Health + Safety

Akansha Kukreja
Information Design for Healthcare
The disparity of knowledge between the medical community and general population creates a unique problem for designers.


Jessica Helfand + Ellen McGirt
S7E3: Sara Hendren
Sarah Hendren is an artist, design researcher, and professor at the Olin College of Engineering.


Michael Bierut
S6E10: Bon Ku
Dr. Bon Ku is assistant dean for health and design at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S5E11: Renata Souza
Renata Souza Luque is the creator of Thomy, an insulin kit for children with Type 1 diabetes.


Mary Badon
Red Light, Green Light: The Invention of the Traffic Signal
The traffic light — invented in 1912 by a policeman in Detroit — has radically impacted the way transportation rules have developed over the past 100 years, all over the world.


Olivia Coetzee
Use Only as Directed: Safety is not Always Safe
The safety pin, the safety match, the safety razor: are these objects as safe as their names suggest?


Michale Bierut + Jessica Helfand
S1E9: Jay Parkinson
Dr. Jay Parkinson is the founder of Sherpaa, an online medical practice.


Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
Mind-Body Problems
Nutrition Facts, Mark Bittman’s food rating system, colon cancer screening, Time Well Spent, Peter Arno, Flat File



John Thackara
When Tech In Care Is Evil
I spent the last two weeks in-and-around a care home in England that looks after people with dementia and terminal illness, and their families – including, this time, mine.


Manuela Aguirre
Design for Care
A review of Design for Care: Innovating Healthcare Experience, a new book by Peter H. Jones. 


The Editors
Records for Life: Rethinking the Immunization Card
In conjunction with World Immunization Week, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation challenged the global health and design communities to reconsider the immunization card, classically one of the principal barriers to vaccination.



John Thackara
The Dementia Care Economy
A proposition for the economy of ‘disease-modifying therapy’ for dementia.


John Thackara
Dementia: Care Before Cure
The downside of declaring war on a disease like dementia is to diminish social solidarity. But there are solutions.


Debbie Millman
Debbie Millman on Sleep
Debbie Millman is a designer, author, educator, strategist and host of the podcast Design Matters.


Thomas Fisher
Thomas Fisher on Survival
Thomas Fisher is dean of the College of Design at the University of Minnesota.


Nicholas Christakis
Nicholas Christakis on Networks
Nicholas A. Christakis, MD, PhD, MPH, is a social scientist and physician who conducts research on social factors that affect health, health care, and longevity.


Rick Poynor
From the Archive: Upgrade Yourself!
If appearances matter more than ever, as we are constantly told, the personal makeover has become our most fundamental design task.



Observed
Transform 2013: Design Innovation in Healthcare
Mayo Clinic’s Center for Innovation Transform Symposium will take place September 8-10 2013, in Rochester, MN.


John Thackara
Paranoid But Pretty
A review of Matthias Megyeri's new show at the German Architecture Center, and a review of the question the exhibition inspires: "Are we safer?"



Observed
Celebrate World Toilet Day
2.6 billion people don't have access to a toilet. For them poop can be poison.



Observed
They Go To Die
They Go to Die is a documentary film-in-progress investigating the life of four former migrant gold mineworkers in South Africa and Swaziland who have contracted drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) and HIV while working at the gold mine.


Alexandra Lange
Having Fun at the Museum
Blocks, rocket ships, playgrounds and balls: the hidden meaning of playthings at the Museum of Modern Art.



Observed
Amend
Minneapolis-based Thesis is a design collective whose efforts to raise awareness about health care reform has led them to creat the Amend wrist band.



Observed
A Public Service Announcement: Collecting Air
A public service spot for the American Lung Association, “Alvin Grimes, Air Collector,” features him with his collection.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Welcome to Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities set aside for your perusal and enlightenment.



David Stairs
Demythologizing Design: Another View of "Design with the Other 90%: CITIES"
David Stairs reviews "Design with other 90%:Cities"


William Drenttel, and John Cary
Give the Gift of Design this Holiday Season
Tax-deductible gifts for the holiday season: they feel good for the giver, meaningful for the recipient, and provide crucial support for hardworking nonprofits on the ground.



John Thackara
5% Health: The Risk of Catabolic Collapse and Peak Fat in Modern Health Systems
The writer, at Mayo Clinic's "Transform" conference, asks: Are high-end medical systems the best place to focus design's creative capacity?



Jean W. Rosenthal
Project Masiluleke: Texting and Testing to Fight HIV/AIDS in South Africa
Summary of Project Masiluleke case study describing design process for fighting HIV/AIDS in South Africa.



Ernest Beck
San+Co
A pilot project developed for India provides santiation and electricity in a single venture.



Robin Cembalest
Shrink Rap
Mexican designer/artist Pedro Reyes opens a temporary sanatorium in Brooklyn.



