Bringing it Home

Localism is an American tradition that goes back pretty much to the Declaration of Independence: the right to make one’s own laws, to be self-governed, to pay taxes only as it benefits one’s community. It is in some ways a deeply con­serv­­ative tendency, siding with the familiar symbols of the tribe and its beliefs, practices, and site-specific references against the alien values of outsiders.

This month’s Metropolis takes a broad look at local design and production in the age of unhinged and expanding international trade, from the survival of regional craft traditions and the technological transformation of American manufacturing to shoes engineered by multinationals for a particular ethnic body type and Fritz Haeg’s backyard ecosystems. Think of it as a postglobal evaluation of the benefits—and the limits—of keeping things close to home.

Bringing It Home Features
Local Inspirations
The Campana brothers have created an engaging body of work that’s both global and deeply tied to their Brazilian roots.

Regional Crafts
A sampling of people and programs supporting the work of traditional artisans

Greening the Edges
Fritz Haeg’s joyful assault on the front lawn aims to put nature back into our denuded landscapes.

Made in the USA
Contrary to popular belief, American manufacturing jobs haven’t all been shipped over-seas. Utilizing better design and state-of-the-art technology, the sector has actually grown.

Sizing China
The world’s first digital database of Asian head and face shapes could help change the way all industrial designers think about ergonomics and fit.

Made to Fit
Nike has designed a shoe specifically to reflect the physical traits and cultural values of Native Americans.

Root System
George Nakashima spent a half century building up a woodworking studio in the Pennsylvania town of New Hope. Now his daughter, Mira, a craftsman in her own right, is steward of that legacy.

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