Two light installations illuminated New York’s skyline this week. One, an LED lightshow on the Empire State Building, made use of the same technology that turned the landmark blue-and-red as the presidential election results rolled in on November 6. The other, Yvette Mattern’s Global Rainbow, After the Storm, served as a reminder that many communities are still suffering in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
In Phoenix, Arizona, a vacant lot offers refugees a place to literally put down roots. A 15-acre lot has been subdivided into small plots for these unlikely urban farmers as a part of a city program that hopes to transform lots left empty following the housing market collapse.
These prefab tower-villas by architect by Hans van Heeswijk, inspired by San Francisco’s narrow single-family homes, allow residents to add floors for different functions, such as eating, sleeping, lounging, and working.
Collaborative consumption—an idea explored at the BMW Guggenheim Lab Berlin—is the reinvention of old market behaviors like renting, lending, swapping, bartering, and gifting through technology. In What’s Mine is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption, author Rachel Botsman looks at the way this phenomenon has evolved and come to the forefront in recent years (via Architectural League).
“CMYPlay,” a design proposal by AV Studio, would transform the smooth façade of the Morphosis’ Cooper Union New Academic Building into an urban playground. An entry to the 3Dimensional Front, which called for interactive designs for the space outside of the Milavec Hakimi Gallery at 41 Cooper Square, CMYPlay’s colorful interlocking tubes recall the “dense social thicket” that is Manhattan.
Remember the Maker Marathon at the BMW Guggenheim Lab Berlin? A new book by Chris Anderson, Makers: The New Industrial Revolution, shows how new technologies and collaboration allow designers can make customized goods on a small—and more affordable—scale (via Architectural League).
Citizens of Umea, a town in northern Sweden that gets only seven hours of daylight in the winter, will be treated to light therapy on their way to work. Energy company Umea Energi has decided to install ultra-violet lights in bus stops around the town “so people can get a little energy kick as they are waiting.”
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