SQUATTERS OF THE LOWER EAST SIDE
based on Episode 261 of 99% Invisible
Squatters of the Lower East Side is a book based on a podcast episode of the same name released by 99% Invisible on May 30, 2017. The text focuses on a group of individuals dissatisfied by housing conditions in New York City in the 1980s who evolve into a coalition of squatters occupying abandoned buildings on the Lower East Side. The squatters resist police intervention for years and eventually, by means of adverse possession law, gain ownership of the properties they call home. The podcast features interviews from former squatters Maggie Wrigley and Peter Spagnuolo, as well as narration by Dr. Amy Starecheski, author of Ours to Lose: When Squatters Became Homeowners in New York City.
Its book design appropriates elements of pro-squatting posters and collateral distributed throughout the 1980s and 1990s. The interjection of bright yellow spreads pays homage to the palette of New York and the taxi-cabs that dot its streets. The use of linework and bitmapped images is intended to convey the grittiness of the Lower East Side and the vivacity of the squatting community.