The Unpleasant Design team gave a workshop at the 2014 edition of AMRO – Art Meets Radical Openness in Linz, Austria. The workshop focused on generating pragmatic and site-specific solutions for unpleasantness in Linz.
During the Unpleasant City Research Tour we identified possible targets for such interventions, amongst them the new garbage bin design for city centre; flower decorations in the area where skaters hang out; the space under Lentos museum; open wireless networks which come with take your credentials in exchange for Internet traffic… These and other examples are featured on the workshop tumblr blog.
Following a brainstorming discussion on examples of unpleasantness participants have encountered in Linz and in other cities, we decided to focus on garbage bins. The new bins installed in Linz city centre feature a surface which is resistance to stickers and similar types of dirt. We already identified this bin as unpleasant and documented it on our site. It is made of rippled curved inox surface, impossible to attach paper or similar material to. We assume that the previous version of the bin was often target to grassroots advertising and personal messages, or that this design simply comes as fashion, invented elsewhere where this problem existed.
Our goal was to re-enable citizens of Linz to advertise and communicate on this surface, thus reclaiming a part of public space back from Unpleasant Design. For this purpose we created a ‘sticker-friendly mat’, adapted to the ripples on the bin’s surface. We first took a sample of the ripple pattern using a crayon and a piece of white paper. We copied these images and created a cutting template for the holes. We cut out the pattern on cardboard sheets and installed several of them onto the bins on Hauptplatz (Main square).