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This blog is a resource for ad takeover artists and information about contemporary advertising issues in public space. If you have content you would like to share, please send us an email.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Philadelphia kicks of spring with new ad busts

RJ over at Vandalog facilitated getting a dozen or so Philadelphia PublicAccess keys into the hands of local artists a few months back. The result? lots of art on the streets and of surprisingly good quality for that matter. Normally, artists don't take a huge amount of time crafting thier ad-takeover pieces, knowing full well that they will be removed, and likely trashed days if not hours after being installed. In many ways, ad-takeovers are the ultimate in ephemerality and the photo documentation serves as the protest as much, if not more than, the actual installation. As RJ has mentioned in the past, the internet has been incredibly important for the ad-takeover movement. Here are two great pieces by Joe Boruchow and NDAxHellbent. There's been a lot more work than this but you will just have to go searching the web yourself to find it.

VIA: Vandalog
NDA and Hellbent
Joe Boruchow
More [HERE]

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Monday, May 16, 2016

When TV Ads Go Subliminal With a Vengeance, We’ll Be to Blame

The article below isn't about outdoor advertising but it did have some relevant quotes regarding how viewers ingest advertising despite thier attempts not to, as well as the effectiveness of advertising in general. So often, and usually in response and to critique my work, people say "what's the big deal, I don't look at ads anyways." Well there is a 70 Billion dollar TV advertising business and 32 Billion in OOH market that begs to differ. That much money isn't spent so you can ignore the messages being paid for and whether you like it or not, the commercial messages that surround us are seeping into your consciousness. In fact, those that think they can ignore advertising should be all the more appalled to find out that thier best attempts are futile and thier perceived autonomy is a lie that they are telling themselves. Here are two quotes from the article that seem to suggest the industry knows what it is doing.

"It turns out viewers are overwhelmingly absorbing the messages coming from the TV even as they stare at the other devices, Mr. Poltrack said."

“'If less people see your advertising, you will sell less things.'”

VIA: The New York Times

For decades the annual television industry ritual known as the upfronts has gone the same way.

Thousands of advertising and television executives trudge between New York’s great cultural centers — Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, Lincoln Center — where network executives screen premieres of their hottest new shows (“24: Legacy” on Fox! “Designated Survivor” on ABC!); trot out their biggest stars (Jennifer Lopez! Kerry Washington!), and disclose which programs will go where on the prime-time schedules being set for the fall.  More [HERE]

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Saturday, May 14, 2016

Highway Billboard Hijacked with Candy Penis-Licking Rubio Photoshops

VIA: Gothamist
Our nation is filled with unsecured LED billboards that are hooked up to the internet and can be configured by anyone to show literally any image. Today, one of those billboards showed a doctored photo of Marco Rubio licking a penis lollipop. More [HERE]

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Sunday, May 8, 2016

Anti-Australia Day posters, graffiti plastered around Melbourne's CBD Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/antiaustralia-day-posters-graffiti-plastered-around-melbournes-cbd-20160126-gmdzw8.html#ixzz46s2Asw6d Follow us: @theage on Twitter | theageAustralia on Facebook

Turns out Melbourne has thier own little movement as well. Is anyone besides me keeping track of the incredible boon in anti-ad movements or groups focused around using public commercial media space for the collective good? It's astounding. makes you think there might be a legislative agenda on the horizon.

VIA: The Age Victoria
Anti-Australia Day posters and graffiti have been plastered across Melbourne's CBD as hundreds of people rally outside Parliament House over Aboriginal rights.
The large posters featuring the Aboriginal flag, which read "Sovereignty Never Ceded" and include the slogans #InvasionDay2016 and #NoPrideInGenocide, have been placed over existing advertisements at tram stops and train stations in the CBD. Read more: [HERE] Follow us: @theage on Twitter | theageAustralia on Facebook






More [HERE]

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Saturday, May 7, 2016

A company is crowdfunding to replace all the adverts in a tube station with photos of cats

I've said it once and I will say it again, paying outdoor advertising companies to replace commercial messages with a more publicly oriented imagery is a horrendous idea. The money raised to alleviate commuters for a moment in time is much better spent advocating for the removal of commercial media from not only our public spaces, but our public media systems in general. Would you crowd fund to pay a coal fired plant to stop belching smoke into your backyard for a few hours only knowing that they would continue to do so after your funds ran out, using the money you had given them to advocate for thier own continued existence? 

