New issue of Harvard Design Magazine unpacks contents, systems of storage that organize our world

The Harvard Graduate School of Design’s Harvard Design Magazine has released its 43rd issue, entitled “Shelf Life.” This latest issue continues a tradition established with the magazine’s 2014 reinvention: design-applied

The latest issue of Harvard Design Magazine: "Shelf Life"
The latest issue of Harvard Design Magazine: “Shelf Life”

investigation of a given theme, drawing contributors from both within and beyond the established design disciplines to enrich and diversify current discourse.

HDM 43, “Shelf Life,” investigates and unpacks the contents, containers, and systems of storage that organize our world. Storage, the editors write, is the aggregation and containment of the material and immaterial stuff of culture; but also the safeguarding—or hoarding—of energy and tools for some imagined future purpose. Among other considerations, this issue asks: How does all this stuff mask or overcompensate for economic and ecological bankruptcy? Is storage about greed or need? Storage, perhaps, is everything we can live without but insist on living with.

This issue combines contributions by noted critics and historians including Emily King, Clare Lyster, and Mimi Zeiger; designers Jacques Herzog, Anupama Kundoo, Jonathan Olivares, and Kersten Geers; and unexpected voices like artist Tom Burr, novelist Brian Evenson, food historian Darra Goldstein, illustrator Maira Kalman, among many others.

“Shelf Life” follows HDM’s 42nd issue, “Run for Cover!,” which examined how fear—of assault, of nature, of power, of the Other—shapes our physical world, and how the built environment provokes, prevents, or palliates fear. Prior issues were themed around diverse topics including family, health & wellness, the ocean, and communication.
Harvard Design Magazine is published twice annually and is directed by the GSD’s editor in chief Jennifer Sigler.
To learn more about the magazine, please visit its website, where you can view select pieces from the latest issue as well as from back issues. Subscription information is available here, and a list of domestic and international stockists is available here.