Inflato Dumpster | Department of Urban Betterment | Via

As public space in New York becomes increasingly privatized and commodified, The Inflato Dumpster seeks to counter that tendency by serving as an open, engaging street-level structure that acts as a mobile learning laboratory. For five days this fall, the temporary, dome-like structure will confront the tendency of city space to limit public exchange by serving as a large scale urban intervention in which workshops to create and explore the possibilities for smaller, targeted urban interventions will be produced and deployed from within.

We believe that the architecture of the Inflato Dumpster can act as a networked node of neighborhood information - using screens and sensors to produce constantly updating streams of demographic and subjective information regarding the local site - and then in turn produces a smaller constellation of satellite interventions created by locals and visitors alike. We envision the site as a hub for all, to create a gathering space where programs can be curated to the needs of the community.   


FLEXlab: A Test Bed for Building Efficiency

The U.S. Department of Energy unveiled the FLEXlab test bed, created to help buildings save energy, at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley. It is the only facility of its kind in the world, and its arrival marks significant moment as California attempts to cut the amount of electricity its buildings use. Researchers can easily swap out the lab’s heating, air conditioning and lighting, and even its windows. Furthermore, they can see how all of those elements perform together, not just one system at a time. A portion of the lab, resting on a concrete turntable that weighs a half-million pounds, can rotate 270 degrees to test how different angles of sunlight affect energy use. Sensors inside adjust temperature to minimize energy use while maximizing comfort. “We built FLEXlab with reconfiguration in mind…It’s like a kit of parts,” says Cindy Regnier, executive manager of the project. "This is about understanding the performance of a building before you spend millions of dollars on it.“