Studio Forbes began as a forum for issues of design—exploring topics like pattern, color, contrasts, and objects of visual interest. Mostly it served my personal desire to encourage us to look a little more closely and curiously at the stuff around us in the manmade world and in cities in particular. Most of my posts grow out of walking and biking around cities taking pictures. The whole process has led me to believe that 20th century America will go down in history as the perhaps the greatest period ever for modern architecture and industrial design and the worst period ever for city design. Urban flight was behind the evisceration of our cities, and a consumer obsession with the car and cheap oil was its engine. All this has changed. Re-urbanization is one of the macro trends of the 21st century. We'd like to participate in this movement.
Cities are where our humanity and democracy get measured. Cities define our culture and civilization. A city's greatness can be measured by the degree to which its public spaces are used and enjoyed. Test this theory out. Think about your favorite city. Visualize it. It will likely have a lot of people of all ages sitting in parks, shopping from sidewalks, hanging out in street side cafes, riding bikes, picnicking in parks, or looking at art in public space. If your favorite city is Italian, it will have a piazza in its center. Conversely, the worst cities are those where public space is empty, or used to park cars, or worse, where public space is dangerous.
So we started a new company, PUBLIC, with a mission to help improve the quality of our public spaces and our public lives. We launched in May of 2010. Please check us out, or come visit us in San Francisco. We sell city bikes and related gear, all designed to help us look at the world a little more closely, a little more curiously, and to help us reduce our dependency on cars. The best way to keep abreast of developments is to sign up on our mailing list. We send out newsletters on a weekly basis as we did with Studio Forbes. Think about adding a bike to your life. They make sense and they make us smile a little more.Best