VIA: Mashable
LONDON — Imagine a world in which you didn't have to go on the Internet to see pictures of cats — they were right there in front of your face on your daily commute. More [HERE]

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Friday, May 6, 2016

These New NYC Subway Ad Screens Know Who's Looking at Them

Digital advertising is going big—very big—and will soon be everywhere. The out-of-home advertising market (OOH), which includes everything from billboards to posters to Jumbotrons, is finally making a big push into the digital landscape, changing what used to be static canvases into dynamic advertising displays. More [HERE]

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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Wouldn't It Be Amazing If...

Someone just sent me this and while I don't think we are there yet, I'm sure we are on our way.

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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Stark Underground Space at World Trade Center Will Host a Riot of Ads

Respect for our shared public spaces has never been an attribute of the Out Of Home Advertising business and this is one of the more egregious examples of thier inability to put humanity above opportunity. 
Inch by inch, the new World Trade Center is being stripped of its connection to the World Trade Center that was attacked on Sept. 11, 2001. More [HERE]

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Saturday, April 9, 2016

Inside the anti-advertising movement that's recruiting ad agency workers to destroy billboards and replace them with art

Wonderful article on Brandalism and all it's ambitious work in the anti advertising space. Also, I've never seen this Robert Montgomery billboard but it hit even harder than usual so I had to include it. 
Brandalism: a movement dedicated to reclaiming the outdoor, visual realm from corporate control. But why outdoor advertising in particular? When buying a magazine, or watching a particular TV channel, the consumer is to some extent consenting to being shown ads. By contrast, in the outdoor space, there's often no choice. More [Here]

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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Switch Sides Campaign

Reminiscent of the AAA's industry outreach projects, this Brandalism campaign asks those in the advertising profession to give in to thier conscience and switch sides. Amazing!

VIA: Brandalism
We’re glad to see our posters piqued your interest…. More [HERE]

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Monday, March 28, 2016

New Work from OX in France


PublicAdCampaign readers will know my love of OX. Here is a new one and make sure to check all of his work on his site [HERE]

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Friday, March 25, 2016

NYCLU Demands Tighter Privacy Protections For City's Public Wifi

I have some pretty serious reservations about the LinkNYC system that outpace my love of free WiFi and cell phone charging. They arent new concerns but ones brought into astral focus once you realize what type of data 7500 well placed tracking devices can produce in NYC. As 2d static advertising goes the way of the dinosaur and digital begins to take its place, data protection will become almost as important as trying to remain outside of advertisings influence as it will allow more insidious advertising to worm further inside the brains of even the most adamantly anti advertising of us all. 

VIA: Gothamist
Civil libertarians are pushing the city to make its new public wifi kiosk network less data-mine-y, saying that the way the LinkNYC public wifi system is set up now allows for the creation of a database of all users' web activity that the NYPD could easily tap into if it felt like it. More [HERE]

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Thursday, March 24, 2016

RAP Press Release

Below is a press release I was sent about RAP's recent action at the JCDecaux headquarters. While this all might strike people as borderline insane, it is important to remember that advertising and it the collective influence of commercial media is not a natural state of existence but rather a momentary manifestation of capitalism run amok. Removing its influence would have far reaching positive effects on our society which may help mitigate our effect on the climate, help resolve social issues that surround economic inequality, and generally allow for an atmosphere of collectivity to appear out of a deeply selfish, every man for himself, economic model that dictates large portions of our existence. So maybe this is less crazy than you think and simply beginning of something new.

ENGLISH --------------------------------------------------------------- 
RAP invited itself to JC Decaux's headquarters ahead of the international day against advertising

Ahead of the international day against advertising taking place on the 25th of March, the french association Resistance à l’Agresion Publicitaire (Resistance to Advertising Agresion) invited itself at the headquarters of the paris-based multinational company of billboards JC Decaux.
On the banner : "Let's free the planet of ads"

Khaled Gaiji, President of RAP declares: “ in addition to violate citizens freedom of (no) reception by invading public space with advertising, the world leader of billboards also systematically violate French laws on billboards. We are here today to denounce this situation and ask to JC Decaux Executive office an appointment in order to discuss solutions to this issue that has already lasted too long”. After unpholding a banner “let’s free up the planet of ads” next to JC Decaux‘ headerquarter’s logo, Julien Simon, Human Resources Director, came to meet the President of RAP and committed to organize an appointment as soon as possible. RAP will make sure this commitment does not go unheeded.

