Campaign for a shape-shifting storefront

The miLES Storefront Transformer, designed by Architecture Commons, is a versatile set of amenities and furnishings ready to transform any vacant storefront.

The Kickstarter Campaign hopes to use this to transform a vacant storefront this winter – if they can raise the funds required.

The miLES Storefront Transformer is a 6ft cube designed to “program any storefront,” when unfolded it provides functional elements such as; shelving, partitions, tables, seats, a stage, as well as infrastructure such as; WIFI, speakers and more! 

The flexibility of the design will be utilised to showcase seven different themes: Show, Play, Share, Learn, Make, Shop, and Eat.

The Kickstarter Campaign will run this winter from September the 19th to October 19th, if they can raise the $32,000 needed to fund the project.

You can find more information about this here, and let us know if you would like to see your local stores change shape overnight.

JFK terminal to become a hotel

The former TWA Terminal at the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York is set to be converted into a hotel and conference centre.

Originally designed by architect Eero Saarinen the terminal is to be transformed by hotel developer Andre Balazs.

Some of the amenities that will be available at this new hotel include; restaurants, bars, a flight museum and a spa and fitness centre.
Speaking to Page Six, Balazs revealed that Saarinen’s curved concrete terminal in Queens would be rebranded as ‘The Standard Flight Center’, bringing it into his family of ‘Standard hotels‘.

Take a closer look at this project here, and let us know if you will be paying it a visit.

Guggenheim museum transformed by light

American artist James Turrell has resculpted the Guggenheim Rotunda into an ever-shifting experience of light and space, using only light as his tool.

New York’s iconic Rotunda building was originally designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and is recast as an enormous volume of shifting artificial and natural light.

This was achieved by using tiers of white fabric over unseen scaffolding, the seemless and unsagging nature of the material allowed the physicality of the light to become the primary focus.

This piece, entitled Aten Reign, is completely immersive, altering not just the 6-story ceiling, but changing your entire perception of the world around you.

You can find more images of the atmospheric piece here, or watch the video below.

New York + London photo series

New York + LondonNew York + LondonNew York + LondonAward-winning photojournalist Daniella Zalcman has released an incredible series of photographs called New York + London.

The series was created as a way to connect the time she spent in New York with her new home London. The series was released on Instagram using a set of photos she took of New York on her iPhone during her last month in the city, she then took the same number upon arrival in London. She then used software on her phone to carefully overlap the images, created a merged image of the two cities.

The full collection can be seen on Yatzer here. Zalcman also has a Kickstarter to get the photographs published as a book here.

Target builds giant dolls house in station

Doll HouseThresholdIn an experiential stunt of the grandest of scales, American retailer Target built a life-size dolls house in the middle of Grand Central Station in New York.

The installation, which was created by Deutsch Los Angeles, is a showcase of their Threshold home décor line and features between 3,500 and 4,000 products, with staff on hand for demonstrations and help.

The dolls house was built in just 54 hours by fitting together interlocking 4-by-8 panels creating a 1600-square-foot open-plan house, as well as a patio and lawn area.  This space allows Target to show-off their latest lines in their entirety, which would not be possible to do in stores, and will give some great exposure with over 500,000 people visiting the station every day.

You can find out more about the installation at Ad Age here.

Payphones become time machines in Manhatten

Recalling 1993Recalling 1993In New York City a project by Droga5 in collaboration with the New Museum has allowed inhabitants to listen to the sounds and memories of 1993. 

Part of an exhibition which highlights 1993 as a year of change for the city and the world titled “NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star,” the payphone experience gets users to call a special number from selected phones across the city, which in turn allows them to relive that location in 1993.

The phone project titled Recalling 1993 is a huge undertaking, using tour guides and locals to re-tell stories, and is the first use of the payphones whose future is facing some speculation since the age of the smart phone.

An interactive map of the payphones included can be found here. Below is a video outlining the project.

