The vendor contracts for New York's pay phones expire next year, so the city put together a Reinvent Payphones Design Challenge to get some free labor out of an already overworked design community. Oh, and to keep its pay phones relevant, I guess. Still, I like the idea of keeping these phones from total obsolescence. Sage & Coombe Architects won the public vote with its really cool "NYFi" design, reimagining pay phones as multipurpose kiosks comprising free WiFi hubs, bus-ticket machines, MetroCard dispensers and bicycle share stations. There were six others finalists, which you can see here. The city won't use any single design in its entirety, but was simply looking for ideas—and gauging what residents want. When the project is finished, whatever the finished design looks like, we'll surely have to explain to future generations what those weird boxy street-corner things are when they watch movies made before 1997. Via Wired.
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