Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Brooklyn, New York, is getting a brand new market. But this one is much more than the standard collection of farmers' stands.
The new Dekalb Market in downtown Brooklyn will be built out of recycled shipping containers and other repurposed materials. Artists, chefs, and entrepreneurs will convert the salvaged containers into venues for art, eating, and enterprise. The idea is to make a modular market that can bring more than just consumerism to the neighborhood and in the process revitalize the currently vacant space.
And you can help design it. Today, Urban Space announced the Not Just a Container contest. They're offering free rent for six months to the most creative and innovative idea for one of the 160-square-foot shipping containers. You could envision a farm structure, store, art installation, even a work-sell space. Musicians, consider making an intimate venue in a box. Athletes, think up some activities for the local kids and you could have a start-up on your hands. It's all fair game.
Entries will be judged on design quality, sustainability, community impact, and entrepreneurship. Bonus: GOOD is a media partner for the competition and helping judge the entries. To find out more, click here.
Monday, March 7, 2011
Who’s savvy on design, carries a set of blueprints, and isn’t shy of the color pink? Sounds like Barbie, to me! That’s right: As the latest addition to Mattel’s “I Can Be” line of career dolls, the new Architect Barbie officially was introduced at Toy Fair, held February 13-16 at the Javits Center in New York. She boasts black glasses, a hard hat, a dress with a skyline motif, a pink tube to carry her blueprints, and a model pink house.
The new Barbie was created along with help from the AIA, although the organization officially did not partner with Mattel. Two AIA members in upstate New York, Kelly Hayes McAlonie, AIA, MRAIC, LEED-AP, and Despina Stratigakos, Associate AIA, “were part of the conversation with the company,” says an AIA spokesperson. The doll’s release conveniently coincides with the 125th anniversary of the first woman architect, Louise Blanchard Bethune. “We’re pleased that a new generation of young people have an opportunity to imagine becoming an architect. Look for the doll in stores later this year.
While many in A&D were hyped last year at the potential of an Architect Barbie (the doll was one of the options for the online I Can Be vote in 2010 but lost to News Anchor Barbie and Computer Engineer Barbie) and its potential generational outreach and inspiration to attract more women designers into the industry, not everyone is so pleased with the realization of the doll.
One site, Treehugger.com, critiques the doll’s appearance—her “fashionista” style and lack of career realism (she doesn’t look sleep deprived enough)—as well as the accompanying dollhouse, saying that “the real problem with Architect Barbie is that horrible house; it appears to have more plastic than the Monsanto House of the Future. In an era when we are trying to promote natural, healthy materials, she is in a Karim Rashid pink plastic palace.” Another comments that “she should be wearing all-black, including maybe a black mock turtle neck, and she needs to trim that pony tail. But that's just me.”
What’s your take? Do you love the new Architect Barbie; or is she a bit too far out of the box when it comes to giving a realistic impression of the profession?
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
America has introduced a dollar coin before, but the GAO says those efforts failed because the government didn't also take the dollar bill out of circulation, as Canada and the United Kingdom did when they traded paper for metal. "Officials from both [Canada and the U.K.] told GAO that this step was essential to the success of their transition and that, with no alternative to the note, public resistance dissipated within a few years."
Strangely, the majority of the public stands opposed to the dollar coin. Even when told it could save the country billions, 64 percent of Americans surveyed said they wouldn't want to see the dollar bill go away.
For more information on how to save money by changing our money,click here to watch a great anti-penny rant.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
A recent investigation by Consumer Reports found that many of the everyday items you buy have been suspiciously shrinking, despite no similar reduction in cost !? Are we being fooled?
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Friday, February 18, 2011
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Curious About Electric Vehicles? You Can Now Rent a Tesla for $25
The parked car is making itself useful these days. Just last month, new startup Getaround launched a peer-to-peer marketplace that dramatically reduces the cost of driving by allowing users to rent cars from strangers using an iPhone. While you're sitting at your desk at work, your car can be out earning you money. Or if you're without a car, you can rent one from someone nearby.
"Since the invention of the automobile, we've been conditioned to think that only one person should own and use each car," says Getaround Co-Founder Elliot Kroo. "Getaround is changing that paradigm by enabling people to access a vehicle instead of having to possess one."
Getaround's latest initiative will no doubt attract legions of early adopters: Members can now try out the $108,000 Tesla Roadster for just $25 an hour.
Of course the Tesla (which is owned by a private individual who wants as many people as possible to experience it) isn't the only car available at Getaround. And other companies are jumping in the EV rental bandwagon, too. Hertz started renting out electric Smart cars in December, and just last week, rented out the first Chevy Volt. And Zipcar has been renting out alternative fuel vehicles for years.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Saturday, January 1, 2011
art, education and the democratic commitment: a defense of state support for the arts (philosophical studies in contemporary culture)
The $12 Million Stuffed Shark: The Curious Economics of Contemporary Art. Don Thompson
Seven Days in the Art World
Art of the Deal: Contemporary Art in a Global Financial Market
Idea: A Gym Membership that Charges You for Not Exercising
Every year one of America's top New Year's resolutions is to join a gym and get in shape. And every year America just gets fatter. So what if our workout facilities started hitting us where it really counts; not in our guts, but in our pocketbooks?
That's the main idea behind Gym-Pact, a new company in Boston that partners with local vendors to offer discounts to consumers in exchange for weekly workout commitments. If you fulfill your commitment and attend the gym as promised, you get to skate along at reduced rates. But, if you choose to loaf and skip your agreed upon workouts, you're penalized at least $10 per day.
Gym-Pact is the bright idea of two 2010 Harvard grads, Yifan Zhang and Geoff Oberhofer, who were inspired by a lesson from their behavioral economics class: "[P]eople are more motivated by immediate consequences than by future possibilities." According to Zhang and Oberhofer, because many gym fees are paid for up front, people tend to give up on working out fairly easily, as they consider the cost sunk regardless of whether they go. But by instituting an immediate daily cost, the motivation behind the penalty drastically increases.
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