Recalling 1993 from Droga5 NY on Vimeo.

Sonic fountain

Doug AitkenDoug AitkenDoug AitkenEver felt that the sound of water dripping was slightly rhythmic and musical? If not you may want to reconsider after seeing the new installation at the 303 gallery in New York by American artist Doug Aitken.

The piece, called Sonic Fountain, is part of the gallery’s 100 Years exhibition and features five rods that drip water into a pool below. The dripping is not random; it is released at special intervals to create a variety of patterns and shapes, with the sound amplified by the location and the pool itself having been specially excavated out of the floor of the gallery.

The piece is quiet and tranquil with a milky white glow coming from the pool and a breath like rhythm from the water drops.

Watch a video of the exhibition below.

Grand Central terminal celebrates centenary

Improv everywhere light showImprov Everywhere light showLast Friday Grand Central Terminal in New York celebrated its 100th Birthday. To mark the occasion, they surprised commuters and tourists with an amazing light show.

Performed by over 100 Improv Everywhere participants, they used led lights and camera flashes to dazzle onlookers along three floors of the grand windows. Improv Everywhere worked with the MTA Arts for Transit to produce the show, according to their blog.

Watch the show below.

Canstruction returns to New York

Can converseCan TitanicCan Crossing SignCan Angry BirdsAlthough delayed by Hurricane Sandy, Canstruction is finally returning to New York City.

The event, which we have featured before on it’s trip to London, involves 25 teams of architects, designers, engineers, and the students they mentor,  who are tasked with constructing sculptures out of cans of food, which are then donated to feed the hungry. The event uses over 10,000 cans of food donated by those taking part and the general public, and are distributed by City Harvest.

The event is travelling around North America, and is a fantastic spectacle for both the innovative designs made only from cans, and also the good it does to support those unable to buy food for themselves and their families, including those effected by the hurricane.

The construction of structures for the New York section will take place on the 31st of January and the finished articles will be on display to the public from 1st February to the 11th, with free admission, although visitors are encouraged to bring a donation of canned food. 

A world without textiles – Ouch!

IKEA AdvertisingJust imagine a world without texttiles – this is what this ad for IKEA from the States does – tin foil knickers and all!

Makes you thankful for a nice soft towel and comfy pillows.

By McCann New York

Computer warning messages pop up across New York subway

Subway Street ArtSubway ArtOne question on the lips of New York subway users over the past few weeks is “Who is Jilly Ballistic?” .

No one seems to know the answer but his street art is popping up all over the subway, provoking viewers to think about the advertising they are viewing through the use of OS warning pop-ups.

See more of these on ‘It’s Nice That’ blog.

Is this art or vandalism? What do you think?

Flying high with Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Cabin
Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Cabin
If you, like us, have never had the pleasure of travelling Upper Class with Virgin Atlantic then see what you’ve been missing.

The first Virgin Atlantic A330 flight took off from London to New York recently with a brand new bar and Upper Class cabin designed by VW + BS Studio in partnership with the Virgin Atlantic team.

Definitely not what you expect to see at 30,000ft.

See more of this amazing new cabin on Design Boom.

Live commercial in New York gets right up your nose

Febreze Live Ad New York
To prove just how good their air freshners are, Febreze held a live commercial in New York city, inviting blindfolded New Yorkers to guess where they were.

The venue was an old sea container that originally held fish – but not what the audience thought.

See how it went below:

Anyone and No One Exhibition – Will Ryman

Two new sculptures by American artist Will Ryman are now on exhibition in ‘Anyone and No One’ at the Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York.

They are both massive installations created from every-day objects. ‘Bird’ is constructed from nails of various lengths and towers 12 feet tall whilst ‘Everyman’ uses a diverse variety of household items, such as paint brushes, bottle caps and work boots, to create a 90 foot figure within the gallery space.

