Vox populi. Complaining just got easier for neighborhood watchdogs in NYC. This week Mayor Bloomberg announced that building permits posted at construction sites will soon have QR (Quick Response) codes that can be scanned by smart phones. A wave of the wrist will bring up all the particulars of the construction site online and allow passers-by to report anything amiss or just find out more about project. More details about digitization of the buildings department on the mayor’s website.
Design, desert-style. Palm Springs Modernism Week kicks off today, running through February 27, a sunny celebration of mid-century architecture and design. Find a map of all the sites included in the event at MyDesert.com.
Just press print. The Cooper Hewitt acquires a MakerBot, the open source 3D printer for crafty prototyping, reports the museum’s blog.
Consuming matters. This week Rob Walker signed off from his “Consumed” column in The New York Times Magazine–and just as he was turning his gimlet eye to architectural matters! In case you missed it, here’s his recent article about the mysterious populations of architectural renderings.
Drafted. Mattel‘s new “Architect Barbie” comes complete with black-framed glasses, a model townhouse, and a (pink) blueprint holder, reports Arch Record. Part of the “Barbie I Can Be” line, one hopes Ms. Architect is smart enough to avoid the new “Sweet Talkin’ Ken.”
Double Dutch. First Manhattan, now Governor’s Island–the Dutch just can’t get enough of New York Harbor. Adriaan Geuze of West 8 talks with author Brian Davis about West 8’s proposal for a new public park on “the island next to the island at the center of the world,” via Design Observer.
No more Jersey Shore? Speaking of the Dutch, oceanography professor Malcolm Brown told WYNC that residents of the New York-New Jersey area should brush up on their dyke-building skills, warning that higher sea levels may come sooner than we think, via Transportation Nation
City Center. Planetizen pointed us to a fascinating post on Per Square Mile about Cahokia, a pre-Columbian settlement on the Mississippi, which, until Philadelphia surpassed it ca. 1800, was the largest city in North America.
Start Spreading the News. New York: If you can make there…well, it doesn’t guarantee you’ll make it in Moscow. For whatever it’s worth, New York now ranks as the most affordable of the four cities that the world’s wealthiest citizens are likely to call home. New York beats out Moscow–yes, Moscow–as well as Hong Kong and London. The Real Deal quotes a study conducted by Savills PLC, an affiliate of Stribling.
Barrios with Altitude. A poetic study of the organically evolving perimeter of Bogotá, via Lebbeus Woods.
Atlantic Aspirations. Forest City Ratner is still on the hunt for Atlantic Yards funding, but has sweetened the deal by tapping SHoP–who is already spiffing up the stadium and public plaza–to design B2, the first apartment building in the complex, says The Observer.
Sterile Street. Blair Kamin calls out developer Joe Sitt for obliterating “bracing history” in exchange for “bland consistency” on State Street, in The Chicago Times.
On Track. The mayor of Chicago holds sway in a big way. That’s why we’re keeping an eye on the ballot, and, as of today, Rahm Emanuel is back in business, reports The Chicago Tribune. Emanuel has stated that one of his first priorities is to expand Chicago Transportation Authority’s Red Line.
DesigNYC, an organization that pairs nonprofits with designers, has announced its matches for the coming year. The teams applied individually for consideration last fall and were selected by a jury drawn from desigNYC’s leadership (a high-powered group of New York-based architects, designers and thinkers–check out the list here).
Yesterday the new crop of designers, who offer their services pro bono, met their designated nonprofits and designNYC advisors at a kick-off event at the Art Director’s Club in Manhattan.