Pulses of Light Beneath the Streets

A book about the Internet's physical infrastructure inspires a closer look at how fiber optic cables are woven — literally — into the city's fabric.

A Field Guide to AC Units

A fresh and cheerful journey through an under-explored but ubiquitous aspect of our urban environment: the window air conditioning unit.


Two of the co-founders of an innovative “video map” of New York discuss personal expression, urban exploration and the civic possibilities of video.

City of Systems

City of Systems: Waste Removal

In our final video on complex urban systems, writer Elizabeth Royte offers a snapshot of the past, present and future of what happens to New Yorkers' trash once it leaves the curb.

Solar Decathlon

Representatives from three interdisciplinary teams of college students in the New York metro area share how they are taking on the challenge of this year’s Solar Decathlon.

Digital Engagement: Change by Us NYC

A growing number of online platforms devoted to civic improvements have been launched in cities nationwide, many of them right here in New York.

Signal Space

Michael Chen investigates the physical, spatial and technological significance of the infrastructure of mobile communication networks.

City of Systems

City of Systems: Skyscraper Mechanical

In our third video on complex urban systems, mechanic Jim Ferrari takes us behind closed doors to reveal the inner workings of a midtown Manhattan office building.

Lead Pencil Studio: Looking at Nothing

Annie Han and Daniel Mihalyo describe their laser scanning studies of urban public spaces as an attempt to measure the invisible effect of shape and proportion on spatial experience.


A living city is always in Beta. Let’s Play. Carl Skelton discusses how an open source, multi-player environment for cities can expand the participatory toolset of engaged urban citizens.