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.
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