The Uni is a portable, open-air reading room that will launch in New York City, Fall, 2011. (www.theuniproject.org). The reading room will bring books and learning experiences to street-level space within parks, plazas, and even vacant lots. Husband and wife Sam Davol and Leslie Davol are the team behind the project, and the Uni is based on the Storefront Library, which they created in Boston's Chinatown in 2009-2010. Sam is also the cellist for the band The Magnetic Fields. Within one week of launching a fundraising drive on Kickstarter.com, the Uni was 50% of the way to its funding goal. The drive ends August 15 (http://kck.st/q8K69t).
The Uni is a portable infrastructure based on a system of cubes, and the books inside those cubes are just the start. Like traditional libraries, the Uni will also provide a venue for readings, talks, workshops, and screenings, through partnerships with local organizations and institutions. The lightweight infrastructure can be installed in various configurations at different scales, and it can transform available space into places of community use, learning, and public engagement.
The design is by Höweler + Yoon Architects, with Prof. J. Meejin Yoon of MIT. The fabrication team is J. Meejin Yoon, David Costanza, and Alexander Marshall. Fabrication is underway at MIT.