The Erxell Concept
Is a dynamic solution to improve the quality of life in a South African informal settlement. Creating communicative links between advertising and a person living in an informal settlement.
South Africa's real beauty is its diversity. To enhance this beauty we need to bridge the gaps between our diverse socio economic and cultural groups. The Erxell concept is a proposed small conceptual step in this direction - empowering informal settlement dwellers to create products the advertising machine can see a value in.
Poverty is the inability to see and act on opportunities. One of the only ways the financially challenged are going to be able to empower themselves is through the opportunity of business/advertising buying into a symbiotic relationship. In other words a mutually beneficial product needs to be created - a glass bead of trade.
A concept such as this that I am proposing will need a new unit of measure. This unit I have termed the ERXELL, so the advertising machine will be buying or renting Erxells which is a square 1335mm X 1335mm which is 3 cubits by 3 cubits. The idea sells advertising space Erxells on informal settlement roof space. The word Erxell is a word I intended which is a play on the words 'earth', 'sell' and 'pixel'. The Erxell measurement has been certified by the Institute of Draughting in South Africa. The measurement of 1 Erxell = 3 cubits X 3cubits. Advertising rents a number of Erxells for a time period -they can then brand their logo on top of 1000 informal homes to create a huge branded sign, viewed from space or incoming airplanes. If the community provides advertising with a clear well managed logo - then the value of the erxells increases. If the community cleverly provides greening and agricultural elements within the advertisement, this will also increase the value of the erxell. Eventually it would be ideal if huge signage was created from an agricultural layer on the roof of the informal settlement. The ultimate value of the informal settlements erxells will need to be determined by clarity of signage and by the percentage green elements used in the end product.
The folk in the homes benefit from a new sponsored waterproofed roof and an income for allowing this signage on the roof - the sign will be so massive that you would only read it from way up high really. Not effecting the urban landscape from ground level.
This much needed finance can also then be used to plough back into the community and everyone gets what they wanted. The advertising machine will be putting back into a community project. And getting all the lovely advertising it so dearly needs to survive. This Erxell concept is to create and advertising canvas out of all the collective roof space of an informal settlement.
The Challenges Within South Africa Informal SettlementAfrica has age old wisdom that permeates its lonely highways and byways - the concept of "UBUNTU" is one of these timeless gems. It is with this ethos in mind I started exploring improving life in South Africa's informal settlements in 2006. The biggest challenge is to build bridges between the mindsets of extreme poverty and ridiculous wealth. As South Africa is an incredible melting pot of cultures and socio economic groups. The challenges are many and varied - however with proper dialogue and respect these challenges can be overcome.
"If one drives down JEFF MASEMOLA road in Khayelitsha and then drives along the N2 . Some people find it very hard to believe these 2 roads run parallel to each other, not more than a km apart in places. The electrical cable solutions and even the driving styles are so very different - its Africa informal mindsets running parallel to Africa formal mindsets. The 2 roads highlight to me this incredible reality. informal living and formal lifestyle are moving away from each other at an alarming rate - never really looking to converge ever in the future. The erxell concept - www.erxell.com hopes to get one mindset to at least notice the other, in a way that is mutually and symbiotically beneficial." QJD - 2013
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