Unless you’re Clark Kent, chances are you don’t even notice the public phone booths on the street anymore. With their technology all but obsolete, those metal boxes would appear to have little value. But some creative minds are giving the booths a second life by finding innovative ways to repurpose them.
In April, officials in New York City held a contest asking designers to submit ideas for reinventing the 11,000 pay phones still standing on the streets of the Big Apple.
Participants devised ways to turn the structures into mini information centers, subway card dispensers, bike racks, and electric-vehicle charging posts. One proposal suggested reimagining phone booths as miniature gardens, the walls covered in live moss.
Throughout the world, others have come up with innovative concepts for converting infrequently used booths into art projects, shower stalls, and furniture—proving that the more we use what we already have, the less we waste, and the better off we might just all be.