public space

I Park Art. i-park-art.jpgThe PARK(ing) Day meme lands in Paris and Italy to promote the guerilla re-appropriation of public (parking) space through art and intervention.
>  22 May 2010 | LINK | Filed in , , ,

MayDay Posters

“What does International Workers’ Day mean for the self-employed — for the designer or any other highly flexible working person today? Or someone unemployed? How does someone self-employed go on strike? How do you fight for better working conditions?”

In much of the globe, workers of the world celebrate the first of May with demonstrations, parades, and parties led by community groups, unions, and left wing political organizations.

Once a celebration of Spring and a commemoration of attacks on workers, EuroMayDay is a modern reinvention of the May Day tradition. The first MayDay Parade was held in Milan in 2001 and has since spread across Europe. In 2006, it grew into EuroMayday, a day of protests and actions to fight “precarization” of workers and discrimination against migrants in Europe and beyond. New forms of Precarity are a result of shifts in the modern workplace from permanent employment to temp work, freelance, and other instruments of “flexible labor.” This has resulted in an existence for workers without predictability or security, affecting both material and psychological welfare.

Hundreds of activists and volunteers over the years have come together to organize the MayDay events. Since 2007, the design studio bildwechsel / image-shift has joined them, producing a series of beautiful and provocative MayDay posters. To celebrate MayDay (and the anniversary of this blog) I asked the studio partners about their MayDay poster designs from the last 4 years.

Continue reading "MayDay Posters" »

>  1 May 2010 | LINK | Filed in , ,
High street 'revived' by fake shop front. “Fake businesses are to be used to lessen the impact of the recession on high streets in North Tyneside. With 140 empty shops in the borough, council bosses think they have come up with a unique way of ensuring shopping areas remain as vibrant as possible. The first empty shop unit to be given a makeover with a ‘flat pack’ shop front is in Whitley Bay.” (via)

Update 5/25/10: BLGDBLOG has more on fake storefronts and dummy houses in Paris, London, and Brooklyn.
>  26 April 2010 | LINK | Filed in ,
Flow Lamp. flow-lamp.jpg A self-powered lamp post for illuminating public spaces in developing countries, this bamboo wind turbine charges LEDs, and is both cheap and recyclable. What started out as a graduate thesis will be going into production soon.
>  15 March 2010 | LINK | Filed in , ,
Command-C. Did you hear the one about the city as software platform? A group of NYU students has taken a more oppositional approach, posting a series of simple computer commands to address gentrification, development and neighborhood preservation.
Urban Computing
>  1 December 2009 | LINK | Filed in ,
Legible London. Legible London A new pedestrian wayfinding system to help people walk around the Capital. See also: Bristol Legible City, Southampton Legible City, Legible Dublin, and Connect Sheffield
>  10 November 2009 | LINK | Filed in , , ,
Color of Empire. “Iranian activists — trying to blanket New York City with their trademark green color — lobbied to bathe the top of the Empire State Building in green light all this week during their rallies against Iran’s president, who is visiting the United Nations. The request was rejected. But on Thursday, to the protesters’ delight, it will be green anyway, for another reason: an ‘Emerald Gala’ for the 70th anniversary of the film ‘The Wizard of Oz.’”

In other news, today the building will be lit red and yellow in honor of the 60th anniversary of communist China.
>  30 September 2009 | LINK | Filed in , , ,
>  7 September 2009 | LINK | Filed in , ,
Public Architecture. A San Francisco-based design firm that: “Puts the resources of architecture in the service of the public interest. We identify and solve practical problems of human interaction in the built environment and act as a catalyst for public discourse through education, advocacy and the design of public spaces and amenities.” Also: “Rather than waiting for commissions that represent well-understood needs and desires, we take a leadership role, identifying significant problems of wide relevance that require innovative research and design.… We don’t just do our own projects; we encourage architecture firms nationwide to formalize their commitment to the public good.”
>  13 July 2009 | LINK | Filed in , ,
The High Line is Open!. After 10 years of lobbying, fundraising, design and development by the Friends of the High Line, the first phase of the High Line is now officially open to the public. The High Line is an elevated railway along the west side of Manhattan being converted into a unique public park. Read more about the opening in the NY Times. I wrote about the role of design in the Friends’ advocacy work in Communication Arts in May 2004 and again in May 2009.

>  8 June 2009 | LINK | Filed in , ,

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