8957 Spreitenbach

Since the early 1970's the village of Spreitenbach has stood in the collective Swiss perception as a negative example of suburbia.

Its history is very intriguing. Until the mid-1950's it was a quiet farming area with a small business community. Its proximity to Zurich, the general construction boom that followed as well as the fact that the canton of Zurich forbid unmarried cohabitation until 1972 made Spreitenbach become an ideal project for a satellite city of the future, with a string of high-rise developments for housing, commercial and industrial areas. The economic crisis of the 1970's as well as the oil embargo changed the plans and led to a less dense development. Nevertheless, Spreitenbach has experienced a growth unlike any other municipality in Switzerland.

In the beginning of 2016, Spreitenbach had a population of over 11'000, half of which were foreign nationals as well as 700 businesses employing 6'900 people, mainly in the service sector. The first two American-style shopping malls in Switzerland and the first IKEA store outside of Scandinavia were opened in Spreitenbach between 1970–1974. A series of leading companies formed the backbone of the service economy: Zweifel Pomy-Chips, Bridgestone, Johnson & Johnson, Nestlé, Miele, and Globus.

Despite its economic success, its advantageous position on a frequently used motorway and the fact that most of the Swiss population lives in urban sprawls, Spreitenbach continues to evoke a negative image towards the outside.

The publication “8957 Spreitenbach” challenges this negative cliché by exploring the village through the eyes and minds of its inhabitants and workers. The research of 2 years combined documentary photography and interview fragments, with a total result of 3'000 images and 65 interviews. Carried by Goran Galic's photographic vision and Anna Miller's recordings of personal biographies the book is an interpretation of the community book format, a kaleidoscopic image, a probe into the community structures that records its intricate relationships.

A special feature of the book is its cover which can be ripped out and used as postcards. The community book was nominated for the Swiss Design Awards in 2016 and the 28th International Biennial Brno in 2018.

Elster & Salis, by Marco Müller, Goran Galic and Anna Miller, edited by Marco Müller and Mirjam Fischer, designed in collaboration with Corinne Gisel, 2015, 21 x 28 cm, 208 pages, bound book with perforated cover (consists of 16 post cards)