Observed Microscopically—Microphotomicrographs


Observed Microscopically began the summer of twenty fourteen with Microphotomicrographs, and has become the moniker for all my artwork, microscopic or not. Simply put, microphotomicrographs are 35mm slides under a microscope. The name comes from the combination of two words: Microphotographs, which are photos on a microscopic scale (microfilm), and photomicrographs which are photos taken through a microscope.

Making the rounds at one of our local art supply shops, I came across a medical binder full of MRI and x-ray slides. It was a bit tedious to look through, but it went right into my purchase pile. Next to the binder was a bin of thousands of miscellaneous slides, and looking through it seemed like an impossible task. After holding a few up to the light, I settled on adding just one of those to my purchases that day. Little did I know, that one photograph would become the catalyst for this project and exactly what I needed to begin Observed Microscopically.

After an ill attempt with my phone flashlight, I tried my microscope’s light source (a childhood curiosity now used as decoration) to view the slides. It illuminated them perfectly, and the next step was obvious. I viewed the single extra slide with my microscope, and landed on a beautiful composition—a woman holding a child’s hand. You can just make out that she’s wearing a watch, but the photo is from such a distance that it’s distorted.

The grainy texture of the images is something fairly consistent when viewing the slides under the microscope. Strangely however, they look comparably different with each viewing. There’s shifting dust, the angle of the camera on the objective, the focus of the microscope, and the variance in light. Additionally, 35mm slides deteriorate over time. While film quality is a factor, exposure to excess light, heat, or moisture can quicken the pace of degradation.

Since the inception of this project, the slides I choose are purposeful. They are filled with background noise that might not have been intended or even noticed by the the photographer at the time. Blurs and mistakes in the images, and defects in the film often have the best results. While I do take an initial look at the slides, I don’t view them on a projector. This leaves the full image a mystery, and I have a fresh take when I look under the microscope. By doing this, I’m hoping to capture a new composition—creating something unique apart from the original context.

Because of this, I choose not to share the full original image. While I am dependent on the photographs for these compositions, the images that result are independent of them. I also don’t offer an explanation of the microphotomicrograph aside from the category, leaving you to decide what to take away. Of course, it’s important to note that most of the photographic slides are not of my own taking. As I get these slides from a number of places (antique stores, thrift shops, and online), I’m not purchasing slides from their creator. They’ve exchanged hands, gotten separated from their original collections, and become orphan photographs. My thanks goes to the original and unintentionally anonymous photographer, without whom I would not have the content on which I built this photo project.

An Introduction to Nematology, Helminthology, and a Look at One Parasitic Nematode Dubbed the Eye Worm

Nematodes are worms, but not the sort you’d think about upon hearing the word. Worm is a broad description given to invertebrates with soft, slender, elongated bodies. You’re quintessential worm is from the phylum Annelida—they have the familiar segmented bodies and are much larger than Nematodes. On average nematodes are 2.5mm in length. They have non-segmented bodies that are tapered at each end, and while there are free-living varieties, a good number are parasites. They are ubiquitous, and humans are grossly outnumbered by these creatures. In fact, everything on the planet is outnumbered by nematodes as they account for 80% of all the individual animals on earth.

“In short, if all the matter in the universe except the nematodes were swept away, our world would still be dimly recognizable, and if, as disembodied spirits, we could then investigate it, we should find its mountains, hills, vales, rivers, lakes, and oceans represented by a film of nematodes. The location of towns would be decipherable, since for every massing of human beings there would be a corresponding massing of certain nematodes. Trees would still stand in ghostly rows representing our streets and highways. The location of the various plants and animals would still be decipherable, and, had we sufficient knowledge, in many cases even their species could be determined by an examination of their erstwhile nematode parasites.”—Nathan Augustus Cobb in Nematodes and Their Relationships, 1915

Cobb (1859-1932) is known as the father of nematology in the United States, specifically gaining recognition for his work with the United States Department of Agriculture. He laid the foundation for nematode taxonomy, and contributed major discoveries in morphology and methodology as well. His numerous papers on the subject were complimented with thorough illustrations. Cobb himself was a gifted self-taught artist and illustrator, but his collaboration with William Chambers distinguished his work among his peers. Chambers’ art is said to have had a profound influence on the quality of illustrations throughout the world of nematology. This lead to a more organized classification identification system, furthering their study.

