The Design Observer Group

Posted 01.08.11

Nancy Levinson

From the Editor

As we begin a new year at Places, I'm pleased to offer an update on our always evolving site. 

First, we've modified the Places homepage, introducing a new featured content box at the top of the center-right column. Here we'll highlight and hyperlink to a variety of content, including thematically interconnected articles, frequent contributors, and recommended books. This week we're featuring some of our articles about New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. Also in this column you'll find news and information from our partner schools

Across all channels, the Design Observer Group has phased out the "Observed" column, replacing it with a new Editors' blog, Oblog, which includes brief newsy items from site editors Michael Bierut, William Drenttel, Jessica Helfand, Jade-Snow Carroll and Chappell Ellison, as well as Josh Wallaert and me.

And Oblog is itself part of a whole new channel, Observers Room, which has begun with a quartet of writers: Mark Lamster, Alexandra Lange, Rick Poynor and John Thackara. As noted in the announcement, Observers Room "will be home to bloggers and critics, commentators and pundits, artists and writers eager to share their opinions on a host of subjects  — each clocking in somewhere between the brevity of the 140-character tweet and the expansiveness of the 1,000-word essay."

If you haven't downloaded the new Design Observer iPhone App, don't hesitate. Released in October with an elegant touch interface, it quickly shot to the top of the charts. It includes both new and archived articles from all the site channels, and it's available FREE at the App Store. 

In addition to enhancing the site, we've expanded our Places team. As part of our ongoing commitment to academic inquiry and refereed scholarship, we've appointed two Peer Review Editors: Ellen Dunham-Jones, Professor of Architecture at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Renata Hejduk, Associate Professor of Architecture at Arizona State University. To strengthen and add new perspective to our growing archive of photo galleries, we've appointed Aaron Rothman Photo Editor. And in October we welcomed editor, writer and filmmaker Josh Wallaert as Assistant Editor.

You can keep up with Places by following @placesjournal and @designobserver on Twitter, friending us on Facebook, adding our RSS feed and subscribing to the bi-weekly newsletter

We've greatly appreciated the encouragement of readers during Places' first year and a half online. We hope that you'll continue to visit and enjoy the site.

Nancy Levinson