Several works in “Design and the Elastic Mind,” an exhibition that opens at the Museum of Modern Art on Sunday, offer intriguing and unexpected perspectives on New York. A team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has mapped the international phone calls and Internet traffic that connect the city with countries around the world, showing, for example, just how often Queens immigrants are on the phone back home with India. A design lab at Columbia University has traced the costs of incarceration in poor minority neighborhoods, demonstrating that taxpayers in some cases pay $1 million a year to imprison inmates from a single Brooklyn block.
In a review published today in The Times, Nicolai Ouroussoff writes that the exhibition “makes the case that through the mechanism of design, scientific advances of the last decade have at least opened the way to unexpected visual pleasures.” Several of the works are of particular interest to people who care about the future of cities.
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