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SharingUmbrellas.org

A 2014-2015 Celebration of the 50th and 75th Anniversaries 
Of the Auto-centric 1939-40 and 1964-65 NY World's Fairs
 

As a bottom-up, creative, participatory, cycle-design event

The first World's Fair to take place all over the world at the same time, and participation is gained by scheduling a regular and convenient time and place, for neighbors to exhibit and work on local, vehicle-building, projects.

We need to accelerate the design and development of human-scale and human-powered and electric-assisted transportation for work, travel, pleasure and exercise.

We can celebrate the Fair's high-tech surprises, International flavor and good fun, with few rules (only pedal-activated vehicles please) to limit originality, while enabling crowd-sourcing and cooperation to help us solve serious problems.

We need cycles and wheelchairs that are safer, healthier, more affordable, more beautiful and unique, and easier to access, share and use.

We need many creative people to initiate these efforts.


Individuals and small groups are being encouraged to begin projects to re-define these modes of transport, and bring them from their current 19th century configurations all the way into the 21st Century, with weatherization and motorization etc., and in a hurry.

Submissions will be sorted by type, cargo, passenger, multi-modal, amphibious etc., and also by geography, and will be freely viewable on SharingUmbrellas.org Artists, engineers, mechanics and designers are all being invited to take part in the creation of much better transport options, for everyone and from everywhere.
 

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UV Light Sweden Wild Wadi Dubai Soviet-Era  De bus du futur MIT to Florence Transit Hub Lemon Drop Young Farmers

SHARED
SPACES AND FACILITIES   VEHICLES AND RIDES
     
Communication/Information/Transportation/Shelter Parkland/Sidewalks/Streets/Neighborhoods   Transport/Utility/Human-scale/"Wheelchairs"
Muscle-powered/Electric-assisted/Urban-friendly
     
 

Images used in Sharing Umbrellas website links are the samples of possible development and they are not an official part of this undertaking.
 
  • A campaign, over two years, from this Summer until late 2015, to encourage individuals and small groups to work on designing and building the next generations of human-scale urban transport vehicles and neighborhood originated and operated, Transportation/Information/Communications Stations.

  • Although we are celebrating the 75th and 50th Anniversaries of the 1939 and 1964 World's Fairs, instead of occurring only in NYC, this effort will take place at the same time in myriad locations. Wherever there is the interest, the tools and skills needed and a place to work, a group may form and identify itself.

  • Current wheelchairs and bikes do not provide weather protection, places for passengers or gear, the whole array of creature comforts and other features that would permit them to be used by everyone at all times and ultimately replace, multi-ton, industrial-scale, urban-unfriendly vehicles.

  • Unique all-purpose shelters can be made by local artists and craftspeople, to provide protection against bad weather at bus stops and elsewhere, to give neighborhoods natural gathering spots and bulletin boards, ways to encourage help availability, organize healthy exercise, enable resource-sharing and rides.

  • Local businesses, environmental, arts and education organizations and former world's Fair exhibitors will be asked to offer support to local groups working on these projects, to give them seed money, or in-kind contributions of materials and services, to publicize and help transport their final products to NYC

  • We will expedite hospitality for participants, to find Queens residents willing to open up their homes to makers from their original home cities. This place, with the most diverse population on earth, is ideal to celebrate the universality of ingenuity and curiosity and our problem-solving abilities.

 

Celebrating the Anniversaries of the 1939 and 1964 New York World's Fairs

By Steve Stollman at EV World http://evworld.com/focus.cfm?cid=29

This Anniversary Celebration of the two notable World's Fairs staged in New York City during the Springs and Summers of 1939-40 and 1964-65, intends to preserve the essential spirit of these events, the varieties of Cultural Expression, the marvels of Cutting-Edge Technology, the Fun, the Food, the Rides and all the rest. Taking place in 2014 and 2015, its focus will be on a bottom-up, modern and fully interactive interpretation of this classic exposition, while adding the novel notion of simultaneous mini-events, taking place at many diverse locations around the country and the world at the same time, instead of just in one place.

As a prime focus, artists, craftspeople, designers, mechanics and engineers are being encouraged to begin immediately to fabricate the next generation's human-scale transportation system, the weather-protected bikes and wheelchairs that will fill our urban spaces. We will work to motivate individuals and small groups to begin this work, where they are and right away. In the Spring of 2014 we will invite them to bring their creations to the World's Fairgrounds in Queens New York, to show them off and exchange ideas with other participants. Meanwhile, they will have been working for a year to expose these ideas to their own communities while also exhibiting them on our website SharingUmbrellas.org. We will also be reaching out to individuals and institutions here to provide hospitality to visiting builders and transportation companies, to help get their vehicles here for the show.

