The advent of computer-controlled traffic signals make the walk buttons at pedestrian crossings on heavily trafficked streets obsolete. By the late 1980s, most (but not all) walk buttons in New York City have been deactivated yet people push them anyhow, either in ignorance, out of habit, or in the off chance the buttons did work.
Many large office buildings also have dummy thermostats to give office workers the illusion of control. Some even go as far as installing white-noise generators to mimic the hum of fans after the HVAC system is shut off.
The same goes for the close button in elevators. Most elevators built or installed since the early 1990s don’t have close buttons that work, unless you have a fireman’s key. People do push them anyhow, because the fact that the door eventually closes reinforces their belief that the button works.
source : http://www.neatorama.com/2010/02/09/why-do-people-push-placebo-buttons/
After New York, New York by Sinatra, Empire State of Mind by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys, here’s another song about New York City, the place to be.
It’s a “graphical exploration of the data that surrounds us”. Kind of what we want to do. Great maps + more
“Brooklyn Googler Alexander Chen built this cool, melodic web page that represents New York subway lines as ever-growing strings that are “plucked” by intersecting trains. Best of all, it’s built off a live feed of actual train data.
nyc subway lines as musical strings
A couple of things I was reminded of after reading Townsend’s “Digitally Mediated Urban Space”:
1) Hyde Park Art Center (Garofalo Architects)
http://garofaloarchitects.com/ [go to “work” > right-most icon for “cultural”]
The facade uses a system of digital projection screens, scrims, and shades for electronic art on display to those in and outside the building.
2) Low Rez/Hi Fi (MY Studio/Howeler + Yoon)
from class — an example of “mapping” the polar ice cap