Camouflage for peace: disruptive pattern material and dazzle painting in contemporary design and art
Both World Wars in the 20th century testified the birth and evolution of military camouflage design and its main variants: Disruptive Pattern Material (hereinafter DPM), which aimed to make invisible land armies and army air corps, and Dazzle Painting, which was devoted to blur war ship shapes. This type of war design was probably inspired by pictorial innovations of artistic avant-gardes from the beginning of the 20th century, i.e. Cubism, Fauvism and Vorticism. Modernist painting provided military camouflage with a civic origin.
DPM and Dazzle Painting attracted a wide audience imagination since they were invented and practised for the first time during the years of the Great War. There was a sudden transfer from war to peace scenarios, from military backgrounds to civil ones. The aim of this paper is to analyse the consequences of this change, in other words, the examination of the ways, the strategies, the semiotics and the social uses of the objects which conform the so-called camouflage for peace. In this manner, we will analyse recent examples (end of 20th and beginnings of 21st centuries) of DPM and Dazzle Painting applications to the following fields: fashion and textile design, interior design, industrial design, architecture and contemporary art. Such analytical revision will be done by exploring in what sense and to what extent the recontextualisation of this type of design entails its rethematisation.