Rasmus Koch Studio
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Shrinking Cities – Interventions

architecture; art; ephemera; exhibition; urbanism; yellow;
Exhibition design for 'Shrinking Cities – Interventions'. The exhibition in Leipzig concentrated on the concepts for action and interventions for urbanism in eastern Germany.

In the USA, Britain, Germany or Belgium, Finland, Italy, Russia, Kazakhstan, or China: everywhere, cities are shrinking. It is a general pattern of our civilization stimulated by many economic and social factors. The shrinking city is a contradiction to the classic industrial boomtown of the late 19th and early 20th century.

'Shrinking Cities – Interventions' was the second stage in the 'Shrinking Cities' project. Its function was to pose the question of how to deal with this phenomena in Eastern Germany, and to see it not as a problem but as an opportunity. International artists, architects and researchers developed artistic interventions and self-empowerment projects, architectural, landscape and media interventions, new legal regulations and utopian visions.

For the exhibition design of 'Shrinking Cities – Interventions', we examined visual ideas of content and structure. Many of the shrinking city's buildings stand empty – the structure remains the same but the content has been reduced. Our visual approach for the exhibition was to add structure and so reduce the content – we increased the size of the exhibition space to make the content seem smaller and so mimic a shrinking city. Our work drew on the visual similarity between the aesthetic of condemned structure and that of new construction. Furthermore we allowed the whole city of Leipzig to be an extension of the exhibition space, with the gallery being positioned on the same level as the surrounding condemned structure. In addition to the exhibition design we also produced floorplans, booklets, exhibition signage.

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program folder - unfolded


2005, 2006, 2008

Leipzig, Dresden, Halle, DE

Shrinking Cities – Interventions

Shrinking Cities

A three-year initiative of Germany's Federal Cultural Foundation, seeking to expand Germany's city-planning debate - until now concentrated on questions of demolishing surplus apartments and improving residential quarters - to address new questions and perspectives. The project placed developments in eastern Germany in an international context, involving various artistic, design, and research disciplines in the search for strategies for action.


Rasmus Koch; Jakob Trägårdh; Alexander Häggström
credit This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License, unless otherwise noted.

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