the roads of tomorrow

an interview with architect and futurist, Daan Roosegaarde

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Have you ever driven down a dark road, in the middle of the night, looked to your right or left, and noticed how beautiful the road’s lines were? Me neither. Have you pedaled your bike down a path and then stopped in your tracks to take in the haunting magnificence of the path’s aesthetics? Again, neither have I.

But that might be because we haven’t been to the Netherlands lately. Daan Roosegaarde, a Dutch designer, artist, and inventor thinks that our roads and landscapes should be smart, sustainable and beautiful. Recently Roosegaarde and his team unveiled a glowing bike path in Nuenen, Netherlands, where painter Vincent Van Gogh lived and worked during the late 1800’s. The 1km path is inspired by Van Gogh’s Starry Night, and features thousands of solar powered twinkling stones to light the cyclists path. The Van Gogh path is the second in Roosegaarde’s Smart Highways Series, made up of “interactive and sustainable roads of tomorrow.”

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can new work really work?

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On a recent Monday morning at 9 a.m., when most of America was heading to the office, a bookish, unassuming, middle-aged man named Blair Evans gave a talk about the work he’s been doing in Detroit. Work that, if manifested in the way he and his team are planning, has the ability to profoundly change Detroit, and the world. He spoke to a crowd of around 300 people at the Reimagining Work Conference, which brought together activists, artists, entrepreneurs, writers, academics, baristas, carpenters and media-makers from around the country, and a few from Europe, all gathered to talk about the present and future of work. Specifically “New Work” as opposed to “Old Work.”

New Work can be defined as the work we really want to do, rather than work that makes us suffer. Whereas Old Work is the work people have to do, work that's experienced as a mild disease, a kind of plodding suffering.

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Work, Reimagined: Detroit Gets Creative

How residents of America’s most famously down and out city are building livelihoods that also rebuild their communities.

Published in Yes! Magzine

For nearly a decade, Gloria Lowe was a final-line inspector for Ford Motor Company, checking new Mustangs as they rolled off an assembly line in Dearborn, Michigan. She worked at the River Rouge Complex, a hulking, mile-long structure that, back in the 1930s, employed as many as 100,000 people. By the time Gloria started working there, just a fraction of the workers remained. (Since the year 2000, metropolitan Detroit has lost about 200,000 manufacturing jobs, despite experiencing a slight gain since 2009.)

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Leading with Vision

A conversation with urban designer, educator and farmer, Emmanuel Pratt

Published in Model D

This isn’t just a story about teaching a man (or woman) how to fish. It’s more about teaching him or her how to grow their own eco-system. It’s a story about re-use and waste, sustainability and design. It’s about plants, food security, farming, community, entrepreneurship and planning. 

This is a story about space and what we can do with it.

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Reverse Osmosis

Detroit's Newest Migration Pattern

Published in Red Thread Magazine

...the city of Detroit lost more people in the last decade than were permanently displaced from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina; New Orleans lost 140,000 citizens to Detroit’s 200,000-plus.

Yet, a new demographic trend could be emergent. One where young people, usually college-educated, often white, and in many cases Jewish, have begun moving into the city.

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It's Not All About the Benjamins, Baby

The multitude of histories that led us to the present

published in HuffPost Detroit

We are not writing to argue over who is a 'real' Detroiter and who is not, nor who is and is not going to save Detroit. We are more interested in unpacking our region's history with a critical eye. We do this not to bring up bitter memories, or to point fingers, but because as young people raised in West Bloomfield, Farmington Hills, Huntington Woods, and Ann Arbor, now living in Detroit, we've come to believe that the way we understand and relate to our history very much informs our perspectives on Detroit's present and future.

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Baruch Hashem Says the Man Who Hated Religious School

My History of Religious Love

published in Red Thread Magazine

Do you remember being dragged to the pediatrician’s office to get your first booster shot? First came panic, then hysteria, followed by a mad dash from the crazy nurse trying to stab you with a footlong needle — all ending with you pinned down by the doctor, the nurse — and your mother.

Now, and I mean no offense to my formal Jewish education, being subjected to religious school felt as horrific (granted, less dramatic) as that fateful booster shot. I didn’t want to go. I didn’t understand why I needed it and only relented out of parental pressure.

So you might be surprised to hear that, all these years later, I’m getting ready to keep a kosher kitchen, observe Shabbat and take work off for the bajillion holidays on the Jewish calendar; all this from a guy who — in college — didn’t think twice about dating non-Jewish women or noshing on pepperoni pizza (occasionally at the same time!).

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