Reference

The Almighty Grid
Can’t stand the Byzantine streets of the Levittowns of the world? A new Web site created by Harold Cooper satiates the desires of every gridophile by mapping planet Earth according to Manhattan’s plan. Sparked by the grid’s 200th anniversary, Cooper’s interactive site extends the scheme to nearly every spot on the globe. Just head up to 71,730th Street and 18,606 Avenue to catch a glimpse of Rome’s Trevi Fountain, or take a stroll over to the Eiffel Tower at 64,857th Street and 12,770th Avenue. As Cooper told a local radio station, “If you’re used to thinking about things in terms of Manhattan blocks, suddenly you realize, like, ‘Oh yeah. Washington, D.C., is just 1,500 blocks away.” To locate the coordinates of your childhood home or favorite landmark, check out Cooper’s map at www.extendny.com.

X Marks the Spots

Participants at Studio-X Mumbai certainly have a lot to discuss when it comes to their city, the capital. Not only is Mumbai host to one of the world’s largest slums, Dharavi, where as many as 18,000 people crowd into each acre, the city is also home to more millionaires per square mile than our very own Manhattan. India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, commissioned the world’s first billion-dollar private residence, a 27-story high-rise with an excellent view of Mumbai’s sprawling slums. It features nine elevators, three helipads, and a six-story garage. According to the India Times, Ambani’s first electricity bill was seven million rupees, roughly the equivalent of $135,000. You can read more about Dharavi in the article “Mumbai’s Shadow City,” on National Geographic’s Web site:
ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2007/05/dharavi-mumbai-slum/jacobson-text.

Coming Home

The Wounded Warrior Home Project is not Michael Graves’s first dabble in design for the disabled. A dive into Metropolis’s archives brings up “The Re-Education of Michael Graves” (www.metropolismag.com/story/20061011/the-re-education-of-michael-graves), wherein the then newly paraplegic Graves aired his disdain for modern medical equipment. “Everything was ugly,” he told John Hockenberry. “There was no color, no style; nothing about any of the objects said that a human had made them.” The designer took matters into his own hands by developing the Michael Graves Solutions line, which merged medical utility and beauty. Its first offerings included heating pads and shower seats, and the line has grown to include hundreds of products, which are available at many of the nation’s largest retailers.

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