TALK TO ME #design #transiçõesurbanas #robot


Andy London (American, born 1968) and Carolyn London (American, born 1972) of London Squared (USA, est. 1999) 

In this stop-motion animation, various objects on the streets of New York City—among them a public telephone, a manhole cover, and newspaper boxes— come to life, with voices taken from the filmmakers’ interviews with New Yorkers and tourists. The result is a kind of urban ethnographic research: conversations with a wide and representative range of people about their hopes and identities and how they relate to New York. Some of the interview subjects speak with heavy accents, some don’t; some tell jokes, others wax wise and philosophical. The filmmakers’ skill with the stop-motion effects allows the objects to embody the voices in a vibrant way. The Lost Tribes of New York City is both comic and poignant, showcasing the city’s remarkable diversity while at the same time emphasizing the common experience that connects its various tribes.


Kacie Kinzer (American, born 1983) 

Tweenbots are small, constantly moving robots that depend on the kindness of strangers to get where they are going. Interaction designer Kacie Kinzer sent Sam, the best traveled of the Tweenbots, on many missions in New York City’s Washington Square Park, armed only with a flag that asked passersby to point him toward a particular destination. She fully expected that Sam—made of a battery-operated motor and cardboard—would be crushed, lost, or thrown away, but surprisingly (or unsurprisingly, depending on how helpful you believe New Yorkers to be) he always arrived safely at his destination. The Tweenbots demonstrate that a clever situation staged by a designer can set a dialogue in motion between people and objects. 


Eric Fischer (American, born 1973) 

Locals and Tourists uses geotagging data from the photo-sharing websites Flickr and Picasa to visualize the different areas frequented by locals and tourists in New York, London, and 124 other cities, including Taipei, Sydney, Berlin, and San Jose, California. After harvesting millions of data points in the form of photographs, Eric Fischer links them by photographer and date and then plots them on a city’s OpenStreetMap grid. A photographer with many shots of the same city and a long photo history can be assumed to be a local and is represented in blue, and someone whose photos are taken within a limited time period is assumed to be a tourist and represented in red; photographers whose status can’t be determined are represented in yellow.