Celebrating the bicentennial of the birth of Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr., known as “the father of landscape architecture”, the Cultural Landscape Foundation has created an ever-growing digital guide of Olmsted’s most notable works.
Of course, the building’s interesting, too, so there’s a good mix of architecture, gardens, architecture from the garden, and — you guessed it — garden architecture:
I enjoyed the visit, and as a result of that visit, added 32 new photographs to the Columbus gallery. (They’re grouped together: “Columbus Museum – Mar22.”) Peruse anytime; purchase if you’d like. Thank you!
Three completely unrelated items for you this time, ranging from the serious and interesting through the loony and interesting to something of a whole different stripe.
The Eames Institute of Infinite Curiosity
Update 2, 25 Apr:Brand New discusses this logo, with the usual catchy title: The Fast and the Curious: Counterspace Drift
Update, 8 Apr: It’s Nice That has more: The Eames Institute launches with a curious, “Eamesian” identity, and a logo that observes
Original post: Practically everyone has heard of an Eames Chair:
What you might not realize is that the legacy Charles and Ray Eames left behind enriches our lives to this day. It’s a shame, then, that while their house is a mid-century masterpiece (and museum), much of their lives have remained behind closed doors.
For almost three decades, a barn-like building in Petaluma, California, contained remnants of one of the most iconic design legacies of the twentieth century. […] We created the Eames Institute because we want you to examine the archive of what you know—the collection of your experiences, understanding, memories, and questions—and connect to the provocations that call to you. We want you to tap into that same fount of relentless curiosity, and its power to shift your perception and open you to innovations and discoveries.
Now, however, there’s the Eames Institute of Infinite Curiosity. Awesome name aside, it introduces us to the more personal side of one of design’s strongest partnerships.
Next time I treat myself to a Loony break, I’m going to make sure to spend some time looking beyond the action and appreciate the backgrounds. Nice.
Condor Airlines Rebrands
Most of you have probably never heard of Condor Airlines; they’re mainly a European thing, a “leisure” airline associated with Thomas Cook, formerly owned and run by Lufthansa. (Here’s some history.)
It doesn’t particularly matter. What does is the bravado exhibited by management. Before, a typical airline logo — dare I say, typically Germanic:
Then someone said yelled, “HEY. WE DO VACATIONS. LIKE BEACH TOWELS. LET’S DO STRIPES.” The result:
The new livery has zero fucks to give and just plasters every plane with thick vertical stripes that go against pretty much every single assumed tenet of what makes a good livery. It doesn’t look speedy, it doesn’t look nimble, it requires a lot of paint, and by all other standards it is just plain ugly and I love it.
Catching up with a few unrelated stories that I’ve been meaning to post — including one pretty significant failure on my part, one potentially significant failure, and because not everything should be about fail, an extremely interesting and thoughtful interview.
Tiny Type Museum Sold Out
I was cleaning up open Safari tabs on my phone the other day — the detritus that results from checking things on the fly when out and about, often or never closed — and noticed that I’d sort-of bookmarked something for action and … missed it. Crap!
The Tiny Type Museum & Time Capsule is a celebration by journalist and printing historian Glenn Fleishman of type and printing, and an effort at preserving history for future generations to re-discover. Each custom, handmade wood museum case holds several dozen genuine artifacts from the past and present, including a paper mold for casting newspaper ads in metal, individual pieces of wood and metal type, a phototype “font,” and a Linotype “slug” (set with a custom message), along with original commissioned art, a letterpress-printed book, and a few replicas of items found in printing shops.
The museum includes a letterpress-printed book written for the project, Six Centuries of Type & Printing, in which Fleishman traces the development of type and printing starting before Gutenberg printed his Bible around 1450 up through the present day. This book acts as “docent” for the museum, providing insight into the stages in technological and artistic development that took place, and explaining the importance and nature of the artifacts. It also slides out neatly as part of a sled from the top of the museum case, and provides the visible name.
The letterpress book is still available: get your copy, or subscribe to the podcast. But even if you don’t, take a moment to appreciate the work that went into this — well done, indeed.
Buick’s New Logo
This one … I dunno. The race to do car logos flat black-and-white has seemed like a race to the lowest common denominator. (See previous coverage of BMW, Volvo, Cadillac, and more.) Below, Buick’s old (left) and new (right) logos, courtesy of Motor1:
Thankfully, there’s been a leak — Instagram, natch, so no link here — demonstrating that it’ll still be in color:
Still, not sure. Will have to see the official announcement and package that goes with it; Motor Trend suggests that it might be part of an EV-only future. Stay tuned for Brand New’s take, I guess….
I think innovation doesn’t come in one huge leap. It’s a series of small steps. Accumulations of small discoveries, followed by incremental implementation. And then it all adds up. Innovation is not a single idea—it’s incredibly incremental and additive. Even these small discoveries can change the way we think about things very quickly. So I think every step of the way—problematizing “what are the issues?” and “what are the solutions?” filtering issues of sustainability, supply chain, accessibility, will eliminate many solutions which are not possible. And then you end up with small nuggets of potential. In a way it’s very systematic, innovation, and so is experimentation. It’s the elimination of what’s not possible and focusing on goals.
You know, history is not about the past, really. History is about the story of an individual interpreting history. Historians cannot be unbiased narrators. Every history is a story, and then yes, there are facts—which are important, but the way you connect facts and then make diverse narratives is super interesting.
