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Design Firm Forced to Rethink "Concentration Camp" Fence

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The pair behind Antwerp-based design duo Studio Job has withdrawn plans for a private fence because it was inspired by the gate at Buchenwald, a German concentration camp during World War II. According to Co.Design, while Job Smeets and Nynke Tynagel maintain that they "were using an iconography that is part of our history" and "these pieces express the opposite of what you think they do," the gate features a hanging bell, two chimneys joined by a billow of smoke—perhaps a nod to crematoriums—as well as the same inscription found on the Buchenwald Gate ("To Each His Own"/“Jedem Das Seine” in German).

Pressured by international outcry (and a petition by the watchdog Centre for Information and Documentation on Israel), Smeets and Tynagel have, naturally, changed course; they're in the process of redesigning the fence for a private Netherlands art collector who commissioned it for his property. Apologizing for making anyone upset and stating that they "insufficiently realised [sic] what the impact would be," the duo says, "Art is in our view an invitation to dialogue, an invitation that is often paired with controversy." So, guess, sorry? The moral of the story, guys, is to not design fences inspired by the Holocaust. Meanwhile, Co.Design has a slideshow of their quote-unquote "usual" work.

· Whoops! Studio Job Sparks Outrage With Holocaust-Themed Gates For A House [Co.Design]