“We are what we eat?” “No, we are what we throw on the ground”: readapting german philosopher Feuerbach’s famous assertion, Tipi Metropolitani®, opens a new non-conventional publishing branch: ‘City Scraps®’, an ‘urban art’ project that analyzes the deepest soul of the world’s major cities through the collection and assembly of scraps found in the streets.
In order to understand a city and all that goes on in it there is nothing more true than the waste that emerges from the streets and sidewalks: remnants of any kind that we have collected, sorted and reassembled in an elegant transparent box.
Surprisingly, we found out that what was picked up in all the cities so far ‘sifted’ – Milan, London, Paris and Barcelona – reveals a state of mind of the metropolis at the same time restless and creative. Mixing shreds of local brands – club napkins, event tickets, trendy boutiques packaging scraps etc. – and ‘day by day’ life remnants – butts, bottle caps, subway tickets etc. – we created a fascinating and schizophrenic ‘mix and match’ in a coherent representation of the cities in which they were collected.
Produced in cooperation with several local contributors, ‘City Scraps®’ is a painstaking and challenging work. Since the launch phase the initiative is recording a success beyond the most optimistic expectations, with hundreds of purchase orders signed, mainly on the corporate gifts side.
The reason for this interest? According to us it’s twofold: on the one hand, ‘City Scraps®’ boxes are objects which, in their simplicity and elegance, represent better than any other souvenir (postcards, pins, stickers, and various other gadgets) the visited city; on the other hand because they are a strong ‘urban anthropology’ tool, as they can sum up in a few square centimeters, how people live in the cities involved in the project. Probably, in a few decades, the ‘City Scraps®’ boxes will be the most comprehensive findings to reconstruct today’s city life.
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