Field Notes


Inspiration: Wildlife Treasury

Description

The Wildlife Treasury was a subscription-based card collection, featuring an encyclopedia of the world’s animals. The first package included a bright green plastic case to put your card collection in, and then each month additional cards would come in the mail, where you would have to sort them.

Discussion

I loved these as a kid. I think this fed right into my sense of order and arrangement – by needing to organize and shelf each card in the specific Order/Genus/etc – along with my imagination. We didn’t have a lot of money growing up, so family trips were wherever a KOA Campsite and a day’s drive could take us.1Often listening to Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run So these cards allowed my young brain to wonder. Looking at them now, they really do feel like slow-motion Instagram of the late 70’s.

Inspiration points

  • How might we use subscription to heighten excitement and to paper over the fact that I won’t have every single piece of furniture or urban typology mapped out, since I’m only one person, and there continue to be new products put onto the streets.
  • How might I use the card format to make it more playful – the City is here for us to use as Adam says.
  • I love the simple taxonomy icons. Full stop.
  • The use of great photography.
  • This is surely a nostalgic play on my part, but I loved these.

More inspiration

Rooftop Catalogue by MVRDV

MVRDV releases new book outlining possible typological interventions on the rooftops of Rotterdam: a solution for the scarcity of space in the city

Inspiration: NACTO Design Guidelines

The National Association of City Transportation Officials is an association of 81 major North American cities and transit agencies formed to exchange transportation ideas, insights, and practices and cooperatively approach national transportation issues. As part of their work, they have been publishing some excellent guidebooks drawn on established case studies and best practices from their members.

The Urban Street Design Guide is a great example. Filled with guidelines and case studies, it is part guidebook and part evangelical document, aimed at assisting civic practitioners make their communities better.

Offering specific examples with wider strategy, I find these volumes to be excellent directional guides. They strike the right balance between what is compulsory, what is optional, and ways to extend the installation.

I also appreciate the mix of simple line drawings and photos from existing installations. This bridging the desired with the actual installed facts on the ground move these guides from the academic to the practical.

More Inspiration

Rooftop Catalogue by MVRDV

MVRDV releases new book outlining possible typological interventions on the rooftops of Rotterdam: a solution for the scarcity of space in the city