Emma Chow

Stockholm Stacked: Vertical City Fantasy

Stockholm Stacked by Visiondivision

Stockholm is growing fast. Really fast. Land in the centre is becoming hard to come by. However, Stockholm’s traditional urban forms have created large pockets of open land throughout the city, in the form of courtyards. Swedish architecture firm Visiondivision is proposing a solution to the land crunch that’s true to their penchant for bold and fanciful design. They envision magnificent skyscrapers taking the place of the humble courtyards.

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The Gourmet Busker: Cooking With Love

Food Busker

The girl strumming her guitar by the lamp post, the elderly gentleman belting out Sinatra in the subway corridor, or the energetic trio of b-boys breaking out acrobatic moves in the plaza. Buskers are a sure sign you’ve landed in the city, where anyone can take their talents to the streets and earn some cash. Some time ago, I was strolling through London’s Real Food Market on the South Bank (where we also found this cool container restaurant) and stumbled across a most unique and intriguing busker. John Quilter, aka the Food Busker, has put his own unique spin on busking. He will cook you a meal and if you like it you can drop some money in his busking tin. If not, you can tell him “to take a hike”.

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  • Motion Sensing Ticker Tape Making Virtual Waves

    Reactive Super-Speed Electromagnetic Dot Display

    Ticker tape has been around forever. The simple strip of scrolling information is usually found in transit hubs and financial centres, providing a constant stream of updates. This old-fashioned utilitarian display has been infused with a serious dose of play by the digital innovators at Breakfast, the company that came up with Instaprint. Instead of a boring standard data feed, your motions dictate the ticker tape display. The screen shows a series of random words, which you can smash or send flying with your movements to reveal a secret message. The ticker tape board has been equipped with motion sensors and the little electromagnetic display dots have been rewired to spin 15 times faster, creating a ‘Reactive Super-Speed Electromagnetic Dot Display’.

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    Pop-Up Foodism In San Francisco

    Off the Grid

    Oh, glorious street food! Probably, the thing I most look forward to when going to markets, festivals, and even concerts. And I have just been giddy to see the recent rebirth of the food truck culture, along with myriad new cuisines and creative offerings. If only there were a regular event that brought all these delicious victuals together so that street food fans, like myself, could sample to their tummies’ content. Off the Grid in San Francisco came up with exactly that idea in 2010. They now have 12 weekly street food markets running throughout the Bay area. The markets are setup in fairly central areas on plots of undeveloped land to keep costs low and local vendors are invited to peddle their fares. Offerings range from fusion tacos to delectable cupcakes. Hungry visitors can expect to see many well-known food trucks, as well as lesser-known start-ups, and even chefs of famous local pop-up dinners.

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    Meet Stanley, The World’s First Twitter Piano

    Twitter piano Stanley

    Stanley is the name given to a player piano that takes requests via Twitter. And what is a player piano? Traditionally, it’s a self-playing piano that ‘reads’ music imprinted on a paper or metal roll. Common about a century ago during the vaudeville era, they were found in almost every smoky saloon. Stanley, created for the Seattle Capitol Hill Block Party music festival, is a new breed of player piano.

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  • MIT Designs Foldable Electric Cars

    MIT designs foldable electric car

    We’ve seen electric cars morph into various shapes and sizes, but have we ever thought to make them foldable? MIT did, with their Hiroki car. While this neat little innovation does little for running performance, it will greatly improve parking and storage efficiency, which fits nicely into the recent ‘micro-city’ trend. Three foldable cars can stack into one standard parking space.

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    Urban Hacktivists Take Over Street Ads In Toronto

    Street ad hack by cARTographyTO

    Similar to a recent posting on Jilly Ballistic, the targets of this guerrilla artwork are advertisements. In general, billboards are a blight on the urbanscape. But, what if these eyesores took up space meant to provide city dwellers and visitors with useful information? The creative team, cARTographyTO, has been responsible for hacking 35 advertisement signs (ironically named…

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    Rooftop Tea Party

    Ridged Rooftop Furniture by Ainė Bunikytė

    Have you ever had the chance to gaze upon a dense, old neighbourhood from a lofty vantage point? The intricately interwoven rooftops of varying slopes, shapes and sizes, sheathed in brightly coloured terra cotta shingles is quite a sight to behold. Now you can be part of that remarkable landscape — in comfort while enjoying a spot of tea — thanks to Lithuanian designer Ainė Bunikytė’s ‘Ridged Rooftop Furniture’.

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