Our daily lives are filled with objects. Common things that surround us and that have a certain function. As essential as they might be to our well-being, these mundane, inconspicuous objects are often taken for granted, barely drawing any attraction to themselves. Interested in perceptual psychology, the two designers Lisa Eder and Fekry Helal explore our relationship with those everyday objects and question our perception of beauty. The results of their ongoing research are published in a periodical newspaper, ‘Alltag’. Titled after the German word ‘Alltag’—meaning ‘everyday life’—the publication is an experimental and multidisciplinary exploration of everyday things and occurrences.
Amazed at the outstanding range of directions that the subject offers, the duo invited twenty artists from various disciplines to contribute to this first issue including Lisa Edi, Karolina Preuschl, Anna Sophia Rußmann, Kilian Immervoll, Daniel Stuhlpfarrer, and Magdalena Kreinecker. “We’re excited that we have been able to feature contributions from various fields—people working in fashion, ceramics, photography, illustration, text, music, and performance,” Lisa and Fekry tell C24. “We feel privileged to be surrounded by these incredibly talented people. Luckily, we knew most of the artists personally, which made it easier for us to approach them when still leaving the outcome unclear.”
Curating a space for these contributions ranging from photographs and graphics to poetry and essays, Lisa and Fekry decided to create a large-format newspaper as an ironic wink to the subject. “Newspapers are often handled with little care and thrown away shortly after reading them. There’s also this rumor that newspapers do an exceptional job cleaning windows—always a plus! It just seemed fitting and made us smile,” the duo explains. Due to the versatility of the content, the two designers created a minimalistic layout based on a modular grid system. Reoccurring elements and typographical details maintain a sense of coherence and order. “Contrary to other publications, we gave the contributors free rein. There were no restrictions regarding the number of words or images, or any other requirements for the submissions. Instead, we tried to bring contrasting contributions together and create an organic and harmonic flow.”
Lisa and Fekry met during their studies in graphic and communication design in Linz before moving to London to complete their master’s degrees at Kingston University. “Just as musicians express themselves through sound and writers feel most comfortable to communicate their experiences through text, we tend to think more visually and are particularly drawn to graphic forms of expression. It’s great to have something that we feel so passionate about,” the duo tells us. “In our eyes, there is no such thing as a superiority of one discipline over the other, quite the contrary. In our practice, we like to work across and combine different mediums. There’s something so satisfying about the interplay between typography and literature, for instance. Or photography and music, illustration and politics. It’s like watching one plus one equals three. It somehow makes perfect sense—even or especially if how exactly remains unclear.” Today, the duo is back in Austria, living and working in Vienna.
While Lisa and Fekry have worked together on some smaller projects during their studies, ‘Alltag’ has been their first full-on collaboration. “This project has been a real collaborative effort. There wasn’t any particular division of the tasks. We just made sure to take both of our needs, desires, and capacities into consideration. It’s been a blessing and a pain in the ass at the same time,” they say jokingly. As they are already on the lookout for contributions, it won’t be long until the next issue of ‘Alltag’ arises, once again finding the beauty in the most inconspicuous things.