9 November 2008

Sign Language



Recently in Leeds, this appendage on top of a standard road sign caught my attention:

Compare it to the standard solution for illuminated road signs:

Seeing it for the first time, I thought it must be some new devious method of hiding CCTV cameras in familiar objects. Recently I read that that there is now one CCTV camera in England for every 17 people: that’s around 3.5 million cameras, or roughly 15 cameras per square kilometer of land.

There was no camera. Just an LED. It’s a pleasing change, but one has to wonder how large a role aesthetics played in its development: the structure seems to have been informed by organic design, but the simplification of form has surely reduced manufacturing costs. The modern light source would rarely need to be replaced and would consume a fraction of the energy of a standard bulb.

But what kind of organic design are we talking about? It looks like a big droopy dong. And that’s just damned funny.