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Architectural Association   Exhibition guide  School of Architecture         Auto-     progettAzione       revisitedeAsy-t...
AutoprogEt tAzionE                    kueng Caputo’s elegant, leggy light lam-              FrAming AutoprogEt tAzionE:   ...
strongly in the innate pedagogical role of        making, but also the spirit of participation     Broussard/Seilles desig...
Joe pipalBookshelf, 2009
kueng Caputolampada A Stelo, 2009
graham hudson                    lucas maassendesigns For A revolution, 2009   Script Chair, 2009
martino gamperSedia db, 2009
phyllida Barlow                                           AutoprogEt tAzionEuntitled: timber flipchart, marker pens, tape ...
Stefan laxness, AA intermediate studentEight Chairs, 2009
korey kromm, AA diploma studentharvest i & ii, 2009
Autoprogettazione by Enzo mariSpreads from 2004 facsimile editionpublished by Edizioni Corraini
ContriButorS’                 and works on paper, leeds City       reworking furniture that has          and have been wor...                                        thanks to:                                        phyllida Barlow, S...
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Autoprogettazione revisited


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  1. 1. Architectural Association Exhibition guide School of Architecture Auto- progettAzione revisitedeAsy-to-Assemble FurnitureinstruCtions by: phyllidA bArlow,broussArd/seilles, mArtino gAmper,ryAn gAnder, grAhAm hudson,Keung CAputo, luCAs mAAssen,enzo mAri, Joe pipAl
  2. 2. AutoprogEt tAzionE kueng Caputo’s elegant, leggy light lam- FrAming AutoprogEt tAzionE: on. his conviction was, and still is, that art pada A Stelo looks as if it might lope off notES on thE work And liFE and design are their own form of education;this project was conceived while looking at across the room to light a dark corner while oF Enzo mAri that practice and pedagogy are inseparabletwo books sitting next to each other on my Joe pipal’s Bookshelf leans languorously and that the work itself is a protest againstdesk in a hotel room in paris in 2006. i had against a wall. By timothy iviSon reality – as he says, ‘allegories of a societyjust bought a tired old copy of Enzo mari’s the fact that there are so many that, perhaps, could exist’.catalogue from his 1974 Autoprogettazione chairs on show must tell us something of the ‘the task of transforming is the only course in the mid-1950s mari’s design workand at the same time was some way through fondness for this most intimate of furniture through which knowledge may be obtained.’ evolved out of a synthesis of many of thereading independent people , a novel by pieces, for the human scale of a chair, the elements found in these early experiences.halldór laxness. it struck me how comfort- way it holds the body. the chairs in Autopro- the career of Enzo mari has spanned over his ability to improvise and investigate, toable laxness’s anti-hero, ‘Bjartur of Sum- gettazione revisted evolve from the varying five decades of rigorous investigation into learn by doing – coupled with a keen under-merhouses’, – a man whose life is devoted approaches of the designers: ryan gander everyday spaces and objects. never content standing of spatial dynamics and rigorousentirely to tending a godforsaken field of uses two identical konstantin grcic Chair to define the limits of his field, he instead attention to form – led to the making ofsheep in turn-of-the-century iceland – would ones treated differently with an ikea chair sees his life as ‘devoted entirely to design- three-dimensional constructions as wellbe in Enzo mari’s world. pad and a collapsed cardboard box. gander ing forms’. From elegantly simple objects to as a series of paintings dealing with the says, ‘i like the point that things already technically complex exhibition designs, a geometric abstraction of perspective and the philip Sharratt exist, you see, and true problem-solving is to passion for form and utility permeates his psychology of vision. By 1957, he had met Furniture gallerist rule nothing out’. lucas maassen’s beautiful entire body of work. in every medium, his the designer Bruno munari and expanded his Script Chair continues the open-source and question is the same: what is essential ? the repertoire to the design of exhibitions and collaborative design apparent in the original Autoprogettazione project that forms the displays, as well as graphics. that same year, AutoprogEt tAzionE rEviSitEd Autoprogettazione thinking, and made basis of this exhibition is one of mari’s most he made a piece for his own children, 16 topical by proliferating digital technologies. innovative works, capturing not only his Animali, which Bruno danese would later putAutoprogettazione revisited celebrates the martino gamper’s Sedia db is perhaps the quality of form but also the generosity of his into production for his gallery. Essentially ainfluence of renowned italian designer Enzo purest response to