December 16, 2010
A while back my friend Rob Walker contacted me about an idea to make “future development” signs for abandoned properties as a conceptual art redevelopment project. I immediately liked the idea, having been amused by these ” coming soon” signs and having total faith in their ability to raise property values by creating interest. The next thing Rob did ( read his ” consumed” column in NY Times when he comes back ) was start a kickstart website to gather finding, In THREE MONTHS he had all the funds needed and the project went viral, hitting MSN and then the Twittersphere of design.
I consider this on a par with some of the work being done by Berkeley College of Environmental Design under Nicholas de Mochaux
Rob Walker quoted here from GOOD design
Sometime in the aughts, signs showing future buildings started to loom weirdly large in the landscape; all those shiny condo ads seemed to be an urban feature of their own—especially when the crash left many structures unbuilt. But an ongoing project in New Orleans continues to take the form to its illogical conclusion.
“We decided this was an interesting medium,” relates Rob Walker of the Hypothetical Development Organization (which we previously covered here). His fake realtors ask artists to imagine inventive uses for neglected city buildings, and to render these on ad-style signs that will be hung on the buildings themselves. The concepts are, in Walker’s words, “blatantly implausible,” and this is by design. If an ad for a glossy high-rise is only a pipe dream, their thinking goes, why not have more interesting pipe dreams?