The Omnibus Roundup – Connected USA, Bus Branding, Foodprint LA, TreeHouse, Fast-Tracked and Light Bright

Connected States of America | Image via MIT SENSEable City Lab
Connected States of America | Image via MIT SENSEable City Lab

The MIT SENSEable City Lab, AT&T Labs-Research and IBM Research recently launched the “Connected States of America,” an interactive map using anonymous mobile phone data to illustrate emerging communities formed by social connections in geographically disparate areas. The base map shows color-coded states and regions, and allows users to click on any county to see which areas share the most phone time or SMS data between regions. The project also developed a map series to show that, with increased urbanization, communication nodes are changing the way people can understand and define “community.” Check it out for yourself at

Transportation Branding Creative Timeline via EMBARQ
Transportation think tank EMBARQ has released “a creative guide to making public transport the way to go,” calling for a re-branding for public transit services in efforts to attract new users, retain existing riders and encourage government support. In a competitive marketplace in which the auto industry spends $21 billion on card ads annually, EMBARQ says creative marketing must be seen as an investment, not a luxury. The report highlights efforts of global public transportation administrations that have developed branded identities and boosted user-friendliness by increasing accessibility, streamlining design and using non-traditional language. Read more coverage on The Dirt or download the full guide here.

Foodprint LA
For our Los Angeles readers: Nicola Twilley and Sarah Rich have just launched an experiment in crowdsourcing data collection to find out more about the food Angelenos eat and where it comes from. Every two weeks, volunteers will be asked to document their food purchases using Kullect‘s new app. The data collected will be used to create infographics, maps and charts to foster a better understanding of Los Angeles’ foodscape. The project is in anticipation of the next installment of the Foodprint Project, coming to L.A. this fall.

TreeHouse on Governors Island | Image via Inhabitat
TreeHouse on Governors Island | Image via Inhabitat

Artist Benjamin Jones
has officially opened the Governors Island TreeHouse, built from all-sustainable materials that were sourced from non-profit reclaimed material warehouse Build-It-Green! NYC. The installation features a few interactive add-ons: games like an FSC See-Saw, a cell phone charging station, a Scratch N’ Sniff stand, and a greywater peddling fountain to teach visitors about sustainable energy sources. This weekend, Jones has invited the public to help paint the structure and enjoy a picnic party, on Saturday, July 9th. Read more about the TreeHouse on Inhabitat.


Fast-Tracked with CUP

Fast-Tracked With CUP:Two years and two billion dollars from now, New York will get its first new subway stop in 22 years. Join CUP’s teaching artists Alexandra Woolsey-Puffer and Jeff Maki on July 12th at The Lot under the High Line at 30th Street for the debut presentation of Fast-Tracked, an investigation into how subways are developed, with particular attention paid to the hidden history of the 7 line extension and the Hudson Yards Redevelopment Project. The program is free and open to the public. Find out more on the CUP Facebook page or RSVP to

Oculus by Sarah Nelson Wright at Bring to Light Festival 2010 | Image via Sarah Nelson Wright
Sarah Nelson Wright’s Oculus at Bring to Light Festival 2010 | Image via Sarah Nelson Wright and Nathaniel Lieb

Light Bright: Bring to Light has released a request for proposals for their second annual event. The festival fosters a new kind of engagement between temporary art installations and public space, “creating an immersive spectacle for thousands of visitors. … Whether boldly monumental or quietly engrossing, Bring to Light fosters contemplative, multi-sensory and participatory experiences in the public sphere with lasting impact.” The RFP invites artists at all stages of their careers to propose site-specific installations of light, sound, performance and projection to transform the streets, parks and industrial waterfront of Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The RFP is open until July 25th.

Vertical Urban Factory Closing Reception: Next week is your last chance to see Vertical Urban Factory at the Skyscraper Museum, closing on July 17th. On July 13, from 6—8pm, architectural historian and exhibition curator Nina Rappaport will lead a gallery tour and discussion about the exhibit, followed by a closing party. Find out more at

Fixing the Great Mistake: Why have we let cars take over our streets? Mark Gorton, founder of OpenPlans, noted entrepreneur and advocate for livable streets, will look at the history of transportation in New York City at the Center for Architecture next week. He will focus on unpacking some of the myths that are often cited to defend car-centric planning, providing evidence against them and offering a vision of livable streetlife in New York City.

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.