Klaus Pichler’s Middle Class Utopia focuses on allotment gardens in Vienna, a.k.a “Schrebergärten”: little green spaces made up of loads of little sheds, which look like a Lynchian suburb where you can imagine awkward moments like the chicken dinner in Eraserhead taking place. There are 26,000 of these tiny allotments in Vienna, and they’re mostly visited by older people as a form of escapism from the city. Apparently there are quite strict rules in the Screbergärtens about how things should look and how you have to behave, which maybe contributes to the eerie mood and specific atmosphere of the place, which Klaus magically captures with his camera.
An important theme in the series seems to be the strange tension that exists in those who want to escape into nature, but who also want to fight back and sculpt nature in order to create an artificially idyllic space. The neat hedges documented rival Edward Scissor Hands’ meticulous trims, and there are plenty of stooped old ladies and pot-bellied men mowing the absurd, mini green lawns. There is also a very intense looking face-off between an old lady and a garden gnome, and as always, Klaus finds the weird and wonderful in the everyday. His projects never cease to amaze us.
- Helen Eunhwa Oh’s vivid illustrations draw the eccentricities from everyday life
- Diane Deschenaux’s abstract images explore Switzerland's farming industry
- Is postgraduate study right for you? A handy guide to help you decide
- Jan Novák’s conceptual typefaces and identities are both functional and clear
- Parisian studio Akatre on their music video for Grand Yellow
- Max Baitinger’s comic Birgit illustrates the ballsy decision to quit your job
- Alex Norris’ hilarious three-panelled webcomics are universally appealing
- Pigalle, Ill-Studio and Nike have redesigned the Paris Duperré basketball court
- Leipzig graphic design studio Lamm & Kirch on their shared ethos
- Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger on how to stand out
- From Lemon Twigs to Laura Marling: Hollie Fernando’s painterly photography folio
- Why materials matter: Seetal Solanki on the Grenfell Tower tragedy