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Design Observer

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Health + Safety


03.24.14: Anna Harris & Thomas Fuller

The Night-Side of Hospitals
Inside a Melbourne hospital, ethnographer Anna Harris and photographer Thomas Fuller trace the blurry line between public and private spaces occupied by migrant doctors on the fringes of the medical system.
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03.17.14: Wendy Rawlings

Food and Worker Safety Across the Globe: A Nervous and Incomplete Case Study
As her niece lies dying of kidney failure, Wendy Rawlings traces the effects of neoliberalism from Salinas to Shenzhen.
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10.15.13: Barbara Penner

Designed-In Safety
On Places, Barbara Penner recounts mid-20th-century efforts to radically reform the design of the American bathroom — and the assorted inhibitions and taboos that got in the way.
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11.13.12: Barbara Penner

“We shall deal here with humble things”
On Places, Barbara Penner considers the design, culture and politics of the bathroom — and how "this smallest of domestic rooms is linked to the larger worlds of engineering and infrastructure."
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10.11.12: Richard Campanella

What the Nation’s Best-Educated Amateur Planners Learned from Hurricane Isaac. And Gustav. And Rita and Katrina. And Cindy, Ivan, Lili, Isidore, and Georges.
On Places, geographer Richard Campanella analyzes the many lessons that New Orleanians have learned from weathering powerful hurricanes — and he argues that the toughest test is yet to come.
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10.01.12: Hsiao-Hung Pai

Factory of the World: Scenes from Guangdong
On Places, journalist Hsiao-Hung Pai investigates the living and working conditions of migrant laborers in Guandgong, and what she sees as the increasing ruthlessness of Chinese urbanism.
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07.16.12: Steven Boyd Saum

Accidents Will Happen: Lessons on Honey, Smoked Pig Fat, Atomic Disaster and the Half-Life of Truth
On Places, an essay by an American who is hiking in a Ukrainian forest when he hears about an accident at a nearby nuclear power plant. In the land of Chernobyl — ten years after the explosion — nothing is quite as it seems.
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03.06.12: Giovanna Borasi & Mirko Zardini

Demedicalize Architecture
On Places, Canadian Centre for Architecture curators Mirko Zardini and Giovanna Borasi explore the changing social and political concepts of “healthy” buildings and cities.
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11.18.10: Barbara Penner

Flush with Inequality: Sanitation in South Africa
On Places, just in time for World Toilet Day 2010, Barbara Penner explores the complex political, social and environmental meanings of sanitation in post-apartheid South Africa.
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11.15.10: Thomas Fisher

Frederick Law Olmsted and the Campaign for Public Health
On Places, Tom Fisher explores a forgotten chapter in the illustrious career of landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted: his brief but exemplary period as head of the U.S. Sanitary Commission.
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10.21.10: Javier Arbona

Dangers in the Air: Aerosol Architecture and Invisible Landscapes
On Places, Javier Arbona looks at innovative projects that conceptualize air — the atmosphere that surrounds us — as a dynamic and even political component of buildings and landscapes.
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10.18.10: Thomas Fisher

Viral Cities
On Places, Thomas Fisher explores "viral cities," looking at historic and contemporary pandemics, and arguing for stronger links between the practices of urban design and public health.
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