Raymond Hu · Selected Writing
When it comes to bios, both first person and third person can feel a bit awkward; stranger still is second person:
You have been writing about design and architecture since 2011, first as an editor at Core77 and subsequently at Architizer. Your work has appeared in publications ranging from the FT* to Organic Life, as well as various architecture/design media.
In 2015, you relocated from New York City to the Netherlands, where you continue to freelance during your studies in the Design Curating & Writing Master's program at the Design Academy Eindhoven. Insatiably curious, you bring a broad interest in popular culture, art, travel, media, and technology to your practice as a journalist and critic.
November 9, 2016
A Drop in the Canal
Opinion / Event Coverage
Reporting from Dubai Design Week 2016:
“...tally-like crane booms quantise the city’s construction boom, ghosts of future skyscrapers. Viewed from the Dubai Design District (d3), the Burj Khalifa abides as the cynosure of the skyline; venture further into the desert hinterlands and a cataract haze envelops the cityscape...”
Kindergarten Architecture and the Developing Child
Where do architecture and pedagogy intersect? Tracing the course of early childhood education as a mirror of modernity, this brief history and broad survey travels from the Netherlands to Japan to the UK. [1,342 words→]
October 4, 2016
Seeds of Doubt: "No Ordinary Love" at LDF2016
Exhibition Review / Opinion
Among the usual design-week fare at London Design Festival 2016, Martino Gamper presented a provocative — if somewhat heavyhanded — critique of the art market and the perceived value of authorship. [708 words→]
See also: Full LDF2016 coverage on Core77 →
Design Academy Eindhoven
On the occasion of DAE's Touch Base exhibition, the Master's Curating & Writing program published a "Fingerbook for Our Times," to which each student contributed a few short essays. (Links below go to PDFs; click the image to view the publication in full.)
It's Alive! The Stained Glass That Mimics Photosynthesis
A short profile of Marjan Van Aubel for Dwell Young Guns 2016.
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December 24, 2015
Year in Review: 15 Design Moments that Defined 2015
A roundup of architecture and design headlines from yet another rollercoaster ride of a year.
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December 2015 issue
New Nordic and Newson Debut in Beijing
The Georg Jensen Hus, the Danish silver purveyor's first showroom in mainland China, is a highly curated and culinary experience.
[671 words →]
Dutch Design Week 2015
Event Coverage & Photography
Reporting from my first-ever Dutch Design Week, two months in at the Design Academy Eindhoven
October 9, 2015
Beijing Design Week 2015: Mall Madness
Feature Story / Event Coverage
Returning to Beijing for the third Design Week running, I'm always curious to see how the exhibitions reflect the state of the ever-shapeshifting city and culture at large. Ben Hughes of A4 Studios and CAFA never fails to deliver... even when he's curating a show in a shopping mall. [1,303 words→]
See also: All BJDW2015 coverage for Core77 →
September 22, 2015
Say Hello to the Form 2: A Bigger, Better, More Reliable New Desktop SLA Printer
I've had my eye on Formlabs since they launched their first 3D printer on Kickstarter in September 2012, so it was a pleasure and honor to talk to Colin Raney on the occasion of the launch of their second-generation desktop SLA machine. It also happens to be a moment to reflect on the state of 3D printing today... [1,523 words→]
September 7, 2015
Super Normal Jasper Morrison
A review of A Book of Things (Lars Müller Publishers 2015), a new monograph by the at-times controversial, always-entertaining British designer.
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August 26, 2015
OOPEAA’s Puukuokka Housing Block Takes Timber to New Heights in Finland
Anssi Lassila's firm has completed the tallest timber-frame residential building.
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August 24, 2015
Everything Awesome You Missed at NY Now
A roundup of the best in show from the August 2015 event, including original photography.
[386 words →]
May 14, 2015
A Preview of Tribeca Design District
With the launch of Tribeca Design District, Jean Lin is staking a claim to the neighborhood where she has set up shop as Colony, a designer co-op. It's as much a tale of a homegrown design scene as it is a chronicle of real estate in Manhattan. [1,319 words→]
April 24, 2015
Renzo Piano Building Works: It's Not Hard to See the Appeal of the New Downtown Whitney
Given the buzz around the opening of Renzo Piano's Whitney, it was a welcome challenge to take a point of view on one of the most significant pieces of architecture of the millennium thus far. [1,024 words→]
Metropolis — Point of View
April 21, 2015
On Kawara in Perpetuity
On Kawara's oeuvre speaks for itself, but there is always something to be said about context: As with James Turrell's Aten Reign, On Kawara — Silence is a proper homage to Frank Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim [1,179 words→]
*The clips below are exclusively from Core77, where I was an editor from March 2011 – December 2014.
NB: Due to a sitewide redesign in early 2015, the text may not be formatted correctly.
October 22, 2014
The TBD Catalog Extrapolates on the Way We Live Now...
A work of design fiction par excellence, the TBD Catalog is a send-up of traditionally utopian futurecasting — not so much an outright parody as an exercise in the uncanny.
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July 19, 2014
Drawing a Foregone Conclusion: A Measured Defense of Airbnb's New Logo
Hyperbolic criticism of the new Airbnb logo, summarily met with backlash, was as superficial as it was swift.
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July 2, 2014
Internet of Things Coming to a Home (Depot) Near You:
The partnership between Wink, a smart home app (and subsidiary of GE-Owned Quirky), and Home Depot marks a noteworthy step towards the long-rumored home of the future.
