Digital Frictions

A Tour of Some Logistics Landscapes

From satellites to elevators, the technologies that coordinate the on-demand economy also organize our sense of what kind of world is possible and desirable.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Digital Frictions

Radio Past | Radio Future

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

Digital Frictions

Latchkey Living

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