Andrew McCoy

Freelance Writer

Andrew McCoy is an associate professor in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech. Contact him at

Articles by Andrew McCoy

June 2014
Having successfully completed a series of good-sized service jobs for a company he described as a great customer, a prominent electrical contractor (who wishes to remain anonymous) was making a routine visit to the company’s main office for what he fondly refers to as a “customer care call.” This time, he intended to thank his customer for its most recent business and get an early indication of th READ MORE
April 2014
Ever surfed 20-foot waves? Or gone skydiving in formation with hundreds of friends? Or skied off a mountain? No matter. You don’t need to pay IMAX prices for films that immerse you in personal experience anymore; just search online for personal adventure videos that force your jaw to drop in disbelief. It’s the video version of a “selfie.” 
February 2014
A great unsung legacy of the Automobile Era has surely been all those extra garages in backyards and alleyways across America that have ended up serving as birthplaces for new enterprises. READ MORE
December 2013
In a YouTube video, two psychology professors staged a playful indoor exercise featuring six men and women, who were dressed in either black or white, passing basketballs back and forth. READ MORE
October 2013
In the 1960s, Xerox copy machines started appearing in American offices, providing a stunning example of how innovation enabled by technology can create new marketing opportunities.
August 2013
A select audience of industry practitioners and university researchers recently gathered in Kansas City, Mo., to grapple with a mind-boggling quandry: how to define the next industrial era of the global economy. READ MORE
June 2013
Much as they might seem like antiques when scattered among children’s electronic toys and games, wooden alphabet blocks have remained a constant in American family living for more than 200 years. While they were overtaken as teaching tools in the digital age, they may never be surpassed in the power of their iconic value as universal symbols of basic learning. READ MORE
April 2013
It was an online phenomenon that went viral. READ MORE
February 2013
Try not to think of pink elephants. That silly proposition makes us chuckle when we hear it because we know that, as soon as someone says, “pink elephants,” we will unavoidably visualize pink elephants. We think in pictures. Hearing or reading words triggers mental images of what they mean.