Innovation That Matters

Artists create clothing range from everyday city surfaces

Travel & Tourism

Experimental printmaking project uses manhole covers, paving slabs and more to create unique patterns on basic streetwear.

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An art collective from Berlin called Raubdruckerin (which translates to ‘pirate printer’) have been travelling around Europe adding ink to manhole covers, tiles and grates to create on-the-spot printing presses. They then transfer the patterns to T-shirts and bags to sell online.

Apart from creating the design itself, the philosophy behind Raubdruckerin is to make people take a closer look at the beauty in the city they are living in or visiting. A crowd always gathers when they’re producing the designs, and Raubdruckerin even host screen printing workshops, where you can try out the process for yourself. The group are mindful to always use certified organic materials, and the ink used is 100 percent environmentally friendly.

Cities that Raubdruckerin have already visited include Barcelona, Madrid, Berlin, Paris and Lisbon, and they have plans to take their unique screen printing collective to Vienna, Budapest and Prague. All their designs are available to view and buy on their shop page, but you might be in for a bit of a wait. As the printing is all done in very small batches and the demand is so high, they tend to sell out of stock very quickly. You can also follow their progress through their Facebook page here.

Somebody else who’s using an urban environment to create original art is the Italian design company Carlo Ratti Associati, who use drones and an app to help create large murals far cheaper and quicker than they could with scaffolding. What other way can you think of that the city could be used for artistic projects?



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