Brad J. Aldridge is a designer and art director in San Francisco, CA

Sending Signals - Utility Box Installation in Berkeley, CA

As part of adding art to the streets of Berkeley, the Earth Island Institute partnered with the City of Berkeley to add art and design to the dull, gray utility boxes that mysteriously power our streets and traffic signals. 

My entry to this group is called "Sending Signals."  I met with the city's chief electrical engineer who opened up this box, located on Hearst Ave. and Oxford St., and showed me how it worked.  The inside of the box was kind of a retro computer of sorts.  Lots of wires and blinking lights and buttons, it was quite a surprise.  

Using the inside "guts" as a reference point, I re-engineered the box to put these mechanical objects more on view as a way to help pedestrians and motorists more aware of the stuff that makes cities work.  I like to think I'm revealing the secret to some municipal magic trick.