mari’s originals: a chair method – what he calls the égalité of design. children’s toy, 16 Animali was a wood blockmari’s 1970s project for self-made furniture. so self-assured in its simplicity that it mari’s practice as a designer began puzzle that seemed to encapsulate the wholeFree on request, it contained a set of in- simply ‘is’. by circuitous route. Born in novara in 1932, of mari’s design philosophy: a work ofstructions for 19 pieces of furniture in the phyllida Barlow’s timber flipchart he was raised primarily in milan. his family essential forms, arranged in a functionalform of cutting plans and axonometric of exuberant drawings reflects the influence was of modest means but he was sent to the manner, operating in three dimensions anddrawings. A personal manifesto, mari’s text that mari’s working method had on her best schools, as his father sincerely hoped educating the user through the processlaid out the issue he saw as central to sculptures when, as an art student in the he would become a teacher. there was no of their transformation of the objects. theindustrial production – the quality-quantity 70s, she was taught the basics of engineer- money for a radio or newspapers, but there piece was a success and he soon movedratio, quality being defined as when the ing a built work. were around the house works of classic towards product design as a viable outletshape of a product does not ‘seem’ but mari was ultimately disappointed literature, which young Enzo would try to for his creative energies.simply ‘is’. For mari, this statement was not with the original response to Autoprogettazi- decipher. while mari was still at school, his Beginning in the early 1960s witha paradox. in a text accompanying the one, believing that ‘only a very few, 1 or 2% father became ill and, as the eldest son, it his work for danese, mari truly came into hisinstructions, he wrote that ‘anyone, apart understood the meaning of the experiment’ fell upon him to go out to work and take care own as a product designer, working onfrom factories and traders, can use the expressing frustration that the catalogue of the family. By mari’s account he worked at everything from trays and paperweights todesigns to make them by themselves’, and was used as a diy manual explaining ‘… the nearly 30 different jobs during this period, flower vases and lamps. this transition gaveasked that photographs of the resulting piec- end product, although usable, is only impor- trying his hand at any kind of artisanal work rise to one of the hallmark tensions in mari’ses be sent to his studio – a process that tant because of its educational value’. he could find. though it was a struggle to work – the tension between the vision of theAutoprogettazione revisited aims to con- Enzo mari hoped that the idea of make ends meet, he learned by doing, and craftsman artist and the opportunities andtinue 35 years after the project’s inception. Autoprogettazione would last into the future. always got by through sheer improvisation. limitations of working in an industrial con- Autoprogettazione has inspired a Autoprogettazione revisted reveals that it when he realised that he could enrol text. A self-described leftist, mari wasgeneration and mari’s influence is apparent has done just that. not all of the artist/ at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts in milan ideologically aligned with the radical stu-in the responses to the project. there is a designer responses in Autoprogettazione without a high school diploma, he took up dent and workers’ movements of the 1960sgenerosity and sincerity in the resulting revisted can be duplicated by the enthusi- painting and stage design, applying some of and 70s, and was opposed to the division ofwork that resonates with the goodwill of ast, but they are inspirational and without the rudimentary skills he’d learned to the labour, and yet, as a designer, he wanted tomari’s original proposal, from graham a doubt follow the mari principle that ‘by study of fine art. many of his friends from believe in the democracy of mass production.hudson’s orthopaedic benevolence towards thinking with your own hands, by [making] milan graduated around this time, and he seemed intent on elevating industry tocast-off broken chairs in design for a revo- your own thoughts you make them clearer’. quickly found secure jobs, but he noticed an art form – grafting two opposites.lution to Clemence Seilles’ and travis that they had no real interest in their work, thus, mari invested an unprecedent-Broussard’s Auto - deproduction raft that vanessa norwood preferring to discuss sport, and especially ed level of personal education and involve-aims to ‘celebrate the death and therefore head of AA Exhibitions cycling. in this way, mari realised the mean- ment in fabrication in an industry that hadlife of all things and beings’. Some of the ing of alienated labour – something he become complacent about the standards ofpieces seem imbued with a personality. continues to rail against more than 50 years the assembly line. indeed, mari still believes
