- A designer has built himself a (formerly) secret little studio underneath a bridge. While it's got performative portfolio fodder written all over it, it's also a lovely project that gets at real questions of untapped spaces, the informal social aspects of infrastructure, and how little publicly accessible space is legally accessible to the public- and for anyone who seeks solitude within a populous city it's a tempting daydream of what could be.
Machines for Moving:
- Leave-it-anywhere bike share programs sound great in theory: lots of flexibility for riders in a way that maps human activity instead of property developer interests, but the reality is more complex. Human transportation (whether packed subway car, traffic jam or cyclists jockeying in their narrow bike lanes) is more than a logistics problem- it's all about following a set of tacit social norms. Scott Smith has a thoughtful post about how the "leave-it-anywhere" bikes bring their own set of nudges and knocks to the fabric of our urban transportation landscape. Part of the complication here is the intrusion of private companies (who may or may not be scraping data and reselling it) letting public spaces get entangled in their systems without participating in those places themselves, only showing up, deploying a technology and running off. It's akin to Australia's problems of the cane toad, where an outside idea that's supposed to fix a pesky local problem only ends up supplanting it with it its own unique and unfamiliar headache.
The Engineered Earth:
- We stumbled upon this series of CGI-enhanced photos from artist Dillon Marsh that depict the volume of the desired, extracted mineral in the context of the carved up landscape that came between prospector and riches. It's a simple premise but has a quiet resonance in demonstrating how wasteful and myopic our supply chains often are. As humanity steps toward near double digit billions it's easy to lose track of exactly how wide and deep our footprint of making has grown. The planet can support so much, but in the absence of stewardship the riches won't last long.
- An interesting article about how California's electrical grid (which has a significant amount of solar inputs) was tuned to deal with the short-lived shortage of the eclipse.