Opinion by Richard Baird
Critical Mass is a biannual magazine that explores a brand’s ripple effect across the globe, from patterns in consumer spending to environmental implications. It intends to showcase, in its curation, commissioning and design, how a brand’s living legacies extend beyond mere aesthetics and profit margins in the face of fast-moving and ever-changing global consumerism. Issue 1 explores the lines blurred between artistic expression and commercial endeavour in a series of texts around Japanese contemporary artist Yayoi Kusama approached from a variety of angles by different authors.
The magazine is designed and published by Singapore-based design studio and think tank Foreign Policy and takes the form of a slim staple bound booklet of 32 pages. Although light, it is an insightful document that is materially and graphically distinct. Texts move comfortably between the micro and the meta, complete easy reads and those that are more challenging, propositions for continued thought. There is pleasing breadth drawn from a singular focus.
Opinion by Richard Baird.
OfficeUS Manual is a guide to the American architectural workplace over the past century. It is the third book in the OfficeUS series which deals with the development of international US architectural practices, and offers insight into the office life of these over the past 100 years; how they have changed and remained the same. It does this through the compiling and presentation of job listings, timesheets and estimates, work furniture and reception areas, office hours and benefits.
The book is marked by its approach; a balance of criticality, conviviality and deadpan documentation, in its mix of isolated objects, technical drawings and iconography, contemporary reflections by more than fifty architects, artists and writers, and a scope that covers the meta, macro and micro.
The book was edited by Eva Franch, Ana Miljački, Carlos Mínguez Carrasco, Jacob Reidel and Ashley Schafer and published by Lars Müller Publishers. It is a paperback measuring 160 × 240mm, made up of 288 pages featuring 461 illustrations and was designed by Pentagram partner Natasha Jen and team.