As you can see, Fox News provides false narratives, and a lot of times they skew the facts, and that’s a problem. It can be used dangerously, but it can also be used productively. I think that’s what makes history rich. It’s not about the past, it’s about projecting into the future. So when I teach students, I ask them to make their own story based upon their research. But it’s a story—so that’s kind of their own reality. And based upon that reality, they can develop diverse narratives and then communicate the story to others. It’s not as if you have different opinions, but you have different stories to share. It’s not about controversial opinions, but about the way we each look at life very, very differently—and that enriches everybody.
The Ringling Museum in Sarasota, Florida has been a place I’ve been taking photographs since I lived in the area, almost twenty years ago now — and a place where I continue to enjoy taking photographs whenever possible.
The grounds have these amazing banyan trees, with root systems larger than many houses:
They’ve expanded over the years, adding buildings, a new entrance, and additions. This is the Chao Center for Asian Art:
The old Ca d’Zan gate is the new main entrance:
And, of course, the whole compound is right on Sarasota Bay:
A three-fer as we wind through this February: Peter Stewart, a really talented architecture photographer from Australia; VAG Rounded, Apple’s keyboard font and how it relates to Volkswagen; and a new site called The Apple Store Glossary leads to an interesting review of furniture in Apple Stores.
November’s Beautifully Briefed covered the 2021 Architecture Photography Awards shortlist, and one of the photographers is Peter Stewart, a self-taught Australian who wanders around Asia. Gotta say: he’s better than great.
His eye for pattern and color is spot-on:
Archinect’s In Focus feature has a great 2019 interview that not only discusses the how and where, but also the why — including his thoughts on use of Photoshop and, perhaps most insightfully, how to thrive as a photographer in this crowded age:
The hardest part of being a photographer today is finding a way to stand out among the crowd. In just the past few years Instagram has changed everything and given rise to a sizable number of highly talented new photographers. We are inherently influenced by the work we see from others, and as such has given rise to a lot of popular trends and styles of photography which has brought about a bit of a copycat culture. The point is, I think it’s important to find your own themes and ideas in order to progress, and not to simply emulate.
Daring Fireball is a daily stop for Apple geeks like me, but rarely does it cross into graphic design territory — except when it links to a Jalopnik article discussing how a Volkswagen font wound up on Apple’s keyboards.
Good stuff. (Bonus ’80s Dasher brochure siting, too.) Enjoy.
Apple Store’s Boardroom Furniture
Some Apple Stores have additional, not-usually-open-to-the-public spaces called boardrooms. And, as you might imagine, they’re filled with interesting stuff.
Happy New Year! Stephen Colbert called it, “an unprecedented third year of 2020.” Let’s hope it turns out better than that.
To that end, here are some neat things to catch your eye.
Airliner Photography, to the nth degree
I’ve been a plane junkie since, well, forever; to this day, I watch YouTube videos of things flying around, often the big ‘uns. I follow Airliners.net’s Civil Aviation forum, and can tell you at a glance whether something sitting at the gate is a Embraer 190 or Airbus 220. So this new title by photographer Maxime Guyon has my complete attention.
Very much looking forward to getting my hands on. Beautifully done, sir. (Via a great article at It’s Nice That.)
It has been, and continues to be, a rough time for a nature photographer who makes a living shooting around the world. This kind of time period sometimes makes we artists think about our life missions and convictions, and delve deeper into our beliefs and the way we view our art and what makes it worthwhile. While some people don’t see photography as art, I definitely do, and for that reason I feel that a discussion is needed about what makes photography an art form rather than technical labor.
“It’s like being a musician in front a big audience. You can’t get it wrong. In that instant, you have to be the best of yourself, you bring your mind to a place, not to lose that unique moment.” Hélène Binet is explaining her commitment to working with the venerable techniques of analogue, as opposed to digital, photography[…].”
She manages to capture exactly the kind of thing I strive for — potentially abstract, detail-oriented, yet somehow . . . different:
Many, many moons ago, my late sister attended Vassar College. I had an occasion to stay in Poughkeepsie, NY, where Vassar is located, and went over on a beautiful morning and spent some time wandering around with the Leica.
It’s a beautiful campus; a mix of modern, mid-century, and classic architecture — with a little mid-century thrown in:
For many years, Vassar was a women’s (-only) college, and it was nice to find the National Landmark observatory building — a reminder that even in the 1800’s, women were doing scientific research:
The New England building:
An enjoyable visit, a beautiful, incredibly well-tended campus, and a tranquil late summer morning at a renowned college. I was delighted to visit, and pleased with the resulting photographs. See the rest here.
It’s been a busy summer here in Middle Georgia; after regular updates to Foreword for several months, things have slowed down a little. Thus, some good items have piled up.
Starting with a book design I really like:
NPR describes it as, “A Monk And A Robot Meet In A Forest … And Talk Philosophy.” Interesting description, interesting design. I’d pick it up off a shelf.
Speaking of bookshelves, a notable quote from Andy Hunter, of Bookshop.org:
Take a look at this graph. The blue is Amazon’s share of book sales in the past six years. The orange is where we are headed if their average growth rate (8%) continues. If nothing slows their momentum, Amazon will control nearly 80% of the consumer book market by the end of 2025. Every single book lover should worry. After we’re done worrying, we must change the way we buy books.
I’m not a fan of Medium — Andy, please choose a better place to post your very valid point — but it’s worth reading. Then change your book-buying habits if possible!
Also from the book category, check out Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill’s latest book of built work 2009-2019. Tons of great work here, but one example might tower over the others: