Capital Knowledge: IDEAS City Festival Touches Down in NYC

IDEAS City is a four-day festival and meeting of the minds that hopes to explore the future of cities around the globe.

Celebrating all things theoretical (and possible), the 2013 IDEAS City conference kicked off at the New Museum in New York this past Wednesday with a keynote address by MIT Media Lab’s Joi Ito. Speaking to the unlimited potential of the internet as it continues to transform society in substantial and positive ways, Ito was the perfect figure to usher in this massive consciousness-raising event.

Announcing a line-up as diverse as it is intriguing, IDEAS City is a four-day festival and meeting of the minds that hopes to explore the future of cities around the globe, and the role art and culture play in the innovation of urban centers. This year’s IDEAS City has been dedicated to the exploration of "Untapped Capital," and the ways cities can use what’s already at their disposal to create and renew.

By focusing on four main areas where Untapped Capital can be found and put to productive use, Ad Hoc Strategies, Waste, Play, and Youth, the festival looks through a series of workshops, panels, and discussions to get the public to think about ways they can rejuvenate their ailing or stagnated public spaces. Featuring such curious events as “Arlin Austin in collaboration with human and puppet colleagues presents: Art-Pedagogy Fun-Time Alternative-Economies Discourse-Adventure”, IDEAS City hopes to act as a city-wide catalyst and open platform to help urban dwellers re-consider the way they view art, design, the urban center, and the way we interact.

Taking place throughout downtown NYC, IDEAS City’s main base will be at the New Museum on the Bowery, where events like artist-led workshops by Burak Arikan and Nicolas Paris will focus, respectively, on networking as a medium for special mapping (Arikan), and architecture as a model, education as a system, and drawing as a tool (Paris).

So far, exciting featured events have included Studio 360’s Kurt Anderson moderating a mayoral panel including Manuel Diaz (Miami 2001-9), Christophe Girard (Paris 2001-12), Jim Gray (Lexington, KY), Bill Purcell (1999-2007), and Will Wynn (Austin, TX), on how government can use untapped resources like green power and the arts to contribute to the betterment of their cities, and a discussion on how play and gaming can assist us in “re-imagining and co-creating urban environments, foster deeper engagement, propel education, and provide solutions to urban problems” (featuring Kickstarter Cofounder Yancey Strickler, video game designer Eric Zimmerman, and many others).

One particular event we’re curious about is Pitching The City: New Ideas for New York. Featuring some of the most recognizable names in New York media and politics, the event is co-hosted by the Municipal Art Society and “Facebook for architects” Architizer, and hopes to offer a platform for fresh ideas that use New York’s untapped capital in new and inventive ways. The founders of LowLine, +Pool, New Lab NYFi, and the Hudson River Powerhouse will have the chance to pitch their ideas (in front of an audience of real New Yorkers) to a jury that includes’s Nick Denton, NY1’s Pat Kiernan, Nazli Parvizi of the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit, Christopher Sharples of SHoP Architects, Megan Sheekey of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, and designer Yeohlee Teng. To further illustrate the remarkable democratization of this bid to mold NYC, at the end audience members will be asked to vote with their mobile devices on their favorite project. The winner will then receive editorial assistance in launching a campaign, as well as the opportunity to present their proposal at the annual MAS Summit for New York City in October.

In all, the conference promises to be an exciting opportunity to witness collective action and conceptualization in real time. Regardless of any genuine outcomes that may emerge from panels and workshops, IDEAS City promises to be an illuminating and thought provoking four days.

IDEAS City Conference May 1 - 4 at the New Museum, 235 Bowery New York, NY; In partnership with The Architectural League of New York, Bowery Poetry Club, Cooper Union, The Drawing Center, NYU Wagner, and the Storefront for Art and Architecture

Images courtesy of IDEAS City/New Museum


Between Alexa, Siri, and Google, artificial intelligence is quickly changing us and the way we live. We no longer have to get up to turn on the lights or set the thermostat, we can find the fastest route to work with a click, and, most importantly, tag our friends in pictures. But interacting with the world isn't the only thing AI is making easier – now we can use it save the world, too.

Keep Reading Show less
Good News

An anonymous White House official claims President Trump cruelly limited Hispanic immigrants in their new book, "A Warning."

The book, to be released on November 19, gives an alleged insider account of the Trump White House and paints a picture of the president as a chaotic man who lacks the mental and moral acumen required for the job.

The anonymous staffer says that Trump once feigned a Hispanic accent and made fun of women attempting to immigrate to the U.S.

Keep Reading Show less
via KTVU / YouTube

The 63-year-old Oakland-Alameda Coliseum, currently branded the RingCentral Coliseum, is one of the most decrepit sports venues in America.

The home to the the NFL's Oakland Raiders (until they move to Las Vegas next season) and MLB's A's, is notoriously known as the Black Hole and has made headlines for its frequent flooding and sewage issues.

One of the stadium's few positive aspects is its connection to public transportation.

Keep Reading Show less
Hero Video
Yad Vashem

Since 1992, the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous has been holding reunion ceremonies between Holocaust survivors and rescuers once a year. But the tradition is coming to an end, as many have died or are too frail to travel. What might be the last reunion of its kind took place when a 92-year-old woman met up with the two surviving family members that she helped hide during the Holocaust, and their descendants.

Sarah Yanai and Yossi Mor introduced Melpomeni Dina (nee Gianopoulou) to their almost 40 family members, all decedents of the Mordechai family, the family of seven that Dina and her two sisters hid during WWII. "There are no words to describe this feeling," Dina told the Jeruselum Post. "It is very emotional for us to be together again."

Keep Reading Show less
via Facebook / Autumn Dayss

Facebook user and cosplayer Autumn Dayss has stirred up a bit of Halloween controversy with her last-minute costume, an anti-Vaxx mother.

An image she posted to the social network shows a smiling Dayss wearing a baby carrier featuring a small skeleton. "Going to a costume party tonight as Karen and her non-vaccinated child," the caption over the image reads.

Keep Reading Show less