Link About It: This Week’s Picks

An inclusive skateboard community, Shantell Martin's couch canvas, The 1619 Project illustrated and more

NYC’s Javits Center Opens Rooftop Farm

Since 2014, the Jacob K Javits Convention Center has been home to the largest green roof in NYC, totaling 6.75 acres of greenery. Now, the venue has added a one-acre farm in order to supply ingredients to its kitchen, cutting the use of fossil fuels and carbon emissions. The farm, which officially launched in September, is expected to provide 40,000 fruits and vegetables annually and has already supplied the produce for this year’s New York Comic Con, which the Javits Center hosts. “We’re quite excited about it. It should have good biodiversity, and we’re really hoping it can be a small little bit of ecosystem for wildlife in the city,” says Ben Flanner, co-founder of Brooklyn Grange Farm, the company that designed and planned the Javits farm. Equipped with the garden, farm, orchard, greenhouse, bee aviary and solar panels, the Javits Center will not only grow food efficiently but will also be a hub for animals, housing 35 different bird species and five different bat species. Learn more about this farm at Civil Eats.

Image courtesy of Javits Center

The European Union Will Establish New Energy Standards

New draft regulations by the European Union aim to set a minimum energy performance standard for existing buildings by 2027, and require all new and forthcoming structures to be zero-emission by 2030. This action plan hopes to establish “a roadmap with domestically established targets and measurable progress indicators [for different building types], with a view to the 2050 climate neutrality goal.” Read more about the proposed initiatives, which would contribute to an international reduction of greenhouse gases, at Dezeen.

Image courtesy of the European Union

Artist Nikkolas Smith Transforms “The 1619 Project” Into Illustrations for a Children’s Book

For the recently released children’s book The 1619 Project: Born on the Water, artist Nikkolas Smith translates a story of slavery—from kidnap to forced labor and the quest for freedom—into powerful illustrations. Published by Penguin Random House, the pictorial work is an extension of journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones’ groundbreaking journalistic series for The New York Times, which addressed the role of slavery in the founding and development of America, as well as its dire longstanding consequences. Hannah-Jones and Renée Watson penned the text to accompany Smith’s striking visuals. “I think children are brilliant and can understand complex ideas,” he tells Fast Company. “You don’t want to dumb slavery down for them. We should absolutely teach them history as it happened, rather than whitewashing it and telling them things that are untrue.” Read more about the way he approached the project at Fast Company.

Image courtesy of Penguin Random House

LA’s Boos Cruise Makes Space for Queer Skateboarders

LA’s skate scene—and skate culture at large—typically centers on white, straight, cis-men and despite a rising number of collectives aimed at inclusivity it’s a space that often feels unwelcoming. “There’s this cliquey-ness to the skate community. The gatekeeping is like a defense mechanism, kind of like, ‘Who the fuck are you?'” says YaYa Chavez, a co-founder of LA skate collective Boos Cruise. Noticing the lack of communities dedicated to centering all queer identities that are genuinely welcoming, Chavez and co-founder Roni Davis launched their own community for queer and BIPOC skaters that operates on kindness, encouragement and open arms. Anyone, regardless of identity or skill level, is welcome to linger, learn or just hang out. “In Boos Cruise, it’s just like, ‘This is who we are, it is what it is.’ We’re all hot. We’re all queer. We’re all just here to vibe,” skater Tori Krantz tells i-D, where you can learn more about the collective and its members.

Image courtesy of Williejane Dent/i-D

Artist Shantell Martin Transforms Mario Bellini’s Camaleonda Sofa for B&B Italia

An icon of furniture design, Mario Bellini’s Camaleonda couch—first imagined in 1970 and reintroduced by B&B Italia in 2020—became a canvas for beloved artist Shantell Martin during Miami Art Week 2021. Martin brought her signature whimsical drawing style to an iteration of the sofa with white fabric during a live event, dressing the rounded design in stream of conscious illustration. Guests to the Italian luxury brand’s Miami’s Design District flagship will be able to view Martin’s work—and lounge on it—now through 3 January 2022. Read more about Martin’s connection to the couch at Vogue.

Image courtesy of B&B Italia

Philip Nitschke’s “Sarco” Pod Legalized in Switzerland

An assisted death pod—wherein an individual can press a button to have the space fill with nitrogen, in turn causing oxygen levels to drop, so they feel “slightly euphoric” before becoming unconscious and then dying peacefully within minutes—has been approved for use in Switzerland, wherephysician-assisted suicide is already legal. The pod—first unveiled in 2019 by Australian humanist, author, former physician and founder and director of the pro-euthanasia organization Exit International, Philip Nitschke—is named Sarco and takes the form of a futuristic coffin or space-age sleeping capsule. Nitschke says that the aim is to “de-medicalize” death—currently in Switzerland, anybody seeking assisted suicide must see a doctor to be analyzed and prescribed sodium pentobarbital, but with Sarco it will involve “an online test and an access code.” He explains that he hopes to provide a peaceful alternative and put those who are suffering in control. Read more at designboom.

Image courtesy of Exit International

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 B&B Italia