciating the detail of this home. The magic starts around 1:18.

If you are faced with similarly small quarters but find the idea of creating moveable walls a bit daunting, take some inspiration from a Queeste Architecten‘s design for a Bed & Breakfast of approximately 325 square feet, called the “Maff Apartment” :

Domestic Transformer photo by Marcel Lam/The New York Times
Maff Apartment photo by Teun van den Dries

July 12′s daily design idea is think big, even if you live small. Making double and triple uses of your space will effectively increase your available square footage.

July 12, 2010 at 4:20 pm 2 comments

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