Finnish designer Candy Chang’s installation in Brooklyn explores the price of housing, owner/renter mobility, and location. Over the course of one week and several rainstorms, Candy collected data on participants’ homes: their size, location, cost, and duration of occupancy. She publicly displayed these before aggregating the data into infographics reflecting the city’s housing strata.
Her work yields potential avenues for our thinking about Life Lab to walk. Where she sought to uncover a community narrative, she found a suitable format for engagement. The Post-its contain much information, are accessible to anyone who has played Madlibs or done grammar homework, and are easily disseminated and logged.
Wanting to dig more deeply into the ramifications of housing costs, DS4SI’s job is to visualize the same data in real time, while maintaining a participatory format. There are questions of exchange that we’d need to explore – how to solicit and instantly display the information (exchange between source and result) or how to productively interact with participants (an exchange of labor).
An obvious difference between Life Lab and I’ve Lived is the latter’s emphasis on history. Chang looks at the occupants’ time spent in the neighborhood and the data yields lessons about mobility, suggesting that lifetime residents are considerably advantaged over renters. Life Lab frames issues in a sense of urgency. It says real people have x, y, and z going on in (y)our neighborhood, and publicly creating ideas together will help us intervene.
A successful deployment of Life Lab could bridge this difference if we give some thought to foregrounding the context in which we place the installation.
I’ve Lived was part of the Windows Brooklyn exhibit that paired artists with storefront windows in Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens June 14-22, 2008.
The Design Studio often asks, where can you mix it up between the urban, architecture, design, transportation, energy, art and fashion? We find these places of intersection generative and exciting.
With the tagline Inhabit: Design will save the world, inhabitat.com described themselves as a “weblog devoted to the future of design, tracking the innovations in technology, practices and materials that are pushing architecture and home design towards a smarter and more sustainable future.” But from solar powered stadiums to foldable compact bicycles, an eco fashion show and an ancient church converted into a modern bookstore, there is a lot to taste here.
Re-inventing ordinary street dividers and concrete balls, Liesbet Bussche creates larger-than-life jewelry pieces for the streets of Amsterdam. The Belgian designer makes small interventions to the street scape, a charm to a chain or earring backs to a concrete ball. However, altogether the jewelry can easily make any passer-by smile upon finding a serendipitous change in the uniform vocabulary of the urban landscape.
From architects to skateboarders, Conflux participants have an enthusiasm for the city that’s contagious. Over the course of the long weekend the sidewalks are literally transformed into a mobile laboratory for creative action. With tools ranging from traditional paper maps to high-tech mobile devices, artists present walking tours, public installations and interactive performance, as well as bike and subway expeditions, workshops, a lecture series, a film program and live music performances at night.
Don’t miss — http://confluxfestival.org/2009/
The Village Voice describes Conflux as a “network of maverick artists and unorthodox urban investigators… making fresh, if underground, contributions to pedestrian life in New York City, and upping the ante on today’s fight for the soul of high-density metropolises.”
Are the places that matter most to you part of the official narrative of your city? Chances are they are not…
But projects like [murmur] help to make places matter for everyone. The latest launch comes to us from a group of high school students in Orange, NJ recorded people’s stories about places and developed this: http://murmurorange.com/
At its core, [murmur]‘s mission is to allow more voices to be woven into the “official” narrative of a place or city, democratizing the ability to shape people’s perspectives of place, and making cities, neighbourhoods and ordinary places come alive in new ways for listeners. [murmur]’s stories, though personal or even purely anecdotal, inevitably reveal elements of the wider social, civic and political history of a given spot, its surrounding location, and the communities and individuals connected to it. And each story’s details truly come alive as the listener walks through, around, and into the narrative. By engaging with [murmur], people develop a new intimacy with their surroundings and “history” acquires a multitude of new voices, while the physical experience of hearing a story in its actual setting – of hearing the walls talk – brings uncommon knowledge to common space, bringing people closer to the real histories that make up their world, and to one another.
What places would you put on the [murmur] map in your city?
You can join us for the official launch party!!
[murmur] Orange Launch Party, Ironworks Studio, 406 Tompkins Street, Orange, NJ 07050,
Sunday September 20, 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Directions from nyc: Take the 1:11 NJ Transit train from Penn Station to Highland Ave. From Highland Ave.: Walk downstairs and go right on Freeman Street, walk two blocks and turn left on Tompkins Street. Ironworks Studio will be on your left.
Check out this guy's map!
Scents and the City
By JASON LOGAN
New York secretes its fullest range of smells in the summer; disgusting or enticing, delicate or overpowering, they are liberated by the heat. So one sweltering weekend, I set out to navigate the city by nose. As my nostrils led me from Manhattan’s northernmost end to its southern tip, some prosaic scents recurred (cigarette butts; suntan lotion; fried foods); some were singular and sublime (a delicate trail of flowers mingling with Indian curry around 34th Street); while others proved revoltingly unique (the garbage outside a nail salon). Some smells reminded me of other places, and some will forever remind me of New York.