These Advertising Billboards Could Literally Be A Roof Over Someone's Head

That outdoor ad for Mercedes? It's actually a home for the homeless.

We've seen brands turn their ads into useful items—like IBM's award-winning ads that doubled as street furniture. But what if a company's advertising could literally put a roof over somebody's head? Slovakia-based design agency, Design Develop, wants to execute such a plan by housing the homeless inside of highway billboards. The idea, called Project Gregory, would use the billboard structure as the foundation for a lofted dwelling. Triangular in shape, and built from wood, concrete and steel, the home would include a kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and windows. The electricity needed to keep the billboard lit would be enough to power the house.

Matej Nedorolik, the business manager for Design Develop, says the firm is still looking for brand partners to sponsor the homes. "Money from the rent of two advertisements for 12 months should cover the costs for building," he says. "If we find a company that could rent an advertisement for 12 months and also pay for it in advance, we can start with construction of the house."

It does seem strange to house a disadvantaged person inside a home featuring luxury cars or expensive watches. But as Nedorolik explains, the project should be judged solely on its ability to solve an urban problem. Project Gregory isn't about brand promotion; it's not even about promoting Design Develop.


The name for the project—Gregory—is a fictional person. "He's just someone who tries to help people," says Nedorolik. "The creator himself does not need to be presented."

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  • Kim Flaherty

    This is a great concept. We have to start thinking out of the box. I could use one of these houses myself. I am an unemployed single female veteran in San Francisco. Government agencies and non-profits so far, are not the solution here, because they don't have ideas like these. They all have their home and place to live so they don't know what it takes or is needed. I am willing to help build it. I did not grow up with computers and never was able to finish college. I will never make enough to live anywhere. Farms could do a lot to help people. Maybe some peoples mental health or substance conditions would improve if they had a purpose. People had families and communities in the old days. Now people are alone and hurting. We need projects that help people and bring them together.

  • Anthony Bennett

    I thinks it's a great concept, but how do you decide who gets the dwelling. I can already see the problems arising from claiming the space. What bothers me most about this idea is, is that the cost of living is so high and to give a dwelling to a homeless person is Ludacris. There are more deserving individuals who can benefit from something like this, a single mother, an out of work professional, a struggling professional, or just a hard working low income person. Most homeless are either lazy and refuse to work because of drug addiction or have a mental illness. There are shelters, rehabs, facilities for these people but they most often refuse the help. I'd like to see something like this going to the poor not the homeless.