Billboards are like watches - you look at them frequently without really ever actually noticing they're there. But what if billboards were composed of lush gardens instead of inane advertisements? LA-based artist Stephan Glassman wants to turn everyday billboards into lofty bamboo gardens to punctuate the streetscape with green vegetation. Glassman is working with a team of engineers, bamboo specialists and a billboard company to create Urban Air - a sign that doubles as a Wi-Fi connected climate monitoring system. They're currently looking for funding through a Kickstarter campaign, and with your help the lush bamboo garden could sprout this spring in LA.
Glassman started taking notice of billboards after the Northridge earthquakes because the sturdy metal were still standing. He has long worked with billboard art work and public art, but also with bamboo. And so Urban Air was born, a concept for billboards transformed into lush bamboo gardens complete with water misting systems and climate monitoring capabilities. Partnering with Summit Media, a billboard company, and Arup for the engineering, Glassman has designed all of the elements to make the project possible. Summit Media has donated a billboard next to a freeway in LA on which to install his vision.
First, Glassman will remove the traditional advertising elements to leave behind the skeleton of the billboard. Then he will install specially designed planters and fill them with bamboo, which will be watered with a special misting system. Next sensors and monitors keep track of air quality, temperature and other pertinent data. What was once a tool for marketing will be a work of art, an urban forest and a symbol for a green future. Glassman hopes that after his initial prototype is completed he can install more Urban Air gardens in cities around the world. Find out more through his Kickstarter Campaign.
Images ©Stephen Glassman