The Editors | Twenty Years of Design Observer


New Scientist
New Scientist, 5 July 1979. Cover illustration by Muscle Films (Nichola Bruce and Michael Coulson) From The Body as Factory: Anatomy of an Image

Like designers in their attention to sentient observation, scientists are trained to ask penetrating questions. They’re interrogators, and instigators, cartographers, and data-obsessives, procedure-followers, temperature-takers, and integrators— tireless seekers of clear, cogent, demonstrable evidence—much of which is visual. (Like grids!) Scientists probe and manipulate and channel and divide. They split and fuse and spike and engineer—but most of all, like all visual thinkers—they look. Historians of science look too: at propaganda, at public health, at anatomical metaphor, and at posters. (This might be one spot where designers and scientists beg to differ!) To spend any time at all with scientists, Jessica Helfand writes, is to become at once profoundly aware of our similarities and devastated by that which divides us. Right brain left brain? For those who self-identify as visual learners (and that includes scientists), it hardly matters. We need them. And they need us.

 The Editors Design Observer was founded by Michael Bierut, and Jessica Helfand.

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