More information :
Contact: Renaud Fossard + 33 (0)6 37 52 45 90
Link to picture (high definition):
http://journee.contrelapub.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/photo-JJC-DECAUX.Finalhd.jpg
International campaign website: http://dayagainstad.org

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How Corporations Will Use Artificial Empathy to Sell Us More Shit

Empathy is a tricky business. The range and complexity of human emotion makes it difficult, if not impossible, to ever really understand how someone else is feeling. Nevertheless, empathy is considered to be a crucial aspect of what makes us human—indeed, our brains appear to be hardwired for it. So perhaps it won’t come as much of a surprise that as machine learning becomes ever more sophisticated and capable of mimicking some of the most complex functions of the human brain, figuring out a way to teach a computer empathy is quickly becoming a business in itself. More [HERE]

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Monday, March 21, 2016

Is the Poster Dead, or Just Remediated?

I am extremely excited to be a part of the 50th Warsaw International Poster Biennale coming up this June. A huge thanks to Vermibus for introducing me to David Crowley, the curator and mind behind this unique exhibition which looks like as if it will honor the posters role in political activism while investigating the new forms it has taken in an increasingly digital, and mediated environment. 
Professor David Crowley, Head of Critical Writing in Art & Design, has a long-term research interest in the poster as both a design object and a means of communication. RCA Blog talked to David about his curation of the fiftieth Warsaw International Poster Biennale in June 2016, and the changing faces of poster design and dissemination in the digital twenty-first century. More [HERE]

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Thursday, March 17, 2016

International Day Against Advertising March 25, 2016

More on this as it develops but there are clearly a large number of groups around the world who feel very similarly about the issues surrounding commercial media in public space. I think its time we coalesced.

Again this year, let’s free – if only for one day – the planet from advertising! For the second year in a row on March 25, the French association Resistance against Advertising Aggression (RAP) will partner with international allies and activists from around the world to speak out against advertising. This movement was launched from the Tunis call by hundreds of activists from the five continents at the World Social Forum. Read the Call of March 25, 2016. More [HERE]

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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Florence Tackles Duomo Defacement With a New Tool: Virtual Graffiti

FLORENCE, Italy — “Do not write on the walls,” reads the message on a Renaissance stone wall in the cathedral on this city’s central square. More [HERE]

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Friday, March 11, 2016

Study Shows That Flattering Targeted Ads Would Be a Great Method of Social Control

VIA: Gizmodo
Everyone reading this has stared at a targeted ad wondering why anyone thought it applied to them. A new study shows that making people guess why a targeted ad applies to them, and feel flattered by it, gets them to open their wallets—and just maybe become a better person. More [HERE]

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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Riding the trains with veteran graff writer Nic 707

VIA: Vandalog
Back in 1976, Nic 707 founded the Bronx-based crew OTB, and, along with his crew, regularly hit the trains. These days Nic 707 is back on the trains. But his interventions, this time around, are eliciting mostly curiosity and expressions of gratitude form subway riders. I accompanied him last night on his Instafame Phantom Art Project. Here’s a bit of what I witnessed: More [HERE]

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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Advertising and the End of The World

Interested in watching the works of Sut Jhally? www.thoughtmaybe.com has put them online along with a bunch of other interesting films that any PublicAdCampaign reader should take the time to watch. A big thanks to Kyle Magee for turning us on to this fantastic resource.

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Monday, March 7, 2016

Contemporary Art Stavanger Interview

Big thanks to Heather Jones for taking the time to listen to me rant on and on about my work. 
The now ubiquitous Stavanger-based street art initiative Nuart, in partnership with Stavanger Aftenbladet, has recently branched out to include yet another platform for public art: a large-scale billboard located in the heart of Stavanger that presents a rotation of short-term installations by commissioned local and international artists. More [HERE]

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Saturday, March 5, 2016

Sounds Like A Manifesto

I think it’s important to question the monopolization of our public visual environment for commercial concerns and what that means for the determination of our collective social agenda. By privileging one type of message over another, we are through repetition, setting the terms of our cultural and political discourse. Considering the great hurdles we face socially and environmentally, the commercial discourse we surround ourselves with not only ignores our current reality but actively works against it by distracting us from each other in favor of ourselves.  This deception, taking place in public space, makes the offense all the more malevolent as our shared environment must function as a place in which collectivity can manifest. Instead the predominant messages and cultural values we enforce in public space actively appeal to our individuality and or commercial segmentation. True holistic visions of society that include the economic and social justice at the heart of real societal reform lie outside of capitalism and thus the corporate media agenda that we allow unfettered access to our shared pubic spaces. By reclaiming our streets and demanding a public visual landscape that reflects the publics concerns over a commercial agenda, we call upon a prized and shared civic resource to host the revolution once again.