Years later, across the pond Robert Thomson Leiper (1881-1969) was referred to as the father of modern helminthology. Helminthologists, like Leiper, focus on the study of parasitic worms spanning a variety of phyla, including Nematoda. Leiper was devoted to his work, and his scientific attainments fell into two categories—taxonomy and life cycles. The journey to modern helminthology was filled with expeditions to the tropics, though not confined to them. The conditions for these explorers were less than ideal. They were filled with mosquitos, flies and, ticks—vectors of many horrible diseases, and of course the inevitable dysentery. However, Leiper’s discoveries disentangled many important taxonomic puzzles including the vector of the filarial worm Loa loa. His blunderbuss methodology for solving this mystery involved letting various insects feed on an infected patient. He’d then grind up the insect and inspect it for the worm’s early microscopic form. A deer fly common to the area of Calabar turned out to be the culprit. He was able to repeat the experiment, but due a seasonal shortage of the fly he had to abort his study. It was confirmed a decade later by a husband and wife duo (Connal) who detailed the development of the larvae within the fly.

The diurnal deerfly Chrysops silacea, Chrysops dimidiata, and consequently L. loa, are indigenous to rainforests in parts of Western and Central Africa. There have been documented cases of Loiasis with serious symptoms, but often patients experience only minor discomforts. Itchy swellings that came to be named for the region they were first documented in, Calabar, can come and go. The most dramatic and alarming clinical manifestation of Loiasis happens when the adult worm wriggles under the skin or across the eye. The first documented account of the worm was published in 1770 by a French surgeon named Mongin:

“Saw a worm which seemed to crawl superficially on the eye, but when I tried to catch it with forceps, I realized that it was between the conjunctiva and the cornea. When it approached the transparent cornea, the pains became more severe…it was one and a half inches long, the width of a violin string, and dark colored.”

Diagnosis is simple when such obvious outward symptoms present themselves, but that’s not always the case. Blood collection and examination is a practical procedure for the identification of L. loa’s microfilariae, the early larval form present in human stages of development. However these microfilariae have a diurnal periodicity, so sample collection must be completed between 10 AM and 2 PM to detect them.

Another complication arises in treatment. There is an overlap in the habitat of L. loa and another parasitic worm Onchocerca volvulus. This parasite causes a more serious disease than Loiasis, known as Onchocerciasis or River Blindness—the second most common cause of infectious blindness. The good news is that there is a drug called Ivermectin that can eliminate it. The complication I mentioned? It can prove deadly if the patient has a co-infection of Loiasis. In these cases, it is crucial to investigate the levels of L. loa microfilariae in the patient. Due to this, in L. loa endemic areas, mass drug administration (MDA) programs have been suspended leaving the local population at risk for River Blindness.

A rapid and point-of-care solution is needed to re-establish the MDA program for onchocerciasis. The current methodology is not practical for field settings, and the output is too low. A research team lead by UC Berkley engineers have recently developed a phone-based video microscope that can automatically quantify L. loa microfilariae. This eliminates the need for slide examination by trained technicians, other time-intensive methods, and cumbersome equipment. They have completed a pilot study of the Cellscope Loa with great success—getting the same results on the phone as with the current gold standard of diagnosis. According the researchers, this “Test and not Treat” Cellscope Loa strategy is “an extremely promising and practical approach to the safe implementation of large-scale treatment for Loaisis and onchocerciasis in L. loa co-endemic areas.”

Loa loa endemic areas (light gray).

Life-cycle of Loa loa. Chrysops fly bites the human host and third stage L. loa enter, and mature into adults (A) within about one year. Adult worms (left/female, right/male) live for about 4 to 12 years. Worms mate, eggs mature within the female (B) and produce microfilariae (C) which circulate in the blood stream, and are then picked up by another fly. The microfilarie shed their sheath (D) and enter fat bodies within the fly. They mature into sausage-like forms (E), and then into infective third stage larvae (F). These larvae migrate into the fly’s proboscis and are deposited into another human host when they take a blood meal. Repeat.

