Trend Watch January 2023

Gardens and public spaces can be funny as well as beautiful:

Patch Adams said, “Humor is the best antidote to all ills.” And I strongly agree. Life’s lighter with more laughs. Sydney Morning Herald’s Robin Powell writes about Canadian architect Claude Cormier’s exploration with humour in Toronto’s gardens and public spaces.

Claude Cormier et Associes launched in Montreal in 1994, and now has international recognition for his exclusive works in public spaces. Cormier’s projects explore the history and ecology of a place, its contemporary context and sometimes add in a little funny element too.

Powell writes, “Cormier believes that not just our parks but our streetscapes can do a better job of telling stories and bringing human relationships into public space, using colour, light and a sense of humour.”

Powell describes the Berczy Park fountain in Toronto, which celebrates locals and their ‘love affair with their dogs’. He writes, “You can’t see it and not smile.”

Read on for an antidote of laughs with the full article here.

Photo: Mark, Wikimedia Commons.

Philadelphia is taking the city back to the past by reinstalling free ‘pay phones’:

We live in a world saturated with new forms of communication. And a phone is no longer just a phone. It’s a mini computer that lives by your side, morning and night. What if you want to ‘unplug’ and not be contactable 24/7? Jacalyn Wetzel of Up Worthy introduces us to PhilTel, a Philadelphian telephone collective reinstalling payphones. It’s a flash back to the past, a “pay phone” with a twist, no quarters needed, and free-to-use.

Mike Dank, co-founder of PhilTel, felt inspired to create communication accessible to everyone. According to, Wetzel writes Dank as saying that PhilTel provides residents who are either choosing not to be ‘plugged in,’ or who are unable to afford phones, with a communication platform to navigate their lives.

Wetzel writes, “…the phones will be free to use and that includes making nationwide calls.” Wetzel writes that this is a great solution for allowing access to a phone for everyone, though “one has to wonder if the name will get updated. I mean, they’re not really pay phones anymore.” 

To read the full article visit Up Worthy.

Photo: Maarten van den Heuvel, Unsplash.

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Trend Watch December 2022

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Trend Watch November 2022

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Trend Watch October 2022

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