Everywhere we go in today’s media-saturated world, we are bombarded with advertising. Times Square in New York City, a place filled with scrolling and blinking signs, may be the epicenter of advertising overload. Our eyes have grown accustomed to this barrage, but how can we quantify just how overrun with advertising our landscape has become?
In this lesson, students compare what Times Square looked like in 1938 to what it looks like in 2015. They calculate the areas of irregularly shaped billboards, and describe how much of the visual field is occupied by advertisements. Then they can contend with how this ad growth might affect us and how we experience a public place like Times Square.