Sharing street lighting ideas on Facebook recently it occurred to me how often we forget that to be truly safe a place must not be lightened. It must be enlightened.
Example: the work sent to me recently by my friend Lorraine Gamman from London's St. Martin's College of Art and Design. Lorraine sent links to alleyway projects done by Doug Tomkin and Mark Titmarsh at the Design Out Crime centre at Sydney's University of Technology.
Apparently they are hanging out on street corners. They call it Living Laneways. I call it Laneway Chic.
Their rationale? (Graffiti and lighting people, Listen Up): "Too often measures against crime…can have almost as unpleasant an effect as the things they prevent. The Living Laneways project set out to deter graffiti without alienating those who were responsible for creating it (through) the involvement of respected artists in the street-art community…"
Clearly, simple and chic laneway painting can enlighten a space. Elaborate murals are not always needed.
Mark Titmarsh has a web document called Living Laneways - City Life.It explains some DOC work in Sydney.
Check out his tagline - "respect, express, enlighten!"
If street beautification and prevention means anything, it means that.