Design: 2x4's Schizo Art of the T-shirt

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Last month in Frankfurt at The Design Annual trade show, curated by Stylepark, New York design company 2x4 created a pop-up T-shirt store that offered 500 single-edition shirts under a faux Generation Praktikum brand. (The name of the brand is the term for the limited employment prospects, and the resulting fractured sense of identity, of much of Germany's youth.) As 2x4 principal Michael Rock notes, the 2007 Design Annual theme was "Private Identity," and the Generation Praktikum shop "offered an instant identity for today's free-floating global citizens." The unique front-and-back T-shirt designs were just stage one in the ID game, however; upon buying a shirt, the customer would be photographed holding the purchase, and this image would replace the shirt in the Generation Praktikum installation. Hence, "the T-shirt as a sort of schizophrenic proclamation of identity, somewhere between brand and person."
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