The Week In Design

A magic, microwavable notebook, Coke rebrands (again), and all the Cindy Sherman emoticons you could ever want.

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How Falling Off a Bike Made Me Want to Build a Crowd Powered City

I remember the shock of being on the tarmac with traffic and trucks narrowly missing me on the busy familiar road I had been cycling on for 12...


I remember the shock of being on the tarmac with traffic and trucks narrowly missing me on the busy familiar road I had been cycling on for 12 years in London. I inadvertently drove my bike into a pothole. Like the proverbial Alice in Wonderland, I went through the rabbit hole and started thinking about the city and the neighborhood I live in, particularly why citizens seem helpless to do anything to fix their streets.

Since I am a designer of mobile operating systems I am used to creating feedback loops for users to file bugs so that we can improve software systems. The challenge of applying this sort of thinking to cities is to create an evolutionary operating system that is not merely a one way bug-reporting tool that files complaints to already overworked city councils, but a two-way bug solving tool that citizens can use to come together to crowdsource solutions to common problems, help optimize and share scarce resources, and possibly crowd-fund those solutions with local businesses, neighbors, and town councils.

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The Book Truck: Mobile Library Hits Mexico City's Streets

In Mexico City, a mobile library on a freight truck totes around 1500 books on visual art and culture to bring contemporary art into public dialogue.

Following the explosion of food truck popularity, it’s no longer a surprise to see hearth-baked pizza, ice cream-topped waffles, or even organic vegetables emerge from inside a four-wheeled vehicle. But a new project in Mexico City adds even more variation to the truck's creative resume, by placing less of a gastronomic and more of an intellectual spin on the word “taste.”

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A Middle Man Could Bring Smartphones to Millions of Mexicans for the First Time

In Mexico, a pioneering company uses sophisticated data sets to replace credit scores and provide access to mobile phones and the internet.

After two years of intentionally losing money in a very smart way, a Mexican cell phone company is set to change the way the country’s consumers use mobile phones to access the internet. If their plan works, it could transform not only the Mexican phone industry, but consumer finance systems in developing countries around the globe.

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SeeClickFix Is Using Facebook to Make Fixing Cities Social

More than anything, SeeClickFix coming to Facebook means you can get a new feed about the civic issues on your block. Then do something about it.


We've been following the growing expansion of SeeClickFix, the online and mobile interface to report problems in your community. And now it's making the leap onto Facebook with a new app to connect neighbors and make solving local problems as addictive as playing Farmville.

It creates "a new kind of newsfeed within Facebook, that is connecting people, not by who they know, but by where they live and what they care about," says Ben Berkowitz, co-founder. "You will see everything everyone in your neighborhood is reporting." That could seriously increase the response rate to calls for community activism, even if they're just about small things like potholes—if people sign up to use the app, that is. There are already hundreds of thousands of users, bringing SeeClickFix to an online environment where people already check their news will only expand that base.

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