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In one of the interviews with Neubau I found the confession that it all began with Letraset. As you may know, Letraset is a transfersystem containing characters, symbols or illustrations to be rubbed off on paper. For me Letraset has the flavour of the sixtees, and brings back a lot of memories from this period, this enlightened decade with so much promises for a new society and better human understanding. The Paris student revolt, the Beatles, hippies, Woodstock, and the first man on the moon. Our imagination was sky high! The Neubau boys were not yet born.

While leafing through their books ‘The whole earth catalogue’ came to my mind. It was published for the first time in 1968, and became an immediate hit. Its purpose was to provide education and ‘access to tools’ so a reader could ‘find his own inspiration, shape his own environment, and share his adventure with whoever is interested’.

This publication used a broad definition of ‘tools’. There were informative tools, such as books, maps, professional journals, courses, and classes. It also contained well-designed special-purpose utensils, including garden tools, carpenters’ and masons’ tools, welding equipment, chainsaws, fiberglass materials, tents, hiking shoes, and potters’ wheels. There were even early synthesizers and personal computers.

This all is very well comparable with such chapters of the Neubau books like: formats, tools, objects, playground, chairs, constructions, and urban environments, etcetera. For a moment I thought that the Neubau catalogues could be seen as a visual translation of ‘The whole earth catalogue’.

Another moment in history came to my mind, the Neubau approach reminded me also of the work of Otto Neurath and Gerdt Arntz. Neurath was a philosopher wo invented the ‘ISOTYPE, International System of Typographic Picture Education’, a graphic system to represent social circumstances. He and Gerd Arntz lived in the Netherlands between 1934 and 1940 and collaborated for this project. Arntz was the artist who designed the more than 4000 symbols of this visual language. Neurath worked among others with modern functionalist town planners and architects assembled in the ‘CIAM, Congres International d’ Architecture Moderne’. He was an engaged modernist who believed highly in a better world through mutual understanding.

[Text: Excerpts from Wim Crouwels’ “Neubauism” introduction, Eindhoven/The Netherlands 2008]

In one of the interviews with Neubau I found the confession that it all began with Letraset. As you may know, Letraset is a transfersystem containing characters, symbols or illustrations to be rubbed off on paper. For me Letraset has the flavour of the sixtees, and brings back a lot of memories from this period, this enlightened decade with so much promises for a new society and better human understanding. The Paris student revolt, the Beatles, hippies, Woodstock, and the first man on the moon. Our imagination was sky high! The Neubau boys were not yet born.

While leafing through their books ‘The whole earth catalogue’ came to my mind. It was published for the first time in 1968, and became an immediate hit. Its purpose was to provide education and ‘access to tools’ so a reader could ‘find his own inspiration, shape his own environment, and share his adventure with whoever is interested’.

This publication used a broad definition of ‘tools’. There were informative tools, such as books, maps, professional journals, courses, and classes. It also contained well-designed special-purpose utensils, including garden tools, carpenters’ and masons’ tools, welding equipment, chainsaws, fiberglass materials, tents, hiking shoes, and potters’ wheels. There were even early synthesizers and personal computers.

This all is very well comparable with such chapters of the Neubau books like: formats, tools, objects, playground, chairs, constructions, and urban environments, etcetera. For a moment I thought that the Neubau catalogues could be seen as a visual translation of ‘The whole earth catalogue’.

Another moment in history came to my mind, the Neubau approach reminded me also of the work of Otto Neurath and Gerdt Arntz. Neurath was a philosopher wo invented the ‘ISOTYPE, International System of Typographic Picture Education’, a graphic system to represent social circumstances. He and Gerd Arntz lived in the Netherlands between 1934 and 1940 and collaborated for this project. Arntz was the artist who designed the more than 4000 symbols of this visual language. Neurath worked among others with modern functionalist town planners and architects assembled in the ‘CIAM, Congres International d’ Architecture Moderne’. He was an engaged modernist who believed highly in a better world through mutual understanding.

[Text: Excerpts from Wim Crouwels’ “Neubauism” introduction, Eindhoven/The Netherlands 2008]

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In one of the interviews with Neubau I found the confession that it all began with Letraset. As you may know, Letraset is a transfersystem containing characters, symbols or illustrations to be rubbed off on paper. For me Letraset has the flavour of the sixtees, and brings back a lot of memories from this period, this enlightened decade with so much promises for a new society and better human understanding. The Paris student revolt, the Beatles, hippies, Woodstock, and the first man on the moon. Our imagination was sky high! The Neubau boys were not yet born.

While leafing through their books ‘The whole earth catalogue’ came to my mind. It was published for the first time in 1968, and became an immediate hit. Its purpose was to provide education and ‘access to tools’ so a reader could ‘find his own inspiration, shape his own environment, and share his adventure with whoever is interested’.

This publication used a broad definition of ‘tools’. There were informative tools, such as books, maps, professional journals, courses, and classes. It also contained well-designed special-purpose utensils, including garden tools, carpenters’ and masons’ tools, welding equipment, chainsaws, fiberglass materials, tents, hiking shoes, and potters’ wheels. There were even early synthesizers and personal computers.

This all is very well comparable with such chapters of the Neubau books like: formats, tools, objects, playground, chairs, constructions, and urban environments, etcetera. For a moment I thought that the Neubau catalogues could be seen as a visual translation of ‘The whole earth catalogue’.

Another moment in history came to my mind, the Neubau approach reminded me also of the work of Otto Neurath and Gerdt Arntz. Neurath was a philosopher wo invented the ‘ISOTYPE, International System of Typographic Picture Education’, a graphic system to represent social circumstances. He and Gerd Arntz lived in the Netherlands between 1934 and 1940 and collaborated for this project. Arntz was the artist who designed the more than 4000 symbols of this visual language. Neurath worked among others with modern functionalist town planners and architects assembled in the ‘CIAM, Congres International d’ Architecture Moderne’. He was an engaged modernist who believed highly in a better world through mutual understanding.

[Text: Excerpts from Wim Crouwels’ “Neubauism” introduction, Eindhoven/The Netherlands 2008]

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