It wasn’t until I had been in France for several years that I became aware of the existence (and maybe the importance?) of “street furniture”. J.C. Decaux is a rather legendary figure in France, a man who never graduated from high school but who built a wildly lucrative business by designing, building, and maintaining chic bus stop shelters on which to sell advertising. He eventually expanded his company’s products to the creation of other non-ad objects such as sidewalk guard rails, benches, city lamp posts… he is credited with inventing the concept of mobilier urbain, or “street furniture”. His company’s work can be seen today in cities all over the world including Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Just as an indicator, his group is now the top advertising force in outdoor advertising in China. (Kinda makes you wish you had skipped high school too, huh?!)
As I was walking in downtown La Mesa yesterday I glanced down and found this grate strangely beautiful in an industrial way. It got me thinking about the conscious decision to etch that particular design in it, and about street furniture.
More organically it also reminded me of something else I snapped a shot of recently, shortly after a stint of rain.