Smile for London tackles ‘January blues’ among commuters

smilelogo1Earlier this year we wrote about an attempt to inject some positivity into New York City’s transit system, courtesy of an MTA partnership with a conceptual artist, that involved printing the word “optimism” on the back of MetroCards. Now, a project called Smile for London is looking to combat the “January blues” and “raise the spirits” of travelers in the city’s Tube with “positive, thought-provoking visual stimulation.”

Working with CBS Outdoor UK as a media partner, the organization will program a “creative intermission” on train platform screens for two weeks during the weekday morning commute; weekday evenings will highlight local arts events. Currently 20-second submissions are being solicited for the morning portion—the brief is to create a “silent piece of moving image with a view to pushing the boundaries of the medium.” Behind this initiative is The Meme Partership, which calls itself a “socially focussed creative enterprise merging public art with contemporary campaign initiative”; Vimeo and Museum of London are its two sponsors.

Crowded, chaotic urban environments are hubs of anxiety, and will become more so as global populations continue a trend of migrating into cities. Brands can help alleviate this by participating in the Creative Urban Renewal movement, one of our “10 Trends for 2011.” Smile for London is a prime example of the types of projects we’ll see more frequently—innovative ideas for improving local environments, adding beauty or helping to bring communities together.

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