July 9, 2008 - Stroom Den Haag - After Neurath
July 9, 2008

After Neurath

After Neurath: A Safe Place 
International System of Disaster Pictograms

June 29 – August 31, 2008

Hogewal 1-9

2514 HA The Hague

The Netherlands

Opening hours: Wednesday-Sunday 12 – 5 pm

T +31-70 3658985
info [​at​] stroom.nl

www.stroom.nl

The number of victims of extreme weather and terrorrist attacks is growing at an alarming pace. Everyday we see images of refugees trying to escape the violence of war or the helpless victims of floods and earthquakes. Aid organizations must act fast to help these people, to supply them with food and water, to direct them to a safe place. Giving people in disaster areas good and accurate information can save many lives and reduce damages and the amount of panic. Pictograms can be of help. With ‘After Neurath: A Safe Place – International System of Disaster Pictograms’ Stroom Den Haag presents the first attempt at an international system of disaster pictograms.

In 2007 graphic designers Derk Dumbar and Gert Dumbar presented the pilot version of their series of disaster pictograms ‘A Safe Place’ within the framework of Utrecht Manifest. The pictograms are especially designed as a tool for communication between aid workers and victims of disasters. They form the start of the development of a universal picture language to be used worldwide during natural disasters, epidemics, human failure, armed conflicts, terrorism or combinations thereof. It is a search for visual answers to universal problems.

The exhibition of Derk Dumbar and his team at Stroom Den Haag focuses on the recently developed disaster pictograms, the sources and the research that is supposed to lead to a standardized system. ‘A Safe Place’ is an ideological enterprise showing the belief in images as a basis for a universal communication transcending cultural differences. As such the project builds on Otto Neurath’s body of thought. ‘A Safe Place’ concludes the event ‘After Neurath’.

The ‘After Neurath’ project is inspired by the life and work of the Austrian science philosopher, political economist and sociologist Otto Neurath (1882-1945), who lived in The Hague from 1934 till 1940. Collaborating with Gerd Arntz and Marie Reidemeister, Neurath developed a system which in the course of the thirties became known as ISOTYPE, a system of picture diagrams that converted data concerning social developments into appealing icons. ‘After Neurath’ includes lectures, workshops, exhibitions and other activities Stroom has been organizing off and on during the period 2006-2008.

The exhibition ‘A Safe Place’ is made possible by: Mondriaan Foundation, City of The Hague, Utrecht Manifest, Rieme Gleijm, Gerda Blees, Gert Dumbar, Anke van der Kwaak (Royal Institute for the Tropics).

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