Think big, design small. This is the rallying cry of a new generation of architects and artists who aim to improve the lives of city-dwellers through small-scale public design projects. Using the city as an open-source platform for ideas, these visionaries create “urban interventions” to address problems specific to urban life. Small Scale presents fifty ingenious yet simple projects ranging from the purely conceptual to the fully realized. From a bridge that curls up into itself when not in use, to a stacked rental car dispenser, to a bus-stop like shelter that uses bright lights to treat seasonal affective disorder in the winter, these projects energize our cities leftover spaces and help us imagine the future of our urban infrastructure.
The projects in Small Scale are organized into three sections: those that provide practical services, those that share information, and those that simply delight. Each project is eminently achievable and most do not require many permits or much government oversight or tremendous use of natural resources; indeed, some suggest solutions to the larger problem of energy consumption. Designed by both well-known and up-and-coming architects and artists including Diller Scofidio + Renfro, H weler + Yoon Architecture, Morphosis, Studio Olafur Eliasson, and many more, the projects in Small Scale reflect the promise of new ideas, new materials, and new technologies.