The Omnibus Roundup – LES Low Line, Touchscreen Travel, Tools at Schools, Project Neon: The Show, and Living as Form

Delancey Underground | image via

The Lower East Side might be getting a new park. The proposed project, the Delancey Underground, would repurpose the the abandoned underground Williamsburg Bridge Railway Terminal in an effort to inject some green space into one of the least green neighborhoods in the city and to join the ranks of the High Line in reimagining disused infrastructure. The subterranean wonderland lit by “remote skylights” would provide a green space “nearly the size of Gramercy Park” at the base of the bridge. The project, conceived by architect James Ramsey, PopTech executive Dan Barasch and money manager R. Boykin Curry IV, was presented to Community Board 3 on Wednesday evening. According to DNAInfo, the presentation “wowed” the packed audience. According to Curbed, skepticism abounded, despite the seductive renderings, about keeping the park safe and well lit, how it would be funded, or how the space would be programmed to best serve the community. Check out more renderings on Architizer and read more in New York Magazine.

On the Go Travel Station | image via

The MTA has a new magic map trip planner, the first of what they are calling their On-the-Go Travel Stations, now installed at the Bowling Green subway station in Manhattan. The Station is a 47-inch touchscreen that allows riders to access up-to-the-minute service announcements, plan trips and navigate the subway map. The upper portion of the screen is devoted to subway information, with clearly identifiable buttons for Service Status, Elevators, MTA Maps and Key Destinations. Service alerts scroll under the interactive portion, while the lower third of the screen is devoted to advertisements. For more coverage, including a video of the Bowling Green Travel Station, check out Popular Science.

Engaging in a design process taps creativity, communication skills and general understanding of how things work. So why isn’t it introduced to students earlier in their education? That question is the basis for Tools at Schools, a partnership between design firm Aruliden and furniture manufacturer Bernhardt Design. The program asked 44 eighth graders from The School at Columbia University how they would redesign the basic components of classroom furniture: the chair, the desk and the locker. The students went through the entire design process: researching existing products, identifying what they saw as lacking, sketching and modeling their ideas and presenting them to representatives from Bernhardt and Aruliden. The designers took ideas from each team and turned them around into 3D models. From there, the students were invited to the furniture factory in South Carolina to see how designs become realities. The final products were presented at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair earlier this month and an exhibit of the furniture will open at the Museum of Arts and Design on October 6th. Read more of the coverage at Smart Planet.

Solar village, Solar Decathlon 2011 | Photo by Stefano Paltera/U.S. Department of Energy

The 2011 Solar Decathlon has hit DC! After designing and building their prototypes on home turf, the nineteen teams began final construction of the houses in West Potomac Park on the 14th. Starting today, the houses are open to the public and judging has already begun. Only a few hours in, Team Maryland is in the lead, though Team New York (one of three New York/New Jersey-area teams participating in the event) has taken an early lead in the People’s Choice category. The houses will be on view through October 2nd. Keep tabs on scores and standings here and, for readers in the DC area, find more information about visiting the installation on the Solar Decathlon website.


image via


PROJECT NEON: THE SHOW! In February, Kirsten Hively told us about her ongoing effort to document and celebrate the neon signage of New York City. Now, complete with a fetching new neon sign of its own, Project Neon has been turned into an exhibition, opening tonight, September 23 from 7-10pm, at Brooklyn’s City Reliquary. The show features several dozen of Hively’s photographs and marks the release of her new, free Project Neon iPhone app. For more on Project Neon, revisit our feature about the project, check out the website, or see a preview of the exhibit at the Times’ City Room.

DUMBO ARTS: The annual DUMBO Arts Festival starts tonight! Rain or shine, head towards the Brooklyn waterfront to check out three days of events with over 500 artists. Visit artists’ studios, watch performances by musicians, dancers, poets and circus artists throughout the neighborhood, commune with instrument makers in workshops, listen to tech gurus talk about the latest advances and join walking tours to hear little-known stories of the neighborhood. The festival runs from tonight, Friday, September 23, through Sunday, September 25. Check out the full schedule of events here.

LIVING AS FORM: Also opening tonight is Creative Time’s new project Living as Form, which explores the intersection of socially engaged visual art, architecture, urban design, theater and activism, just to name a few disciplines. Bringing together 25 curators, taking place both in Essex Street Market building and the surrounding neighborhood, the project will feature over 100 socially engaged projects from around the world. An exhibition and related programming will be presented through October 12, all of which will lead up to a book, scheduled for publication in January 2012. Check out the schedule of events, as well as more about Living as Form here.

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.