Much has been made of the Occupy movement’s design credentials; there’s a nice roundup of Occupy posters here, the London movement’s own publication The Occupied Times was lauded in the design press, and there’s even an Occupy Design Network. Much in the same way that the late ’70s punk movement breathed new life and creativity into youth culture, perhaps today’s protest movements are able to give 21st century design a much needed kick up the rear.
So, with protest graphics being much talked of, what of other forms of design… Anarchist architecture anybody? German photography duo Frank Bayh & Steff Rosenberger-Ochs studied the make-shift protest camps at what was set to become Europe’s biggest construction site, the site of a new train station in Stuttgart. The camp was evicted earlier this year, but the duo’s fascinating body of work serves as an intriguing insight into how haphazard dwellings, fashioned out of necessity and haste, can portray resourcefulness, innovation and, most surprisingly, a strong aesthetic.
Replacing the original backgrounds, Frank Bayh & Steff Rosenberger-Ochs’ Die Entwicklung neuer Stadtquartiere im Herzen der City series (translated as ‘the development of new urban districts in the heart of the city’) displays an eerie dystopia, a seemingly post-apocalyptic world where we’re forced to begin civilisation all over again. Powerful stuff.