To deliver vital information more effectively to the urban homeless— a decentralized population with little access to mobile technology—designers Emily Read and Chen Hsu revived the centuries-old language of the hobo code. The homeless can use this series of simple symbols to communicate with each other about safety, shelter, and free food by inscribing them with chalk on sidewalks, buildings, and other surfaces. The code, reproduced in each issue ofthe Pavement, a London-based magazine for the homeless, forms a common language that is both inconspicuous and highly directed. Read calls the language “a means of exposing the hidden potentials of the city and making these more accessible to the homeless” and “a new, informal avenue of communication,” one that also makes reference to the very roots of language and civilization.
Source initiale : [pop-up] urbain, Philippe Gargov.