StarMetro Vancouver - - CITIES -

Man­holes, drains, pave­ment and tracks. The oft-over­looked pieces of a city in­spire Emma-France Ra . She’s the founder of Ber­lin-based ex­per­i­men­tal print­mak­ing com­pany Raub­druck­erin, which makes ur­ban struc­tures wear­able by trans­fer­ring images onto cloth­ing like T-shirts, sweaters and totes. Ra and her fel­low Raub­druck­erin print­mak­ers travel across Europe, in­d­ing small de­tails to turn into de­signs.

“It’s nice to ind some­thing that has a re­la­tion to the city,” Ra said.

That could be a sur­face that says Barcelona, a piece of side­walk with an im­print of a bike in Am­s­ter­dam, or tram tracks in Lis­bon.

But some­times, Ra is in­spired by any in­ter­est­ing pat­tern or sur­face.

“[It could be] old wood that you ind on the street, and you say ‘nice pat­tern,’” she said.

The idea started out as a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween Ra and her fa­ther, who is a painter, when they lived in Por­tu­gal. Af­ter a few test prints, they brought their work to fes­ti­vals, and the con­cept ex­panded from there.

The name Raub­druck­erin means pi­rate printer. “It’s a fem­i­nis­tic state­ment, be­cause most of the [names] in Ger­many are mas­cu­line,” she said, adding that some peo­ple think the pi­rate part of the name is provoca­tive, since it means to copy some­thing.

“Ac­tu­ally, it’s more about ap­pre­ci­at­ing and giv­ing at­ten­tion to over­looked ob­jects, and giv­ing them a new life.”


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