Picks of the Week: Smart Reads

Summer’s here (kind of) but it doesn’t mean we should put our brains on holiday.

Here’s are some thought-provoking, inspiring reads, and a couple of new ideas worth watching.

Ideas over eye candy? What? Are they crazy? Lovely piece on Zelda Malan, a senior lecturer on the BA Graphic Design course at Kingston University. A passionate advocate for breakthrough thinking, one hopes that her students get out into the world fast, to save us from flabby design based on flabbier ideas.

Red Wing Shoes: Heritage Hero. Image via Red Wing Shoes.

Red Wing Shoes: Heritage Hero, image via Red Wing Shoes

One of my favorite news sites, the Business of Fashion (don’t let the F word turn you off), has this wonderful article on what happens when heritage brands become “hot” and more importantly, how to navigate that shift with integrity and grace. Brands include Red Wing, Barbour, and Hunter (makers of wellies.) A perfect accompaniment to our Bursting the Maker Bubble series.

In Part 2 and Part 3 of the above mentioned series, I was decrying the lack of new models in the world of galleries. Well, prove me wrong: came across this in Wallpaper. It’s Colony, a NYC gallery that “puts designers first.” According to Wallpaper, “the gallery space is set apart from New York’s many other design showrooms by the co-operative format on which it operates – designers pay co-op fees rather than high commission rates.” And I’d imagine that it’s not just about fees, it’s about attitude as well. Smart, and a trend to watch.

Can anti-consumerism help grow a brand? Possibly. Check out a remarkably balanced New Yorker piece on Patagonia’s own form of growth strategy. “In a more sustainable future, people will buy fewer things at higher prices, technological innovation will reduce the impact of those products’ manufacture, and the goods themselves will be made to last and then be recycled at the end of their useful lives. Since those are the kinds of products Patagonia is striving to make, and the kinds of relationships to products that Patagonia is trying to foster, then the more that Patagonia expands its market share, the better.”

Get thinking.

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