Photograph of microfilariae (630X).


American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Abstract Book. Vol. 95. N.p.: n.p., 2016. ASTMH. Web. Abstract No. 1115, Cell Scope-Loa, Sebastien Pion, et al. Web.

Cobb, Nathan Augustus. Nematodes and their relationships. Washington: G.P.O., 1915. Print.

Cox, F. E. G. “History of Human Parasitology.” Clinical Microbiology Reviews. American Society for Microbiology, Oct. 2002. Web.

D’Ambrosio, Michael V. “Point-of-care quantification of blood-borne filarial parasites with a mobile phone microscope.” Science Translational Medicine 7.286 (2015): 286-90. Web.

Garnham, P. C. C. “Robert Thomson Leiper. 1881-1969.” Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 16.0 (1970): 385-404. Royal Society Publishing. Web.

Grove, David I. A history of human helminthology. Wallingford, Oxon, UK: C.A.B. International, 1990.

Harrison, Richard. “Smartphones Can Be Smart Enough To Find A Parasitic Worm.” All Things Considered. NPR, 6 May 2015. Web.

Maggenti, A.R. General nematology. New York a.o: Springer, 1981. Print.

“Parasites – Loiasis.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. N.p., 20 Jan. 2015. Web.

“Parasites – Onchocerciasis (also known as River Blindness).” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. N.p., 10 Aug. 2015. Web.

Smith, D. Scott. “Loiasis.” Life Cycle and Morphology. Stanford University, n.d. Web.

Yang, Sarah. “Smartphone video microscope automates detection of parasites in blood.” Berkley News. UC Berkley, 5 May 2015. Web.

Ray Barbee Meets the Mattson 2

Ray Barbee Meets the Mattson 2
Galaxia Records
Artwork by Geoff McFetridge
Spotify Playlist

Ray Barbee Meets The Mattson 2 is a rare creative collaboration that came into my life at just the right time. Ray Barbee first entered the public eye in the 80s as one of the first famous African-American skaterboarders. It wasn’t until 2003 when he released his home recorded debut EP, Triumphant Procession, on Galaxia Records that he gained a reputation as a musician. Now it’s hard to distinguish the musician from the skatboarder, and Barbee’s effortlessly smooth and improvisational approach to skateboarding could not be more apparent in his music.

Twin brothers Jared and Jonathan Mattson make music under the name The Mattson 2. The Southern California guitar and drum duo have a truly unique take on straight-ahead instrumental jazz. Their sound is only amplified by their innate talent and twin telepathy. Like Barbee, the Mattsons found an eager advocate in Thomas Campbell—filmmaker, artist, and co-owner of Galaxia Records. Campbell had been following and encouraging the Mattsons since they were 15. He slowly brought them into the Galaxia family, recruiting them to play art exhibition openings, movie premiers, and gigs with some of the Galaxia roster.

While recording their debut record in 2005, Introducing the Mattson 2, Campbell suggested Barbee guest on a track. Although Barbee’s part was just added to the studio recording, the collaborative potential was undeniable and the creative seed was planted. Not long after, Barbee was scheduled to play two nights at {open}, a bookstore in Long Beach. Not wanting to do the same performance twice he asked The Mattson 2 to play one of the shows with him. As expected, the rehearsal for the performance went exceedingly well and the three knew they needed to strike while the iron was hot and make a record as a proper trio. After 3 months of preperation they were ready. Ray Barbee Meets The Mattson 2

was recorded in August of 2006 at The Hangar Studios in Sacramento California, and aptly produced by Campbell. Melding the Mattson’s fluid musicianship with Barbee’s sunny guitar work, the record is a love letter to jazz and California summers.

Geoff McFetridge’s whimsical jacket artwork brings the endeavor together. McFetridge reinterprets the jazz LP cover, replacing the traditional portrait with a delightfully simple drawing of the three meeting represented by their hands holding tiny instruments.

