Archive for October, 2008|Monthly archive page

City in love…

In many cities during S. Valentine’s day many traffic lights are designed like red hearts.

Bruxelles, Barcellona, Paris are some examples. Someone are made by adhesives but maybe this can be in some way dangerous (maybe the drivers don’t see very well the lights)…















so in order to develope this unusual idea some traffic lights are themself heart-shaped. We can hope that someone can  stop in the name of love!!!

Also some smiles can adorne the cicle: here there is an example situated in Cambridge. Also the flowers near it are very lovely.

Other shapes:



It makes feel a sense of fun, it’s seems to live a good and happy town





When i went to London i photographed an other unusual traffic light…it seems to arrive from the medivial time, but it belongs to our days in one of the most beautiful modern cities: London.


Photo by Sabrina Ronchese (London)



Green, orange, red…..STOP!!!!

This bit of public art blends nature with traffic in one confusing sculpture. It’s Pierre Vivant’s Traffic Light Tree, located  next to a roundabout near Canary Wharf (London). It’s a  giant sculpture of fully-functioning traffic lights. Vivant’s eternal tree replaced another London plane as it was dying, maybe because of pollution.
For some reason it’s parked there: the cycle of light changes are not supposed to mimic the seasonal rhythm of nature, but the restlessness and action of Canary Wharf. The light cycles of the Traffic Light Tree imitate the landscape that we can see in the cities.
I think this can be a kind of metaphor that rapresents our busy cities’ rhythm and busy domestic, financial and commercial goings on. Can you imagine taking a drive anywhere without encountering a traffic signal? Traffic signals are so omnipresent today, they are a part of the landscape city!

Stop and cross…

For the designer Hanyoung Lee the traditional traffic lights are too old, now it’s time for the Virtual Wall. Here’s an innovative road safety idea.

Tthis is a  red virtual wall that, through laser beams, projects animationed giant images of pedestrian crossing the street. The effect is enough to make drivers and pedestrians alike follow crosswalk rules. No one can excuse, also the most preoccupied driver will see red very well and forever! 

The laser is innocuous, any car that crosses that barrier suffers the consequences. This is a good idea for pedestrian’s safety, but it involves high costs as regards the production and maintenance.

Maybe one day in the future…

Enjoying with design!

This video si made by two NABA’s students (Nuova Accademia di belle arti Milano) for a project of workshop: toydesign in milan…have a look…. maybe also they wanted to improve in some way Milan and to reduce its typical greyness enjoyng themself and sharing it on YouTube!

On the sidewalk

Here there are some example of how somenthing wich usually isn’t noted can be improved and changed by design. Those are some gratings with an innovative design.

The first example makes me think that it belongs to a city where surf is the main sport, so design in this case can be a way used in order to describe the city, its way of life, its characteristics.

The second suggests me a way to make a kind of advertisement or something where can be written the indications about the place or also the description of the shop in front of it or other kind of messages.

As they are in Milan (Photo by Sabrina R.)

As they are in Milan (Photo by Sabrina R.)













Street’s art/design

Panettoni (Photo by Sabrina R.)

Panettoni (Photo by Sabrina R.)

Have you ever notice in Milan those strange objects that have the function of no parking called “panettoni”?



Those roadside bollards are designed by Enzo Mari but Pao, a street artistis, in 2000 trasformed them into something wich revives Milan’s underground scene and the pedestrian’s curiosity thanks to their colours and creativity. “Panettoni” changed into “penguins”. Have a look at the reason!
Penguin (Photo by Sabrina R.)

Penguin (Photo by Sabrina R.)










They became something simbolic in Milan’s street, changing desolate corners of city life onto oases of colour.  His sculptures spring from an observation of contemporary society and the grey inertia of everyday life in Milan directed the artist to respond with the fluorescent colours that tipify his work.  










Zebra crossing (2)

Other examples of zebra crossing’s design. In addiction to its decorative function, it can be also a way of making advertisements or kind of signs for pedestrians that can ‘read’ more information and ‘learn’ something about the place they’re visiting, a vehicle of communication.

These photo show the “design’s week§” works at Cava de Tirreni: zebra crossing were decorated with different floreal motif by the different companies that partecipated.

a crowd on-lookers

a crowd of onlookers

In the photo it seems that can be a good way to communicate something to people but at the same time i think it is also a bit dangerous, isn’t it?:-)
lovely zebra crossing

lovely zebra crossing









Zebra crossing

Here there some example of a decorative design applied on very nice pedestrian crossing. They belong to a project called “Sentieri Urbani” by Adriano design.

Sentieri Urbani

Sentieri Urbani

zebra crossing
zebra crossing
The philosophy that stays under this project, and i really completely agree with that, is about communicating cities’ identity throughout existing material. Sentieri Urbani communicates city’s identity, culture, history and local differences and places without over-adding signs. Sentieri Urbani removes material from our codified communication system but gives more information that look different depending on the point of you, position and the SPEED you are moving around the city. “You can feel and see it in a ‘slow’ way or in a fast ‘way’. It decorates the city and gives you pleasant input while looking at the city but only going round in a ‘slow’ way (by foot or bike), otherwise if you go fast you almost cannot feel this decoration at all”.

Zebra crossing

Zebra crossing




I think that there is some truth in that and thinking about T. Russo sentence i discover there are different opinion as regards urban design: a frenetic one opposed to a pleasant one.








They are also visible through photography by satellite and from Google Earth:







It is useful for a safety reason because it increases street fiction and reduces material, it is visibl e, recognizable, simply and clearly readable.