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Talk/Back: Urban Nervous Systems
Roundtable Discussion

Kiosks, pop-up pavilions, and wifi stations act as nodes rising above the city’s arteries, connecting the urban nervous system. How does cultural identity and technology come through in the contemporary kiosk? In a city infamous for its nonstop flow of pedestrians engrossed in handheld devices, can these nodes offer a transportive path to the city’s layered stories and make unseen identities visible? And how do new iterations of the kiosk typology intersect with debates on “smart cities,” surveillance, and equitable access to urban amenities? As we concluded our spring festival, Arteries: NYC in Circulation, we had a fast-paced lunchtime conversation at the new South Street Seaport programming hub of the Black Gotham Experience, where participants were invited to “talk back” with their impressions of how these icons of streets and public spaces should look and feel in the future.

Participants: Jessica Lax, director of competitions, Van Alen Institute; Paul McConnell, head of design, Intersection; Kamau Ware, founder, Black Gotham Experience


Presented with:

This event was designated for AIA CES (1 LU | HSW) and ASLA CES (1 LU | PDH/HSW) .

This event was part of Arteries: NYC in Circulation, Van Alen’s spring program festival from May 12-18 exploring: What defines a city’s lifeblood? We journeyed to the heart of the metropolis as we explored the myriad main streets and water mains, multicultural conduits and transportation corridors—both designed and off-the-cuff—that shape the urban experience and route our everyday lives. Across seven days of debates, explorations, and performances, we discovered a new understanding of our city as we traversed its arteries.