Safari 7 Reading Room
Urban Landscape Lab (Janette Kim and Kate Orff) and MTWTF (Glen Cummings)
Studio-X New York, 2009

Photo by Ho Kyung Lee

Germs, oysters, dogs, chickens, worms and humans are some of the species that populate the length of the MTA's 7 train — affectionately known as the "International Express" to its riders in Manhattan and Queens — a physical, urban transect through New York City's most diverse range of ecosystems. The 7 line runs from Manhattan's dense core, under the East River, and through a dispersed mixture of residences and parklands (including Sunnyside Gardens and the 1939 and 1964 World's Fair grounds), terminating in downtown Flushing, Queens: the nation's most ethnically diverse community.

Led by the Urban Landscape Lab (Janette Kim, Kate Orff) at Columbia University GSAPP and MTWTF (Glen Cummings), Safari 7 began in the summer of 2009 as a series of podcasts and cartographic explorations of the complexity, biodiversity, conflicts and potentials of New York's ecosystems, and of New Yorkers' relationships the animal life around them. Materials were made available for self-guided tours, or through tours and workshops organized by the Urban Landscape Lab, which imagined subway cars as eco-urban classrooms and invited travelers to act as park rangers in their own city.

Safari 7 Reading Room at Studio-X brought these subway classrooms to Studio-X New York through a series of maps, interactive tables and curated reading materials, so that each commuter may become a citizen-scientist in our shared urban zoo.

Safari 7

Coverage of Safari 7 Reading Room:

WNYC Brian Lehrer Show

New York Daily News

The Brooklyn Rail