In 2003, Design Observer launched a forum for critical reflection, debate, and writing about design and culture, which has since become one of the most influential platforms in the field. Culture Is Not Always Popular: Fifteen Years of Design Observer is a retrospective of the website, edited by co-founders Michael Bierut and Jessica Helfand with Jarrett Fuller and published by MIT Press. The book collects 66 of the best essays, illustrations, investigations and texts from DO so far (selected from the 6,700 articles, 900 authors and 30,000 comments published to date), all examining the way that design shapes―and is shaped by―our lives.
Design Observer recently celebrated the book’s publication with a party at Pentagram’s offices in New York. Contributors, friends and fans gathered to raise a toast and look forward to the next 15 years. Photographs by Ricky Cheung.