Concrete and capsaicin

New York has opened up a tunnel to transport drinking water, hundreds of feet underground.

After no fewer than 43 years of construction, it was a pretty amazing ceremony to attend, sitting there at the end of Bloomberg's reign, amidst security personnel, in a cathedral-like space beneath Central Park, reporters spread out across pews of blue plastic chairs arranged in what felt like a Romanesque side-chapel radiating off from the barrel vault of the central nave. A manhole beneath our chairs was a surreal indication that, even here, 200' beneath the city, much deeper levels lay hidden below (in fact, the actual water tunnel itself was another 400' beneath us).

The U.S. is dotted with giant concrete arrows that were once used to help air mail planes navigate.

The easily-discernible design made the arrows visible from a distance of ten miles, and each arrow pointed the way towards the next, some three miles distant. That's according to the Postal Museum; however, this blog claims the towers were 10 miles apart with a 40-mile visibility. It's possible the former is describing the earlier towers and the latter is describing updated versions.

Christine Outram has given up on architecture, finding it out of touch with contemporary design processes.

I used to think it was impossible for you to respond to an audience in the way that tech startups do. These startups can build a product, release it over the Internet and adjust it based on the feedback they get. It’s an iterative process. Architecture, I thought, was too permanent for that. There was too much at stake, there was only one chance to get it right, there were too many variables. Blah blah blah. But the truth is, most of you don’t try. You rely on rules of thumb and pattern books, but you rarely do in-depth ethnographic research. You might sit at the building site for an hour and watch people “use space” but do you speak to them? Do you find out their motivations? Do your attempts really make their way into your design process?

Architecture might have a hard time embracing a service design mindset, but Airbnb doesn’t have that problem.

Airbnb uses Disney's "Snow White" as a humanizing Service Design narrative framework in order to better understand and empathize with guests and hosts for the end to end experience. Since Airbnb's product is the trip, it requires understanding and empathizing with guests and hosts, throughout the end-to-end experience. It also requires the tricky feat of choreographing online and offline activities. With the help of a storyboard artist from Pixar, they explored nuanced end to end scenarios of the trip, using frame by frame storyboard illustrations that freeze key moments, or 'moments of truth.' The language of safety, journey and hospitality is the foundation (or assumption) that the Snow White story—whether simply a project codename or inspirational narrative—lends to the project.

The company that produces Sriracha is very picky about the ingredients that go into it.

His unwillingness to compromise on quality means that the chilies for Sriracha need to be processed within a day of being picked. So Huy Fong’s Rosemead factory sits only an hour away from Underwood Family Farms, which has been the company’s only chili supplier for the past 20 years. Its new plant in Irwindale is only a few miles further away. Finding new land fit for further chili harvesting has proved difficult—the land needs not only to be vast, but also fit for the purpose. “I can’t buy land that’s being used to harvest oranges,” Tran explained. “It’s not right for chilies.”