  3. 3. strongly in the innate pedagogical role of making, but also the spirit of participation Broussard/Seilles design and is always searching for the ideal and autonomy emerging in the culture Auto-deproduction, 2009 interaction between himself, the industrial at large. process and the consumer of his works. the the spirit of Autoprogettazione results are not only formally sophisticated continues in the exhibition that you have but also extremely well made and affordable. before you, branching off in radical direc- of course, this is the ideal outcome tions that even mari never would have of mari’s practice. in reality, the Autoproget- predicted. As mari’s career has continued tazione project, conceived in 1971, was to develop and change, so has the Autopro- essentially a reaction against the increasing gettazione, as it gains new relevance for pressure to produce consumer goods for a every generation that is discovering its public that did not understand the kind of own innate ability to create. quality that mari was able to achieve. From one perspective, Autoprogettazione was the inevitable fusion of the pedagogical play QuEStionS to Enzo mAri embodied in 16 Animali, scaled up to the By vAlEntin BontJES vAn BEEk industrial specifications of a complete 29 SEptEmBEr 2009 furniture set. From another perspective, though, one could say that Autoprogettazi- vBvB how much is the catalogue, then or in one was a work born out of frustration, hindsight, a didactic and educational vehicle coming right on the heels of the design for rather than a design manual? a divan bed that was a notorious failure, although indisputably well designed. From Em my intention was that the catalogue was the outset mari was told that no one would only a fragment of ideas useful to design as buy it – it was too conceptual. this led him a discipline. to reason that if people could somehow participate in the process of making a vBvB how important is it that people are designed object, they would understand able to make their own furniture – that they what went into it, and engage in a sympa- understand the effort that goes into making thetic project of discovery. And so Autopro- a chair, a table or a shelf and the considera- gettazione was born, as a simple set of tion that goes into providing a self-build instructions and materials easily reproduc- manual that allows them to do something ible by anyone with access to basic carpen- themselves, rather than buying it in a shop. try tools. mari had enlisted his audience as the builders of their own environments. Em it is very important for me that through the Autoprogettazione was openly the manual anyone is potentially able to didactic, and for this reason it was attacked understand the process of construction. by many in the design world who thought that mari should be pleasing the customer vBvB if you were to release the Autoproget- rather than making them work. But if we take tazione today, what would you change? the larger view, it immediately becomes clear that the strategies of the project resonated Em it was a desperate gesture for me at the with the counter-cultural mood in Europe time. if i had to release it again it would and the united States. the desire for open need to be updated so as to include all the dialogue and participation was embodied in subsequent aberrations of the design world. everything from Alan kaprow’s happenings to the diy ethos of Stewart Brand’s whole vBvB what does taste mean to you? do you Earth Catalog , to the work of architect ken think that one can learn or teach good taste? isaacs, who encouraged young people to‘build your own living structures’. And it is Em Quality can only be judged in compari- this deep resonance of the objects with their son to the masterpieces of the past. And this cultural moment that has always set Enzo can only be done with a sincere passion for mari apart as a designer. Autoprogettazione the history of humanity. expresses not only his sincere desire as an artist to connect with his audience through
  4. 4. Joe pipalBookshelf, 2009
  5. 5. kueng Caputolampada A Stelo, 2009
  6. 6. graham hudson lucas maassendesigns For A revolution, 2009 Script Chair, 2009
  7. 7. martino gamperSedia db, 2009
  8. 8. phyllida Barlow AutoprogEt tAzionEuntitled: timber flipchart, marker pens, tape StudEnt workShopStructure realised by luke mcCreadie fromdrawings by phyllida Barlow, 2009 AA First year Studio master valentin Bontjes van Beek led a design workshop allowing three AA students – korey kromm, Stefan laxness and Alma wang – to respond to the Autoprogettazione manual, and through the modification of mari’s instructions, generate work that experiments with the scale and material of the furniture. Brief 1. get the Enzo mari Autoprogettazione book. 2. Choose one piece of furniture from the catalogue and construct the piece as instructed. 3. Fabricate the piece again but this time alter the instruction by a ratio of either 30 or 70 per cent. Any addition, subtraction, scaling, misreading, amplification or what- ever you choose to do should be in reference to the original instructions, literally or conceptually. All changes should be first made through the instructions. note remember, any instruction is there to be followed or disregarded. this project is about the fabrication of something. Anything that is to be displayed in public has to convey a degree of generosity. don’t be shy. valentin Bontjes van Beek
