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Flaneur is a Berlin-based but globally-minded magazine that fills its 200 plus pages with the discoveries found on one sole street. Always dedicating two months to creating the issue in this chosen locale, the eighth edition of the nomadic magazine saw its team jet off to Taipei, once again with designers and It’s Nice That favourites, Studio Yukiko, in tow.
Following on from its storytelling on Treze de Maio in Sao Paulo, Boulevard Ring in Moscow and Fokionos Negri in Athens, this latest issue depicts the world of Kangding / Wanda Road in Taipei. It’s a unique road that “runs through one of the oldest parts of the city, an area that can be both understood as the centre and the periphery of Taiwan’s capital,” Studio Yukiko founders Johannes and Michelle tell It’s Nice That. This latest issue “embraces the street’s complexity, its layers and fragmented nature with a literary approach.”
“Wherever we went, we were struck by the amount of street signage and the forms they took,” say Johannes and Michelle. “They work in all directions, vertically, horizontally, protruding and parallel to the street, anchored onto buildings with equally graphic constructions. And colour! They seem so much braver with colour on the streets than what we are used to.”
This level of bravery is translated into the publication’s format, where details can be read in all directions. Thankful to Zhang Xu-Zhan, a collaborator on this issue who sent the studio a collection of Taiwanese newspapers to be inspired by, Johannes and Michelle began by thinking of a whole new way of organising information. “We loved how every piece of information was organised into its own box and how compact and efficient they were with space,” encouraging their design to credit both the editorial aesthetic of the island’s newspapers, the Chinese language and the street’s signage too.
The result is an issue which is incredibly diverse in its content and design, despite only being sourced from one street in Taipei. It proves how the rich design of a community half way across the world from these designers can be documented thoughtfully, as well as vibrantly. From its commissioning of photography, documenting local stories, to the various colour palettes which jump from page to page, it’s also an issue that allows a reader to gain an entry way into the world the Flaneur team experienced. Credit is also due to Meng Jiin Hsieh, a Taiwanese designer the studio worked with. Meng Jiin Hsieh grew up on Kanging / Wanda Road and “brought some local designs style and traditional Chinese typesetting knowledge with him.”
The issue launched at a 20.5-hour-long festival Flaneur held at Berlin’s prestigious Haus Der Kulturen Der Welt a few weeks ago, and is now available to buy here.
About the Author
Lucy (she/her) is the senior editor at Insights, a research-driven department with It's Nice That. Get in contact with her for potential Insights collaborations or to discuss Insights' fortnightly column, POV. Lucy has been a part of the team at It's Nice That since 2016, first joining as a staff writer after graduating from Chelsea College of Art with a degree in Graphic Design Communication.