‘Cooper Lumen Design Challenge’ Seeking Funds for Lower East Side Project
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Hurricane Sandy, Oct. 2012
Hurricane Sandy left one hell of a mark, exposing vulnerabilities with our attachment – nay – dependence on modern technology. Specifically in the communications department. Among the initiatives popping up throughout the city (e.g. AT&T’s solar-powered charging stations) is a new initiative specifically geared towards the Lower East Side. If successful, it will provide residents with an outlet (literally) for relief, should the neighborhood go dark again in the wake of another natural disaster.
The ‘Cooper Lumen Design Challenge’ aims for the trifecta of solar-powered services in their prototype: free wireless internet, emergency lighting, and a charging station for computers and mobile devices. Students at Cooper Union will tackle the project, under the guidance of Engineering Professors Toby Cumberbatch and Sean B. Cusack, and in conjunction with Kerri Culhane, Associate Director of Two Bridges Neighborhood Council and Paul Garin, Founder of WiFi-NY.
The resulting design(s) will become candidates for deployment in the WiFi-NY People’s Emergency Network, which will place these units along Manhattan’s East River Waterfront and in common areas in and around the Two Bridges, Lower East Side, Chinatown, East Village and other New York City neighborhoods.
Check out their fundraising pitch video below, which includes some crazy footage from the superstorm. They’ve already raised $6,300 of their $10,000 goal; deadline for donations is January 15 (tomorrow). For more info or to support the project, they’re raising funds through Indiegogo.