At the forefront of Manuel Radde’s design process is the equal relevance of form and context. In this case, Radde has beautifully embedded Gregor Sailer’s impressive photo series examining the forms taken by closed cities by referring to the geographical location through layout.
The term ‘closed city’ originally derives from the Soviet Union, where the existence of numerous towns was long kept secret. The photographic series detailed examines cities within Azerbaijan, Qatar, Chile, Algeria/Western Sahara and Argentina which were not officially opened until the early years of the 21st century.
“Such time limited forms of urban settlement strikingly illustrate the turning point humanity is facing at the beginning of the 21st century in view of dwindling resources, climate change, political conflicts and the yearning for unqualified security.”
At several points throughout the book, the location of the cities are referenced through the use of a coordinate system, due to the lack of their map representation.
Closed Cities was the awarded the title ‘Photo Books Winner of the PDN Photo Annual 2013’ and it is obvious to see why. The striking imagery complimented by the considered layout makes for an undoubtedly compelling creation.