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In the world of creativity, if you're not starting a fire, then what's the point? So, we've created a portal to celebrate the most revolutionary and thought-provoking ideas we're seeing in the world today. Some are ideas we've recognized from others and we're tipping our hats to, and others are ones we thought of (go figure). Either way you cut it, you won't find a dull moment here, and hopefully we've inspired you to start your own fire.
The New York subway can be overwhelming to navigate. Max Roberts, professor at the University of Essex, believes he has created an unconventional method to more effectively map public transportation. Rule of thumb in map making is most importantly to be geographically accurate, always draw straight lines, and never use circles. In an attempt to challenge traditional map design, Roberts ignores all three. You might ask, why design such a map? Roberts hopes to encourage people to fully understand the intricate subway network rather than simply memorize points. He states, “A map that encourages study, encourages use.”
What sparked our fire: A chaotic city network organized via a non-traditional system.
How does Roberts’ mapmaking method compare to the new Google Maps?
Brooklyn-based artist and professor, Willy Hartland, is raising money on the increasingly popular crowd-funding website, Kickstarter, in efforts to finish production on his short film. Entitled, New York City: An Animated Documentary, Hartland has spent the last several years sketching over a thousand portraits of The Big Apple. His drawings capture the urban lifestyle of New Yorker’s in subways, parks, bars or anywhere people rest long enough to be drawn.
What sparked his fire: Watching total strangers face everyday challenges and creatively capturing them in that moment.
Imagine a documentary using this method was created for all major cities, which would be your favorite?
Architects Gluck+, a NYC-based architecture firm, is using a unique style of construction to build Broadway Stack, a new residential apartment complex at 4857 Broadway in Manhattan, New York. GLUCK+ won a Bloomberg-sponsored competition that challenged architects to design micro-units using prefabrication to solve the city’s housing shortage. Dating back to the early 1920s, prefab construction has not gained traction until recently. This technique forces architects to make design decisions ahead of time; pieces are factory-made, shipped to the construction site and built much like a Lego house. This method is gaining popularity across metropolitan areas because it is more efficient and cuts down on on-site operations. From beginning to end, the entire process takes ten months, a full six months less than traditional methods. Broadway Stack residents will be able to move into these moderately priced apartments by October of this year.
What sparked our fire: The endless ways to construct a building, cleaner, quicker, and smarter.
What innovative designs are ahead of their time today?
Absolut recently sponsored Open Canvas, an outdoor art festival, where over 20 artists converged on Brooklyn’s 6th Street in Williamsburg. All types of surfaces were painted white, forming a blank canvas for artists to create whatever they pleased. This stunt was in conjunction with “the future is yours to create” campaign, where the goal was to inspire people to envision and achieve their dreams.
Performing arts visionary, Aly Rose, designed and choreographed an inspirational display of human movement and dance high above New York’s Central Park. ONE, will be a 3D moving sculpture 150 feet above Central Park. The “moving” sculpture will require the careful coordination of 300 performers, architects, designers, engineers and production crew to get the project off the ground.
What sparks our fire: The combination of technology, design, arts and human spirit.