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Friday, March 4, 2016

UK minister compares adblocking to piracy, promises action

Seriously? 
UK culture secretary John Whittingdale gave a speech at the Oxford Media Convention where he compared adblocking to piracy and vowed "to set up a round table involving major publishers, social media groups and adblocking companies in the coming weeks to do something about the problem." More [HERE]

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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

See That Billboard? It May See You, Too

Sellers of advertising space love to know who will be looking thier ad spaces so that they can allow companies to target more and more specific audiences. Online, this type of aggregate tracking is easy, but OOH advertisers have been hard pressed to create hyper accurate demographic studies linked to particular public spaces. Until now, anything more than a guess required someone onsite to tally information like gender, age, race, and whatever other important insight can be gleaned from ones appearance. It seems Clear Channel has solved this problem by getting cell phone companies, and nefarious mobile app producers whose apps gather geo location content, to allow them to link thier advertising sites to very specific consumer profiles and patterns of movement around the city. Want to target 20-30 year old males who shop at Abercrombie & Fitch... No problem. They are found concentrated on the 405 between 830am and 10am as evidenced by hard data reported through AT&T. Looking for 35-45 year old single mothers of 2 or more children? They are highly likely to be visiting super markets and shopping centers between 630pm and 8pm Monday through Friday. 
The collusion between advertisers and corporations here is scary in that they are taking one step closer to be being in total and complete synchronicity. Each product, now finding the space in our city where it is most likely to be received by its intended audience and thus purchased. In the process, our conception of our consumer identity will be reinforced making its grip that much harder to resist. 
Pass a billboard while driving in the next few months, and there is a good chance the company that owns it will know you were there and what you did afterward. More [HERE]

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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

g.l.m.p. manifesto comic zine

If you don't know anything about Kyle McGee and his Global Liberal Media Please initiative, take a chance to download a Zine on his project...Or better yet go ahead and order a hard copy below. 
You can get a physical copy from here if you’re in australia: www.silentarmy.org More [HERE]

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Sunday, February 28, 2016

One of the Most Recognized Artists in the World Writes on the Streets

Callie has always been an inspiration for myself and many other artists who watch her continually lead by example. Her work, time and again, finds new and innovative ways to defy categorization as Art, and instead be social, political, and transformational for anyone involved. (sadly words I just dont equate with art) Anyways, she has a short interview with The Nation in which she is qouted with what I believe to be at the heart of my own process, an idealized street and public art, and how we understand properly functioning public spaces. 
I think that when we are creatively able to set our hands on something, and able to be a part of the small and creative decisions of making our place, we feel at home; we care about our home; we are able to feel more invested in it and take care of it. Giving people a creative outlet, to be part of having a say in what their city looks like, is part of a healthy community.
Caledonia Curry, a.k.a. Swoon, is among the most recognized street artists in the world. Her work is now in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art. 
 She has also created projects with communities in New Orleans, Pennsylvania, and Haiti, as well as a floating city on rafts. More [HERE]

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Thursday, February 25, 2016

New Beastmaster work in Madrid.

Barcelona - Title: “You can stretch the truth”.
Beastmaster recently sent in these ad takeovers from Madrid and Barcelon that I really love. The production value is fantastic and his messaging is consistently interesting. I just wish he would ditch the logo. The logo thing is a pet peeve of mine because it warrants the criticism, "isn't this just an ad for yourself? and if so, what gives you the right?" While I do agree that adding a logo does make the work self promotional, I do not believe it invalidates the work. The messaging Beastmaster is putting across is in direct conflict with many of the advertisings core ideals and is a welcome replacement. Either way the work is thought provoking and well worth taking a look at [HERE]
Madrid - Title: “White Limo”.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

How Selective Enforcement of Illegal Advertising Laws Punishes Creative Activism

The enforcement of city and state law pertaining to graffiti, advertising, and other signage has enormous power to visually shape public space. In New York City, enforcement is heavily skewed to ignore illegal commercial advertising, while simultaneously aggressively targeting graffiti and, in some cases, symbols of dissent. More [HERE]

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Everyone Hates Public Ads. Meet the Man Who Is Trying to Take Them All Down.