I’ve listened to Ray Barbee Meets The Mattson 2 in headphones on the train, I’ve blasted it out of the boombox in my garage, I’ve listened to it in the car on road trips, and I’ve played it out of shitty phone speakers while cooking dinner. I haven’t listened to it the way you are supposed to listen to jazz records though. I haven’t pulled it off the record shelf, taken it out of the sleeve and put it on the turntable. This is my favorite way to enjoy music—archaic, tactile, intentional. I needed that experience with this record.

There are a number of sources for one off vinyl records. I recommend researching which method will work best for your needs. Our original goal was to press one copy just for us—the entire 52 minutes. This wonderful album is just too long for a single LP though. It’d have to be a double. An investment that would have to wait for the time being. Arbitrarily lobbing off a few track didn’t seem right, neither did a 4-6 track sampler. After a bit of research, we decided that a 12″ single would be the most natural choice. Two studio tracks on side A and a live recording exclusive to the Japanese CD release on side B.

The Chapel of St. Basil at the University of St. Thomas

An alluring piece of architecture, the Chapel of St. Basil is situated opposite the Doherty Library on the University of St. Thomas campus. It’s of no surprise the history of the chapel began with the deMenils, something that is true of so much in Houston. They hired Philip Johnson originally to design the campus, and years after the Academic Hall was built he designed the Chapel. One of the most intriguing qualities of the chapel is its lack of artificial light. The sun illuminates the space in a fluid way, and the experience is remarkable. We visited the chapel on several occasions to try to capture this feeling.












Non-Native Typography—The Japanese Writing System

As a Westerner and a native English speaker, my appreciation of Japanese writing is purely aesthetic and superficial—as one appreciates a painter’s brushstroke, an interesting composition of shapes, or something unfamiliar. It wasn’t until I needed to design with Japanese text myself that I realized how fundamentally different the modern Japanese writing system is from my own. Of course this seems obvious in hindsight—the East is unlike the West in so many ways, why would writing be any different.

What we call Japanese writing is actually the combination and appropriation of thousands of characters from six different scripts each with its own history, function, rules, and visual weight. Because if this, the modern Japanese writing system is often considered to be the most complex contemporary written language. Primarily, Japanese writing combines Chinese logographic Kanji characters with two syllabic scripts, Hiragana and Katakana (known collectively as Kana). Borrowed from China a couple thousand years ago, Kanji characters are used to represent objects, ideas, actions, as well as many Japanese names. Hiragana is used for native Japanese words and grammatical inflections that Kanji doesn’t cover. Katakana is somewhat similar to Latin italics—it is used to write words of foreign origin, onomatopoeic sound effects, scientific/technical terms, and simply for emphasis. Additionally, the Latin alphabet, Arabic numerals, and Greek characters are utilized, each playing a supporting but vital role in the modern Japanese writing system.

The vocabulary, measurement system, and aesthetics of Japanese writing are all a carryover from the days of movable type. Characters for Japanese composition were designed to have a square character frame so they would fit nicely on uniform blocks of metal type that could be set end to end. For more than a thousand years all text was set vertically, but because of the square character profile the same Japanese characters can be set horizontally as well. Contemporary Japanese composition utilizes both text directions, horizontal type setting being a fairly recent innovation. When text is set vertically it is read from top to bottom, right to left. When text is set horizontally it is read from left to right, top to bottom. This composition is taught with guides in much the same way we learn. Similar to our lined grade school paper, Japanese students use a paper called Genkō yōshi. It helps children write and place characters within a grid of uniform boxes.

By in large, Japanese glyphs are much more complex than Latin glyphs. This translates quite understandably into high-density glyphs that are approximately 10-15% larger than their Latin counterparts. Additionally, despite shape, density, or origin, every character is made to conform to the square character frame. This means there are no capitals, no ascenders, no descenders, and no predictable starting character for words or sentences—all of which contribute to the very high legibility of the Latin alphabet. Without these aids, the different scripts themselves have to indicate the sentence structure.