Another theme prominently featured will be Agriculture and Nutrition, with opportunities developed for city-dwellers to experience growing environments directly, by facilitating inexpensive travel to rural environments while also providing ethnically-rich and nutritious foodstuffs to all. The ultimate goal here is to habituate people to eating more consciously and healthfully, while also more greatly appreciating the range of tastes and preferences enjoyed by those with different backgrounds and influences. The third major subject category is the ways in which neighborhoods can become friendlier and more supportive of their own resources, both human and natural. We want to help answer the question: How can members of communities organize and express themselves more fully, in order to take more responsibility for their surroundings and have a greater influence over them?

The last major area of interest here is in Cultural Expression and the diversity which characterizes our planet as expressed through music, dance, poetry and other distinctive ways of interpreting our lives. As well as seeking out opportunities for these expressions to take place during the event, in keeping with the traditions which have characterized events such as this historically, we intend to invite demonstrations of the role that technology does and can play, in helping us to enjoy these creative performances.

The ordinary definition of a World's Fair is a collection of exhibits, put together by large corporations, industries and Governments, to impress the public with their grasp of the future and value to us in the present. Visitors are expected to congregate where huge, expensive but temporary pavilions have been constructed, to house elaborate exhibits. Spectators are expected to be dazzled and impressed with the importance of these enterprises and their products and take home souvenirs which will someday earn them a fortune on ebay. Despite the typical grand scale and the sense of remoteness that it sometimes invokes, the fact is that most attendees enjoy these spectacles enormously and never forget the impression that they made on them. Of course, now that TV (first demonstrated in NYC at the 1939 Fair) has rendered the most exotic the most commonplace, we need a re-working of this experience and a more inter-active approach.

Communications and information are two fields that have developed extraordinarily in recent times, much of it through miniaturization and already have changed the way we live dramatically. Transportation, the next field to be revolutionized, and miniaturized, is a subject which has been overly influenced by the self-centered agendas of those in a position to benefit from maintaining the status quo. A car today is, in an urban environment, as absurd as a twenty pound cellphone. The President of the United States says our “Economy is built on innovation”. Around the world, many of the tasks we perform are done with archaic tools, oversized cars and trucks prominently among them. Intensive research into available alternatives is crucial. By creating conditions that permit us to more easily learn from one another, we are better able to use the benefits that are generated by this activity, while continuing to fuel our researches and making it easier to adapt our thinking and behavior to best utilize our new knowledge.

The Chinese Politburo many years ago decided to favor funding road-building and car manufacturing over mass transit and more recently had even begun to ban bikes and electric bikes from some roads, until popular discontent forced them to reverse their stands. The wisdom of giving more attention to the needs of the majority of the population is clear but the means to accomplish this is less so. What is obvious to nearly all is the need to begin to conserve resources. The danger of simply following the example of the United States and the Western industrialized world, which defines progress as growth, is manifest, and traffic jams now plague every continent. Substituting quantity for quality in determining the nature of our economic success is causing enormous problems. In a world where hunger is still a serious problem, converting food into fuel for cars is only the most obvious example of our folly, but not the only one.

We must figure out how to provide ourselves with the level of creature comfort that we are now accustomed to in our transportation system, without the enormous economic and environmental costs that this now entails. The most direct path to this end is human-scale and human-powered vehicles, with electric-assistance. They can provide the means for this conversion to take place, from industrial-scale vehicles, especially petroleum powered, which are inherently both dangerous as well as unsuitable for crowded urban environments. If the internal combustion engine had just been invented there is no way that we would have allowed it on our streets. Poison gas in any quantity is forbidden in indoor spaces, but so common that it is virtually invisible in our shared spaces.

This insult to our health and well-being is only tolerable because it has been with us for so long. Those who benefit from its inherent hazards and inefficiencies spend enormous amounts of money to convince us otherwise. The real problem is the lack of suitable alternatives. There are not even wheelchairs (which could be another name for cars) or bikes, an essentially 19th century design, with umbrellas. Upgrading the least expensive modes of travel sufficiently to replace the outmoded ones we currently use will have an enormous influence on our surroundings. Multi-ton vehicles traveling at common speeds have an immense negative impact on our sense of peace and tranquility. While we now associate all of this hyper-activity with the energy of the urban experience, the noise alone is often so intrusive that you can not even carry on a normal conversation.

It makes good sense to use the 1255 car-free acres of Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the World's Fairgrounds, to bring together a host of creative, ingenious and caring people, to take on this important challenge and demonstrate how it can be dealt with, to a vast local and global audience.

 

Anniversary Celebration of the 1939-40 and 1964-65 New York World's Fairs

All Summertime 2014 & 2015

WHAT:

Advanced Design Bikes, Boats and “Wheelchairs” to share and on exhibit, and innovative visions of our human-powered future

Featured, along with more evolved human scale transportation, will be improved nutritional options, creative uses of public space, healthier recreational activities and fuller appreciation of the natural world

WHERE:

Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens, N.Y. and 1255 acres of car-free public space, N.Y's World's Fairgrounds, & in localities around the country & the world.