  9. 9. Stefan laxness, AA intermediate studentEight Chairs, 2009
  10. 10. korey kromm, AA diploma studentharvest i & ii, 2009
  11. 11. Autoprogettazione by Enzo mariSpreads from 2004 facsimile editionpublished by Edizioni Corraini
  12. 12. ContriButorS’ and works on paper, leeds City reworking furniture that has and have been working together his first solo exhibition was held imAgE CrEditS BiogrAphiES Art gallery, new acquisitions by been dumped on the streets, he since 2005. in march 2002 at the internation- the henry moore Foundation, has created a mismatched family al 3 gallery in manchester, Bl ACk & whitE SECtion grAhAm hudSon leeds, 2005 –06. phyllida Barlow of objects. Behind each of JoE pipAl accompanied by a monograph graham hudson and phyllida hudson’s work responds to was born in newcastle-upon-tyne gamper’s pieces, there is a story; Joe pipal is a furniture-maker entitled ‘in a language you don’t Barlow instructions: photos by specific projects and environ- and graduated from the Slade one that involves materials, from east london. his practice is understand’. in 2003, gander Sue Barr ments using readily available, School of Fine Art where she is techniques, people and places. based on making furniture to published the artists’ book familiar materials such as currently professor of Fine Art the finished product is a token commission but he also devotes ‘Appendix’, produced a solo Enzo mari portrait: ramak Fazel cardboard, plastic bags, furniture, and director of undergraduate of all that, the thing that sits in time to developing his own work. exhibition for the Stedelijk scaffolding and pallets. the Studies. the brief interlude between he has been a recipient of a museum Bureau Amsterdam and resulting sculptures are mock- making and using. After an development award from the won the prix de rome for sculp- Colour SECtion monumental and often seemingly luCAS mAASSEn apprenticeship in cabinet-making, Clerkenwell green Association ture (the national dutch art prize). Enzo mari portrait and alive – paint spills, tape peels, At what point does furniture gamper studied sculpture and (now Craft Central), scholarships Earlier this year, gander present- exhibition opening: bits blow over in the wind or exist? lucas maassen started product design at the university to craft schools in maine and ed his first major solo retrospec- photos by valerie Bennett teeter on the point of collapse. exploring this idea in 2002 by of Applied Art and the Academy Colorado in the uSA, and a tive exhibition in France, ‘the die many works are material configu- listing dollhouse chairs for sale of Fine Art in vienna. in 1996 3-month residency at Cove park is cast’, at villa Arson, nice, pieces by graham hudson, rations that invite collaborators on eBay without mentioning their he moved to milan, working as a in Scotland. Joe has exhibited at which followed two solo exhibi- martino gamper, Joe pipal, to participate in their completion; scale or true nature. they became freelancer for a number of design 100% design, origin craft fair, tions running concurrently at lucas maassen, phyllida these object arrangements can real furniture in the mind of studios. in 1998 he moved to midcentury modern, made in kadist Art Foundation and gb Barlow, Broussard/Seilles, be understood as performance potential buyers who placed bids london to study for a masters at Clerkenwell and, most recently, agency. group shows include korey kromm, Stefan laxness, documentation. recent group on the items. Scale became an the rCA, graduating in 2000. in a solo show pulling out All the ‘desire Acquire’ at the Bob van Alma wang; and exhibition shows include ‘Ctrl, Alt shift’, important subject in his 2003 After that he started his own Stops at Craft Central, as part of orsouw gallery, zurich, ‘the installation views and Baltic Centre for Contemporary graduation work, Sitting Chairs, practice where he develops and london design week 2009. Space of words’ at mudAm Enzo mari lecture: photos by Art, 2009, ‘6 of 1’, live art a tableau vivant featuring an produces a wide range of objects, he studied cabinet-making at musee d’Art moderne grand-duc Sue Barr performance, Camden Arts animistic family of chairs. Small from limited edition to semi- london guildhall university and Jean, luxembourg, and ‘younger Centre, 2008 and ‘notes on a changes to conventions – such industrial products and site-spe- prior to that Fine Art at notting- than Jesus’ at the new museum pieces by keung Caputo and return’, laing gallery, newcastle; as the removal of rear legs or cific installations. his work ham trent. in new york. in 2005 gander was ryan gander: photos supplied solo shows at monitor, rome, sometimes the addition of feet, has been exhibited in various shortlisted for the Becks Futures by the artists. 