Olivia Chen

Links Roundup of the Week: Reburbia, Reburbia, Reburbia!

by , 08/14/09

reburbia

Suburban sprawl has become the problem of our generation — that’s why we partnered with Dwell to sponsor, Reburbia, a design competition to re-imagine the suburb. We posted the finalists earlier this week, and we’ve already seen a huge response to the entries. Everyone is voting in on their favorites, so take a peek at what’s hot…and what’s not.

Fast Company asks us to think about the modest and realistic solutions rather than the futuristic stuff that leaves them wanting more.

The authors of Freakonomics give Reburbia a shout-out on the NY Times.

Wired shares a snarky review of the contest and the finalists’ solutions.

Apartment Therapy gives Re-burbia a shout-out, commenting on the range of the entries.

BLDGBLOG has a special soft spot for the solutions rooted in converting suburban land into green-scapes or useful filtration systems.

PopSci.com reports on what is popular and their favorite tech-y solution.

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1 Comment

  1. InOurTalons August 15, 2009 at 12:50 am

    All of the entries in the Reburbia competition look nice, but none of them really stand out as practical or doable.

    If you look at the progression of civilization I think it’s easy to spot what the next logical step is going to be.

    The industrial revolution forced people from the rural neighborhoods to move to the cities to work.

    The automobile and cheap oil allowed people to live in the suburbs and commute to work in the city.

    Now that we are faced with an energy crisis, we can either abandon the suburbs and move into the city or we can work from the suburbs and not have to commute to the city.

    I think the most practical and best long term solution is the latter.

    Telecommuting is becoming more popular, but in many respects it still isn’t completely practical.

    However in 15 to 25 years this is going to change. Fiber to the home will become prevalent and we will have cheap printable organic semiconductors.

    With these two technologies we will be able to setup so called mixed-reality spaces within our homes.

    Think of it as Skype on steroids.

    The most basic setup could consist of a corner wall in your home wallpapered with an organic display with embedded cameras, a curtain behind you, and a small desk with a keyboard and mouse on the bottom and a multi-touch display on top.

    The computer could then composite you and coworkers’ video feeds into a virtual workspace environment.

    Look at the right wall and you see Bob doing his work in front of his computer and look at the left wall and you see Jane doing her work in front of her computer.

    The multi-touch display desk will allow you do to things like slide a digital invoice to Jane and ask her a question about an item.

    It’s like your in the same office together, but you could be on separate continents.

    And this isn’t just limited to work, students could go to class, moms could go food shopping, teenagers could buy clothes, etc.

    It’s essentially what we have today, but more immersive.

    More elaborate setups could consist of rooms dedicated for mixed-reality spaces.

    Imagine wallpapering your dining room with a display and being able to sit next to your grandfather who is in another state for Thanksgiving.

    Of course, one major concern with this system is how it will affect our physical relationships with people, but that’s something that will take some time to discuss and resolve.

    Nevertheless, I think this is the future of suburbia and it will serve as a gateway to our next adventure: interstellar space travel.

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