Google Shows the Chilling Effects of Climate Change, and Other News

Our daily look at the world through the lens of design.

Timelapse by Google Earth

The Design Dispatch offers expertly written and essential news from the design world crafted by our dedicated team. Think of it as your cheat sheet for the day in design delivered to your inbox before you’ve had your coffee. Subscribe now

Have a news story our readers need to see? Submit it here.

Google Earth’s new timelapse feature shows the chilling effects of climate change.

Using 24 million static satellite photos collected between 1984 to 2020, Google Earth has created a 4D timelapse that shows climate change’s dramatic impact on the environment. To achieve this, the tech giant partnered with NASA, the United States Geological Survey’s Landsat program, the European Union’s Copernicus program and its Sentinel satellites, and Carnegie Mellon University’s CREATE Lab. The new tool provides a surreal visualization of melting ice caps, receding glaciers, massive urban growth, and the impact of wildfires on agriculture. The endeavor took a staggering two million processing hours across thousands of machines in Google Cloud to complete. 

The Center for Architecture is launching a digital residency to increase diversity. 

While Manhattan’s Center for Architecture (AIANY) still remains closed to visitors amid the pandemic, but the organization has plans to ramp up its online presence. AIANY is debuting the Center of Architecture Lab, a digital residency that will help “elevate underrepresented perspectives.” Aimed at cultivating new voices in architecture and design, the multi-month, multi-disciplinary program will concentrate on new content outside of their typical exhibition format. From May 10 through July 23, the lab’s first set of residents, Anjelica Gallegos and Summer Sutton, will explore Indigenous Futurism using science fiction and speculative futures to frame architectural issues affecting Indigenous communities, colonization, and the use of the cultural center as a way to preserve Indigenous heritage and techniques.

Las Americas housing complex in León, Mexico, by SO-IL

SO-IL completes a low-rise, high-density affordable housing development in Mexico. 

Built in collaboration with Instituto Municipal de Vivienda de León (IMUVI), the New York–based practice SO-IL has completed a high-density residential complex in León, Mexico. Consisting of apartments encircling internal courtyards, which provide cross ventilation, Las Americas is a six-story concrete block divided into 60 residences. At ground level, two units are reserved for community use, future commercial activity, and also provide access to parking. The development is an attempt to address local housing issues found in many parts of Mexico, where homes are built far apart from each other, and, therefore, often makes commuting into city centers more difficult. 

Donald P. Ryder, the prolific architect of multiple Black heritage sites, has died at 94.

Donald P. Ryder first teamed up with J. Max Bond Jr., widely regarded as one of New York’s most influential African-American architects, to form Bond Ryder & Associates in the late 1960s. Over the next several decades, the firm ended up designing multiple sites crucial to Black culture and social history: the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta, the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the Studio Museum in Harlem. The firm was noted for giving locals the opportunity to participate in the design process, thus influencing their own built environments to tackle the visual realities of racism head-on. 

The mural by JonOne that was accidentally defaced by a young couple

A couple who accidentally defaced an artist’s mural in Seoul brings attention to his work.  

After mistakenly thinking JonOne’s art installation at a gallery at Seoul’s Lotte Street Mall was participatory—the painting supplies used to create the piece valued at $500,000 were left at the bottom of the canvas and considered part of the work—the couple’s blunder went viral on the internet. Now, the American artist whose paintings are described as Abstract Expressionist-style graffiti is thanking the infamous duo for the PR. “With just three brush strokes on my canvas, they have managed to cause a planetary buzz?!? There is strength in that,” JonOne said.    

Nearing retirement, Paula Cooper outlines a succession plan for her New York gallery.

Paula Cooper Gallery may be one of the most storied art institutions in New York—and now, its 83-year-old namesake is outlining its next chapter. Cooper is forming a partnership with four directors, including her son, Lucas, to make sure the gallery’s legacy remains intact long after she steps down. The other directors include Steve Henry, Anthony Allen, Alexis Johnson, who will all be working alongside Paula as they plan for the future. The gallery, which represents artists such as Cecily Brown, Christian Marclay, Mark di Suvero, and the estate of Sol LeWitt, first opened in SoHo in the late 1960s, and became one of the first galleries to migrate to Chelsea in the mid-’90s.

Candle holder by Greg Blanpied

Today’s attractive distractions:

Naomi Osaka serves up an original NFT artwork with her sister, Mari.

Louis Vuitton drops new sandals that uncannily resemble Birkenstocks.

This bridge designer also digitally fabricates laser-cut candle holders.

A former Floridian jail is still haunted by the ghosts of prisoners past.

All Stories