Dixon Baxi has designed the visual interface for Renew, an on-street digital platform that combines newspaper recycling bins with an interactive, real-time digital channel, free Wifi connectivity and mobile apps.
Renew pods will initially be placed in the City of London in the summer, showing real-time information on travel, finance, weather, sport and entertainment, alongside site-specific recommendations on cultural and social destinations. Information will be simultaneously shown on-screen and broadcasted to mobiles using Wifi and Bluetooth.
Dixon Baxi began working with Renew’s holding company, Media Metrica, in 2003 on branding for the system, and started work on screen design about nine months ago.
The consultancy designed the system, helped decide on content and created an infrastructure that ’targets the right content to the right people at the right time of day’, according to Dixon Baxi co-founder and creative director Simon Dixon.
Dixon says, ’It’s important that it’s a content delivery channel that works on the street, but also across other digital platforms. The typeface and visual language are to do with legibility and ease of access. You need a robust system that works in extremely short periods as people are rushing past.’
Kaveh Memari, chief executive of Renew, says, ’This is a new way of communication. It’s crucial for the content to be functional and relevant, and give something valuable to people walking past.’
Dixon says, ’We needed to make it as useable as possible. Typically, the design of these things is either a big poster or a video playing an ad.
’We wanted the design language to work for people familiar with using the Web and TV – it’s a hybrid of designing a digital platform, a hand-held device and a TV channel.’
Memari says that, initially, 25 pods will launch in the City of London in June, with the aim of 100 before the 2012 London Olympics. They will launch in New York in July.
- The pods are built primarily from recycled materials using bomb-proof ’blast-intelligent technology’
- Each year, the average Renew pod is expected to redirect 1.5 tonnes of recyclable material from landfill
- The programmingwill emphasise environmental information
- The network of pods will be powered by wind farms
- The iPad and phone apps allow users with the Renew network to access news according to personal preferences