Pop-Up Design :: Little Free Libraries in the City

Annie Thornton of Houzz explores a network of Little Free Libraries popping up throughout Manhattan.  These small scale designer libraries are built into park benches, supported by school-yard fences, and hovering in alleyways.


The Little Free Library project is a non-profit organization determined “…to promote literacy and the love of reading…” through the creation of a free network of book exchanges built and sustained by the community.  The network extends across the United States:

Little Free Library United States Network

Little Free Library United States Network

Los Angeles' Little Free Library Network

Los Angeles’ Little Free Library Network

You can build your own little library and expand the network…  Learn more about joining the Little Free Library here:


What will your Little Free Library Look Like?


Comprehensive Coastal Communities Competition

Comprehensive Coastal Communities Competition

Image from http://www.ready.gov/floods

This morning on 89.3 KPCC Take Two (http://www.scpr.org/programs/take-two/2013/06/25/32424/competition-seeks-ideas-for-extreme-weather-resist/Daniel Horn, a recent architecture graduate of New York Institute of Technology, discussed the evolution of his thesis project into a open design competition.  What began as a project which looked at revitalizing Brooklyn’s historic waterways was turned upside-down with Superstorm Sandy’s destruction.  The question became how to design aesthetically pleasing, functional and RESILIENT structures and spaces for the Newtown Creek community in Brooklyn New York…  But what about the rest of the communities along the coast?

Daniel along with some fellow students (see the team profile here http://www.3ccompetition.org/meet-the-team.html) formed Operation Resilient Long Island (ORLI) and designed the Comprehensive Coastal Communities or 3C Competition.  The competition is reaching out to the design community for concepts and ideas on how architects must respond to the changing requirements that extreme weather and climate change demand.  As residents of these northeast Atlantic Coastal communities rebuild they must choose between constructing their homes on pile foundations to raise them above the new flood plains or build them traditionally at the current elevation (and suffer insurance consequences).  Entrants must both design a conceptual RESILIENT prototype house AND look at the community as a whole; designing neighborhood block plans that incorporate the prototype and explore issues of landscaping, zoning, the streetscape and neighborhood identity.

What will these new Coastal Communities look like?

Photo by Mike Gambina; Image from The CT Mirror (http://www.ctmirror.org/story/coastal-communities-adapt-change-razing-and-raising)


Syracuse New York and the S.Alt City Mural: Revitalizing the Post Industrial City through Art.

Syracuse New York and the S.Alt City Mural: Revitalizing the Post Industrial City through Art.

This interactive mural honors the city’s past while taking advantage of today’s technology.  The pixelated image of a salt barge on one of the city’s former canals is composed of a series of QR codes linked to other art organizations in the city; such as, the Everson Museum, Erie Canal Museum, Artrage, Lightwork, etc.  

The mural by Cheng + Snyder is a part of the Connective Corridor, a larger urban project attempting to re-link Syracuse University with downtown through the use of signage, park space, pedestrian friendly infrastructure and interactive installations.  The project capitalizes on pockets of vacant space left behind by former industry.

I am very happy to see a few former students listed as members of the project team and can’t wait to check it out on my next visit!

Explore this and other installation projects here: http://codaawards.com/