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PARK TOUR AND BIKE RIDE
This Saturday, Architectural League group Design in 5 is hosting a park tour and bike ride of Hudson River Park and the West Harlem Piers, two of the many waterfront revitalization efforts springing up all over New York City. Design in 5 events are typically open to designers roughly five years or fewer out of school, but the group invites all young Omnibus readers as well. Participants will travel by bike to two different Hudson River parks and meet Len Greco from the New York City Economic Development Corporation and designers Barbara Wilks, of W Architecture, and Signe Nielsen, of Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects. Join them to talk about waterfront development, design processes, and coordination efforts involved in projects of this scale, all while enjoying a beautiful day out in the sun. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up.
A HUNDRED MILLION CALLS TO 311
WIRED reports on What a Hundred Million Calls to 311 Reveal About New York, including how 311 calls “represent a huge pool of data to be collected, parsed, and transformed into usable intelligence,” evident in crowdsourced detective work like the Maple Syrup Mystery. Eye-grabbing infographics provide a quick glance at New York’s most vocal zip codes and common gripes, but also reveal more nuanced geographic and temporal complaint patterns. The article points to various efforts, by the City and private companies, to improve the efficiency of problem solving, but suggests that these programs can only go so far in improving the urban fabric. As a resource though, the uses of 311 call data continue to unfold. The call center is a voice of accountability that may encourage more New Yorkers to speak up, and 311 data is a tool to analyze the City’s problems, spurring timely and targeted response.
A recent survey following Election Day, which tested polling issues ranging from voter privacy to equipment functionality, found that over a third of the survey participants thought that the newly-designed ballot was difficult to read and used font that is too small. Design matters! Maybe its time for New York’s Board of Elections to go back to the drawing board with AIGA’s Design for Democracy, which “applies design tools and thinking to increase civic participation by making interactions between the US government and its citizens more understandable, efficient and trustworthy.”
Trash can over flowing? Not to worry, take your waste to Union Square tomorrow from 11am- 1pm for Culture Push’s Tracing Trash symposium. The “curated trash experiment” gathers information about waste disposal practices in the city. Orange-jumpsuited liaisons will answer questions about where garbage comes from and where it goes, and offer ideas for alternative disposal. Just remember to RSVP, to email@example.com, for your date with the dumpster.
Last weekend, the newest addition to Swimming Cities, which we discussed with artist Swoon earlier this fall, was launched in the Gowanus — or at least the radial foundation for it was. The Ocean of Blood, as the fleet of small boats is called, and its crew of artists will begin a journey up the Ganges River in India in March. The small rivercrafts can be connected for common space or separated in order to navigate narrow waterways. On-board motorcycles serve dual purposes, as propellers for the individual boats and vehicles for the crew when they need to get supplies on land. The final destination for The Ocean of Blood is Varanasi, the oldest living city in the world, where the crew will collaborate with local artists to create visual and musical performances using their journey as inspiration.
File this under new materials wrought from extreme recycling: Worldchanging tells us about newspaper wood, aka KrantHout, designed by Mieke Meijer and available through the Dutch design firm, Vij5. The product is made from layers of recycled newspapers, which can be milled and sanded like any other type of wood. Meijer says KrantHout is “a reversing of a traditional production process; not from wood to paper, but the other way around.” The material has been in development since 2003 and Vij5 is working on a line of products to be added to their collection.
EYEBALLING BRIDGES AND TUNNELS
Last week’s interview with photographer Stanley Greenberg reminded BLDGBLOG of this 2004 “carto-photographic look” at New York’s bridges and tunnels, an impressive gallery of images from the Library of Congress, the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) and Historic American Engingeering Record (HAER). “Eyeballing New York City’s Bridges and Tunnels” spotlights the Brooklyn, Manhattan, Williamsburg, Bronx-Whitestone, Throgs Neck, George Washington, Queensboro, Verrazano-Narrows, Triborough and Hells Gate Bridges along with the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels, in all their infrastructural beauty.
This Saturday, TEDxBrooklyn — one of many local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a “TED-like experience” — is hosting a stage event at Pratt Institute’s Brooklyn Campus. The one day program will focus on “the making of a movement,” bringing together local artists, entrepreneurs, activists, innovators and other Brooklynites to talk about and demonstrate their work and ideas. Meanwhile, you can nominate a “transformational individual” you know to be considered for TEDxBrooklyn’s “ONE Brooklynite,” to be featured on the program website.
The Roundup keeps you up to date with topics we’ve featured and other things we think are worth knowing about.
The views expressed here are those of the authors only and do not reflect the position of The Architectural League of New York.