Here is a nice little video about the PublicAccess project produced by Aymann Ismail for slate.com. It's short and succinct, and while there are so many aspects and arguments behind what and why I do what I do, I think it makes a clear statement. 
VIA: Slate
It’s a little past 3 p.m. in Manhattan, and Jordan Seiler is getting ready for his next public-ad intervention. He uses a homemade key he forged earlier from scratch to access an ad display in a bus shelter. After rolling up the ad and tossing it, he installed a simple black-and-white pattern he designed in its place. More [HERE]

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Clear Channel’s L.A. Billboards: Ignoring Outdoor Advertising Industry Code of Principles

I am often criticized for addressing my concerns through improper methods and told I should operate within the law if I take such a strong issue with OOH advertising. I understand the concern but the industry I am up against has never played by the rules so why should I? 
Several months ago, we pointed out the fact that a Clear Channel billboard on Lincoln Blvd. in Venice violated an outdoor advertising industry code regarding the proximity of alcohol ads to schools and places of worship. That ad for New Amsterdam vodka was recently removed, but what’s displayed now on that 52 ft. high, 624 sq. ft. sign? An ad for Camarena tequila. More [HERE]

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Monday, February 22, 2016

New PublicAdCampaign Street/Gallery Work - Collisions 2015

In 2015 I installed three simple black and white designs over three consecutive advertising panels in order to create a stark contrast with the environment that would arrest viewers and allow them to see that an intervention had taken place. I have since then continued to make interventions using this same design motif, calling it the Collisions series. Here are a few images from that series thus far. 
I have also been experimenting with Augmented Reality and my gallery work so if you are feeling ambitious, download the PublicAdCampaign app (700mb) for iOS [HERE] and Android [HERE] Once you launch the app, point it at any of the images below and enjoy some extra content buried in the digital world. 
NYC, 2015
Berlin, 2015
Paris, 2015
Paris, 2015
Barcelona, 2015
Brussels, 2015
Brussels, 2015
London, 2015
London, 2015
London, 2015
London, 2015
Paris, 2015

Collaboration with OX, Paris 2015

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Sunday, February 21, 2016

Ad-free art on the underground: Düsseldorf's 'pure' new metro line

These days, our public spaces are thought of as opportunities to tap into the vast wealth of attention that we collectively possess as we move through our shared environments. Typically that attention is directed towards advertising and our thoughts are asked to ruminate on our relationship to the automobile we drive, the type of detergent we wash our clothes in, or the entertainment we will use to pass the hours post dinner and pre sleep. Public space as a vehicle to promote conspicuous consumption, and this demand of our attention for specified motivations can leave us feeling intruded upon, taken advantage of, or manipulated. It makes sense because this is precisely what is happening, although we might not couch it in such terms, having become so comfortable with advertising's ever presence in our lives, and particularly in our public. The truth of the matter is we are being used when we step out of the house and that is no way to be treated in a space which is at least partially your own.

The recent opening of several new train stations in Dusseldorf, Germany seems to deeply understand this idea, as well as the power of art to expand ones attention as opposed to focusing it singularly.
"What is perhaps most inspiring about the project is how the lack of adverts means people can be people, and not consumers. Klussmann says: “Art is often used to attract people to buy things.” But here it is just about the art and the space, and wherever your imagination takes you. "
This notion reminded me of an obvious little piece of advice that in the digital age we fail to recognize and surely follow. Our minds need, in fact thrive on down time, those moments in between when our attention is unfocused and our thoughts drift. It is in these moments of drift that my mind makes new connections and novel thoughts bubble up to the surface without prompting. In the age of smartphones, we are woefully inept at allowing ourselves these moments of drift as we incessantly check Facebook, Instagram, Feedly, or some other constantly updating source of attention fodder attempting to fill those down moments.

Public space treated correctly can allow our minds the space to drift, or it can be used as a vehicle to distract us and keep our minds mulling over the minutia of capitalism. It seems like we should demand the later as it is in our best interest, and yet a newly minted subway system like this one in Dusseldorf is a noteworthy anomaly.

VIA: The Gaurdian
It was an unusual project,” says Berlin-based artist Heike Klussmann, a lead designer of the new U-Bahn line, which opens on Saturday in the German city of Düsseldorf. Fifteen years in the making, the Wehrhahn metro line consists of six new stations running east to west beneath the city centre, collaboratively designed by architects, artists and engineers. “Normally the construction part happens first and then the artists are commissioned. Here the architects, artists and engineers worked together from the beginning,” she says. More [HERE]
Image of the Stockholm subway as another example of Germany's progressive use of thier public spaces.

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