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Demo Graz Ya! Graz – Austria

By Camille Vilain

Demo Graz Ya!

Iconoclasistas (artists) developed “collective mapping” as a fun and creative tool that facilitates the construction of a collective story in a certain territory.
During the steirische herbst 2012 Iconoclassistas implemented this tool in the project demo graz ya! curated by Reni Hofmüller.

The starting point of the collective mapping method is to have a group of people with the same interest or question.
In the case of demo graz ya! 4 topics had been developed previously by the artist :
– Open/ public space. Who are the users?
– The visible/unvisible: Gentrification of the Lendplatz.
– Self organized cultural practises in the city.
– Who owns the land? A survey on the functioning of community gardens.

Icons had been developed for each topic and were implemented in public sessions by passers- by and artist.

The gerenal procedure of collective mapping is:

1. Adress the problems and the territory
2. Create icons that identify these problems.
3. Acquire a map of the region or accurately draw one
4. Point out the places in the map using the icons
5. Report back from each group
6. Systematize the maps in one common map


Curator and Coordinator: Reni Hofmüller (esc medien kunst labor) for steirischer herbst (international festival for contemporary art)
Artists: iconoclasistas (Julia Risler and Pablo Ares) (AR)
with IEFS (Ursula Kiesling & Maki Stolberg) (A), OpenStreetMap Graz (A), Elli Scambor (A) & Sandra Ziagis (A).

Role of design

This project is first and foremost characterised by its „methodology design“ as a radical participation model.
Excellent communication design is another main key to the success of the collective mapping tool, since for every topic individual icons have to be developed. The more readable the icons are the better they can be understood and executed. In this spirit the use of design is explicit.
Finally the role a good exhibition design in the mediation of the workshop results.

CONTACT (of the editor)

Anke Strittmatter – Organization: FH Joanneum Graz Alte Poststraße 152 8010 Graz Austria – Email: