The winning prototypes from the ‘Reinvent Payphones’ design challenge have been announced. The competition gave designers the opportunity to reimagine uses for New York City’s 11,000 public payphones. Since most people carry cell phones, their intended use has become outdated, so the challenge was to create new uses for the structure that would better serve current needs.
The winners were selected earlier this week at Quirky with six entries awarded for best connectivity, creativity, visual design, functionality, and community impact. A sixth prize category, ‘Popular Choice,’ will be decided by public vote through the City of New York’s Facebook Page, where voting runs until March 14th.
Sage and Coombe Architects won the Connectivity Award with ‘NYfi,’ an interactive portal to public info, goods and services, a hub for free wireless internet access, and an open infrastructure for future apps.
FXFOWLE’s ‘NYC Loop’ was awarded the Creativity Award. It combines a contemporary payphone with a uniquely tailored public space that can be chosen to suit New York’s diverse communities.
‘Beacon’ by frog design won the Visual Design Award. It features LED screens for digital signage, local advertising, community message boards and telephone functionality, and is controlled by voice and gestures.
Control Group and Titan’s ‘NYC I/O: The Responsive City’ (which provides open access to real-time data and a distribution platform for community, civic, arts and commercial apps) and ‘Windchimes’ (a sensor network providing real-time and hyper-local records of the city’s rain levels, pollution and other environmental conditions) by NYU ITP, Cooper Union, Parsons were tied for the Community Impact Award.
‘Smart Sidewalks’ by Syracuse University, UC Davis, Parsons, Rama Chorpash Design LLC, Cheng+Snyder was awarded the Functionality Award. These programmable LED sidewalks would create a new way of navigating the city. Click through to see images of all the winning ideas: