The Weekly Wraparound: September 23

Filed Under: design educators , students , Article

Editors note: “The Weekly Wraparound” is an editorial roundup of links to the week’s best design stories, posted every Friday by the editorial staff of For recommendations all week long, follow us on Twitter at @AIGAdesign.  

Well, summer is officially over (happy equinox!) and fall is here, quite literally, as CNN reports that chunks of a satellite may be plummeting toward Earth. Better catch up quickly on our top design stories of the week:


On Design Envy, Tali Krakowsky, founder of the LA-based experience design firm Apologue and former director of experience design at Imaginary Forces and WET Design, curated a week of exciting—and sometimes bizarre (see the bikini that doubles as a USB port)—selections showing how digital and physical spaces are merging. What do you think of her picks? Are you seeing green too? Cast your vote and let us know! The most popular designs will become part of a special collection in the AIGA Design Archives.

2., a branch of design and innovation firm IDEO, announced its first class of fellows. This group will work on human-centered design solutions to global problems like poverty, hunger and gender inequality. Learn more about the fellows and their first three projects on Core77.


Facebook’s rejiggered feeds caused quite a stir this week. In place of the two-option news feed allowing you to select either “Most Recent” or “Top Stories,” now only “Top Stories”—as determined by Facebook’s algorithms—appear in the news feed, and real-time updates show up in a smaller column, the ticker, to the right. Summing up the public reaction is the most-liked comment on Facebook’s blog post about these changes: “Quite frankly I don’t want Facebook deciding who is most important in my life.” Users should brace themselves for more changes, which Facebook announced at its f8 developer conference yesterday. For more on what’s in store, see Wired’s comprehensive report. Also, Technology Review speculates on the design mind behind these developments, quoting a previous interview with designer Nicholas Felton, who, along with his Daytum partner Ryan Case, went to work for Facebook earlier this year.


Chris Dixon, design director of New York magazine, is moving to Vanity Fair. As reported on Mediabistro’s FishbowlNY blog: “Dixon has been with New York since 2004, and almost instantly brought the magazine recognition for the changes he implemented.” For instance, since its 2004 redesign and relaunch the magazine has won more National Magazine Awards than any other publication. Now that’s effective design.  


Update: Last week we noted the release of Fast Company’s 2011 Design Issue, which included an infographic on the 50 most influential designers. This week, in a reaction to that list published on Co.Design, Emily Pilloton of Studio H and Dawn Hancock of Firebelly posed a very important question: Where’s the social design? 


To web or not to web? It would seem that learning how to design for the web would be a given by now, but not all designers are in agreement. Jon Tan writes in his blog post “We, Who Are Web Designers” that it has taken until now for the public to understand and appreciate what he does for a living—as the web has grown, so has respect for web designers. He declares that now, “This is our party.” On the flip side, Timothy Goodman explains how not designing for the web has actually served his career well. In "An Open Letter to Graphic Design Students: Don't Follow the Web, Follow Your Heart,” he advises developing better writing and drawing skills, and listening to your own calling, whether it’s online or off. What do you think? (For more student-focused advice, see also Josh Berta’s recent “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Design School?”)


Since AIGA launched its first-ever competition of case studies (“Making the Case”) this year, and we continually encourage designers to not just show what they do but explain it too, we were excited to read Jeff Gothelf’s “Demystifying Design” on A List Apart this week. He argues that designers need to “open the kimono,” so to speak, so that colleagues and clients will understand what designers do. He writes, “Design is popularly being hailed as the savior of many businesses yet many people don’t really know what design involves.” Only through transparency will “we increase the value of our practice and of ourselves as practitioners.” Where do you stand? Do you think designers lose their power or gain it by revealing their processes?

Anything noteworthy that we missed? Share it in the comments.

Compiled by Sue Apfelbaum and Rasika Welankiwar