Going 'Round the Bend
Spring is for reflecting. Each year, the beginning of April puts me in a certain contemplative mood. Rather than bore you with yet another dark-night-of-the-soul rumination on the state of the world, and my attempt to assert my white male privilege to change it to better serve both me and my offspring, I thought I would instead share several heretofore confidential projects that my team and I have been working on. Our ultimate goal isn’t to make a difference, but rather to make each and every person that our undertakings touch smile, if only for a moment, with the thought, “Those crazy kids."
What’s In A Name?
Getting Tough (On Ourselves) for A Better World
“Foresight," we realize, is dated. Hence, the first significant news I’d like to share with you: From today, April 1, onward, we’ll be known as the Resilience Design Initiative (RDI). While we don’t have the new identity rolled out yet, we have made some important changes within the studio. Firm believers that resilience, like change, begins on a personal level, we have initiated weekly self-flagellation sessions. With the understanding that every challenge that we bounce back from makes us stronger, we will be undertaking various types of emotional and physical deprivation in order to better serve our growing, resilience-seeking client base…who tend to impose their own stresses upon us, in which we, of course, delight.
Getting There, Fast
There is a reason I’ve been traveling to San Francisco often lately! Late last year, Foresight was approached by several innovation-focused Bay Area transportation entrepreneurs that saw an opportunity, not barrier, in Chicago’s slow roll out of a bus rapid transit (BRT) system. Meet “Sfüber,” the next big thing in getting around town quickly. Focused on dedicated routes, like Ashland Ave, Sfüber leapfrogs the infrastructure modifications and resistance to change involved with BRT, and provides the same benefits. Need to get from the north side to downtown fast? Hail a Sfuber van from your smart phone, and you’ll be on your way, speeding down Ashland at top speed, securely connected inside the sometimes swerving vehicle by a specially designed, 5 point harness. Rather than relying on dedicated lanes or responsive traffic lights, Sfüber depends on other drivers recognizing the bunny ears sticking out from the top of the van in their rearview, and getting the hell out of the way. Sfüber, Super Fast Uber—it’s even fun to say!
How Are the Tomatoes?
Floating the Solution
Access to fresh, healthy food has challenged Chicago for many years. Numerous solutions have been tried, and none have been able to completely solve the problem, until now. Dedicated to reaching the hard to reach, Foresight’s new Floating Farmsteads are specially designed, human powered mini barges that feature the best locally grown fruits and vegetables available in the heart of the heartland. A small flotilla of these Coast Guard approved craft, handsomely outfitted by one of our city’s leading, river-savvy architectural firms, will cruise branches of the Chicago River daily, providing reasonably priced healthy foods via a specially-designed plank (a gangplank, as it were) that will extend to shore. So next time you’re walking along Lower Wacker, keep your eyes out. There may be a hearty root vegetable or freshly picked early spring ramp in your future!