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How We're Turning the City into a Public Laboratory

Anyone who lives in a city can feel, at least at times, like they’re part of a grand experiment. As we move through public space, the volume of...

Anyone who lives in a city can feel, at least at times, like they’re part of a grand experiment. As we move through public space, the volume of people, traffic, noise and visual stimuli is energizing, and overwhelming. Faced with an abundance of visual data, we make split-second observations and decisions that shape how we see the world around us. But how well are we really seeing the world, and the people in it?

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The moment we stepped into Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia, we heard the music. We followed it to the corner of the park and saw a band playing for a local swing/lindy hop group offering free dance lessons. Here's what was interesting: while all of the benches around the band were full of people, there was about a ten-foot gap between the sitters and the dancers. The gap was just enough to discourage people from joining in the fun, and the dance group was more of a spectacle than an interactive experience.

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Imagine meandering through 14,000 square feet of a vacant building. It’s an eerie feeling. Each floorboard creaks as you survey for clues of what was here before and imagine what could be next.

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Hello, Lamppost: Talking Street Furniture and a 'Playable City'

Like a real-life version of a Pixar movie, the streets of Bristol, England will soon be filled with seemingly-inanimate objects that can talk.

Like a real-life version of a Pixar movie, the streets of Bristol, England will soon be filled with seemingly-inanimate objects that can talk. Mailboxes, storm drains, and lampposts will be enabled with a system that allows passerby to chat with them by text message.

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Streetpong: Redesigning the Walk Signal

Two German interaction design students created a prototype for a game you can play while waiting to cross the street.

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