Long time ago when I lived in Louisville, I walked out to the back alley one morning to find “Die Pigs” and other unprintable slogans graffitied on the back of our garage. My reaction was the same as when, also in Louisville, I saw a squirrel strolling along our upstairs hall – Wow, I thought, that’s really cool. Not because I have it in for pigs, but because the visual impact of the graffiti had so much to offer the otherwise plain grey surface that was the garage wall. Graffiti, like squirrels in hallways, can re-locate our expectations either momentarily or permanently. My second thought was, Wait a minute, there’s something wrong here.
Squirrels really do have no business being in houses, but graffiti can be good or not so – bad graffiti being that which is visually unappealing, and good being humorous, well-designed, I saw a lot of really good graffiti in the 70’s while I was traveling by train in Europe, and the Tate Modern, described in the Guardian as “the world’s most popular modern art gallery,” is now hosting a street art exhibition that will use the building’s walls as canvas for spray-painters. Apparently, street art has become very big business in the UK. It’s hugely popular among the public, which nominated the street artist Banksy for the Turner Prize in 2005, but also now among collectors and museums.
If you are among the graffiti-challenged, and prefer to keep your thoughts and doings where they belong, I offer the ZOPP approach to project management, or Zielorientierte Projektplanung, which I discovered by accident while short-cutting the url address for this blog. It’s all yours – have at it, or go out and paint a building.