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Intelligent Design

You don't have to wear black and read pricey journals to get the latest insider thinking from the design world.

Blog: Design Observer,
Who writes it: Seven design heavies, including contributors to Print and I.D.
Why you should read it: Though academic at times, this smart blog hosts a thriving community. Most posts by these savvy insiders prompt a dozen or more responses. We like the dual approach: Writers pen lengthier entries, and "the editors" file a link-focused roundup of articles, news, and other blogs.

Blog: Simplicity,
Who writes it: John Maeda, professor of media arts and sciences, MIT
Why you should read it: Maeda, a 2004 Fast Company Master of Design, ardently believes that design's mission is to simplify. Whether advocating simpler computer programming or shopping — or just musing about life's simpler things — Maeda gets to the heart of design's promise.

Blog: Core77,
Who writes it: A random group of industrial designers and design fans
Why you should read it: Billing itself as the "Industrial Design Supersite," this group blog is part of Core77's larger site, which includes industrial-design-related job listings, conferences, and discussion forums. The quick-hit, often photo-laden entries offer a comprehensive view of what's hot and hip.

Read more about design blogs, and nominate your favorite blogs of all sorts, at

A version of this article appeared in the June 2005 issue of Fast Company magazine.