Kilburn High Road gets a Black Mirror

The South Kilburn Trust proposal for a ‘Black Mirror’ on the High Road has recently been approved following successful funding via High Street civic projects crowdfunding site, Spacehive. It’s not really crowdfunding as the pledges were made by organisations such as Housing Associations and the Mayor of London High St fund rather than the general public.

The proposal was to:

Install a digital noticeboard on Kilburn High Road to showcase Kilburn’s unique offerings and vibrant community, connecting residents and visitors up with everything Kilburn has to offer!

What is Black Mirror?

It’s the speculative fictional television series by Charlie Brooker that explores the consequences of new technologies.

Charlie Brooker explained the series title to the Guardian:

“The ‘black mirror’ of the title is the one you’ll find on every wall, on every desk, in the palm of every hand: the cold, shiny screen of a TV, a monitor, a smartphone.”

Well, Kilburn High Road will soon have its very own shiny, cold ‘Black Mirror’ so that residents and visitors can be one step closer to living in a future dystopia.


The display panel will constantly be streaming local branded content and advertising from independent retailers or any business for that matter interested in promoting themselves on the High Road.

Mark Allan, Chief Executive of South Kilburn Trust, is confident that,

“the digital noticeboard will also serve to promote the unique and diverse character of the area.

“Kilburn High Road, which was recently hailed as one of London’s great streets by Time Out magazine, has He a historically strong Irish influence. Today, the busy high street acts as a melting pot of people from diverse cultures and walks of life.”

Simon Wookey, Chair of the Kilburn Neighbourhood Forum, thinks people are not consuming enough mass media,

“on such an active road we can sometimes be too focused on getting to our destination that we miss some of the amazing things that happen every day in Kilburn. The notice board is a way of reminding us of what we already have. From finding out what’s happening at The Tricycle Theatre, to who is performing at The Good Ship, and to the daily arrival of new fashions and goods that our amazing independent traders sell every day – the notice board is there to help us find new things within our very own community.”

People are increasingly aware about how invasive advertising has become, so is there a real need for digital advertising to seep into the physical High Road; is it not more important for places to exist where people can avoid over exposure to advertising?

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David Goodwin has been blogging since 2010 and is the author of Blog on the Block where he covers civic & social topics. Goodwin hosts the podcast, Pod on the Block. He is the founder and company director of user experience consultancy Uxfam Ltd.

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