MTR Station – A Prison Of Advertisement

I was visiting a forum and a fellow member of the forum raise a question about the advertisements in the MTR stations. It is about the use of LED or LCD TV as a media to show the adv. From this question, I have some thoughts about the space of the stations.

In the past, you can only see the adv on the light boxes. In this case, the advertisements are confined in the boxes. It is easier for us to choose not to view them when we pass by. However, with the drop in costs of printing. There are advertisers who start to make temporary changes to the whole space. It is not uncommon for us to pass through an advertising space while we are walking from Central to Hong Kong Station, for example.

It seems that the boundary of traditional graphic advertisements and interior “decoration” has been blurred in this case. This can be something interesting. Yet, it also lead to some problems. In the past, there are advertisements in the circulation or waiting spaces (essentially on the walls). The case has been totally changed nowadays. The whole space has become an advertising space.

In turn, we become prisoners of advertisements when we pass through the spaces. The space has become a temporary prison. This is because we are forced to be part of the advertising space when we pass by.

Again, this idea of temporary prison can be an interesting phenomenon in terms of design. However, what I want to ask is that, do we really want to be a prisoner? This is the question all of us should ask ourselves.