ROTWILD GT S mountain bike puts the mercedes-AMG car on two-wheels


sourcing its influence from the new mercedes-AMG GT automobile, the ROTWILD 'GT S' mountain bike has been developed for the toughest off-road conditions.

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bodleian chairs by barber & osgerby grace oxford university’s main library


designboom interviews edward barber regarding the design for chair -- only the third one developed for bodleian libraries since 1756.

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manta ray chair by INODA + SVEJE, now on the designboom shop!


the manta ray chair - with its organic shape, thin edges and strong joinery that mimic a swimming manta ray in the sea - is now available to buy on the designboom shop!

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Fumihiko Sano creates ritualistic spaces for a members-only gift wrapping service

Members of a private club pay to exchange elaborately wrapped presents in ceremonies held inside this dimly lit, wood-lined room in Paris (+ slideshow). (more…)

 

sou fujimoto’s geometric naoshima pavilion opens in kagawa, japan


the seven meter polyhedron is constructed using a stainless steel mesh and allows visitors to enter inside its angular shell.

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StandTable is a circular podium designed by UNStudio to replace office desks

The Amsterdam-based architecture studio led by architect Ben van Berkel has designed a round table with multiple levels to encourage office workers to be more active. (more…)

 

luciano santelli combines turned wood and cast resin in conica table


'conica's' top is made of cast transparent resin fixed to a base of turned wood pieces via a single pin that pierces the table's surface.

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As Controversial Ads Roll on Buses, Philly Transit Bans Public Issue Campaigns

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

In the wake of an anti-Muslim ad campaign running on Philadelphia’s SEPTA buses, the transit agency has decided to suspend all future political or public-issue advertising once this contract runs its course through the end of April.

Appearing on a total of 84 buses throughout the city, the ads depict a 1941 photo of Adolf Hitler and Palestinian Arab nationalist Haj Amin al-Husseini with the line, “Islamic Jew Hatred: It’s in the Quran.” The ad comes from New Hampshire-based American Freedom Defense Initiative.

Though SEPTA initially fought in federal court to ban the ads, a ruling favored the ads as freedom of speech, saying SEPTA can’t pick and choose which ads to run after having run other controversial campaigns in the past.

“SEPTA does not — and I repeat — does not endorse or support the views expressed in these ads,” says SEPTA Board Chair Pat Deon in a statement. To avoid the use of similarly offensive ads in the future, SEPTA will consistently decline all ads of that type so as not to raise concerns about selective ad discretion.

Seattle faced similar controversy in 2010 when an ad from the Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign reading, “Israeli War Crimes: Your Tax Dollars at Work” was approved to run on King County Metro buses. As a result, the city was met with both anti-Palestinian ad campaign proposals and threats of vandalism, leading to a policy change to ban any ads referring to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Last month that decision was upheld for being “viewpoint neutral.”

SEPTA’s ban of any and all public issue ads answers much of the controversy Seattle’s transit authority received for its decision to ban ads on only one singular issue, therefore failing to be truly “content neutral.”

Muni buses in San Francisco ran the same anti-Muslim ads currently on SEPTA earlier this year. Some ads were defaced with an image of a superhero and a message to end hate speech. Despite the controversy, Muni ran the ads without asking for court intervention.

In Philadelphia, a counter billboard has been erected by the Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia depicting five individuals with the caption, “Dare to Understand” overlooking the Schuylkill Expressway.

According to NBC Philadelphia, in 2011, SEPTA made about $11 million in ad revenue, and in 2013, looked to up that number by working with a seller to place more ads. At the time, a SEPTA spokesperson told the news outlet, “Whatever way we can get money, Titan’s looking into that and as our CFO said he’ll put a sticker on anything, put an ad on anything within reason.”

 

klopf architecture updates classic eichler home in palo alto


with extended folding walls and japanese 'borrowed landscape' design, the home flawlessly transitions between interior and exterior, equal parts residence and open air pavilion.

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Federal Grants Hard to Manage in Distressed Cities?

(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

The awarding of federal grants is a difficult solution for financially distressed cities like Flint, Michigan.

According to a recent report from the General Accounting Office, the very characteristics qualifying a city such as Flint as being in “serious financial crisis” — such as Chapter 9 bankruptcy and employment decline — likewise hinder its ability to maintain the federal grants designed to help.

“Cities facing serious financial crisis or in Chapter 9 bankruptcy provide a special challenge to the federal government and its grant-making agencies,” the report notes. “On one hand, the losses of human capital, financial, and organizational capacity that can accompany such serious financial distress present municipalities with significant challenges to their ability to effectively obtain and manage federal grants.”

The General Accounting Office was asked to generate the 42-page March report by Congressman John Conyers and Senator Gary Peters with the objectives of identifying municipalities such as Flint, reviewing the federal monitoring process of these places, and using the White House Working Group’s efforts regarding Detroit as a model for assessing other distressed municipalities.

Of the four cities studied in the report — Detroit, Flint, Camden and Stockton — Flint saw the most drastic workforce reduction between 2009 and 2013 at a 44 percent reduction, impacting the amount of city staff that could help manage and oversee federal grants.

“Flint officials … told us that losing staff with critical grant management knowledge contributed to compliance problems,” the report notes. “According to staff from HUD’s Office of the Inspector General, staff turnover in Flint contributed to grant management knowledge gaps and subsequent audit findings.”

The solution to what the report calls “gaps in institutional knowledge” would be to put a “mechanism in place for staff to pass down knowledge to their successors,” though Flint Mayor Dayne Walling thinks the report missed the full picture of the situation there.

“I think the report missed how much the city of Flint has been able to acquire grants because of the master plan and new partnerships that have been put in place,” Walling told MLive.

 



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Architect Mahmood Fallahian

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