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Hoorn (NL), 1950
Directly after finishing his study of graphic design at the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, Rob Schröder teamed up with former classmates Lies Ros and Frank Beekers to form the designers collective Wild Plakken. During the 1970s, their work became synonymous with politically activist design. Re-interpreting the lessons and graphic styles of the early 20th century avant-gardes, Wild Plakken developed a personal and recognizable style based on strong imagery and collage.
Next to working for the Dutch Communist Party and other political activist groups, Wild Plakken made a name for themselves by designing posters and brochures for theatre companies and the Dutch Opera, further solidifying their position as designers for cultural clients, with a strong personal commitment to the content of their work. 25 years of collaboration were summarized in the exhibition Beeld Tegen Beeld, their 1993 overview in the Centraal Museum Utrecht.
After 1993, Rob Schröder started to work for VPRO broadcast organization, first as designer of station calls and leaders, but soon as a television documentary maker in his own right as well, and ultimately as program director for VPRO’s cultural television show Bonanza. In his television work, Schröder took the collage aesthetics of his graphic designer days and translated it into densely edited mixtures of documentary and associative imagery, in films on such diverse subjects as the state of the art in graphic design, the rapper Tupac Shakur and the architect Daniel Liebeskind.
From 1982 till 1997, Rob Schröder taught at the graphic design and audio visual departments of the Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam. In 1997 he was one of the founders of the Sandberg Institute, the Rietveld Academy’s graduate school for arts and design.
At the moment, Rob Schröder has left VPRO and, besides being a free-lance documentary maker and media designer, is working on a script for his first feature film. His most recent film, 'Moral panic' premiered August 2005 and is shown in Catalysts for the first time since.