Urban Art Project Makes Chinese Cities Green

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Environmental issues in China… it’s a hot topic. Every day there seems to be a new horror-story in the news about toxic farmland, contaminated rivers or smog-filled cities. But this urban art project, done by Jody Xiong of DDB China in conjunction with the China Environmental Protection Foundation, is something really positive that deserves to be highlighted too.

This wonderful outdoor campaign created a subtle visual reminder of the environmental benefits of walking versus driving. By walking, people literally made their environment greener. Enormous white canvases with a bare tree were placed across 7 crosswalks in Shanghai. As pedestrians crossed, their shoe soles were imprinted with a small amount of green ink, leaving behind a trail of leaf-like footprints. The final posters were eventually hung as billboards in several urban locations.

Involving random people this way, resulted in a very powerful campaign. Love it!  (Via)

Guerilla Installations: Swing on Subway

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Since I live in Hong Kong, I spend a lot of time on the subway. And although it’s very convenient and fast, fellow-commuters aren’t the most inspiring or cheerful company you can imagine, right?! A couple of years ago a group of people installed three swings overnight on a BART train in San Francisco. Look how everyone is laughing and connecting because of those swings!

I truly believe that change in the everyday monotonous routine, makes people happier, creative and more talkative! Unfortunately the Metro-people removed those swings almost immediately. But in the spirit of this guerilla installation, Caroline Woolard developed a DIY metro-swing. Disguised as a bag, you can take it with you wherever you plan to go and it can be hooked around the handrails very easily. Check out this little youtube movie.

Why I would like to try this in Hong Kong? Of course to connect with others in a fun way but also to make a bit more room for myself, when people violate my private space;-). A win-win situation, right?

Pavel Puhov’s Guerilla Urbanism

I stumbled upon a great artist from Russia. His name is Pavel Puhov and I really like the way he’s using urban objects and alters them into something else. Something that adds a deeper meaning to the original object, something that is an accusation to a city council or something that’s just more beautiful than the original thing.

He’s part of a bigger group of artists, architects and designers who call themselves guerilla urbanists. They want to make urban places, people places that are inspiring to those who use them. As far as I’m concerned guerilla urbanists deserve a bigger platform in our cities.