The differences are countless, but most typographic principles are universal and can transcend language. Balance the space within the letterforms with the space between the letterforms—counterspaces are counterspaces afterall, despite their shape or complexity.


Truck Nest, Art of New Guinea, Design for Space, and These Islands

Curiosity and Curiosities. Publications I: Truck Nest-Nine Years in the Making

Curiosity and Curiosities. Publications I: Truck Nest-Nine Years in the Making

Truck Nest: Nine Years in the Making
Tokuhiko Kise and Hiromi Karatsu
Published by Shueisha

Seeing the accomplishments of others and the culmination of their work, it’s simple to overlook the time that passed between conception and fruition. For Tokuhiku and Hiromi of TRUCK—it was nine years in the making.

“Seeing our friends in Noosa enjoying their everyday lives, the answer seemed clear. Now that we had a child, that perception struck us even more deeply. They were leading truly rich lives, with their feet planted firmly on the ground. Here, with abundant trees and space, they enjoyed their lives in their own way. “Isn’t this the kind of lifestyle we should lead?” we thought. I didn’t want to wait until I grew old and retired. I wanted to do this while we were still building and creating TRUCK. I became convinced we had to change our own lifestyle so we continue to make things that were good. That’s what I took away from our fifth visit to Noosa.” —Tokuhiko

The publication of TRUCK nest itself is a testament to the way Tokuhiku and Hiromi work and live their lives. The feeling they experienced each time they departed Noosa is, in a way, how we felt reading about their path to TRUCK. It was a motivator, but also a sounding board for many of the practices and philosophies we intend to follow in our own path.


“If we are together, I’m confident whatever we do will work.” —Hiromi

Their ideal life is one that keeps them together at home and at work, making things just the way they want. Timelines, expansion, and trends are distractions, the importance lies in making something genuinely good.

And they have. They’ve made something truly great, and it seeps from the pages of their book. It’s one we will reach for again and again, inspiring us to live a purposeful life, mixed with rituals and spontaneous moments. Each time we read it we will be reminded that the path is just as beautiful as the destination.


Curiosity and Curiosities. Publications I: Art of New Guinea

Art of New Guinea
Forward by Jay D. Frierman
Catalog Design by Saul Marks and Ted Organ (Orland)
Typography by The Plantin Press
Printing by California Litho-arts

You might assume that this book is missing its dust jacket as the binding is plain and the text simple—it’s not. This publication is not a book at all, but an exhibition catalog bound by a former owner. It documents an exhibition of Art in New Guinea presented in 1967 by the Museum and Laboratories of Ethnic Arts and Technology, UCLA, and the Ethnic Arts Council.

In our personal consumption of art we’ve never sought to appreciate ethnographic arts apart from their superficial aesthetic value, and this was still the main motivator behind the purchase of this catalog. While probably standard practice or an issue of cost, the black and white photographs throughout feel like pieces of art in their own right. The complementary page layouts and type are neutral and unassuming on first glance. However, it’s clear the design was considered and is a beautifully executed catalog specimen for the time period.

The designers Saul Marks and Ted Organ (Orland) were both part of Plantin Press, Marks being its co-founder and Organ, an apprentice. Excluding the title which was set in Alburtus, the entirety of the catalog was set in Bembo. We have learned that this was a hallmark of Plantin, who used few but very well-selected typefaces.

Aesthetics and content aside, there was a discovery that made this catalog an interesting and relevant find. It centered around the museum’s director, Ralph C. Altman, whose death preceded completion of the planning process and resulting exhibition. While the museum would go on to hold a proper memorial exhibition for Altman, the posthumous completion of The Art of New Guinea spoke to his staff’s dedication to honoring his memory and vision.

Our curiosity of Altman and a quick search lead us to Fondren Library at Rice University. Among their extensive arts and architecture collection was the catalog for the Ralph C. Altman Memorial Exhibition.

