|Smart DOTS + Soft MOBS
NY 2028 Environmental Mobility
Smart DOTS is a radical strategy for rethinking the crossroad by â€œinjectingâ€� a system of
intelligent environmental elements -â€œsmart dotsâ€�- that can spread out from the core to the
periphery, reorganizing the streetscape. The design scheme is a critique of the hard boundaries that
the automobile inflicts to the function of the streetscape, where people are forced to move around
cumbersome barriers and often dangerous metal cars. Our future street is a soft, gradient field: a â
€œpixelatedâ€� urban landscape of distributed functions, with no hard borders between different
Soft MOBS invokes a new technological and material arrangement for adapting cars to cities in pliable
organized movements -â€œsoft mobs,â€�- while it also suggests the use of softer vehicles where
users can be in direct contact with the street. While architects and urban designers mostly take cars
as given, and are content to design streets and public spaces around car movement, here we
challenge and reverse of this well-worn assumption.
The design is organized in three phases 2008, 2020 and 2028 respectively. In Phase 2008, we
suggest to take minor design interventions as immediate safety measurements against continual
conflicts of pedestrians with automobiles. Phase 2020, signals a transition period, where car lanes are
narrowed, pedestrian zones are widened, bicycle bollards are introduced with new car technology and
gentle congestion. Already in Phase 2020, we are suggesting the placement of environmental â
€œsmart dots,â€� or green modules that filter rainfall, greywater, and at the same time, slow down
traffic separating smoothly walking zones, bicycles and transportation zones. Phase 2028 is the future
embodied in â€œpixelatedâ€� surfaces, gradient green zones, and living self-sufficient machines that
provide their own energy, generating electricity through air movement. In the future, giant benevolent
air-cleansing blimps dangle tentacles to collide spongy seats in a playful catch-and-release plan for
people moving about town. All life is enveloped in a sentient ecology of street, mobile systems, and
While the proposal is specifically tailored for the Ninth & Fourth intersection in Brooklyn, it signals a
new vision for the city, crystallizing images of civilization reinventing itself. Smart DOTS and Soft
MOBS may function as a prototypical strategy for inserting soft plazas in various street intersections.
We can rethink the city as whole by making nodal changes that may grow to infiltrate the rigid grid that
we currently live in.
Project Credits: Mitchell Joachim, KARV: Aurel von Richthofen, Lydia Kallipoliti and Matt Cunningham, Fred James,
SOFT Blimp Bumper Bus: These
blimps scoop passengers up "on
the fly" in soft hanging chairs.
Jumping off is a pinch, because
they move less then 15 mph and
float seats only inches above the
ground. This constant densely
packed motion increases traffic
efficiency by almost 30 percent.