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Street Use

This site features the ways in which people modify and re-create technology. Herein a collection of personal modifications, folk innovations, street customization, ad hoc alterations, wear-patterns, home-made versions and indigenous ingenuity. In short --

Last Build Date: Wed, 19 Mar 2014 23:58:50 +0000


Priti Baiks

Fri, 17 Jun 2011 05:25:17 +0000

Street bikes from Panama. They are called priti baiks. The term priti means both “pretty” and also ingenious, or striking. The photographs are taken by Jose Castrellon, who spent time hanging around this subculture of hot rodders. Except these guys … Continue reading

Velowalas: Bikes for Business

Tue, 06 Apr 2010 07:08:10 +0000

In much of the developing world, bike technology is significant mobile technology. Bikes are transportation, and offices and shops and stores. The folks at Velowala — velo for “moving” as in velocity and wala for “man” as in the Hindi … Continue reading

Home-made Camera for Ogling

Fri, 12 Feb 2010 05:30:45 +0000

Nice piece in the New York Times about a Czech photographer who worked in the 60s and 70s using homemade cameras, one of them shown here. They are a wonderful example of street use. The Times said, “he fashioned them … Continue reading

Jailhouse Tech

Tue, 12 Jan 2010 03:52:39 +0000

There’s an emerging category of street technology which might be called Jailhouse Tech. The material constraint of a prison inspire fantastic innovation and re-use of made parts. A lot of the devices made in this manner are crude weapons, but … Continue reading

Scooter Contraption

Fri, 03 Jul 2009 04:03:48 +0000

I can’t tell what this is for. Might be a portable night market stall (for food?). There’s a generator on the tail and a light bulb hanging in the middle. Seems to be in Korea. That’s all I know.  (Thanks … Continue reading

Escape Devices

Thu, 25 Jun 2009 18:47:52 +0000

Photographer Marc Steinmetz features some really cool examples of home-made devices fashioned by prisoners in order to  escape. A few of them succeeded. This shotgun was “made from iron bedposts; charge made of pieces of lead from  curtain tape and … Continue reading

Street Food Contraptions

Tue, 16 Jun 2009 10:43:27 +0000

Dornbracht, a German manufacturer of bath and kitchen fixtures is presenting a exhibit called “Global Street Food” which has removed street food carts from the streets and spotlighted them in a gallery on Dornbracht’s campus. I wish I had thought … Continue reading

Clothes Dryer Chicken Coop

Fri, 10 Apr 2009 03:52:05 +0000

Here’s one way to keep your chickens dry. Pete Betchik of Madison on the Lake, Ohio built a chicken shelter using found materials. “The frame is made from wooden pallets, the roof also is pallet wood. The sides are old … Continue reading

Outdoor Barbers in India

Tue, 26 Aug 2008 20:59:41 +0000

Streetside barbers are quite common in India, at least in the smaller towns. A hair cut can certainly wait for good weather. The tools are very portable. Note the cool adjustable head rest on the chairs.  This set of pictures … Continue reading

Generator Motor Car

Tue, 26 Aug 2008 13:53:02 +0000

Some kind of home-made vehicle from China. I appreciate the wooden wheels and bamboo combined with what looks like a cheap honda generator motor. (Via here.)