Results tagged “journalism” from ARTicles

A year ago, Julie Lasky left the world of glossy design magazines to edit a new, nonprofit, online publication called Change Observer. Dedicated to covering design as social innovation, it's funded by a Rockefeller Foundation grant and launched last July as one of three "channels" of Design Observer. The move marks a significant shift for Lasky, the former editor-in-chief of Interiors and, most recently, I.D., which folded late last year. A 1995-96 NAJP fellow, she spoke by phone about her new venture. This is an edited version of the interview.


In the popular perception, design is associated with luxury, not necessity, let alone politics and social innovation. But Change Observer is explicitly focused on "design strategies aimed globally at improving health, education, housing, and the environment" -- which seems very different from what you were doing at I.D. and Interiors. So is that part of the appeal to you as an editor?

Well, I think that one of the problems, as you say, is it is the public's perception that design is associated with luxury. But, you know, I never thought of design as just simply being an activity to produce consumer objects, and I think both Interiors and I.D. reflected that. So, for instance, we did an entire package of stories related to China, just before the Beijing Olympics, but those stories really went into how do you fashion a vocabulary for what design is bringing to China, and the new developments of design in business in China. Or there was a journal about an industrial designer, trying to navigate his way through the whole system of having things produced, with all the qualms about production in China. So, you know, I don't feel like I ever really stepped away from a mission. I just kind of got a little bit more focused.

March 17, 2010 12:00 AM |

Lumberjack Friend texted from David Copperfield's magic show in Vegas: "His egos 2 big. Make him vanish..."

I can make a papier mache head levitate. (You can, too.) But disappear a whole body? Not in a heptillion.

When the text message chimed, I was reading the fantastic niche quarterly, MAKE, Vol. 13 - the Magic Issue. Captivated, engrossed I was, in this article about John Gaughan by David Pescovitz (co-editor of boing boing and researcher at Institute for the Future).

Check out the pictures...Do real people like this really exist? Gaughan is the "go-to maker for magicians," who - by pure, total coincidence - figured out how to create the illusion that makes Copperfield fly. He also designed the Android Clarinetist, whose image the Getty Center plastered all over Los Angeles for its unforgettable 2001 "Devices of Wonder" exhibition.

MAKE - and its fierce sibling magazine, CRAFT - are about artists as many artists would probably want themselves to be written about. These quarterlies do something different, but not so different. Old fashioned stock journalism that completely embraces technology. They have active Websites, chat rooms, RSS feeds, blogs...virtual community gone gangbusters.

Dig this -- MAKE claims a paid circulation of 100,000. That's a number almost unheard of in this day and age for a relatively new print publication. (We have something to learn from this model begat by star editor-in-chief Mark Frauenfelder and his constellation of other stars, including Carla Sinclair, ed-in-chief of CRAFT.)

But, as digitally conversant as these two publications are, they never lose sight of being for human beings, about human beings, who really like to make things with their hands. The pull quote from Pescovitz's profile of Gaughan, for example, is "I'm fascinated with how primitive the human mind still is. It can be misdirected so easily."

Time may seem to have sped up in this techno-crazy-anything-is-possible world, but apparently the brain is just the same old brain...susceptible to magic, illusion, persuasion and being told what to believe... Scary! ...but also sort of likeable in a simple, Australopithecus-friendly way. We likes tools, us humans. We also likes reading a good printed journal in our hands.

For the Floating Head trick, click!

March 2, 2008 10:44 AM |


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