WHEN:

June through September 2014 and 2015, to coincide with the 50th and 75th anniversaries of the 1939-40 and 1964-65 New York's World's Fairs.

WHO:

Though Queens is already home to the broadest assemblage of peoples, speaking more different languages than anywhere in the world, it is the intention of the organizers to involve local communities everywhere, from 191 other countries, 49 other States, 61 other counties and 59 NYC Community Boards, 360 venues, all, in effect, represented by their local residents’ entries. Through the Internet and a focus on sustaining localized activities, we will endeavor participation to be maximized everywhere and thereby enable everyone who desires, whether here or in their own community, to be involved.

2014-15 World's Fair Anniversary Celebration Exploratory Committee:

Kent Barwick, Former Director of Municipal Art Society and NYS Council on the Arts

David Gurin, Former Commissioner of Transportation, Toronto Canada

Carlos Pujol, CEO Cemusa, NYC Street Furniture Contractor

Garrett Brown, Inventor of the Steadycam and Skycam

James Weisman, Legal Director of United Spinal Association

Sherry Huss, Director of The Maker Faire

Jay Townley, Consultant at American Bicycle Industry

Wendy Brawer, Founder of The Green Map Project

Dr. Alan Moore, Art Historian/Exhibit Organizer

John Dowlin, Publisher   Bicycle Network News

HOW:

Like Fairs of the past, the emphasis here will be on creativity, expression, tolerance, education, technology and enjoyment. Unlike the usual format, there will be no large and expensive pavilions meant to be dismantled after the event. Instead of limiting participation to large-scale organizations, it is the intent of the organizers to put the focus here on the accomplishments of individuals and small groups of people by demonstrating our ability to have a positive effect on our common existences, to contribute to healthier and more active lives and to reduce the harm we may, even unintentionally, cause each other.

Financing is always an issue and first of all, as befits an anniversary celebration, we will invite all of the former exhibitors to be a part of this event. We will ask them to provide as many small grants as they can, to various deserving local efforts, to commemorate their previous involvement. We are also inviting any other business or government unit to do the same thing, to provide small amounts of money to individuals and small groups within their communities to help them develop a project which can be part of this event. The Organizing Committee, charged with turning this idea into a reality, will be comprised primarily of volunteers and will largely use their own resources and contributed facilities to guarantee the success of this effort. We can further encourage these developments by expediting access to travel, hospitality and other needed support to visiting designers and builders, by soliciting help, especially from those who hail from their home towns, to help enable the broadest involvement possible.

While experienced professionals in various areas will be needed to help guide this undertaking, it is our intention that, through the broad participation of students and non-profit organizations we can keep costs to a minimum. A detailed working plan and timeline will be developed soon and distributed to all those aiding in this effort.

WHY:

As the place where the Flushing Remonstrance occurred, one of America's earliest attempts to establish universal respect for the differences in belief that exist, and the first home of the United Nations, there is no location more suitable to building upon these efforts to venerate our humanity. As in previous Fairs, appreciation of others from different backgrounds, having a good time, experiencing evolving technologies and exposure to varied forms of expression are central to the event.

What will be different about this version of a World's Fair will be a vigorous effort to encourage direct involvement in these issues, to maximize participation by individuals rather than institutions and an emphasis on heightening appreciation of the potential for people of any age or background to make significant contributions to our common evolution, to engage their own creative energies in the service of others. Applying ourselves to issues like nutrition and the use of natural resources that concern all of us will enable participants from everywhere to relate to these important questions and their resolution.

One subject that concerns us all is the production and provision of healthy and nutritious food. This also involves the growth and gathering of foodstuffs as well as improved guidance in the preparation and consumption of life-preserving and life-enhancing nutrition. Being exposed to comestibles from everywhere in the world gives us the opportunity to improve and change our habits, to appreciate the lessons learned from different cultures over time regarding the best ways of appreciating our natural environment and its products, expanding our tastes and improving our choices. We will encourage suppliers to focus on healthier, more economical and therefore preferential foodstuffs. Keeping in mind the effect of these choices on the health of our planet is another important dimension. How we use our land is a factor in how the future looks and must not be ignored.

While a number of subjects will receive significant attention here, we recognize that important technological advances have made real breakthroughs in lightweight transportation possible today and the economic and environmental burdens of the current system are considerable. This high-profile, prestigious showcase can serve to motivate designers, builders and allied enterprises from everywhere to bring new ideas forward, and into the real world quickly. Developing variations on the common bicycle, to help bridge the gap between minimal and maximal transport, is long overdue. We know that bicycles, wheelchairs, artisanship and stress on shared resources are common features in the lives of people from every corner of the world.

