The Finalists of New York’s Telephone Booth Redesign Competition

The City of New York invited students, urban planners, designers, technologists and creators to build physical and virtual prototypes imagining the payphone of the future. Judges selected the top six designs, now you get to decide which design will receive the Popular Choice Award.

The “payphone”—like subway tokens—is a word that has increasingly become synonymous with an older New York. It’s been years since many of us have even stepped into, let alone used, one of those bulky, eerily abandoned and, let’s face it, uninviting, telephone booths peppering New York City’s sidewalks. But unlike subway tokens, the payphone is making a comeback.

FX FOWLE’s NYC Loop took home the prize for Creativity. The design preserves the signature “booth” feature of the traditional payphone but adds several modern twists. Equipped with a WiFi hub, smart screen, and sound harmonizing technology, The Loop allows users to momentarily step out of Manhattan’s mayhem and into a semi-private space to make a call. The design also features an “information puddle” that spills on to the sidewalk, creating opportunities to advertise local events and allowing passersby to access information such as maps and transit services.

The Finalists of New York's Telephone Booth Redesign Competition