Link About It: This Week’s Picks

NYC's campaign to encourage voting, award-winning virtual reality work, LTE internet on the moon and more

NYC’s Vote Your Future Campaign

With contributions from artists and designers including Laci Jordan, Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya, Gillian Dreher and Carolyn Suzuki, NYC’s Vote Your Future campaign—curated by Amplifier—comprises posters that encourage the public to flex their democratic privilege. The non-partisan initiative will place these prints (with messaging in English, Spanish and Mandarin) all over the city, specifically in neighborhoods that have historically lower voter turnout. Every poster incorporates a QR code which sends people to “where they can access key voter information across the city.” Free to download from Amplifier, the designs are available to the public to print and display in their apartment windows, front yards and places of business—or anywhere they see fit. Find out more at It’s Nice That.

Image courtesy of Laci Jordan / Amplified 

NASA + Nokia Will Launch LTE on The Moon

By late 2022, astronauts visiting the moon will be able to make cellular calls, stream videos and more, thanks to NASA and Nokia’s joint venture to put a 4G phone network on our lunar neighbor. The Finnish phone company will use already existing tech to provide scientists with “ultra-compact, low-power, space-hardened, end-to-end LTE.” This is just one step in NASA’s huge Artemis Plan which intends “to establish a sustainable base on the lunar surface by 2028.” Find out more at CNET.

Image courtesy of NASA

New Balance’s Latest Tokyo Store Made From a Repurposed Kura

In Tokyo’s Nihonbashi district, New Balance’s 15th Japan store—named T-House New Balance—is unmarked but unmissable. Accessed through a set of sliding doors on the all-white, windowless façade, the inside boasts an intricate system of wooden beams above the showroom floor. The store used to be a 122-year-old kura (a clay warehouse and merchant home) that was located in Kawagoe, a town northwest of Tokyo. This kura—with plenty of guidance from carpenters and experts on traditional woodwork—was dismantled, transported and rebuilt for the project. New Balance worked with Schemata Architects on the ambitious store, and Jo Nagasaka (an architect on the project) says, a big challenge was avoiding “fakeness: like an old folk house displayed in a museum.” She explains to Spoon & Tamago, “It would be like wearing a kimono to an award ceremony overseas even if you never wear one in everyday life.” Read more at Spoon & Tamago.

Image courtesy of New Balance

Anna West + David Callanan’s “To Miss The Ending” Wins XR/Immersive Category at BFI London Film Festival

Within this year’s BFI London Film Festival, the LFF Expanded program heralded developments in various styles of immersive art: interactive works, VR, 360-degree filmmaking and augmented reality. Due to disruption from COVID-19, the division’s format engaged remote audiences only—from a virtual reception area / exhibition space to digital talks, free screenings and technological deployments. Among the captivating crop, the 26-minute To Miss The Ending, directed by Anna West and David Callanan, won the first-ever Virtual LFF Audience Award for Best XR/Immersive Art. Making its debut at the festival, the filmic project—streamed through Oculus Rift, Rift S or HTC Vive tethered headset—challenges narrative structure and centers around the “uploaded memories” of five characters in a world long physically destroyed. It’s not only a testament to the skill of its filmmakers, but also to the depth of the medium and the curatorial prowess of the festival, as well. Read more about it at VR Room.

Image courtesy of Anna West and David Callanan

Five Landscape Architects Propose Plans to Save Washington, DC’s National Mall Tidal Basin

Due to rising sea levels and increased foot traffic (some 1.5 million people walk the area during the annual Cherry Blossom Festival alone), the Tidal Basin of Washington, DC’s National Mall continues to sink. To construct a plan for the future, the National Trust for Historic Preservation along with the Trust for The National Mall and the National Park Service together established the Tidal Basin Ideas Lab. Five landscape architecture firms— DLANDstudio, GGN, Hood Design Studio, James Corner Field Operations and Reed Hilderbrand—assisted by a grant from American Express, set out to develop plans to transform the area. Each proposal varied, with Hood Design Studio suggesting that the wetland should not be drained, and Kathryn Gustafson of Seattle-based GGN believing small changes should slowly enhance the environment. Executive vice president at the Trust for the National Mall, Teresa Durkin says that the Tidal Basin Ideas Lab is not a design competition but a collaboration. Read more about the future of the Tidal Basin at NPR.

Image courtesy of James Corner Field Operations/Tidal Basin Ideas Lab

Link About It is our filtered look at the web, shared daily in Link and on social media, and rounded up every Saturday morning. Hero image courtesy of James Corner Field Operations/Tidal Basin Ideas Lab