Pitsch & Schau

(Germany) (Mario Pitsch, *1983 in Marienberg / Oliver Schau, *1984 in Hamburg)

Behind the artistic duo called Pitsch & Schau are two artists living and working in Hamburg, Mario Pitsch and Oliver Schau. Both are graduates of the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg, where they specialized in design. The pair have worked together professionally since January 2017, and as “Studio Pitsch & Schau” have concentrated on the field of design in the public space. Through the very different seating forms in their designs for urban spaces, Pitsch & Schau redefine them, giving them a use and an identity they didn’t necessarily have before. Their seats are made of unconventional materials, such as bright yellow flexible drainage pipes, or off-the-shelf cable ties. Form and colour provoke a special effect in the viewer: on the one hand they invite a new perspective and a rethinking of the familiar. On the other, they prompt an interactive engagement with the furniture as well as with those using it, for these pieces also shed light on the extent to which a design is able to call up a potential for communication – as a place of exchange, as well as one in which to sit down together and watch the world go by.

The striking yellow seats by the Hamburg artist duo have been temporarily installed in numerous public spaces in Germany and abroad. In “Blickachsen 11”, these creative pieces of street furniture made of commercially available drainage pipes invite visitors to Bad Homburg and Frankfurt’s university campus to use and relax in them. In both venues, the pipes are mounted on a substructure and extend prominently over large areas of lawn; in earlier versions, they were attached by cable ties to existing urban structures such as railings, bridge pillars or bicycle stands. As interventions in the public space, these seating pieces could be described as “Guerilla Street Art”, not only forming the public space, but appropriating it, quite literally “occupying” it. As such, the designs are always made to be location-specific, and placed on sites which the artists consider should be more intensively used. For as soon as a seat is placed in a public space, it will normally be used, even if that space was not officially intended to be used for seating. Here, Pitsch & Schau are only following the motto: “Sit – Occupy – Own”.