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Broadsides [timdevin.com] is an intriguing urban hacking (sort of) project by artist Tim Devin, in which infographics are deliberately situated in public space in order to engage the local community. Putting relevant information in the physical environment should encourage local inhabitants and passers-by to consider their own relationship to the place they live and frequent.

Tim designed three sorts of so-called "broadsides" (or small posters), focused on the situation in Somerville, a neighborhood around the Boston area. Mappy Facts convey some numerical data about the local vicinity, including income statistics, FBI crime facts, and so on. Street Surveys is meant to ask local inhabitants some important questions which can be answered by removing a slip of paper. Lastly, some posters feature Poetry by Paul Johns.

Following the ideas behind the open movement, print-ready files can be requested for similar initiatives in other neighborhoods.

Infographics in the street: a useful idea or not?

Via Good.




I think it's a great idea, but I suppose random information about any given area can be used or interpreted in a variety of ways- some good, some bad, some pointless. To be most effective the information must illuminate something hidden, misunderstood, or taken for granted. In general I think it is a great idea to try to engage the public with their community in new and unexpected ways, and that is what a project like this has the potential to do.

Wed 25 May 2011 at 4:01 AM

Definitely it's a brilliant idea, but I think the esthetics used is not good enough, because it has lack of clarity from a 'popular' point of view-it's too much 'academic'-. There's a lot of people that don't know even how to read a map!
Thus I think this project ought to include a pedagogical approach in order to carry its aim out.

Tue 31 May 2011 at 9:41 PM
Alejandro González
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