Recent Comments

Scary… I know what you mean! Somehow it makes it seem more real when you can see how many people in your area will die.

Great site, by the way :)

By Beth on 2008 07 08

From the entry 'Toronto's Smog-Related Deaths'.

Thanks for pointing us to the source Beth. Those statistics are shocking.

By Editor on 2008 07 08

From the entry 'Toronto's Smog-Related Deaths'.

If you had done a little fact checking, you would see that these numbers are from the Ontario Medical Association (see http://www.oma.org/media/news/pr080606b.asp. The government is using the data for it’s own agenda, yes, but it didn’t manufacture the data.

By Beth on 2008 07 08

From the entry 'Toronto's Smog-Related Deaths'.

Wow, you weren’t kidding about the “pretentious”...

I like how each unit is supposed to have voice-activated rotation control, yet it’s not the unit that rotates, but the entire floor. So either each floor is a single apartment/condo, or the building is doomed to spontaneously combust as people simultaneously give their floor conflicting directions—or end up in fistfights over who gets to control the rotation of their floor.

And although the video seems focused on showing off the beautiful ripple effects produced by synchronized rotating floors, in reality, that effect will never occur if each floor is independently controlled by its inhabitants. It’s funny, because no other architect would get away with such blatant misrepresentation of what their proposed building will look like once it’s built…

Anyway, the rotating floors seems to have little to do with the wind turbines. It’s too bad they couldn’t just start with the wind turbines and make sure that it works before adding the rotation gimmick. Now if the rotation thing fails, it’s going to give the wind turbine technology a bad reputation. And given the rate that elevators, escalators, heating and air conditioning systems, etc. fail, the building is bound to have problems. I for one, would hate to live in a building that seems inevitably doomed to be a technological nightmare…

By Melissa Goldstein on 2008 07 04

From the entry 'Absurd Green Architecture In Dubai'.

Cool building!

My first hope is that the building does not turn quite that fast, or those pretty interiors will be covered in vomit.

I have doubts that this will ever get built, but Dubai is the Las Vegas of the middle-east

By Larry Lubell on 2008 06 25

From the entry 'Absurd Green Architecture In Dubai'.

I see what you mean Peter—thanks.

There’s a good scholarly article now out there which articulates some of the ideas that many of us have been forward for some time now.

Those who don’t seem to “get it”—this static Web site and, presumably, the RFP that spawned it, makes a good case that the TTC is among them—would do well to read the article linked to here. Pass it on!

By Disparishun on 2008 06 06

From the entry 'Can We Have A Drum Roll Please: The TTC's Website Preview'.

In response to Disparishun,
I completely agree with you.

My intent was to say that the TTC should be encouraged to accept outside expertise…but that just isn’t in their DNA. If left to their own devices, the Commission wouldn’t even recognize that they need help. As to building a light weight site with open API/feeds etc I completely agree that should be their strategy. But the TTC isn’t 2 years behind in their information strategy, they’re perhaps 20 years behind. That’s what we’re up against. For any real progress, they don’t need a slick Web site (well, they need some kind of web site) but what’s required is a fundamental shift in their corporate culture.

By Peter Rogers on 2008 06 06

From the entry 'Can We Have A Drum Roll Please: The TTC's Website Preview'.

Let me disagree with Peter Rogers. The TTC trying to do a Herculean Web site redesign is an utter waste of time and totally outside their core competency. They are not a media company. They shouldn’t play one on, well, the Web.

The TTC should be doing two things. For its Web presence, something very slim and minimalist. And for its information strategy, APIs and open feeds of as much data as possible.

What they should be doing is making sure that every bit of information that could be useful for those using, or wanting to use, public transit, is published in a standards-compliant manner.

And then they could take the rest of the money they are spending on this one-true-Web-site boondoggle, and run a contest to come up with the most useful Web and information applications making use of the data.

Like a trip planner. A mobile-phone best-route-alert SMS interface. A which-route-is-congested-now Web watch.

And so on. Point being, the TTC’s job is the lower-layer information-release one. As to putting that information to work, let a thousand flowers bloom.

Instead, the TTC is spending very significant sums on a closed-data Web clunker which will be out of date within 6 months. And spending almost nothing on updating the information infrastructure to set the data free.

Which is the only thing they should be doing in the first place.

By Disparishun on 2008 06 05

From the entry 'Can We Have A Drum Roll Please: The TTC's Website Preview'.

It’s clear to anyone using or interacting with the TTC that they either do not have a design department or if they do, it’s a weak one. More importantly, the TTC does not have a design culture. That’s a fairly easy criticism but a corporation doesn’t actually need designers to have a design culture. There only has to be an ambition to be “better”, or to aim for excellence. If an organization has vision or aspirations to improve, they will eventually seek designers (or at the very least, be told they need designers). Yet, the ambition of the TTC has been clearly been one of survival. If they can’t manage to have a properly staffed design department, then they should reach out to those in Toronto that want to assist them. Again, this goes against the TTC’s culture. They do not want “outsider” help.

My experience at the TransitCamp was that the TTC was overwhelmed by the design community (and by riders and citizens in general) who wanted to pitch in and help. The TTC’s response has generally been to recede back into their shell. It is no small feat to create any advancement in one of Toronto’s most conservative and insular institutions.

I know Giambrone has taken some flack in the last year, but he deserves some credit for taking on this Sisyphean labour by attempting to push the TTC into this century. Hopefully, this fairly straightforward goal (not easy or simple mind you, but it’s not rocket science either) will be the first step of many improvements.

By Peter Rogers on 2008 06 05

From the entry 'Can We Have A Drum Roll Please: The TTC's Website Preview'.

Toronto is a city planned for cars.
No bicycles nor public transit! It is part of the local culture that public transit are for loosers and bicycles, well, just swip them from the roads.
So why to invest in something that is most used for the poors?

By Joe on 2008 06 04

From the entry 'What Would It Take . . . ?'.

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