Blog Prompt #2
There are thousands of social-design issues in the Twin Cities that I could have chosen but I decided to chose graffiti. Graffiti is an art form that has been frowned upon largely because it is greatly misunderstood. Sure, some graffiti may be simply a rebellious teenager trying to get back at society for various reasons but it is usually an artist expressing themselves in a less than popular way. The average citizen would probably scowl in anger upon seeing public property tagged in spray paint but what if it was accepted. What if there were designed areas for graffiti artists to go and create art equal to anything done with a paint brush or camera. I think this would bring color to space that is otherwise quite bland.
The streets of downtown Minneapolis lack color for the most part. A graffiti project would solve this problem and be virtually expense free. Imagine a downtown that is full of color and art that disguises the dirtiness of the buildings. Pedestrians would be able to walk the streets and enjoy themselves without the help of an ipod or even company. Cities across the United States are employing graffiti artists to do murals that have a positive message instead of the blunt vandalism graffiti can sometimes become.
Philadelphia's Anti-Graffiti Network is perhaps the best example of a city using graffiti as a positive influence. The network consists of three programs that have helped Philadelphia clean nearly 40,000 walls and add 2,500 murals to their city. The Twin Cities would be wise to create a similar network that could help create the same benefits. When the consequences are weighed, it is a rather easy decision to make. Punishing graffiti artists will only make their vandalism more fierce and higher in quantity. Embracing their form of art could possibly result in something magnificent.