Code: (11.b.TIP)


Title: Tipollution


/// Authors: Marta López + Marta de las Heras + Marta Martínez + JARD

/// Year: 2011

/// Year: 2nd Prize in international Stoy Competition “Jurbaning”.

/// Prmtrs: Noise   Horror Vacui    Textual Visual  Atlas   Assemblage      Liquid  Immanence       Kairos  Weeks        0.00 €               No Commons         99 %    Ludic   Affect  Contagion       Collaborative   Ad hoc  Awarded        Pedagogy        Exposed


“Mom, there is a hidden A on the floor “.


Imagine all the streets of Madrid full of letters, like an alphabet soup, queuing in Preciados street, waiting for you to jump from one to another. Millions of hidden words are waiting to be found and let you embrace them with a loop of chalk. Rivers of letters that reach until Puerta del Sol.





Tipollution is a hobby for everyone, any time. For the ten minutes that you wait for the bus, when you come back home, when you walk, when you wait for your bothering friend to finish shopping, for the lovers to send messages, for those who are learning to read, for scholars, for illiterate who want to learn, when you’re in a jam, for the curious who want to find the longest word, so you stop using your Blackberry or not, to send the words you find by Whatsup. It does not require physical qualities, just to take advantage of the time you spend on the street.


It is a vindication of the street as a space for pedestrians. Downtown streets are becoming for transit and not to walk. We want them to be a place to stay and enjoy that people want to spend more time in them.  They are an end, not a medium.


One day you can go treading only vowels, another yellow letters, or you may prefer to walk between them without stepping on them. You’ll come to pass eventually that street where you found your name. Someone will discover which is the letter that is most repeated. Another will speculate on the arrangement of words. You may find that word that meant something important to you. You can play alone or not. The possibilities are endless because the rules could be invented. We want you to notice your step and to stop looking storefronts.


The only possibility is not only physically walking through Madrid, virtual tours also allow media. We want you can enjoy them all. When you go to Google Earth or any of the street viewers you can look up words, mark them and email them to anyone. Madrid is the city of letters.


There are alphabet soups at different scales that allow different possibilities of playing. The small scale for moments of stay, the intermediate scale for walking tours, and large-scale for virtual display means. The system is proposed for roads and pedestrian areas.


Walking becomes a game. It will determine the way you cross the street, its times and speeds.