Make advertising fun

I understand that the city needs to generate revenue, but wrapping public transportation in standard advertising seems unfortunate (although I’m all for more situationist ad campaigns). Ubiquity is not the new exclusivity. If companies want positive brand association in subway stations (or anywhere) they are going to have to provide a service of value, ie. give everyone a free metro pass, insert play, be smart, make people smile; the bar has been raised. I have been thinking about the role of waiting in public transportation and looking at what surrounds us in the interval between here and there. I briefly considered a few possible uses of empty ad space, for example, scrolling books, subway platform exhibitions or curated subways cars by local artists. Bus stops would be a great place to communicate consumer information, especially actionable items like adding your name on the National “Do Not Call” Registry, or removing your name from bulk mailing lists (that generates 4 million tons of paper annually), those things you keep meaning to do but haven’t.

Below are a few creative responses to advertising.

The Bubble Project is an open dialog via thought bubbles pasted on advertising in public space.
Add-Art is a free FireFox add-on which replaces advertising on websites with curated art images.
Light Criticism is a series of overlays on backlit advertising displays.
Poster Boy creates subway-ad mash-ups.



Operator is a physical installation that calls public payphones by plugging into switchboard nodes

Operator is a physical installation that puts the user in the role of a switchboard operator. Presented with a patchcord and a grid of nodes representing US States, the user can place live calls to public payphones around the country by plugging into a node (or multiple nodes). A list of public telephones in that state are then dialed and all answering parties are bridged into a conference call with the user.

Precedent Telephony Examples – thanks Shawn!

One Free Minute
The Popularity Dialer
Generative Social Networking!

4-in-4 Day 2: Pattern, Form

I sketched out a number of patterns and liked the simple block design best. The plexi piece reminded me of work my friend Jesse Seeger has been doing where he scores plexiglass, softens it in an oven and then sculpts it. I’ve been wanting to try this, so I took my plexi piece home but was hesitant to put toxic material in my oven, so I decided to boil it in water instead – I’ll have try this last step another time, as the method did not yield the degree of distortion I was hoping for.

See everyone’s Day 2 project here: