TOPIC

Digital Frictions

Unruly Bits

New digital technologies promise to fix common bugs and glitches in construction. But as the story of the world’s second-tallest modular tower reveals, the labor, politics, and material complexity of building don’t always follow rules of computation.

A Leg Up on the Last Mile

The on-demand economy is helping restore New York City’s historic warehouses to their original purpose, and spurring the development of a new generation of industrial-scale architecture in the urban core.

The Big Picture

28 pounds, 450,000 words, 800 photographs, 200 maps. 50 years on, what can NYC’s only comprehensive plan teach us about envisioning a collective urban future?

Digital Frictions

Disruption at the Doorstep

Facial recognition. Tenant screening platforms. Biometric databases. A new set of digital products seeks to disrupt the real estate industry. But these technologies are fast becoming weaponized against a familiar target of housing discrimination: working-class tenants of color.

Public Risks on Private Shores

Along New York City’s waterfront, development has spurred the creation of new public spaces regulated down to the level of tree plantings and bicycle parking. Why aren’t resilience measures mandated in a similar way?

Digital Frictions

Accessibility, Augmented

From video-enabled visual interpretation to 3D audio effects, smartphone wayfinding apps have a lot to offer Blind users. But these new features are no substitute for public infrastructure — digital or otherwise — that accounts for nonvisual navigation of the built environment.

Portfolios

An exhibition of photo commissions from ten years documenting the collective work of citymaking is on view through February 7, 2020.

Digital Frictions

Connecting at the Counter

More than a convenience store, the humble bodega is a deeply networked site where neighborhood life intersects with larger scales of social, cultural and economic exchange — and a growing digital presence.

Digital Frictions

Building the People's Internet

Communities on the front lines of the climate crisis have seen the immediate benefits of locally-managed digital infrastructure. But beyond resilience, grassroots networks are a test case for a collectively-forged technological future.

People Movers

Power Tools

To help close the construction industry’s gender gap, Judaline Cassidy is laying the foundation for New York City’s next generation of tradeswomen.

Wastestreaming

Following the trail of New York City’s municipal solid waste from curbside pickup to sites far beyond its borders, two artists document a system that benefits from low visibility as it dramatically extends the city’s footprint.

Digital Frictions

Radio Past | Radio Future

Live and on-air: dispatches from a community net-worker.

To Stop Displacement, Disclose the Data!

For more than half a century, real estate data has played a crucial role in struggles against housing discrimination and dispossession. But what information is needed now in the face of changing forms of speculation?

Digital Frictions

Latchkey Living

An indicator species in vinyl and metal, the streetside lockbox signals the rise of a short-term city.

Shelf Life

Lost in Transit

An artist acquires a collection of unclaimed rings gathered from New York City's subway system, instigating an unconventional search for their origins and values.

Digital Frictions

Tools of Collective Intelligence

As building technologies from doorbells to thermostats claim to become ever “smarter,” how do they mesh with the social life of shared spaces?

Digital Frictions

Where Code Meets Concrete

Introducing the series Digital Frictions. What happens when the “smart city” encounters other forms of urban intelligence?

Castaways of Jamaica Bay

By way of natural disaster and human folly, a staggering amount of marine debris litters the waters and shores of an important estuary habitat. Meet the volunteers trying to salvage the situation.

Schoolhouse Shuffle

In co-located schools, sharing isn't just a lesson for the students. How do educators balance their institution’s needs with those of their neighbors?

Circulation Desk

Pattern Recognition

From Manhattan to the banks of the Yangtze River, photographers index both the ordinary and uncanny effects of urbanization.