August 22, 2022
SCHOOLED: What is Infrastructure?
The term infrastructure usually describes a network of streets, bridges, highways, and railroads as well as systems tied to public works such as sewer and stormwater management that are largely underfoot. Human populations rely on these vast complex systems to stay physically connected to important services and each other.
But a quick scan of Merriam Webster’s three flexible definitions also reveals that the ways English speakers use the word (borrowed originally from the French in the late 1800s) continues to evolve more than a century later.
At Toronto’s Bentway, Lighting Is a Base Layer for Artistic Intervention
PUBLIC WORK and Tillett Lighting Design Associates conceived the strategy with hyper-flexibility in mind.
This Bridge in Providence Was Designed as Public Space
A part of Rhode Island’s extensive Iway project, the infrastructure supports a pedestrian pathway, gardens, and occupiable spaces.
Can “Oyster-Tecture” Actually Save Our Cities?
Oyster-tecture is one of several emerging practices that are shifting the way we think about infrastructure. The old ideals behind public works projects were focused only on enhancing people’s lives. Oyster-tecture pro…
Initially, infrastructure described the foundations or substructures of a building or railroad. And architecturally speaking, especially in urban settings, it generally refers to manmade structures underground. So tunnels, pipes, ditches, and canals that make up a typical water-management system all qualify as infrastructure. In rural areas, the word also correctly describes even small-scale, individual waste-water management systems that treat and dispose of wastewater from one or a few houses and businesses that are not connected to the public network.
Because the nation’s power grid is similarly vast, electrical lines and plants that are above ground should be considered infrastructure.
Now, because of the new Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the term can also cover systemic access to broadband Internet.
Would you like to comment on this article? Send your thoughts to: [email protected]
A Dramatic Sports Complex Takes Form in France
Espace Mayenne’s curvilinear geometry belies a sports and arts venue that shapeshifts to fill a new community’s needs.
Paris Design Week Put Purpose-Driven Newcomers Front and Center
From established brands and galleries to emerging talents, the city-wide event brought together French and international exhibitors with new perspectives on the design industry.
At One Small Design Firm, Sharing is the Best Business Tool
The design studio Grain leverages its involvement in collectives to share resources and help it succeed as an ethical, sustainable company.