Designing the Taxi
Parsons New School

As the taxi’s 100th anniversary approached, the Design Trust for Public Space investigated how this New York City icon could be improved. To jump-start the process of rethinking both the taxi system and the vehicle itself, the curators invited the taxi industry, some of the nation’s best designers, and NYC’s taxi regulators to two workshops, held in cooperation with Parsons the New School for Design. The results were displayed in‚ “Designing the Taxi” an exhibition on view at Parsons.

For the exhibition, the we created a mock streetscape, complete with wooden ‘construction fence’, sidewalk and graffiti. Michael Bierut of Pentagram designed the booklet illustrating the various taxi proposals, which appeared as sniped posters on the plywood construction hoarding. The wall also doubled as a display case with niches for monitors and a prototype displayed at eye level, for visitors to peer through the fence (just as construction site often do). Several renderings were affixed to the walls at full-scale, and a mailbox for comment cards and newspaper box for show catalogues were placed on the mock sidewalk. One proposal for a demarcated taxi stand was painted on the floor, or street.

The project has been so successful, and so accepted, that the new taxi designs were recently rolled out in NYC.