[1,034 words →]
September 15, 2014
Industrial Facility: Designing for the Context in Which We Live
Kim Colin, a partner at the quasi-anonymous London studio, elaborated on their highly considered and conscientious approach to designing for mass production, a philosophy that shows in their work for the likes of Muji and Herman Miller. [2,274 words→]
May 30, 2014
In the Studio with Marjan van Aubel & James Shaw
It's always a pleasure to actually meet designers with whom I've only exchanged a few e-mails and whose work I've only seen in JPGs: Although I met Marjan van Aubel and James Shaw very briefly in Milan, where they were exhibiting with their alma mater RCA, I had the opportunity to spend more time with them in their natural habitat in London shortly thereafter. [1,542 words→]
May 16–19, 2014
C77 Design Daily
I served as the Editor-in-Chief of Core77's first-ever print publication, a 16-page daily newspaper that was reported, designed, printed and distributed over the course of four days during the second annual NYCxDesign festival.
This project was far and away the most ambitious project I have spearheaded in my time at Core77, and indeed it marked a major endeavor both for Core77 as a publishing company and myself as a writer/editor. From the preliminary ideation to concept refinement and ultimately the execution, I oversaw the entire project, which culminated in the production of a daily tabloid newspaper for four days from Friday, May 16, to Monday, May 19, with a circulation of 4,000 copies per day.
With the blessing of the Editorial Director in Portland, OR, I was primarily responsible for developing the content with the editorial team and operated autonomously during the four-day production run. I was directly in charge of recruiting and managing a team of over a dozen contributors, including reporters, columnists, photographers, illustrators and fellow editors, as well as coordinating closely with the design and distribution teams both during the planning and production phases of the project.
Specific tasks included (but, as they say, were not limited to): developing feature stories; supervising a team of three correspondents; coordinating three photographers and a photo editor; securing press access and interviews for the team; writing heds and deks; original photography and art direction; assigning 'pre-loaded' content such as horoscopes and crosswords; soliciting questions for an advice column; writing daily agendas; adapting and tweaking sections on the fly; and, of course, copywriting and editing as needed.
Indeed, the modest 16-page format and 4-day run belie the scope of this effort: By the time that I signed off on the proof of the fourth and final issue at 7am on Monday morning (after pulling an inevitable all-nighter), I felt that I had truly tested (and exceeded) my limits as a journalist. I will remember the C77 Design Daily as a Heraclitean blur of epicyclic exigence — a granular gestalt on a grand scale — and a significant milestone in my personal and professional growth.
Copies available upon request.
May 12, 2014
Hello World by Alice Rawsthorn
A fairly straightforward review of a fairly straightforward book: Alice Rawsthorn's Hello World (Overlook Press 2014) is highly recommended but for one shortcoming. In short, I hope that this lives up to its billing as a canonical text, with updated and expanded editions in the near future. [833 words→]
January 10, 2014
The Future Mundane Revisited
Essay / Film Review
Part philosophical follow-up, part tech forecast, part film review, I took the year-end release of Spike Jonze's Her as an opportunity to revisit Core77 columnist Fosta's suggestion that science fiction account for the future of banality in the context of design discourse. [1,488 words→]Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.
March 24, 2014
Naoto Fukasawa on the Future of Product Design at Design Indaba 2014
I had the honor of spending some time with Naoto Fukasawa, one of my favorite designers, in Cape Town.
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December 4, 2013
"Blur" Collection by Marc Thorpe for Moroso
New York-based designer Marc Thorpe and Patrizia Moroso talk about his latest projects for the Italian manufacturer.
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November 19, 2013
Introducing Pencil by FiftyThree
Known for their "canvas" app, FiftyThree's I.D. team set out to create the perfect BLE stylus.
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Beijing Design Week 2013 Coverage
Event Coverage (including Photos & Essay)
Having regularly visited Beijing over the past two decades, I have a personal connection to the rapidly-changing metropolis and am only now able to attempt to articulate it.
NB: The link goes to the photo gallery post, which includes links to all ten pieces I wrote, but my coverage culminated with an essay. [1,197 words→]
August 7, 2013
Bicycle Builder Ezra Caldwell
I was solely responsible for identifying and managing an exclusive media partnership for the first annual Bike Cult Show in Brooklyn, New York, including producing all of the content—a series of builder profiles—in the lead-up to the event.
This profile of a brilliant, beloved artist who has come to terms with his mortality was one of the most challenging pieces I have ever written. [1,654 words→]Photo courtesy of Ezra Caldwell
August 2, 2013
NYC Wayfinding Signage by PentaCityGroup
Designers Michael Bierut and Eoin Billings were shared insights into the design process of a collaborative project from five firms.
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July 29, 2013
Interview with Adrian van Hooydonk, BMW Head of Design
I covered the global launch of the BMW's i3 Electric Vehicle and the complementary '360 Electric' service ecosystem.
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April 17, 2013
Diller Scofidio + Renfro's "Lincoln Center Inside Out"
A review of the Damiani monograph, with reporting from the launch event with DS+R & MoMA's Barry Bergdoll.
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November 15, 2012
3D Printing: Mere Misnomer or Something More?
A rumination on the fallacious analogy between two-dimensional printing and consumer-level 3D printers.
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July 24, 2012
Rethinking the First and Last Mile
MIT Media Lab's 'Hiriko' CityCar, a folding electric vehicle, struck me as a somewhat underwhelming stopgap, where a more systematic approach to urbanism would make for a better long-term solution.
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March 9, 2012
Two (Non-Exclusive) Possibilities for the Future of Transportation
If autonomous vehicles are still a long way from becoming a part of our day-to-day experience, the very premise of the self-driving car hints at the future of urban mobility.