Raymond Hu - Selected Writing for Core77

Starting in late 2010, Core77, a longtime design magazine & resource, shifted towards a more structured web publishing model in order to keep pace with the increasingly competitive blogosphere. I joined the editorial team shortly thereafter and wrote well over 1,000 posts between March 2011 and December 2014—this is a selection of my very best.

As Managing Editor, my role primarily entailed overseeing day-to-day publishing operations, ensuring editorial quality and consistency from copy to art direction. My latest posts can be found on my author page and author archive at Core77, but (NB) these pages may not display properly due to technical issues beyond my control.

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» I don't tweet, but you can reach me at RayHu3@gmail.com

Ray Hu

Fireside Smartframe
October 28, 2014

Picture This: Fireside Offers a Smarter Digital Frame

Feature Story

How do you describe a tech product for which there may be no point of reference? Launched on Kickstarter in October 2014, Fireside is bicoastal startup that promises to revolutionize digital photography—not in how we create images and videos but how we share and enjoy them for posterity. [1,499 words→]

TBD Catalog
October 22, 2014

Book to the Future: The TBD Catalog Extrapolates on the Way We Live Now... and Ever After

Book Review

Although the TBD Catalog is a send-up of traditionally utopian futurecasting, it's not so much an outright parody as an exercise in the uncanny: As a work of design fiction par excellence, it blurs the minor distinction between 'fictitious' and 'fictional.' [1,359 words→]

Industrial Facility - 'Locale' System for Herman Miller
September 15, 2014

Industrial Facility: Designing for the Context in Which We Live

Studio Visit

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→]

July 19, 2014

Drawing a Foregone Conclusion: A Measured Defense of Airbnb's New Logo


Well, someone had to do it. Unveiled with great fanfare, Airbnb's logo was summarily met with backlash that quickly metastasized in relevant corners of the web. Yet the criticism proves to be as superficial as it was swift: The naysayers have completely missed the point. [716 words→]

Keiji Takeuchi
June 19, 2014

Heir to the Chair: Introducing Keiji Takeuchi

Designer Profile

Breaking a Japanese-born, Milan-based designer on the occasion of his debut in Milan. Although I made his acquaintance through his employer, Naoto Fukasawa, I befriended the well-traveled designer, who is looking to make a name for himself within and without the context of his mentor. [1,017 words→]

Marjan van Aubel / James Shaw
May 30, 2014

In the Studio with Marjan van Aubel & James Shaw

Studio Visit

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 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.


Collective 2
May 16, 2014

Strong Sophomore Showing at Collective 2 Design Fair

Exhibition Review

Having witnessed the success of Frieze New York and the subsequent launch of its corollary the Collective Design Fair, I hope to chronicle the evolution of these events in the context of the international art and design world. [719 words→]

Alice Rawsthorn - Hello World
May 12, 2014

Hello World by Alice Rawsthorn

Book Review

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→]

Naoto Fukasawa
March 24, 2014

Naoto Fukasawa on the Future of Product Design at Design Indaba 2014

Event Coverage & Interview

My coverage of the 2014 Design Indaba Conference (for which Core77 was a media partner) culminated with this proper piece on Naoto Fukasawa, whom I finally had the honor of meeting in person in Cape Town. The renowned Japanese designer is easily one my favorite practicing designers. [1,024 words→]

Photos courtesy of Design Indaba, Artemide, Masayoshi Hichiwa & Issey Miyake

The Future Mundane Revisited
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.

'Blur' Collection by Marc Thorpe for Moroso
December 4, 2013

"Blur" Collection by Marc Thorpe for Moroso

Feature Story

I spoke to New York-based designer Marc Thorpe and design patron Patrizia Moroso on the occasion of the exhibition Blurred Limits, named after Thorpe's new furniture collection for the Italian manufacturer. The two industry veterans related the story behind the 'Blur' collection—realized in several seating pieces but in its essence a textile—peppered with discursive remarks about contemporary design on the whole. [1,994 words→]

Photos courtesy of Moroso

Pencil by FiftyThree
November 19, 2013

Introducing Pencil by FiftyThree

Feature Story

Once they'd more or less perfected their 'canvas' app for iPad, our friends at FiftyThree invited us to preview their first foray into hardware. It turns out that they'd been developing Pencil alongside Paper (go figure), but the I.D. team wanted to get the BLE stylus just right before they released it. [1,482 words→]

Photo courtesy of FiftyThree

Beijing Design Week
September–October 2013

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→]

Ezra Caldwell
August 7, 2013

Ezra Caldwell

Bicycle Builder Profile

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 easily one of the most challenging pieces I have ever written. [1,654 words→]

Photo courtesy of Ezra Caldwell

NYC Wayfinding
August 2, 2013

NYC Wayfinding Signage by PentaCityGroup

Feature / Interview

As a cartography/urbanism nerd, I was very interested to see this new initiative from the NYC DOT, Pentagram, Billings Jackson, City ID, RBA Group and T-Kartor. Designers Michael Bierut and Eoin Billings were happy to share the details of the collaborative design/development process. [1,906 words→]

Photo courtesy of PentaCityGroup

3D Printing
November 15, 2012

3D Printing: Mere Misnomer or Something More?


Ongoing hype notwithstanding, this opinion piece on 3D printing is a rumination on the fallacious analogy between two-dimensional printing and consumer-level 3D printers. Although it dates back to late 2012, many of the arguments still hold true today. [1,041 words→]

NYC Wayfinding
July 24, 2012

Rethinking the First and Last Mile


MIT Media Lab's 'Hiriko' CityCar, a folding electric vehicle, promises to revolutionize short-distance transportation in urban settings, but it struck me as a somewhat underwhelming stopgap, where a more systematic approach to urbanism would make for a better long-term solution. [2,163 words→]

Autonomous Car
March 9, 2012

Two (Non-Exclusive) Possibilities for the Future of Transportation


As far as autonomous cars have come since early 2012, they are still a long way from becoming a part of our day-to-day experience. This is an essay on what the very premise of the self-driving car reveals about the future of mobility (hint: it might be human-powered). [1,569 words→]