Graffiti is a continuing problem in Australia’s urban centres. During the five year period between July 2011 and June 2016, NSW police received an average of 8,063 reports of incidence of graffiti a year. And there’s a financial side to it as well – according to the Keep Australia Beautiful association, graffiti and other vandalism costs the Australian community an estimated $2.7 billion per year.
Deterring vandals is a more effective use of resources than repairing property afterwards.
With this in mind, many businesses and councils are working on the understanding that prevention is better than a cure. Deterring vandals is a more effective use of money and resources than cleaning up and repairing property afterwards. This is one of the reasons that a perforated or expanded metal facade can be a good choice for architectural projects in public spaces.
Facades present vandals with an unappealing canvas
The Victoria State Government recommends applying anti-graffiti coatings to walls to make them easier to clean and make the wall less appealing to graffiti in the first place. We think it’s possible to go a step further than a coating, though – what if the very wall was anti-graffiti?
A non-solid facade like perforated or expanded metal presents vandals with a surface that is more difficult to paint, and makes the resulting graffiti harder to see. This removes the appeal for the vandal.
However, when our Pic-Perf technique is involved there’s another way that our facades can help deter graffiti. Pic-Perf is Locker’s unique method of recreating images and designs with perforated metal. By varying the size and placement of the perforations, we can create an image without relying on paint or other coatings that can be damaged or destroyed by graffiti.
We’ve talked before about how using Pic-Perf for designs and murals means that cleaning off graffiti is easier than if the art was painted on the wall. But there’s an added anti-graffiti benefit to using Pic-Perf, which is that an illustrated facade may help to reduce graffiti in the first place.
Walls with murals or public art suffer less graffiti than plain walls.
Public art discourages graffiti
As InformeDesign reports, a 2006 study in New Zealand found that walls with murals or public art suffered less graffiti than plain walls. The Project for Public Spaces in the United States also recommends murals as a way of discouraging graffiti, especially when local artists and the community are involved in the project. Not only is it more difficult to see graffiti on the illustrated surface, but locals are less likely to deface a piece of art they connect with.
By adorning your building with a design rendered in Pic-Perf, you not only make it more pleasing to look at; you may also be reducing its risk as a target of graffiti. To stop people putting their pictures on your walls, it seems the answer may be to put some pictures on them yourself.
However, as Myra Taylor and Ida Marais of The University of Western Australia say in their 2009 paper ‘Does Urban Art Deter Graffiti Proliferation?’, public artwork is more effective at discouraging graffiti in the short term than it is over a longer period. This is where the durable, easy-clean nature of Pic-Perf still offers benefits: Even the best preventative design decisions may not completely prevent graffiti, so having a metal facade that can be cleaned with solvents or water blasting without risk of damage is a cost-effective choice.
Locker Group provides a range of architectural products that can be incorporated into public works. In addition to the aesthetic and comfort benefits these give to a building, these can also play a role in making spaces safer, cleaner and less prone to vandalism. To find out more about how we can help with your next project, please get in touch today.