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Culture | DesignNotes by Michael Surtees

All posts in Culture

Living Patterns

I have no experience in theory like Urban morphology and as the post from Spacing Toronto and newspaper Toronto Star suggest, a Canadian city called Mississauga is “trying to create […]

Waking up early again

When I turned thirty a couple months ago, I never had any regret about hitting that milestone. I’d had a good run up to that point – there’s been a […]

Notes from the Seed Conference

I’m not sure how I’ve never come across the notes from Mike Rhode’s moleskin until today from the Seed conference, but just in case you haven’t either – HERE they […]

Around America in 2.0

Fridays are good for a lot of things, especially for catching up on web videos that you may have missed during the week. Around America in 2.0 is a series […]

The Matrix Chart (2 x 2)

I found myself in the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) last night heading back to NYC on a red eye with a couple people from work. At Vino Volo in the […]

Redesigning a City

“If you were to rebuild your city from scratch, how would you build it differently and what would you keep the same?” I’m almost a week behind with this post, […]

My New Favourite Site

News and news stories on the net are like the never ending story. Those websites are constantly updating information on a minute per minute basis. I remember not that long […]

Today is Blog Action Day

Today is Blog Action Day, from their site the description goes as this. “On October 15th – Blog Action Day, bloggers around the web will unite to put a single […]

Interview with a Cookie Designer

Sure, we all like eating cookies but how often do we actually wonder who designed the cookie that you’re enjoying? Recently I came across cookie designer Mischief Mari Cookies website […]

Thank You

It’s only day two of my unexpected holiday, but in a lot of ways I’ve never felt better. The amount of support from people I know and others that I […]

Walking on the High Line

Walking on the High Line Saturday morning, I couldn’t help but wonder how different the the floor will be the next time it opens to the public full time. The […]

What to see at Open House New York…

This upcoming weekend is Open House New York, an annual event where the public can visit private and public buildings and other areas that they would otherwise not have access […]

Living through a lens

Offbrand posted a timely comment on people living through their lives digitally. At the last concert you were at, how many people were recording the concert via a phone or […]

Running around Gotham city shooting type

I managed to survive my 30th Birthday on Saturday, though since then I’ve been incredibly busy. I spent the first half of my birthday hanging out with other fans of […]

Daft Hands and a kick to the gut

I just got back from the Simon Waterfall talk for D&AD and POKE at Advertising Week. I’ll post some of my notes sometime soon, but for now I’ll leave this […]

Life Takes Visa Series

I caught a nice set of posters walking around the Meat Packing District last night from Visa. There’s a number of different scenes that are illustrating how “Life Takes Visa”. […]

Black Toothpaste

At a recent Likeminds a friend came by to say hello and gave me a cool looking box. Not really knowing what it was, I held it in my hands […]

Some notes after hearing Anthony Dunne

Last Wednesday night Anthony Dunne gave a presentation at Parsons the New School for Design. Described on the postcard for the event, Anthony Dunne is a professor and head of […]

Pencils, Pencils, Pencils

I was astounded by the sheer quantity of pencil shapes, colours, and brands of pencils collected and shown at Bob Truby’s Brand Name Pencils. Considering that mot people take their […]

New trendwatching audio blog from the CBC

I was happy to discover that one of my favourite radio announcers is back on CBC radio with a new program called Spark. I first heard Nora Young while she […]

My interview with Unlimited magazine about job networking

Quite a few months ago I was interviewed for the inaugural issue of the Canadian magazine Unlimited. In the article I talk about networking, blogs and how I ended up […]

Got lists?

I came across Listphile this morning going through delicious. I knew it was something for me to explore further once I started watching the demo and there was the mention […]

Type Training

September 29th is a special day, not just b/c it’s my thirtieth birthday but b/c if you’re in New York you can be part of the AIGA’s Typographic Walking Tour […]

Review Copy: Taking Things Seriously

A book like Taking Things Seriously could have gone badly pretty quickly. Invite a bunch of people you know to submit a story about an object that inspires you. Ask […]

McFLY 2015 & Kanye West & Def Jam Holland

It’s been almost a month since I last mentioned anything that had to do with the McFLY 2015 project. Today I received a couple photos through email that show the […]

After the Future of Design Talk

Of all the design lectures that I’ve been to, Mediabistro’s The Future of Design was above average though I think the title was slightly misleading. The invited guests were Etienne […]

The perfect book to read in the bathroom if you’re a designer

With definitions for words like negotiate: Today, the architectural project is not designed, but negotiated… and Net, the: The net is where fragments are seized, and where the rest is […]

Love to Hate Sites

We all have sites that we luv to hate, so why bother visiting them? Is it b/c we like torturing ourselves??? We know it’s a bit unhealthy to go back […]

Design Killers

Top 5 things that could kill someoneUploaded by sallyTVdotcom

Shifting Design Positions as it Evolves

After reading Kevin McCullagh’s Core 77 article Design is changing in myriad ways. Are you? I started making a number of connections to other posts that I’ve come across lately. […]

A relevant design and research site

I came across a new favourite site today, and ironicly I found it through a comment here on my blog. Serial Consign is a design and research site written by […]

Map Passion

I picked up Esopus on Sunday after I saw an article about a guy that draws a lot of maps. Some of these maps take years to make while others […]


We, the unwilling, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, we are now qualified to […]

Two new’ish websites for designers

It’s starting to get difficult to keep track of all the websites that I should be going to on a regular basis. Keeping that in mind, between updating sites that […]

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