Using our combined ingenuity, creativity and experience, we can re-shape how we get ourselves, and our goods, around, how we deploy our shared resources and how we help influence others to understand their best choices. If we do this in the process of enjoying pleasurable experiences, there is hardly a better way to illustrate this potential and its desirability. While the public is accustomed to regard “educational” activity as possibly boring or tedious, here the opposite is the case.

For instance, these machines, whether previously called “wheelchairs” or “recumbent trikes”, can be used by everyone, if made well enough, not just a special population. Making available colorful, easily-usable, creative vehicles, new varieties of electric-assisted and human powered transportation, regardless of former definition or category, can completely remove the existing onus of using a “wheelchair”. The best designed vehicles can enjoyably be used by the young, the old and everybody in-between. These machines might well end up resembling each other more than they look like their current versions. We can vault over ancient and worn out categories into new and more relevant distinctions. Is it weather–protected? Is it beautiful? Can you carry your friends on it? Is it different than anything you have ever seen? Do you wish you had made it? Can you use it when you want to and leave it conveniently for somebody else to enjoy when you are finished?

Encouraging innovation and accelerating the healing process of the planet is now job number one. There can be an infinite number of worthy projects catalogued, described, shown in action. This resource will begin by culling the best examples from existing databases. To help bring attention to the importance of preserving our aquatic resources, we can include a wide variety of boats, from radio controlled to wind-propelled, scale models or full sized, which can look and work beautifully on the quiet waters of what was once known as “Fountain Lake”. Additionally, this lake can be utilized to exhibit artworks, some in the form of boats, others launched for fun or art’s sake.

 

We will encourage new ideas, even if only in the form of a drawing, a model or something that only the designer/builder rides, which can be practically anything and may be used by other designer/builders only, in a kind of exchange. If the public is going to be allowed to use it within a confined space and protected environment, another, more strict set of standards will have to be used. If it can be ridden away, to use in the rest of the park, the most stringent requirements will exist. We will employ a peer-review process, so that selection of participating vehicles is as fair and high quality as possible and so that all parties to this activity can have what amounts to a continuing ongoing forum so they can contribute their ideas and concerns, and participate in the process of addressing them.

 

Everybody needs green spaces, exercise and safe, non-destructive and affordable ways to get around.

Providing some shelter, as little as a large “Umbrella” is essential in making our public spaces fully habitable. This endeavor will also encourage the design and construction of unique, beautiful and interesting structures, to provide weather protection, especially to public transit users. We will also encourage a process which will enable local artists, craftspeople and others to formulate these structures for their own neighborhoods and for those communities to have a hand in this process.

We are dedicated to improving everyone’s ability to enjoy their shared spaces, especially parks by preserving and enhancing their natural beauty, while expanding accessibility to new, healthful, non-intrusive activities. In the words of urban historian Lewis Mumford, the Godfather of the 1939 New York World's Fair, “Year by year our cities grow more complex and less fit for living. The Age of Rebuilding is here. We must remold our old cities and build new communities better suited to our needs”.

A World’s Fair Celebration for Everyone

Preserving the Most Important Classic Features of these Historic Occasions:

International, Inclusive, Technology, Education, Fun, Rides, Shows and Snacks

Differences Between Previous Fairs This One Planned for 2014
   
There is an admission Charge It is in a public park and admission is free
There is a fence around the perimeter There are pesky highways but no walls
There are large, temporary, expensive pavilions There are mobile traveling exhibits on wheels
Participants are large corporations and governments They may sponsor individuals and small groups
Visitors are mostly passive observers and consumers There are continuous opportunities to interact
The intention of exhibitors is to dazzle and impress Presenters aim to motivate others to join them
This takes place for some months over one or two years This activity becomes a part of this park and others
Heavy initial expenses make economic viability rare This low cost approach guarantees solvency
The residual benefits of momentary events are few This is the start of a new transport infrastructure
There will be long waits to enter complex busy exhibits Numerous small-scale opportunities will proliferate
It will take several years of planning to participate Exhibitors can decide at any time to be involved
Surrounding communities barely participate or benefit All surrounding neighborhoods are a part of this
There is no control over the healthfulness of food etc. Here is proof that good tasting can be good for you
The “World” has to come to you from somewhere else People from everywhere are already in Queens
There is no meaningful interaction among exhibitors Open Forums on Human Powered Vehicle design
The emphasis is on the proprietary and the profitable The public’s interest in its own public space is key
The Industrial Scale World is what matters most here The Human Scale dimension is the one we live in
We are taught that seriousness is the opposite of fun Yet Human-Powered Transportation is a lot of both
Everybody has to come to this place to participate This happens here and there and online and off
 
Links: Local Expression | Light Wheels | Contact Steve Stollman: 212 431 0600 or Email

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