David Stairs I haven’t yet been able to locate a source that estimates the overall number of vehicles that have been manufactured in the last century. In 1950 there were 50,000,000 cars in the world, not necessarily including all of the 16,500,000 Model Ts Ford produced between 1908 and 1927. In 2010 the number of […]
Vassiliki Giannopoulos National Design Awards Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum 2 E 91st St, New York, NY 10128 Dear Ms. Giannopoulos, Regarding your December 23rd email notifying us that Designers Without Borders has been nominated for the 2014 National Design Awards, we have this response.
David Stairs Ask my Indian friend: Americans are in a coma. What would evoke such an evaluation? Last year, while I was living in Bangalore, an American friend visited and my son and I met her for lunch. While crossing a busy boulevard she grabbed my arm and said, “I’ll trust you to get me […]
David Stairs In Society of the Spectacle Guy Debord attempted to define the interrelationship between government and commodity capitalism. No finer recent example could be found than the 9/11 10th Anniversary commemorative activities that took place around the country this past month. Making a rubbing at the 9/11 Memorial
David Stairs I was over at Design Observer yesterday, reading Rick Poynor’s lament about the depressed state of design criticism. The comments, posted by the usual band of DO nabobs and groupies, were unusually critical. One commentator referred to DO as “a likedy-like NYC mafia,” and another mentioned the “deteriorating state of Design Observer.” This […]
Wes Janz This piece was recently presented at a workshop at Ball State University —Ed. I. Whose vantage point is privileged when we speak of “the base of the pyramid”? Whose construction of “base” and “pyramid” are we talking about? Can we say with confidence that the people (not “population”) at “the base of the […]
David Stairs Dear Julie— I’ve been watching with a mixture of mild horror and benign amusement the recent fascination that Africa engenders in Western design circles. It’s inevitable, I suppose, that that portion of the human world known by the UN as the LDC (Least Developed Countries) would become some sort of 21st century refuge, […]
David Stairs Dear Bruce, Following your much-discussed July 7th “reasoned but misinformed volley” about design imperialism on the Fast Company blog, you were practically cut off at the knees for your viewpoint. The folks at Fast Company were probably happy about this, but it surprised me largely because I considered your piece not only uncontroversial, […]
David Stairs I was recently in Austria where I delivered a lecture in Graz during Graz Design Month. The thing most striking about traveling in Central Europe is the sense of the past preserved. The cities of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire survived WWII better than their German counterparts, having been at the outer range of […]
David Stairs Ezio Manzini is an optimist. Four years ago he envisioned a design conference dedicated to the notion that although things must, will, and do change, perhaps we ought to spend more time planning that evolution. This vision was realized last week at the Changing the Change conference held in the World Design Capital […]
An Open Letter to Ric Grefé Mr. Grefé, Remember the ’60s TV western The Guns of Will Sonnett? Airing from 1967-’69, it featured a 73-year-old Walter Brennan in a ridiculously oversized 10-gallon hat, stomping around the Old West with his grandson, out-riding, out-talking, and out-shooting all comers. When I think of a classically overplayed boast, […]
It’s been a rough week in Kampala.