Google Street (Art) View


Written by Tshepo Mokoena
Photos and illustrations by Street Art View
28 Monday 28th March 2011

First off, can you please tell our readers a bit about your background? How did you come to work at Loducca (creative agency)?

Raphael Franzini: I'm originally from São Paulo, and in 2008 I was living in London working as a web developer. I was invited to join MPM, which a year later merged with Loducca.

Gustavo de Lacerda: And I'm originally from Rio de Janeiro. 5 years ago I left the city and the country to live in Holland (Rotterdam) to pursue a Master's degree in Graphic Design. After two and a half years I went back to Rio and stayed there for a year, working at a design studio. But nowadays São Paulo is a more exciting place in terms of creative production. A year and a half ago I moved to this city [São Paulo] and started to look for work until I was hired at Loducca.

What do you think it means to be 'a creative'? What role did you take on during the project?

RF: I'm still to find out what being a creative means. Right now I think it's how one finds the solution for a given problem.

GL: To be a creative is to mix imagination with strategic thinking, which is the best thing that I can do with my time. Raphael brought the idea and I came along to develop the concept and usability together with him and to design the interface and identity of the site.

RF: Yeah, Last year Google announced it was launching the Street View service in Brazil so we gathered to discuss what we could do with it. I was brought up in São Paulo, where street art is all around, so the idea of Street Art View came to me immediately.

São Paulo, Various

Take us through the development of Street Art View. What steps did the team follow from idea inception to final execution?

GL: There was almost no steps between idea to final execution. We had no meetings, plans, nothing of that sort. We started developing and designing together and when we came to Red Bull we already had a working version of the site. It wasn´t complete but everything that we wanted to do was already there.

RF: As I said, I have a background in web development, so from day one I started programming the website the way I imagined it to be while Gustavo was designing it. We were so excited with the project that instead of presenting a proposal, we took a full working prototype to our first meeting with the client.

Hong Kong, Anonymous

Where do Red Bull factor into the project? Have they been a part of Street Art View from the start?

GL: Red Bull accepted our contribution with no restrictions at all and gave us total freedom to work. We worked together to fine tune some details and after that they were very fast at accepting and approving the project. We have no bureaucracy with them and they are always extremely supportive.

RF: They trusted in our vision of how the website would operate. They wanted the project the way it was proposed. By the way I think this project fits the brand image perfectly.

How important do you think it is for a tool and website like this to exist?

RF: First off it's not meant to be a regular ad campaign with a limited lifetime. 4000+ artworks were tagged in 15 days, so I think it is really something people were waiting for. Therefore it should keep on going.

GL: It really makes evident how overwhelming global street art is. Second, it is very interesting how the behaviour of the street artist is being "duplicated" online. There is no organized movement of people to tag the pieces.

What do you think Street Art View says about the global street art collective and role of the observant individual?

RF: That street art is everywhere and now people can see it in places they couldn't reach otherwise. Thanks to a collective of "curators" that are tagging these spots non stop.

GL: People are working together for the same cause without any kind of centralized leadership to tell them to do it. It is just happening. Both online (tagging) and offline (painting). I don´t want to get too political here but just think about what this kind of attitude means.

Where do you hope Street Art View will be/go in the next five years?

GL: It will naturally expand together with Google Street View. The rest is secret.

RF: Street art is ephemeral, so in most cases the website will become a catalog of old pieces that are no more, which is good for those who missed them. But also, it will expand as Google Street View launches in new markets.

New York City, Keith Haring

What sort of response to the project have you received from the São Paulo graffiti and street art scene?

GL: As far as I know we had only one negative reaction until now. And I´m not talking only about São Paulo, I´m talking about the world.

RF: Some say the exposure is unwanted sometimes, but for most it's a great way to see what other countries are producing. And instead of just looking at flicks on a graffiti mag, the street view allows them to actually see the places in which the artworks were created. Also, they understand that if you're listed on the site it means you're a really active writer.

Austin, Daniel Johnston

Have you got any favourite spots for street art of your own, found through the site? What are they? If not, what dissuades you from using the site?

RF: I love Daniel Johnston's "Hi, how are you" mural in Austin (above).

GL: My favorite spot is some graffiti that was tagged just around the corner of the street that I used to live on in Rotterdam. What I like best is to go to places that I don´t know and find different kinds of creative production.

Berlin, Blu

Which artists do you hope to see added to the site? Who are some of your favourites?

RF: I'd like to see more from Japan, no names in particular. My favourites are the Brazilian twins (Os Gêmeos) and all the random artists that are appearing on the site. We can now see the amazing stuff that's being done far from the famous graffiti centers.

GL: Banksy's still my favourite.

Liepzig, Michael Fischer

Finally, what's next for the project? Watch it grow on its own, or is there more central guidance in the pipeline at all?

RF: Nothing defined yet. But surely there's more to come.

GL: It's a secret.


Well, we'll have to wait and see. In the meantime Red Bull Street Art View is live and open to new submissions now. Get involved here.

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