Raubdruckerin – German for pirate printers – have been traveling around Europe turning city streets into printing presses to develop a range of t-shirts, hoodies and bags. The result is fashion not just for the street but from the street.
Taking inspiration from the urban landscape and the often over-looked surfaces of the city, Raubdrucken apply their eco-friendly ink to man-hole covers, grids and patterned streetscapes and relief-print the outcome directly on to the fabric of their line. It is proof that everything can be inspiration for good design, and that beauty and richness can be found in the mundane, the utilitarian or perhaps in this case, the misunderstood.
Founder Emma-France Raff has been experimenting with the urban printing press since 2006, when she started the project with her father Johannes Kohlrusch. Her team has since grown and expanded from Lisbon to their current base in Berlin. Sustainability is a key component of their project, as they employ a manual process that aims to offer an alternative perspective to mass production.
The procedure takes place on the street in the public eye and is dependent on weather, the time of day and the interest of people passing. This humanizes the project and puts a focus on the idea of exchange – exchange with the city, exchange with the street and exchange with locals and the community. The exchange becomes literal when they run regular “street-printing” workshops that anyone can attend.
Raubdruckerin say their main motivations are “to stimulate our perception regarding the relationship to our surrounding, refine everyday routines, as well as being sensitive to the beauty hidden in the unexpected.”
In some ways, it is like a mapping exercise, a way of documenting a path around a city, which can then be carried around and displayed, something like a clothing tattoo. It questions the relationship between hard and soft, when the usually rigid, gritty urban condition becomes fluid, move-able and sculpted by the shape of a body, or the contents of a bag. This kind of urban-rogue approach to design offers a creative and unique way to interpret a city and a challenge to normative modes of inspiration and production.
In any case, it’s fair to say that man-hole covers have never looked so good.
Editor's Note: Given the large volume of interest in their products, Raubdruckerin has asked us to note that they are sold out and stretched to capacity right now. While they are adjusting to demand, ArchDaily requests that readers exercise patience and understanding!
News via: Raubdruckerin