Alexandra Lange
On GOOD: Why Are Car Seats So Poorly Designed?
If you want parents to use public transportation, first you have to fix the car seat.



Ernest Beck
Project Mwana
A new effort to diagnosis and treat infant HIV/AIDS in remote African regions.



Phil Patton
Sustainable Gold
Phil Patton on the conference “Gold: Substance, Symbol and Significance."



Julie Lasky
Search for the Obvious: Challenge #2
Once again, Acumen Fund is looking for creative solutions to social problems. This time the focus is on mothers.



Julie Lasky
Rock Girl Benches
Rock Girl in Cape Town offers real and symbolic safe places for girls and women.



Julie Lasky
Acumen Sexy Sanitation Challenge
Acumen Fund announces winners of its "Sexy Sanitation" challenge.



The Editors
Sexy Sanitation
Competition brief for Acumen Fund challenge to improve access to sanitation.



Aspen Editors
Aspen Design Summit: Update 09.25.10
Dateline Aspen. An on-going report on progress on the six projects developed at the Aspen Design Summit in November 2009.



Ernest Beck
Camel Mobile Clinic Update
Update on Art Center's Design Matters program, which prototypes a system for transporting medicine on camel back to remote communities in Kenya. Originally published July 18, 2009.



Photo by Pieter Hugo
Permanent Error
Photo by Pieter Hugo of Ghana's Agbogbloshie slum.



Alexandra Lange
Fix the Car Seat
Having just returned from a vacation where the logistics of the car seat were a primary part of trip planning, I have a plea on behalf of all parents, and a challenge for industrial and car designers: FIX THE CAR SEAT.



William Underhill
D-Rev Blue Star Jaundice Treatment
Report on Blue Star, D-Rev's affordable jaundice treatment for newborn babies in the developing world.



Ernest Beck
Es Tiempo
Report on Es Tiempo, a campaign designed to encourage Hispanic women in Southern California to seek annual screenings for cervical cancer.



Jay Parkinson
The Road to Wellville
Recommendations for designing a healthcare system around our nation's health needs — chronic care management, prevention and acute care treatment — not history, doctors and their profitability.



Jonathan Schultz
EyeWriter
Report on the EyeWriter software system, which allows a graffiti artist suffering from ALS to continue working merely by moving his eyes.


Aspen Editors
Aspen Design Summit Report: UNICEF Menstruation Challenge
At the Aspen Design Summit November 11–14, 2009, sponsored by AIGA and Winterhouse Institute, the UNICEF Menstruation Challenge Project proposed an “eco-system” whereby sanitary pads became a linchpin for local economic growth, for educational programs about health and hygiene and for research into materials that could be adapted to other countries.



Aspen Editors
Aspen Design Summit Report: Sustainable Food and Childhood Obesity
At the Aspen Design Summit November 11–14, 2009, sponsored by AIGA and Winterhouse Institute, the Sustainable Food Project focused on accelerating the shift from a global, abstract food system to a regional, real food system via a robust portfolio of activities — including a grand challenge and a series of youth-engagement programs.



Aspen Editors
Aspen Design Summit Report: CDC and Healthy Aging
At the Aspen Design Summit November 11–14, 2009, sponsored by AIGA and Winterhouse Institute, the CDC Healthy Aging Project began with the initial premise to enhance the ability of public health entities to determine whether adults 50 and over have received recommended preventive health services. The Project developed a “5 over 50” concept and brand name, and a new goal: to double the current number of people who are “up to date” with these preventive measures.



Jonathan Schultz
Kick4Life
AIDS education mixes with soccer in plans for a new Lesotho stadium.



Lindsay Stark
Renewal
Aid worker Lindsay Stark's portrait of the ritual purification of a child soldier in Sierra Leone.



Ernest Beck
Emergency Response Studio
Report on artist Paul Villinski's mobile studio, which he converted from a trailer of the type used by FEMA to house victims of Hurricane Katrina.



Andrea Codrington
Freeplay Fetal Heart Rate Monitor
Report on the Freeplay fetal heart rate monitor, which won the 2009 INDEX award in the Body category.



Ernest Beck
Peepoobag
Report on Peepoobag, a new self-sanitizing, single-use, biodegradable container for human waste.



Ernest Beck
Chulha Stove

Report on the Chulha stove designed by Philips to reduce indoor air pollution in developing countries.





Mark Dery
Paradise Fouled
Review of Crude, Joe Berlinger's documentary film about a lawsuit filed against Chevron by denizens of the Ecuadorean Amazon.



Karrie Jacobs
A Thousand Points on Light: Part II
Continuation of debate between lighting designer Leni Schwendinger and Dark-Sky advocate Susan Harder about proper illumination of urban, suburban and rural environments.



Karrie Jacobs
A Thousand Points on Light: Part I
Debate between lighting designer Leni Schwendinger and Dark-Sky advocate Susan Harder about proper illumination of urban, suburban and rural environments.



