Safe: Design Takes on Risk

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The Museum of Modern Art, 2005 - Art - 216 pages
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Safety is an instinctive need that has guided human choices throughout history. Now more than ever, it has become not only a focus, but almost an obsession. Designers are trained to mediate between disruptive change and normalcy and can soothe people's anxiety. When scientific revolutions happen, they translate them into objects that people can understand and use. Good design provides protection and security without sacrificing the need to innovate and invent. This book and the exhibition that it accompanies document the unique objects that designers have created to answer people's needs, both physical and psychological. Physical objects include shelters for victims of disasters and homeless people, hideaway furniture and personal armor and protective gear, while psychological objects include those that thwart identity theft, offer self-defense, and provide comforting reassurance. The objects presented here reflect how good design goes hand-in-hand with personal needs.
This book includes an introductory essay by Paola Antonelli, Curator in the Department of Architecture and Design at The Museum of Modern Art in New York; an essay by Phil Patton on cars; another by Marie O'Mahony on materials and technologies; and a third by Cameron Sinclair on design for refugees and third-world facilities. The issues addressed by each of these authors will find resonance in people's minds and souls.

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Grace Under Pressure Paola Antonelli
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About the author (2005)

Phil Patton was born Lewis Foster Patton in Durham, North Carolina on March 23, 1952. He received a bachelor's degree in English and history from Harvard University in 1974 and a master's degree in comparative literature from Columbia University in 1975. He worked briefly as a fact-checker for Esquire and as the editor of Delta's in-flight magazine, but decided to become a freelance writer. He wrote about technology and design for several publications including Art in America, Esquire, Smithsonian, Architectural Digest, and Wired. For many years he wrote on design for the Home section of The New York Times and The New York Times Magazine. His first book, Razzle-Dazzle: The Curious Marriage of Television and Professional Football, was published in 1984. His other books include Open Road: A Celebration of the American Highway, Made in U.S.A.: The Secret Histories of the Things That Made America, Dreamland: Travels Inside the Secret World of Roswell and Area 51, Bug: The Strange Mutations of the World's Most Famous Automobile, and Michael Graves Designs: The Art of the Everyday Object. He taught in the design criticism program at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan and helped develop several museum shows, as either a curator or a consultant. He died from complications of emphysema on September 22, 2015 at the age of 63.

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