The “City Hideout”

This is great: The Dutch design firm OOOMS has created “City Hideout”, a collapsable metal enclosure that you can quickly erect and squat inside — and thus disappear in plain sight, since it looks like a nondescript piece of urban infrastructure. Indeed, it looks almost precisely like the little ventilated boxes that New York uses to shelter electrical equipment at street level. And as the Coolhunting blog notes …

The most intriguing feature of this seemingly simple structure is the stark duality inherent in the design. When viewed as a form of escape and asylum from the city, a shelter from metropolitan neurosis, the hideout exudes an OK Computer-like charm, allowing its owner an opportunity to innocuously disappear amidst the bustle he can no longer handle. At the same time, the hideout’s slits create the perfect condition for a new breed of urban voyeurism, suddenly casting its inhabitant as a pathological threat to all passers-by.

Check out the link — there are a few really hilarious images of the Hideout in action.

(Thanks to Debbie for this one!)

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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