Chappell Ellison
Compulsion: Where Object Meets Anxiety
At the age of 30, my brother turned to our mother and said, “I never thought I’d make is this far.” In his early 20s, he was officially diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).



Alexandra Lange
Cooked
McDonald's McCafe Mocha is just one more reason that America is fat.



Ernest Beck
Camel Mobile Clinic
Art Center's Design Matters program prototypes a system for transporting medicine on camel back to remote communities in Kenya.



John Thackara
Doctors with iPhones
The neighborhood doctor is back — and this time, he has an iPhone.


The Design Observer Cooperative

Observed | January 22

Eye-watering amounts of money pour into Artificial Intelligence, and new technology empires are being forged before our eyes, but AI is a house divided by a decades-old rivalry. [BV]


Observed | January 19

“Our lives should be marked not by “comps” and metrics and filters and proofs of concept and virality but by tight circles and improvisation and adventure and lots and lots of creative waste. And not just to save ourselves, but to save each other.” [JH]


Observed | January 18

How architects write fictional architecture. [JH]

Beautiful weather rendering from Will MacNeil. (via Blake Eskin) [BV]


Observed | January 14

A New European Bauhaus? [JH]


Observed | January 13

Though it was later determined to be troll-driven, design twitter went bananas this week over the new CIA rebrand. [JH]

Women either decide or strongly influence 70% of all automotive purchases yet are 73% more likely to suffer injury in a car crash, and 17% more likely to die than the average man. A design problem? [JH]


Observed | January 12

Joy, disillusion, success, failure, hiring, finances, office space—just some of the topics in All in a Day’s Work, a new animated series about being an entrepreneur from our friends at Mailchimp in collaboration with It’s Nice That. [BV]


Observed | January 11

When Pac-Man arrived in 1980, it revolutionized gaming. The original game is at the root of a rich design tradition, one that goes well beyond detailed graphics and fluid controls. [BV]

Can the story of a pandemic be told in a single headline every day? David Rainbird collected headlines about the pandemic as a way of making sense of the infodemic that was 2020. [BV]


Observed | January 05

Paul Klee’s notebooks—nearly 4,000 pages of them—are now online. [JH]


Observed | December 30

“On cream-laid paper there is no “forward” button.” New York Times book critic Dwight Garner on the lost art of paper correspondence. [JH]


Observed | December 29

Job of the week: Yale’s British Art Center is looking for a new Design Director. [JH]


Observed | December 21

Renowned Swiss Designer Armin Hoffman dies at 100. [JH]

Screw mediocrity: Scottish industrial designer Neil Ferrier weighs in on a typographic mistake that turned out to benefit his career. [JH]

“That the cover of a book — something produced with a finite shelf life — could grip us throughout such a bitter, caustic year is either a triumph of artistry or a sign that our collective alarm bells are still not ringing loudly enough.” Matt Dorfman, Art Director for the New York Times Book Review, selects his favorite covers of 2020. [JH]


Observed | December 17

How custom fonts became the ultimate corporate flex. (via James I. Bowie) [BV]

First world problem of the week, or, why graphic design matters on your wine list. Behold: vinography! [JH]

Italian architect Stefano Boeri introduces prefabricated timber and fabric pavilions as Covid-19 vaccination stations in public piazzas across Italy beginning in January. (H/T Adina Karp.) [JH]


Observed | December 14

Pantone names its colors of the year for 2021. [JH]

Apparently not all architects declare. [JH]


Observed | December 11

“Royalty Now” is an ongoing art project by graphic designer Becca Saladin that reimagines queens, kings, emperors, statesmen, nobles, (and a few famous musicians, scientists and artists) as contemporary people. Follow her on Instagram. [JH]

Forest Young, Vivianne Castillo, Kelly Walters, and Dori Tunstall—among others—on the new design rules and why they matter. [JH]


Observed | December 10

Currently streaming: What Next? A virtual symposium discussing luxury as a concept and the ethical and moral questions surrounding it. [BV]


Observed | December 07

One week left to help support St. Bride’s magnificent library—and contribute to their efforts to digitize it for the rest of us. [JH]

Typography. Esports. Discuss! [JH]

Everything you ever wanted to know about a rejected Paul Rand logo for Ford Motor Company—from 1966—but were afraid to ask. (With apologies for the term “fancy-schmancy design trends” which would make Mr. Rand spin in his grave.) [JH]


Observed | December 03

Help our friends at Class Action fund their next campaign, a series of billboards in the hotly-contested state of Georgia. [JH]

Kern in hell! Announcing: Hell Vetica (via Victoria Brown). [JH]


Observed | November 30

Help our friends at Unit Editions produce a long-overdue monograph on the work of artist and designer Ed Fella. [JH]



Jobs | January 24