Within its pages we learned that, in addition to his role as museum director, Altman was a beloved lecturer at UCLA.  Jay D. Frierman wrote, “His courses, which included the whole sweep of primitive art, folk art, and ancient art, were to be his greatest achievement. His lectures were models

of lucid exposition, the result of infinite, painstaking, meticulous research—continuously re-examined with the most careful and critical scrutiny. Whether it was his lecture on the art of the Upper Paleolithic, which was a masterpiece, or a discussion of some minor ephemeral folk art, his lectures were always models of concise objectivity. There never was a compromise, even in the last spring semester, when the pain was so severe, the quality and enthusiasm never waned. It is not surprising that his students were so devoted to him. Ultimately this is the measure of a teacher, that he pass on not only information, but some kind of a weltanschauung , a sense of order and worth beyond the facts themselves. This Ralph Altman did to perfection.”

Altman’s collected works were listed at the end of the catalog, including articles, exhibition catalogs, and book reviews. We were delighted to discover the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston on that list. It turns out, Altman wrote an essay for Totems Not Taboo (1959), an exhibition curated by the first professional director of the Contemporary Arts Museum (then Contemporary Arts Association), Jermayne MacAgy.  It’s known to be her most successful exhibition, and one of the most comprehensive exhibitions of primitive art organized in the United States by that time.

Looking at photographs of the exhibition, it felt approachable and immersive. MacAgy utilized Mies van der Rohes’ Cullinan Hall beautifully— intermixing the artifacts with plants, platforms, and plinths. It’s easy to see  why it remains one of the most remarkable and rememberable exhibitions in Houston’s history. Altman’s essay paralleled the exhibition. So often exhibition catalogs are written with fellow scholars in mind, and they are lost to the masses. Altman introduces primitive arts, explains the fault in this nomenclature, and expresses the nature in which you should view them in an approachable way.

We can only make assumptions as to why Altman was chosen, but it’s safe to say that he was an important figure in his field and played a vital role in the growing appreciation of ethnographic arts through his work.

Curiosity and Curiosities. Publications I: Art of New Guinea

Curiosity and Curiosities. Publications I: Art of New Guinea

Curiosity and Curiosities. Publications I: Art of New Guinea

Curiosity and Curiosities. Publications I: Art of New Guinea

Curiosity and Curiosities. Publications I: Art of New Guinea

Curiosity and Curiosities. Publications I: Totems Not TabooTotems Not Taboo



Art of New Guinea artifact photography by William Doherty with Dennis Olsen; isolated images seen here edited for this article.

Installation views of CAMH exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Totems Not Taboo, 2/26/1959- 3/29/1959. Photos: Maurice Miller, Courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Archive.


Arnold, Miah. “Vim and Vigor, Indelicate Language and Bursts of Temper: The Story of the de Menil Cadre and the Emergence of Houston’s Counterculture Arts and Politics .” Cite Summer 2010: 3237. OffCite. Rice Design Alliance. Web.

De Lima Greene, Alison. “Modernism in Houston.” Art Lies 41.Winter (2003): 1923. The Portal to Texas History. Web.

Edwards, Katie Robinson, Ph.D. “The 1950s and Houston.” Midcentury Modern Art in Texas. Austin: U of Texas Press, 2014. 17475. Print.

Frierman, Jay D., and Franklin D. Murphy. Ralph C. Altman Memorial Exhibition. Los Angelas: UCLA Ethnic Art Galleries, 1968. Print.

Harmsen, Tyrus G. The Plantin Press of Saul and Lillian Marks. Los Angeles: Dawson’s Book Shop, 1960. HathiTrust Digital Library. Web.

Herbert, Lynn M. “Seeing Was Believing: Installations of Jermayne MacAgy and James Johnson Sweeney.” Cite Winter 9798: 3033. OffCite. Rice Design Alliance. Web.

Reynolds, Sarah C. Houston Reflections: Art in the City, 1950s, 60s and 70s. Houston: Rice U Press, 2008. Print (Available online at OpenStax).

“Ruins of Exhibitions: Totems Not Taboo.” Nero Autumn 2012: 6173. Print (Available online as text or PDF).

