First Award | Pop-Ups & Temporary

Readway

Readway is an open air library in Boston, Cambridge, Brookline, and Somerville’s subway system. Urban dwellers have so many pieces of spare time in between their commuting, waiting, and working, and they like to fill in those gaps by reading.

Participant  Name: Haeyoung Kim
University: Harvard University
Team Member: Jongwan Kwon
Country : United States

However, people rather want to read physical books than using Kindles or other similar e-reading devices in the market, because of the simple pleasures of the books such as turning the pages and jotting down personal thoughts. Moreover, majority of urban dwellers are limited to access public libraries because of fixed time and locations of public libraries, expect students.

In the past, the key purpose of a library was not only storage space of books but also metaphor as the space of knowledge. Thus, people could be overwhelmed by spatial senses surrounded with numerous books. In a great hall with activities of reading, or among bookshelves with those activities, the identity of a library has been formed: Quiet, static, and solid.  However, as digital technologies have significantly developed, they have contributed to the evolution of a book and lifestyle, which do not allow people much time for using libraries, due to distances and hours. Modern people can obtain knowledge from Internet, digital books, and devices. However, , people rather want to read physical books than using Kindles or other similar e-reading devices in the market, because of the simple pleasures of the books such as turning the pages and jotting down personal thoughts. Therefore, another form of library should be suggested. It is more open to public and offer easier, frequent, and casual access to people. One can rent a book and drop it to another Readway station whereas, people can only check in and out books in the same conventional library. Stay closer to people’s daily life and creating vibrant public sphere in cities.

Readway is a small rectangular-shaped pavilion with LED-lit revolving walls of books that could be standing next to the subway stations. With the Readway, people could easily pick up a book for a subway ride and return it at their destination. It offers easier and convenient access to people, so that more people have opportunities to read books in their daily life. As the LED-lit walls create virtual ripples whenever someone picks up a book by measuring the position of books with embedded load cells on shelf.

They will also appear on all Readway stations simultaneously through WIFI-programmed microchips embedded in panels. Moreover, it offers people a chance to read unexpected books and creating public space where people could serendipitously gather and create more enriching experience on the road.

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