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NYC Design Contest Reinvents the Payphone: Scientific American

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“New York City’s public pay telephone network has incredible potential,” said Rahul Merchant, Chief Information and Innovation Officer for the mayor’s office, in a statement. “By collaborating with the city’s vibrant technology community to develop creative and forward-thinking ideas, this infrastructure could become one of our most important technological assets, helping define the 21st century streetscape in cities around the world.”

The Reinvent Payphone prototypes were judged and awarded in six different categories: connectivity, creativity, visual design, functionality, and community impact. The connectivity award went to Sage and Coombe Architects for its NYfi design, a prototype that serves as an “interactive portal to public information, goods, and services.”

FX Fowle won in the creativity category for its its NYC LOOP, a “contemporary payphone with a uniquely tailored public space.” The design includes a smart screen for making calls, as well as an “information puddle” powered by a projector that creates images on the sidewalk.

That is so cool. What a great idea!

To see the winning designs and vote on your favorite, visit the City of New York’s Facebook Page at

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