Due to the sheer size and impact of both sculptures, Ryman’s installation has been separated in two parts– ‘Everyman’ has taken up residence in the 293 Tenth Avenue location while the 27th Street space hosts the Bird, inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s poem, ‘The Raven’.

Beautiful structures that really catch the eye.

See more and how they were constructed on Design Boom



People spotted flying over New York

Is it a plane? Is it a bird? No, it’s someone flying through the air above New York City.

Actually these human-shaped RC planes were part of a viral marketing stunt for the launch of a new superhero movie, ‘Chronicle‘.

Amazing video and would have been even better to have seen it in person.

See the video for yourself below

flying 2.jpg


High Line: The Inside Story

The road to creating one of New York’s most beloved parks was sometimes just as tough as the unruly terrain that Friends of the High Line co-founders Joshua David and Robert Hammond were determined to transform. Stretching from the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street, the mile-and-a-half-long elevated park represents the extraordinary rescue of an abandoned eyesore by two inexperienced but dedicated individuals, and the rally of strong community involvement. A new book, “High Line: The Inside Story of New York City’s Park in the Sky,” chronicles the behind-the-scenes of the epic ten-year restoration project.

In overcoming all the adversity which faced them, David and Hammond have created a park that stands for so much more than a respite from the urban jungle. Today, the High Line is home to more than 200 species of grasses, wildflowers, shrubs and trees, hosts more than 300 public programs each year, from stargazing sessions to yoga classes, provides a setting for site-specific art installations and receives at times 100,000 visitors in a single weekend.

With the forthcoming relocation of the Whitney Museum to the park’s southern terminus and the adjacent Hudson Yards development on the horizon, the High Line engages with an important area of NYC’s rapidly evolving urban environment. “High Line” is a thorough and enlightening read for any park enthusiast or ‘yet-to-be-known-nobody’ seeking a little inspiration. Hammond sums up the project quite simply in the book – “I hope the High Line will encourage people to pursue all sorts of crazy projects, even if they seem, as the High Line once did, the most unlikely of dreams.”

To find out where you can purchase High Line: The Inside Story of New York City’s Park in the Sky or to find out more, visit Cool Hunting

High Line Old.jpg

High Line Restored.jpg

‘Showrooms’ app launched for New York

If you are heading off to New York then Designer Pages has the app for you. They have launched an app called Showrooms that helps you to quickly locate architecture and interior design products and materials across the city. Find that showroom you’re looking for and map it, create itineraries for your visits, curate lists of showrooms to share with friends, and even check in using Foursquare. They plan on expanding to other cities in the future. They have even added a scavenger hunt at Architectural Digest Home Show in New York next week. Can’t wait for the London version.

Download the app Showrooms here



The world turned upside down: A New York with no ads

Whilst we at the Think Tank love nothing more than creating ads and visual marketing, Morgan Spurlack are doing quite the opposite as they seek to de Ad the city that never sleeps. The bright lights, and infamous advertising of the Big Apple, are being photoshopped out in a No Ad: New York campaign led by Morgan Spurlack, an internet based effort to remove all visual advertising from Times Square. The inspiration? Sao Paulo’s ban from outdoor advertising on the basis of visual pollution. If you agree, grab your mouse and click onto Morgan Spurlack’s site and clean up the streets yourself. There is even the option of de advertising your own city. So, who wants to take on The Big Smoke??

No Ad New York.jpg

Evolution Means Exhibition opens in New York

Evolution Means exhibition is located in Brooklyn and features work by Chandler Ahrens and John Carpenter. It opened during the ACADIA 2010 LIFE conference that was hosted by The Cooper Union. It is billed as examining concepts, tools and technologies that implement responsive and generative aspects of information in the design process.

Read more on ArchDaily

© Chandler Ahrens, John Carpenter


Celebrating the ‘After Hours Athlete’

Puma has launched a great ad in the US celebrating the ‘After Hours Athlete’. It’s created by Droga5 ad agency in New York and directed by Ringan Ledwidge. Worth a watch!



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