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The Parting of the Furniture


February 17, 2019

The Parting of the Furniture


A lengthy, punny rumination on IKEA's business model and the dubiously achievable dream of sustainable capitalism:

On one hand we covet hygge; on the other hand, we live, work, and play in the cloud. The new model promises the best of both worlds: no longer the angst of ‘either/or’ but the joy of ‘both/and...’”

[2,876 words →]

Courtesy Google


October 12, 2017

Clips or It Didn't Happen


Babies and pets, Google is watching you. Not only does it know when you’re sleeping and when you’re awake, it knows when you’re doing something cute, funny, or otherwise remarkable. It sees and knows these things through a deceptively tiny box, roughly the size of a tin of breath mints, which wirelessly beams this social-media-feed fodder to a watchful parent, guardian or custodian... [1,519 words →]

Yinka Ilori - A Large Chair Does Not Make a King (installation view)


September 29, 2017

London Design Festival 2017: Just Another Chairfest

Opinion / Event Coverage

On Friday, September 22, UK Prime Minister Theresa May described the June 2016 “Brexit” referendum as an opportunity for “imaginative and creative” solutions for the European Union. In the context of London Design Festival, the euphemism is equally coincidental and ironic... [1,373 words →]


Camera Ephemera

Camera Ephemera

Seven months in the making, my thesis project has yielded text, visuals, and an exhibition proposal, all of which have the potential for further development. In short, the project investigates how the camera is disappearing before our very eyes.

Download an excerpt
of the written thesis

[1.4MB PDF]

Since the invention of photography in 1839, camera and reproduction alike have shaped the way we see the world — a feedback loop that has accelerated apace with processor power in the digital era. Long regarded as a truthful means of representing the world, the camera is now the optical accomplice of the computer, a similarly infallible tool for processing data. As the lens has been absorbed into the smartphone, it has not only grown more powerful, it has also shrunk to a degree of near-invisibility and proliferated to the point of ubiquity.

The fact that we collectively snap and share more photos than ever before simply affirms that the camera, like the proverbial furniture, has faded into the background of everyday life. As much a black mirror as it is a black box, the smartphone foreshadows the dematerialization of the computer into the cloud, irrevocably expanding the distance between lens and screen. Where does that leave the camera?

What becomes of man, when machine takes over behind the lens? Will AIs use cameras the same way that we do? And beyond the notion that machines oversee us to the extent that we overlook them, the question remains: Can the full richness of reality ever be captured and measured with algorithmic accuracy? What, exactly, are we losing sight of?

Camera Ephemera debuted as a proof-of-concept at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, from June 10–15, 2017

A second iteration was exhibited during Dutch Design Week, at Mined: The Graduation Show, from October 21–29, 2017

See more at


Finsa by Envisions


April 20, 2017

Form Follows Fiction

Feature Story / Opinion

As the industry's biggest annual trade fair, the Salone del Mobile is certainly an occasion to reflect on commercial and critical trends. But what does the meta-commentary actually say about the Salone, the mobile, and the state of design today? [1,063 words →]

See also: Full Milan 2017 coverage on Core77 →



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...

[1,321 words →]

D1 School by Hibinosekki+Youji No Shiro

Kinder Journal

October 2016

Kindergarten Architecture and the Developing Child

Feature Story

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 →]

Installation view of 'No Ordinary Love' at SEE••DS London


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 →

Digit Culture

Design Academy Eindhoven

April 2016

Digit Culture

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 excerpted from the publication)

· Touchy or Feely: The Mundane Magic of Multi-Touch

· Scanning Google for Finger Condoms

· Sound of Finger and Mind: A Brief History of the Keyboard Click

Dutch Design Week 2015
VULCAN 3D-Printed Pavilion by LCD


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 →

Formlabs Form 2


September 22, 2015

Say Hello to the Form 2: A Bigger, Better, More Reliable New Desktop SLA Printer

Feature Story

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 →]

Tribeca Design District


May 14, 2015

A Preview of Tribeca Design District

Feature Story

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 →]

RPBW - Downtown Whitney


April 24, 2015

Renzo Piano Building Works: It's Not Hard to See the Appeal of the New Downtown Whitney

Architecture Criticism

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 →]

On Kawara - Today Series


April 21, 2015

On Kawara in Perpetuity

Exhibition Review

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.


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 →]


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.


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.

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

Bicycle Builder Ezra Caldwell

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

Photo courtesy of Ezra Caldwell