Posters, Disasters, and Plans

Lately I've been digging back into the topic of my 2021 paper for the Design History Society annual conference: posters designed as a response to the Fukushima, Japan nuclear and environmental disaster of March 2011. Here are a few highlights from that study: Themes within reader commentary included cultural concerns, making/selling, designer recognition, future histories,… Continue reading Posters, Disasters, and Plans


Opinion as Artifact as Data

What is the value of opinion? Or a disagreement? Design forums overflow with both but range in length, proximity, quality, and legitimacy. The passage of time between responses and publication time gets shorter and shorter as the forums become more digitized.   If opinions and disagreements were made (or written) by a designer, does that make… Continue reading Opinion as Artifact as Data

A Mass of Unknowable Readers

Of the many features that blogs and social media share, one that continues to pull me in is the identity of readers. When writing comments, readers can choose anonymity or, if conveying a desire for authorial influence, they might use their full names. One of my pilot studies showed a prevalence of full names recognizable… Continue reading A Mass of Unknowable Readers

And Call It Design Writing

The name *design writing* is one that puzzles me. The Design History Society describes it as the “work of critical debate in design through writing.” Often, though, the waters are muddied when design writing is used interchangeably with design criticism, which Massimo Vignelli tells us is “creative interpretations of the work, period or theory being analyzed.” Not all design… Continue reading And Call It Design Writing

Design Writing Out of Sight

I began this project nearly six years ago when I searched for written design conversations. There's no lack of material. My archive grows with design-centered editorials, letters to editors, website comments, and social media snapshots. But these glimpses of design history aren't so easy to locate. This patchwork of civic-oriented multilogues is generally well-concealed from search algorithms… Continue reading Design Writing Out of Sight