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Here’s One Thing We Can All Do Today to Help Enact Change

With Design for Progress, we’ve created a fundraiser to benefit the groups and issues we believe might be in need of the most support after this election. To anyone feeling powerless, marginalized, scared, or angry today, this is one small thing we can all do to help.
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Our 2014 Honorees

Last year, after being asked for the umpteenth time to share our take on who the key players are in the American design scene, we decided to launch the first annual American Design Hot List — an unapologetically subjective editorial award for the names to know now in American design. We intended for the list to act as our guide to those emerging and mid-career talents influencing the design landscape in any given year, whether through standout launches, must-see exhibitions, or just our innate sense that they'd be ones to watch. But when we thought about the fact that no one else was doing anything remotely similar, we realized that the American Design Hot List could play a wonderful ongoing role in spotlighting the hard work and superior skill of a group of creatives who we believe deserves recognition.
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"I've been making these desert tumblers since last winter, and the color palatte is inspired by the 
Southwest, which is a place I've romanticized and wanted to visit since I was in high school. I drove around New Mexico for a week on my trip and pulled over whenever I saw that red earth 
I had in mind when I made this cup. I took this one in Abiquiu."

Helen Levi in the American Southwest

Sometime in the past year, Brooklyn potter Helen Levi began making her popular Desert Tumblers, which evoke a kind of faded, windswept, Southwestern landscape by marbling white porcelain with sandy red clay. But the funny thing is, until this summer, New York–born Levi had never even been to the desert. "I’d been wanting to go to New Mexico since high school," she says. "That landscape has always been kind of a dreamy thought, but my tumblers were based on my imagination of a place I'd never seen." This summer, Levi decided to bite the bullet, taking a month off from work to road trip 7,000 miles — all the way to Albuquerque and back — making sure to stop along the way at places like the Pittsburgh factory where her clay is made and leaving enough time to simply wander off the road in search of this country's vast natural beauty.
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Kiosk’s Obama 2012 Souvenirs

In 1960, there was a noisemaker that said “Click with Dick,” endorsing Richard Nixon for President. In 1964, a canned novelty beverage promoted Barry Goldwater's candidacy (“Gold Water: The Right Drink for the Conservative Taste”). But these days, with Shepard Fairey’s once-inescapable "Hope" poster on the wane, you’d be hard-pressed to find an election souvenir of note beyond the usual bumper stickers, commemorative mugs, and buttons. Enter Kiosk, New York’s go-to retailer for quirky housewares and objects from around the world. This week, Kiosk owners Alisa Grifo and Marco ter haar Romeny released a collection of five pro-Obama souvenirs, which sport cheekily retrograde slogans and riff on American-made objects the shop already had in stock.
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Your Favorite Mid-Century Furniture Designers, At Home

It’s possible you’ve spent hours foraging flea markets, wondering how a Russel Wright pitcher or an Eames shell chair or a Jens Risom credenza might fit into your home décor. But did you ever stop to wonder how those pieces may have figured into the homes of their own makers? Leslie Williamson, a San Francisco–based photographer, did — and the result is Handcrafted Modern, a new book that offers an intimate glimpse inside the houses of 14 of America’s most beloved mid-century designers.
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