THE WEEK’S BEST: Design, architecture, and technology

What I wrote last week:

Samsung Note 9 vs Apple iPhone X vs You’re probably not going to upgrade anyway

An analyst from Morgan Stanley recently took an informal poll of summer analysts to get an idea of Millennial and Gen Z tech sensibilities. These kids, who are doing summer internships at Morgan Stanley and are thus likely well-remunerated (I’ll hold off from any family wealth assumptions), are using their current devices for longer and longer. The most popular phones were the iPhone 7/7+, then the 6, then the 8, then the X. If the older phones continue to work fine (albeit with a few fixes like replacing a battery/screen/etc.), the newer devices are less of a step up, why upgrade? Especially when you might have to shell out a grand to do it?

What I shot last week:

Design, architecture, and technology digest:

Architecture and Design: Cities

6 Ideas Every City Should Steal From Barcelona — CityLab

The wide avenues and boulevards of Cerda’s Plan give ample room for multi-modal infrastructure. Walking has long been a priority – as illustrated by five centuries of “rambling” on La Rambla, one of the best people streets in the world. Cerda’s l’Eixample (Expansion) plan made walking enjoyable almost everywhere – 50 percent of all street space is dedicated to walking space, with the other 50 percent for all other forms of ‘traffic.’

Architecture and Design: Style

Today’s Supreme Drop Is a Cover Story — New York Times

Supreme approached The Post in late April asking for “original, never-before-seen, creative ideas.” The newspaper’s 5-year-old in-house creative strategy agency, Post Studios, proposed the wraparound.

“They said that when they’re looking to do collaborations, that they really want authentic brand partners,” said Shannon Toumey, the vice president of marketing and branded content strategy at The Post and a co-head of Post Studios. “They thought we were an authentic voice of New York.”

New York’s Flower District Is Dying — Bloomberg

In fact, the bouquet you bought at your local deli was likely grown on a mountainside in Colombia, where 78 percent of all U.S. flower imports originate. This relationship is a product of trade policies implemented in the 1990s to curb Colombian drug production by encouraging a legal, alternative crop. After import taxes were lowered, Colombian flowers flourished. American growers, however, paid the price—sales of U.S. roses have dropped 95 percent since 1991, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

What If the Museum of Ice Cream Is the Future of Retail? — Bloomberg

Much of the debate around these selfie magnets focuses on what to call them. Are they institutions with cultural value? Or are they “braindead, Instagram-optimized fun houses,” as Jason Farago, editor of contemporary art magazine Even, put it in his newsletter? Neither, says Manish Vora, co-founder of the Museum of Ice Cream. For him it’s a new retail form, one that follows in the footsteps of such businesses as Warby Parker.

Why Frasier Is The TV Daddy To Every Millennial Manboy — Huffington Post

The Crane brothers, according to this theory, are like mirrors for the modern bros toting Moleskine notebooks in New Yorker totes, who see themselves as emotionally adroit intellectuals embodying an enlightened idea of gender. Frasier’s character foreshadowed a cultural shift ― in which male dominance in the 21st century isn’t determined by strength and aggression but by knowledge, taste and social status.

Wealthy Parents Help Child Athletes Go Pro in Their Own Backyards — WSJ

Real-estate agents often say that owners who put highly individualized or specialty features in their homes risk losing money when it comes time to sell. Abby and Mason Phelps thought about this while including a basketball gym in their roughly 12,000-square-foot home in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood.

“We made sure the dimensions of the court are bigger than a racquetball or squash court so it can be reformatted,” said Mr. Phelps, 39, a derivatives trader who played volleyball in college.

Yes, Bolo Ties Are Actually a Thing Now — Bloomberg

Evan Ratner, an investment analyst, and Vinnie Buehler, an associate at a law firm, launched Caliny this summer. The brand uses interchangeable pieces so guys can match their bolo with their outfit. They call it the ‘Urbolo.’ And yes, there was booze involved.

“I am in my early 30s and don’t feel I can pull off the Southwest look on a daily basis, so we created a bolo with an urban edge,” says Buehler. He recounts how the idea came together last summer over drinks in Manhattan’s Union Square, when he was listening to his friend and now business partner vent his frustration on the lack of neckwear options for men.


‘Stories’ was Instagram’s smartest move yet — Recode

Stories also has the potential of becoming Instagram’s — and therefore Facebook’s — next big business. Full-screen, engaging video ads seem like an easy sell to advertisers once they figure out the format. Internet companies have long tried to win advertising budgets that were earmarked for television, and Facebook’s efforts around video advertising have been underwhelming so far. If Instagram Stories are the new TV, will TV ad dollars follow?

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