Tag Archives: Architecture

Epistemology Of Lists

Adam Rothstein has a beautiful exploration of lists, stemming from his childhood love with library card catalogs.

The random idiosyncrasy that such an expansive list allows may have no more critical depth than scanning newspaper headlines, looking for secret messages. But this sort of list is precisely like the written content of the internet. The internet is a series of lists, connected by cross-referenced hyperlinks. Whether one is taking a stroll through Wikipedia, or reading the most compelling links from one’s social media timeline, one is browsing a series of lists. Particular line items expand into full essays, and long reads collapse back into tweets. From the most thoughtful syllabus to the most obnoxious listicle to the strangest permutations of weird twitter, we are browsing a vast meta-card catalog—a veritable list of lists. The nodes of the network jump into line, and we follow it until the tracks fade to scratch marks, which fade to natural erosion, dust swept by the twisting path of the wind. And then we pick up another trail, or we create one ourselves.

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Greening Cities Through the Power of Public Urination

via The Atlantic Cities

via The Atlantic Cities

John Metcalfe writes in The Atlantic Cities

If you live in an American metropolis, chances are you’ve inhaled the pungent odor of human toilet.  For the homeless and the drunk, the city’s alleyways are makeshift bathrooms.  But what if public urination could be used for good?

Designers in San Francisco have that in mind.  The PPlanter team has created “a rapidly deployable, reconfigurable public urinal and sink that uses modular bamboo biofilters to treat urine and waste-water.”

As Metcalfe explains:

How does this amazing technology work? In short, somebody who needs to really go – the inventors are targeting beer drinkers and homeless people – holds it in long enough to reach a PPlanter. Guys level a stream into the urinal (ladies, you get the pleasure of using a “disposal funnel”) where a possibly bamboo filtration system converts it into drank that’s delicious for plants.

What’s unclear to me (after reading their Indiegogo) is whether or not the treated pee pee can be used to nourish other plants, or if the PPlanter is merely a sophisticated urinal that is merely a bamboo in a planter pot.

My guess is that, in large public gatherings, dozens of PPlanters would feed a large expanse of greenery, replacing the gag-inducing columns of teal porta-potties.

But even in the less ambitious scenario, having a publicly available waste-water system is preferable to treating the city like a gutter.

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