Open for Design. Or Is It?


At first glance, Open for Design seems to be the most exciting new design blog in town. Pretty windows float mesmerizingly over fog-shrouded hills. The writing is top-notch (Design Observer contributors Dmitri Siegel and Tom Vanderbilt are here); even though it’s Design 101 it’s still compelling. No, we’d say the only problem we have with this design blog is…the design.

Fancy Flash fun is not so good for a blog. Neither are having both long features and short posts in different places. You want to get in quickly, read what you can in one fell swoop, make a smartass comment, and go on to the next waste of your time. We, for one, weren’t really planning on clicking up to five times to get to the end of the feature stories, and so often, we don’t. It took us about 45 minutes to get into the real blogs themselves, which are separated into too-closely-related sub-blogs–style, living, city, art (not design!), tech–which you have to switch back and forth between to find the newest content. Don’t click on the floaty windows, though, you’ll be propelled back to the Land of the Lake, where only feature stories reside. And speaking of those feature stories, well, we’d love to link to an interview with Charles S. Anderson, but we can’t. You have to find it for yourself.

A closer look at the periphery of the blog reveals some clues. It’s “curated” by Infiniti, aspirational design-centric company, a world where swirling windows do indeed sell cars. And since whole thing is powered by Microsoft, well, let’s just say we expect them to overdo it.