Tag: Design

The World Silicon Valley Made

A repairman at the Shenzhen electronic bazaar treks from stall to stall, gathering inexpensive camera modules, casings, glass displays, batteries, and motherboards, and then, with only a screwdriver ...

Our Metrics, Ourselves

In 1994, a doctor named Clifton Meador penned a satirical portrait of “the last well person” for the New England Journal of Medicine. The protagonist, bent on discovering every datum of unwellness …

Underground Distractions, Shanghai

This is the latest installment of Public Streets, a biweekly urban observations series curated by Ellis Avery. Windows on trains and planes are equipped with shades: vertical or horizontal, rigid or ...

Seeing Things

December 1, 2015 — One of the great myths of our time concerns the promise of a global vision, of seeing things with the power, distance, and clarity of an all-encompassing vantage point, what Donna ...

As in Painting, So in Poetry

“Colors are not sounds and ears are not eyes,” wrote Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, a mid-18th century German philosopher and art critic. He was making a point about what he saw as a crucial division ...

The Look of the Book

John Hersey’s Hiroshima takes place, as one might expect, in Hiroshima. Originally published in the August 31, 1946, issue of the New Yorker, it recounts what the magazine’s editors called, in a ...

Last Offices

Wondering how your life has changed over the past two decades? Just rummage through your email for old autoresponds. “Out of office” referred to unlucky politicians until the 1970s, when UNIX began ...

How the 9/11 Museum Gets Us

There was little choice. From the earliest conceptions of what would be done at Ground Zero, there would be one. A museum. And now here it is, the National September 11 Memorial Museum, which opened ...

How to Buy a Guitar in Chicago

This is a new installment of Public Streets, a biweekly urban observations series curated by Ellis Avery.   In its still relatively new location on Lincoln Avenue in Chicago’s Northcenter ...

That Silver Building on Powers

East Williamsburg is fast becoming one of the most dramatically gentrified neighborhoods of Brooklyn, with glass-fronted condo buildings shooting up in their narrow lots like beanstalks in a ...

Futurist Cheerfulness

In the domain of games and toys, as in all passéist manifestations, one sees only grotesque imitation, timidity (miniature trains, little cars, dolls that can’t move, cretinous caricatures of ...

On Christopher Street Pier

I’ve seen that child before, a boy of 10 or 12 in suspenders and a newsboy cap. He plays the cello. He rides a unicycle. Once I saw him in a sycamore in Abingdon Square, a sliver of a park in ...

After a Queer Fashion

The exhibit currently on view at the Museum at FIT, “A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk,” ends on a note of progressive triumphalism: the final installation is a triptych of ...