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Urban typology: billboards

Billboard structures are designed as standardized systems with a built in flexibility to fit into the specifics of local conditions. The most popular and common freestanding billboard is the uni-pole type which needs only a 4’ diameter space for its construction, second most common is the rooftop structure, taking advantage of another form to give it is vantage point. The billboards mine the daily space of the city for its advertising income, attaching themselves to dense traffic corridors and intersections and places of congestion. Billboards are daily connectors for an urban population on the move. The board competes against the visual clutter and signage of the road, adapting themselves to the demographic profiles and languages of their neighborhood while attempting to fight through their shear size and weight for the most prominent space in the driver’s periphery.

The billboard images rotate typically on a 2-4 week schedule, providing Los Angeles with its only change of seasons. The billboard relies on redundancy, a message sinking in through shear repetition and unavoidability. The ubiquitousness of the billboard has allowed it to become a subconscious part of urban life, so tied to the urban fabric to almost become invisible.