Rebirth of the Phone Booth

iphone1A while back I wrote about the death of the phone booth in Paris, but it seems like I underestimated its durability. This picture here shows a prototype model of what could be the future face of the payphone in the city, but is it a pretty one?

The city of Paris is looking to replace its ageing fleet of phone booths, and asked Orange (France Telecom) and JCDecaux to work on potential new models. The two companies presented a prototype to the design bureau at the City of Paris, and have been allowed to install 12 test models around the city for a 6 month period (the one here is on the Rue de Rivoli next to the St Paul Metro station).

The City of Paris website has described the design as being “very futuristic.” but I think “very dull” would be more suitable. JCDecaux, the company behind the Velib system as well as many public toilets and most bus stops, is slowly defining the new norms of street furniture (a kind of grey/brown!), and clearly the company has only one goal – maximise advertising space. This design eliminates all trace of the traditional private box model, and is in fact little more than an advertising panel with a phone on the back.

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