small architecture/BIG CATALOG
Thursday, December 16th, 2010

David Stairs In February of this year my energetic friend Wes Janz mounted the exhibition small architecture/BIGLANDSCAPES at the Swope Museum in Terra Haute. The show was an elaborate combination of image, text, and installation, and drew on Wes’s considerable acquaintance with the world of “small but effective” architectural practitioners, including students, academics, and professionals. […]

Breaking An Arm
Monday, October 25th, 2010

David Stairs Either we live in the most enlightened era of recorded human history, or the most cynical. I don’t think this statement is contradictory. Last year when I wrote Arguing With Success I was subsequently taken to task for criticising the very motives among designers I’d been calling for for years. One respondent said, […]

Just Deserts
Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Solving First World problems with Third World solutions.

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

David Stairs You know the popular saying, “No pain, no gain”? It’s always kind of bugged me. I mean, it just doesn’t stand up to common sense. There’s no animal in the universe that likes pain. Most go out of their way to avoid it. But human institutions are contrary. They seem to be grounded […]

Colonizing Sustainability
Friday, January 1st, 2010

If you’re not entirely comfortable following the assurances of “the world’s leading design firm” or the blandishments of “the association for design” regarding sustainability, there may be hope for you yet.

Arguing With Success
Monday, September 14th, 2009

David Stairs “The subordinate place of history, theory, and criticism in design education is concomitant with the difficulty most designers have in envisioning forms of practice other than those already given by the culture.” –Victor Margolin

Blowing Competitions Up, and Other Acts of Good Citizenship
Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

David Stairs Ball State Visual Communications student Kat Townsend documenting a hand-painted sign on a condemned house in Flint, Michigan. Photo by Laura Huffman. Winning and losing: the dichotomy is endemic to the American way of life. From Vegas to American Idol,4 from athletic wagers to Dancing With the Stars, we take our entertainment with […]

Agenda for a 21st Century India Report
Sunday, January 28th, 2007

Arvind Lodaya’s social design proposal for the new century