Public Art vs. Pollution, Round 1

Take a few seconds and count the number of logos and slogans that are within eyeshot. From my desk without swiveling, I counted 32. Imagine how many marketing messages we’re exposed to in a single day.  It’s everywhere and on everything and we hardly notice it anymore. We’ve becoming numb to it. This is why it’s ineffective to drown consumers in ads hoping they’ll buy what you’re selling. If you want to make an impact, you have to move people with emotion and creativity.

A few weeks ago, we were approached by a small group of engineers looking for ways to educate Renoans about the importance of keeping our storm drains pollutant free. The storm drains collect rain water and funnels it to the river. We need this infrastructure so our homes and streets don’t flood. It’s a simple system and entirely different from our sewage pipes. The issue is the oil, radiator fluid, glass and the like, that get’s swept into the storm drains. It all ends up in the river.

We examined the engineer’s education content and thought it was very intuitive. There’s a ton of good tips and even an interactive map illustrating the path of the water at tmstormwater.com. The problem wasn’t the content; it was the appeal of it to the everyday person. The subject is boring and a pamphlet or PSA isn’t going to make people pay attention. So…we proposed we use the one medium that has moved people since the beginning of mankind…art.

This is what we did:

We’re placing posters throughout town as well, they look like this:

Octopus

Storm Drain Fish

Stormwater3

Stormwater2

Stormwater

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