May 16, 2012

Cell Towers as Art

Why do cell towers have to be ugly?

I know why they are ugly: cell towers are built solely for function and cost-savings, with no eye toward aesthetics. When enough people complain about the towers, the mobile companies make a token effort at concealment by trying to disguise the tower as a tree. I don't think they're fooling anyone, do you?

What species of tree is that? The rare Turris Cellularis?
(photo by Scott Beale / Laughing Squid)
But I don't see any reason why the towers have to be unattractive. If Jonathan Ives can design an attractive cell phone, if Michael Graves can design aesthetically pleasing kitchen tools, why can't someone design a cell tower that's not an eyesore?

I'll be the first to say that I'm no architect, but here are a few ideas I sketched out.

Imagine how the landscape could change if we let architects and artists partner with engineers to design cell towers that doubled as art.


  1. Then there's this one, right on the highway out in the salt flats of Utah

  2. Materialist, now that's what I'm talking about! It's like a futuristic baseball tree that sprouted from a giant pitcher's mound.

    Ikonnoklast, thanks. I will build the design of your choice in your neighborhood. I'm sure the historical design review board won't mind. :)

  3. We need those towers. So why not make engineering beauties out of it? You have great idea.