In a far-reaching analysis of design blogs, Alexandra Lange writes that there’s too much enthusiasm and too little thoughtful criticism, history, and experience:
Be meaner. On the front page of my ideal design blog is a daily fugging of something from the world of visual culture. That’s essentially what Unhappy Hipsters is doing for Dwell, or more specifically, for Dwell’s preferred mode of architectural photography…More criticism and shorter criticism might give it something readers had to look at every day. As I tell my students, when you are primarily writing a sweet review, it is important to add a dash of pepper. Love doesn’t mean you have to love everything.
Consumer Reports for design products:
We need Consumer Reports for design products. Not everything, but at least those fetish objects that go viral without a single touch, or lift, or test drive. There’s nothing inherently dull about this category, as recent fine examples of the genre include Nicholson Baker on the Kindle in the New Yorker, and Julia Turner on Penn Station signage on Slate. It seems significant to me that both these pieces happened in non-design publications: usability is a category that could be a bridge from the rest of the world to the design world.
The deep irony of green blogs:
There’s something deeply ironic about the green design blogs showing ten new things a day. New and recycled is still new. Ironic in the same way a 10,000 square foot green house is ironic.