Recommended Reads: Design
I'm not a big fan of how we constantly coin new jargon and terms, but I do love Dan Zack's idea for "Fonzie Flats." Perhaps it's because I watched Happy Days every week as a kid. Of course, I'm just a big fan of the idea in general, and would love to see more people giving it a try.
Why Fonzie Flats? First of all, Fonzie lived in one. Secondly, it is catchy, fun, and is memorable. Most importantly, it helps to remind people that like Fonzie himself, Fonzie Flats are cool. They are cool for the person who finds an apartment that suits their needs, and they are cool for the homeowner who gets a revenue stream. They are cool for teenage offspring or elderly parents who want some independence and privacy but need to be near the family. They are a cool way to fulfill all of these needs without altering the visual character of the neighborhood. My current block has two, my previous block had a couple also, and I can tell you from experience that they're not a problem.
Robert Steuteville relates an interview with Tim Halbur and Ben Hamilton-Baillie about the design of shared space. An excerpt:
... I would like to work on a better understanding of RISK, and the concept of safety. I am convinced that an over-simplistic approach to risk and safety stifles many beneficial initiatives in cities, from children’s play to community celebration. I have a nearly finished paper that starts with the words “Most accidents are good things.” Understanding the vital role of risk in creating good cities, and in enriching life, is a subject I would love to spend more time on. It is a subject that is particularly critical for North America, where fear of risk or liability can be a major burden on revitalizing cities.
A fun look in Curbed at the comics of Ben Katchor:
This is the beautiful and bizarre world of Katchor's comic stories, which he has been creating and publishing since the '80s and which, in the past several years, have taken on issues from development to environmentalism; corporate lust to old-fashioned street wandering.
In a comic strip he's authored for Metropolis magazine since the late 1990s and in several compilation books, Katchor looks at design and at the development of homes and neighborhoods. His strips are usually one page long and place characters at the helm of strange or unsettling experiences.