7×7 MAGAZINE | “There was no room to store my 16-foot kayak in my studio, so I was determined to come up with a solution that could fit in my apartment and be easily transported on BART. I was reading an article about origami’s progressions over the last 10 years—that’s when I hatched the idea.” Willis recently finished the 12th model of his Oru foldable kayak and is ready to go to market with his invention.” On any given day, you can walk into TechShop, explains 7×7, and hear a handful of stories like this.



NEW YORK TIMES | Most Americans understand that a mortgage meltdown was the catalyst for the Great Recession… less understood is the divergence between center cities and inner-ring suburbs on one hand, and the suburban fringe on the other. It was predominantly the collapse of the car-dependent suburban fringe that caused the mortgage collapse - argues Christopher B. Leinberger for the New York Times



NEW YORK TIMES | In an era of concern about climate change, residential suburbs are the focus of a new round of critiques… yet rethinking sprawl might begin much more effectively with the suburban office. Rethinking pastoral capitalism is integral to creating a connected, compact metropolitan landscape that tackles rather than sidesteps a post-peak-oil future - explains Louize A. Mozingo for the New York Times.



SAN FRANCISCO BUSINESS TIMES | “The last two years have been about re-imagining places for our emerging economy and what kind of environment helps facilitate that,” said Alexa Arena, vice president of Forest City. Exactly how those ideas will translate on a larger scale into bricks and mortar — actual office towers, public plazas, apartment buildings, galleries — is something that will be hammered out over a two- to three-year public planning process that will start now, she says.



SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE/SFGATE.COM | The preliminary project assessment filed with the City Planning Department Thursday contains basic outlines and starts a public review process expected to take two to three years. The San Francisco city block that houses The Chronicle’s headquarters would be transformed with new offices, housing and small public plazas under plans that the Hearst Corp. and developer Forest City filed with the city on Thursday, describes the Chronicle. The project is designed to create a loose community of people working in the “creative economy…”




STANFORD KNOWLEDGEBASE | “Failure can be a huge engine of innovation for an individual or an organization - the trick lies in approaching it with the right attitude and harnessing it as a blessing, not a curse,” writes Baba Shiv, Sanwa Bank, Ltd. Professor of Marketing at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Shiv describes two mindsets around failure: Type 1 is is fearful of making mistakes, Type 2 is fearful of losing out on opportunities. How can organizations shift from Type 1 to Type 2 thinking?


Redevelopment creates community through nonprofit


SAN FRANCISCO BUSINESS TIMES | Forest City’s experiment in unorthodox development at the San Francisco Chronicle property at Fifth and Mission streets, explains San Francisco Business Times, is taking a new twist with the establishment of a nonprofit that will focus on job and entrepreneurship training, as well as community and youth programs. The creation of “reflects Forest City’s deep interest in having the project be interwoven into the community,” Alex Michel, 5M Director, said.




ARTPLACE | In an unprecedented private-public collaboration, 11 of America’s top foundations have joined with the National Endowment for the Arts and seven federal agencies to establish ArtPlace, a nationwide initiative to drive revitalization in cities and towns with a new investment model that puts the arts at the center of economic development. ArtPlace today announced its first round of grants, investing $11.5 million in 34 locally initiated projects. In San Francisco, CA, Artplace funding was granted to Intersection for the Arts and the 5M Project.


The sharing economy


FAST COMPANY | There is a global trend to make sharing something far more economically significant than a primitive behavior taught in preschool, Fast Company explains. “Spawned by a confluence of the economic crisis, environmental concerns, and the maturation of the social web, an entirely new generation of businesses is popping up. They enable the sharing of cars, clothes, couches, apartments, tools, meals, and even skills.




THE ATLANTIC | Depending on where you look, you could easily mistake the famed Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for a robotics laboratory…or an architecture firm… or a computer-programming office…or maybe a hospital, Atlantic explains. The engineers, designers, scientists, and physicians who constitute the two dozen research groups housed there work in what may be the world’s most interesting, most hyper-interdisciplinary think tank. Researchers end up pollinating other projects with insights and ideas, within a hive of serendipitous collaboration.