Design Observer was founded in 2003 with its mission on its homepage: Writings about Design and Culture. Design Observer quickly became a lively forum for readers in the design community, dedicated to the pursuit of originality, imagination, and close cultural analysis.
Culture Is Not Always Popular: Fifteen Years of Design Observer is a collection of writings from the website. This collection includes reassessments, investigations into the power of design idioms, discussions of design ethics and experimental writing, new voices, observations and other texts.
Culture Is Not Always Popular is published by MIT Press.
Adrian Shaughnessy is a graphic designer and writer based in London. He is a senior tutor in Visual Communication at the Royal College of Art and a founding partner in Unit Editions a publishing company producing books on design and visual culture.
Alice Twemlow is Research Professor at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague (KABK), Associate Professor in Artistic Research at Leiden University, and head of the Design Curating & Writing Master at Design Academy Eindhoven.
Jessica Helfand is cofounder of Design Observer and co-hosts of two podcasts, she is on the faculty at Yale School of Art and Yale School of Management and a recipient of the AIGA Medal, the design profession's highest honour.
Michael Bierut is a partner in the New York office of Pentagram. Cofounder of Design Observer and co-hosts of two podcasts, he is on the faculty at Yale School of Art and Yale School of Management and a recipient of the AIGA Medal, the design profession's highest honour.
Rick Poynor is a writer, critic, lecturer and curator, specialising in design, photography and visual culture. He is Professor of Design and Visual Culture at the University of Reading in the UK.