Multi-Use Billboards That Aim To Solve Social And Environmental Issues

Multi-Use Billboards That Aim To Solve Social And Environmental Issues

Agency Design Develop aims to help homeless people by converting billboard advertisements into living spaces.

Lara Piras
  • 30 june 2014

A controversial and inhumane way of ‘managing’ London’s homeless population was brought to the attention of twitterers by Worldview Media this month as spikes were placed outside a building to deter people from sleeping close by. The UK government has had to ban the ‘anti-homeless spikes’ that caused national outrage, and resulted in petitions signed by thousands to take greater care of the disadvantaged.

With this news and a new campaign by design agency Design Develop, homelessness and the battle against it seems to be on everyone’s radar. The ‘Gregory Project,’ aims to help homeless people by transforming billboard advertisements into liveable spaces. The ads use both the space and the object to promote the global problem of homelessness and double up as a shelter as the insides of the structure can be turned into living spaces where homeless people can sleep.


The design of the new homes is based on the existing structure of mainstream billboards, i.e. triangular. This results in a plan divided in two rooms with the first including an entrance hall, kitchen, office desk, stairs to a raised bed, and bedroom, the second part contains a bathroom with a sink, a toilet and shower. The designs are sleek and us wood, concrete and steel as materials. The added bonus is that there are even windows, offering a comfortable stay with all the amenities any one person would need.


This new and promising idea marks a continuing trend of multi-use billboards designed to help solve societal issues such as texting and driving, water and air pollution, and poverty. This year alone we’ve documented a host of innovations in this sector. One being an ‘Eco-friendly signage in Peru that generates more clean air than 1,200 trees,’ another that ‘can clean between 2 and 8 thousand gallons of water per day,’ and then there was a billboard in California that ‘shames people drivers into stopping texting.’

While billboards once proved the power of marketing, they’re now proving new ways to help combat some of the world’s most important issues.

Images, sources: Designboom

+Design Develop
+Gregory Project
+Latin America
+Worldview Media

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