Upcoming Event: Festival of Ideas for the New City

Festival of Ideas for the New City is a major new collaborative initiative in New York involving scores of Downtown organizations working together to harness the power of the creative community to imagine the future city and explore ideas that will shape it. The Festival will include a three-day slate of symposia; an innovative StreetFest along the Bowery; and over eighty independent projects and public events.

"Storytelling & Local History" is one of the six main topics that will be explored during the event. "Art & Design" is another main topic.

Here are some highlights that caught my eye:

  • Housing is a Human Right Storytelling Project, "creating a space for people to share their ongoing experiences trying to obtain or maintain a place to call home"
  • StoryCorps' Stories of the Bowery, "a sound walk featuring the stories of the Bowery and the Lower East Side culled from their extensive New York interview archive"
  • The POEMobile, poems projected onto buildings to engage local communities in their native languages—Yiddish, Nuyoriqueno, Ukrainian and Chinese
  • Sculptural Upcycling, a workshop that teaches how to make "powerfully conceptual artworks with a low environmental impact"
  • The Networked City, "a panel of media theorists and technology visionaries consider the impacts and implications of our networked lives"
  • CoolRoofs & urbancanvas, cooling rooftops with reflective white coating, and transforming construction sites with artwork

If you're looking to score some tickets, enter Core77's ticket giveaway! To enter, just follow these simple instructions: "Tweet your favorite piece of design in the five boroughs—something that defines the city for you—to @core77 AND @IdeasNYC. Sure, it's easy to love the terraced crown atop the Chrysler Building or the iconic arches of the Brooklyn Bridge, but we're really looking for someone with a designer's—if not necessarily a true New Yorker's—appreciation for the city."

Festival organizers are also offering free tickets to students.

I love the 50 ideas already presented by Urban Omnibus, the online project of the Architectural League. Some of the ideas have accompanying poster designs (speaking of which, don't forget to read my previous post about "designing posters to change the world"), which will be on display in public spaces across the city. From Civic Center, the design studio that created the posters:

These posters will pop up on fences, scaffolds, and other public spaces throughout NYC to inspire passersby to think about how they can make their cities better. See all 50 ideas here with links to further discussion — and add your ideas, too!

If anyone is in NYC and wants to blog about any part of the festival from the perspective of storytelling and design for good, please contact me: erica [at] benevolentmedia.org.