Design Observer

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Design Observer
Available in English
Owner Observer Omnimedia
Created by Rick Poynor, Michael Bierut, Jessica Helfand and William Drenttel
Editor William Drenttel
Commercial Yes
Launched October 2003; 13 years ago (2003-10)

Design Observer is a website devoted to a range of design topics including graphic design, social innovation, urbanism, popular culture, and criticism.[1] The content of the site includes essays, articles, reviews, blog posts, and peer reviewed scholarship. It is the host of the architecture and urban design publication Places (formerly a print academic journal) and the podcast Design Matters with Debbie Millman.[2]

Four prominent design writers founded the site in October 2003:[3] Rick Poynor was the founder and first editor of London-based Eye magazine, in addition to being author of many books; Michael Bierut[4] is a partner in the New York office of Pentagram and is a design critic at Yale School of Art; Jessica Helfand is also a critic at Yale and is author of numerous books; William Drenttel is a designer, critic and partner with Jessica Helfand of Winterhouse Studios in Connecticut.[5]

Frequent contributors include Steven Heller, John Foster, Adrian Shaughnessy, Dmitri Siegel, Alice Twemlow, Tom Vanderbilt, Lorraine Wild, Rob Walker, Alexandra Lange, Mark Lamster, John Thackara, and Julie Lasky.


  1. ^ Muston, Samuel (5 July 2012). "The 10 Best architecture blogs". The Independent. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  2. ^ "Design Matters Wins the 2011 People's Design Award". Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. 21 October 2011. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  3. ^ Shaughnessy, Adrian (1 September 2005). "PRIVATE VIEW: Time we blogged-on.(web logs on web design)". Design Week  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  4. ^ Evans, Lisa (20 October 2011). "TYPO London conference livestream". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  5. ^ "Blogs: Graphic Design". Creative Review  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). 6 March 2006. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 

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