Designing Economic Cultures is a research project that sets out to investigate the relationship between socio-economic precarity and the production of socially and politically engaged design projects.

The fundamental question the project poses is:
how can designers, who through their work want to question and challenge the prevalent economic system, gain a satisfying degree of social and economic security without having to submit themselves to the commercial pressures of the market?  Read more ›

Construction site for non-affirmative practice

Constructive Dismantling

My Castle Is Your Castle

DIY cultural practices in Moldova before and after 1989 – seminar with Teodor Ajder

Moldovan artist and writer Teodor Ajder introduced us to a number of cultural DIY initiatives that had taken form in the satellite states of the Soviet Union, with a special focus on Moldova.


– in the Soviet Union the art movements were generally repressed, but the actions of five people in Moldova went through to the public. These people were: Jacob Odobescu, Mihai Mosanu, Nicholae Dragos, Lilia Neagu & Asea Andruk, Anatol Matasaru;
– in 2010 the KGB archives were opened to the public in Moldova and it is here that documents about the actions of these people can be found.
– Jacob Odobescu: was a farmer and brick-maker; his family was deported; later he entered the resistance but in 1950 he was caught and spent 10 years in jail; back home at the beginning of the ’60s, he started writing letters to heads of state, denouncing the socialist elite and contesting the conditions of the soviets; as a reaction to the russification of Moldova, in 1966 he writes his autobiography in latin alphabet and is arrested again by the KGB; he made an ad for a fake movie titled Moldova to the Moldovans, Russia to the Russians; as a result he was sent to a gulag, where he died after 25 years;
– Nicholae Dragos: lived around 1940; he fostered a number of bottom-up artistic initiatives; he set up a small typography workshop in which amongst other things he printed a 70 pages treaty explaining how the Soviet Union should be restructured on the EU model; he was sent to a gulag where he lost an arm; he currently lives in Germany.
– Lilia Neagu & Asea Andruk: two female students who did anti-regime writings in the streets in the ’60s. As a consequence, they were thrown out of university and never got back in.
– Anatol Matasaru: a contemporary artist who is part of the Hyde Park Collective, with which he organised free-speeches in Moldova; through his provocative actions (like dressing as a pig on ‘Police Day’ and getting arrested) he contests the corruption of the police and the Moldovan state.

Homage to Anatol Matasaru
Rugina – Moldovan public sculpture park that is about to be destroyed