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Strategies for a discontinuous future.












Tuesday, December 07, 2004
 


Next Big Things - Drivers

Wired highlights something I've been thinking about for a while:

"...Several years ago, Monderman ripped out all the traditional instruments used by traffic engineers to influence driver behavior - traffic lights, road markings, and some pedestrian crossings - and in their place created a roundabout, or traffic circle. The circle is remarkable for what it doesn't contain: signs or signals telling drivers how fast to go, who has the right-of-way, or how to behave. There are no lane markers or curbs separating street and sidewalk, so it's unclear exactly where the car zone ends and the pedestrian zone begins. To an approaching driver, the intersection is utterly ambiguous - and that's the point.

Monderman and I stand in silence by the side of the road a few minutes, watching the stream of motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians make their way through the circle, a giant concrete mixing bowl of transport. Somehow it all works. The drivers slow to gauge the intentions of crossing bicyclists and walkers. Negotiations over right-of-way are made through fleeting eye contact."

This is another example of the growth of public spaces, and/or the increasing ambiguity of private vs public spaces. This dynamic will be a key driver of many of the Next Big Things - for example, your formerly 'dumb' objects connecting to the Net will expose huge amounts of info about you, that, unexpectedly, you might want to reveal - because the gains might be greater than the potential costs in lost privacy.

-- umair // 1:05 PM //


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