Further Reading

Jermayne MacAgy: A Life Illustrated By an Exhibition
By Dominique de Menil, 1968

Saul Marks and The Plantin Press: The Life and Work of a Singular Man
By Lillian Marks, 1980


Curiosity and Curiosities. Publications I: Design for Space

Design for Space
Alexander Glushko
Published by DOM

Houston’s half-century long relationship with America’s space program began in 1963 when NASA’s Manned Spacecraft Center, now the Johnson Space Center, opened in Clear Lake near Galveston Bay on what used to be 1,600 acres of cattle grazing land. Primarily, Houston would become known for its Mission Control function during the Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, Apollo–Soyuz, and Space Shuttle programs, à la “Okay, Houston, we’ve had a problem here”. For as long as I can remember I’ve been enamored with all things NASA, and growing up just a stone’s throw away from the Johnson Space Center in the adjacent suburb of Pasadena certainly added a sense of immediacy to the Space Shuttle launches I watched religiously throughout the ’90s.

This is all to say that I’ve had plenty of exposure to American (i.e. NASA branded) space exploration, but what of our Russian counterparts? Alexander Glushko’s Design for Space documents almost 250 mission patches worn by Soviet and

Russian cosmonauts from the beginning of the Cold War to the present. Design for Space is thorough and clear, presenting each patch with a photograph of it in use along with a brief description, the date, and design credit if available. In this way the book achieves its primary objective to be the first comprehensive catalog of emblems and insignia of Soviet and Russian spacecraft and orbital stations. It’s a feat that in some ways sells Design for Space short. Glushko is one of the leading scholars on the history of Russian space exploration and 20th century military uniforms and medals. With this expertise, he is able to provide broader historical context while retracing the formation and evolution of Russian symbolism as it relates to space exploration.

Curiosity and Curiosities. Publications I: Design for Space

Curiosity and Curiosities. Publications I: Design for Space


The back-up Soviet-Czechoslovakian crew of the Soyuz-28 spaceship (left to right): N. N. Rukavishnikov and O. Pelczak. Photo from the author’s personal archive.

Patches (left to right): (1)The first variant of the patch of the Russian-American crew on the ISS-1 mission. Used in 20002001. Worn on training and IVA spacesuits. (2) The first sleeve patch for members of crews on Voskhod-type spacecraft. First appeared in 1965 on spacesuits worn by the crew of Voskhod-2. Was subsequently used by several other crews until 1985. Worn on the spacesuits of the crews of the Voskhod-2, Soyuz-5 and Soyuz-11, and on training suits worn by several other cosmonauts, until 1985. (3) The interkosmos patch. Variant for the Soviet-Polish crew, in the Polish language. Used in 1978 by both Soviet and Polish cosmonauts from the principal and back-up crews of the Soyuz-30 spaceship. Worn on the right side of the chest or on the right sleeve of the spacesuit, and likewise on the upper and lower right sides of training suits.

Words by Steven Shultz.


Curiosity and Curiosities. Publications I: These Islands

These Islands
Cereal Magazine
Published by Francis

We’ve yet to travel outside the North American continent, but have plans to make London our first overseas destination. When we book our trip, we’d like to have a thorough itinerary with each day mapped out. The city is huge and while the bulk of our research will be done online, the designers in us cannot resist a good travel publication. When Cereal announced they were publishing their first book, an ode to the British Isles, we pre-ordered without hesitation. If you aren’t familiar with Cereal, they are a biannual travel and style magazine based in the United Kingdom. The photography that fills the pages of their publication and site are something to aspire to, and the destinations are chosen with great care. These Islands is no exception, and we look forward to planning our travels with this book in hand.

“In many ways, this book is Cereal’s tribute to these islands. It’s not only our opportunity to introduce a very special part of the world to those who aren’t familiar with it, but also a chance to celebrate it with those who know and love it. Within these pages, you’ll find essays, paintings, and poetry inspired by these islands, alongside stories dedicated to the 13 locations we chose simply because they are the ones we love the most.” —Rosa Park, Editor-in-Chief, Cereal

Curiosity and Curiosities. Publications I: These Islands