Friday, August 10, 2012

utility boxes turned public art

[Images my own. Boxes on Allston between Milvia and MLK.]

Lately I've been running into common streetscape items turned public art all over the place. Here in Berkeley, I've been enjoying the 60 Boxes Project, part of Earth Island Institute's Streets Alive! Initiative, that has decorated utility boxes around the city. Near Berkeley High School are boxes commemorating famous grads of the school. Downtown are boxes in other designs by artists and I'm looking forward to stumbling across more.
[Top images from 21 Boxes Facebook page, bottom images from HonestlyWTF]

My own college town, Ithaca, NY, is also tackling their utility boxes. 21 Boxes has 21 artists painting 21 boxes around the town. Learn more in this video. The two top images in the photo above are by artists Sean Chilson and Jay Stooks. 

Then today I found a post by HonestlyWTF on a project in São Paulo, Brazil, where Vivo telecom company recruited 100 artists to each redesign a public telephone for "Call Parade." I love the shape of these telephone booths to start with, the shape giving a bit of privacy and sound control without totally separating the caller from the street. With the added artwork, they go from well designed ubiquity to standout individual work I'd be proud to have on my street corner. Which is ultimately the goal of each of these community projects- to make a commonplace object into one that inspires civic pride. 

1 comment:

blue roses said...

oo, another reason i really, really should head back up to ithaca sometime this fall.

really love the phone booths, the oblong shape is futuristic and functional, but not obtrusive. woo!