New York City launches interactive maps that reveal the minutia of neighborhood-level data

East, News, Technology
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
(Courtesy City of New York)

(Courtesy City of New York)

Busybodies and neighborhood know-it-alls rejoice: today, New York City, in partnership with civic data managers Vizalytics, launched a beta version of, a new website that maps street-level information derived from 311 calls and city agencies.

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Friday> One Day In LA, an Open Source Investigation of Los Angeles

City Terrain, West
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 1.14.49 PM

Looking up at Downtown LA’s skyline.  (

This Friday hundreds of filmmakers, non-profits, and citizens will take place in One Day In LA, a “media creation event” compiling videos that investigate the future of the city. The resulting shoots, which are being collected on, will be shared in an interactive archive and (in edited form) on a television series on public TV about the future of the American city. Continue reading after the jump.

Fabricate It Yourself With Computer Augmented Craft

Friday, August 17, 2012
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Computer Augmented Craft

Machine collaborates on your design as you make it

 Earlier this summer Design Hub Limburg mounted “The Machine,” an exhibition that anticipates what the Netherlands-based design collective is calling the designers’ industrial revolution, a movement that sees more and more designers developing and building machines specially suited to their particular needs, like the Computer Augmented Craft project (CAC) by German designer Christian Fiebig. He was commissioned by Design Hub Limburg to create an interactive machine with a digital interface that makes suggestions to the designer during the fabrication process. Using custom-made sensors, the computer tracks the making process and instantly generates formal possibilities based on the designer’s chosen parameters, bridging hi-tech with traditional craftsmanship.

Fiebig enlisted the help of product and interaction designer David Menting and his company, Nut & Bolt, to devise a system of sensors specifically for spot welding strips of metal. First, Menting used an off-the-shelf CNY70 reflective infrared sensor to detect the position of the metal strips and created an adapted pair of digital calipers to measure the length. A custom-made circular infrared sensor was then created to measure the angle at which two different strips meet. The values read by the sensors are registered by an Arduino, a microcontroller chip that enables a computer to communicate input and output components, in this case the sensors. The Arduino checks whether the infrared sensor can detect the light from a ring of LEDs on the workstation at a rate of approximately a thousand times per second. If not, it knows the light is being blocked by a strip of metal, which it measures the length and angle of, and then sends that information to the computer.

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IfUD gets American Pavilion for 2012 Venice Biennale

Thursday, October 6, 2011
BMW Guggenheim Lab during Urban Design Week. (Tom Stoelker / AN)

BMW Guggenheim Lab during IfUD's Urban Design Week. (Tom Stoelker / AN)

We can confirm—although not entirely officially—that New York’s Institute for Urban Design will represent the United States at the 2012 Venice architecture biennale.

The Chair of Institutes Board of Directors Michael Sorkin has told AN that the theme of their exhibition will be loosely based on the Institute’s new open-source program, By the City/For The City: An Atlas of Possibility for the Future New York, that played out recently across New York to enthusiastic crowds. The details of the exhibition are still to be developed by Sorkin, co-board member Cathy Lang Ho and the institute’s director (and former AN Managing Editor) Anne Guiney.

The U.S. Department of State, in a first for the government agency, selected the winning exhibition a full year before the opening of the international exhibition giving the IfUD team time to raise the $300,000 (the State Department has given them $100,000) needed to open in Venice next year.

It is not yet clear who will be the official commissioner aka “meeter, greeter, & spokesperson” of the pavilion, but they are currently looking to create “crowd sourced” events all over la Serenissima and not just inside the official giardini or McKim Mead & White American temple. We send our hearty congratulations and will start hoarding our airline miles!

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