2009, Jan Cunen museum, oss, arms and hands – grant the chairs galleries including the v&A, ClEmEnCE SEillES And prize at the iCA in london and 2008 and locust projects, miami, life. recent work has focused on design museum, Sotheby’s, trAviS BrouSSArd won the Baloise Art Statement Auto-assemble-food 2008. Forthcoming shows include the oS (openStructures) project nilufar gallery, oxo tower, Clemence and travis met in prize at Art Basel. in 2006 he photographs by Bahbak lmCC Sculpture park, new york, initiated by thomas lommee, kulturhuset/Stockholm, mAk/ autumn 2008 in vienna when they won the ABn Amro prize of the hashemi-nezhad &‘newspeak’, Saatchi gallery, which explores the possibility of vienna and the national gallery were pouring artificial wax for the netherlands and the following Clemence Seilles london, ‘lost and Found’, milton a modular construction model oslo. ‘ first supper’ of Jerszy Seymour. year received the paul hamlyn keynes gallery and a solo show where everyone designs for they subsequently took part in Award for visual Arts. he was at zinger prESEntS, Amsterdam. everyone else on the basis of one kuEng CAputo his ‘salon des amateurs’ and they recently awarded the zurich Art graham hudson was born in kent shared geometrical grid. this Sarah kueng and lovis Caputo continue to be involved in this prize. gander lives and works in in 1977 and lives and works in modular way of designing for the work with an ironic and playful exciting group in Berlin, where london and is represented by london. oS grid inspired maassen to write approach to daily life. they they live and work. travis is tanya Bonakdar gallery, new his own post-digital ‘script’ for especially like to work with given texan, raised in a wooded area york; Annet gelink gallery,phyllidA BArlow the ‘Script Furniture’ series. circumstances and to analyse the near an old Spanish silver mine. Amsterdam; gb Agency, paris;phyllida Barlow’s work incorpo- lucas maassen is a graduate of facts until they can figure out a he studied under a master lisson gallery, london and tarorates an enormous range of mass- the design Academy Eindhoven surprisingly simple outcome. For metalsmith as well as at various nasu gallery, tokyo.produced materials including and has worked for droog design, example, in the Copy By kueng schools in texas and germanycardboard, fabric, paper, glue, unilever, philips, the grand Caputo project, the starting point and finally the Academy of Art BAhBAk hAShEmi-nEzhAdpaint, plastic, wood, rubber, palais, paris as well as the dutch was a given situation – a small and design in Basel. Clemence is Before studying product designhardboard and adhesive tape. Architecture institute (nAi). he confined space with a large group French and grew up in a valley at the royal College of Art,her work questions the nature has exhibited worldwide in exhibition showing a lot of very with the Alps for neighbours and london, Bahbak initiated a rangeand role of the sculptural object (momA) new york, (grand palais) different works by their class- the woods for a playground. She of photography projects whilstin contemporary culture, utilising paris, miami, Cologne, milano, mates. to create a dialogue studied at the school of art and studying industrial design at thean extensive, fluid vocabulary turin, Eindhoven and rotterdam. between these different works, design in reims before reaching university of technology, Sydney.and immense enthusiasm for he lectures on design at the iCt they proposed to copy the other london and the royal College A long-term study trip to Fukuokaengaging with the physical ‘stuff’ & media design department of works: visitors would walk around of Art. Japan started a string of projectsof the world. She sets up new the Fontys university of Applied to look for the original to com- that confirmed an interest inrelationships, experimenting Sciences. pare it with the copy. Similarly, ryAn gAndEr investigating the value of imageswith unexpected combinations the Salone Satellite 07 furniture through various media such as and photography in product/of materials to create objects and mArtino gAmpEr fair was a giant exhibition where installation, advertisement, spatial design practice. he is theenvironments which encourage martino gamper has an abiding visitors would walk many kilome- music, performance and litera- recipient of numerous design andus to see the everyday world with interest in the psychosocial tres and collect thousands of ture, gander’s work generates photography awards and hasfresh eyes. recent solo and group aspects of furniture design: in impressions. what they needed dialogue where the familiar exhibited his work internationally.shows include peninsula, an particular, he has a love of most, thought kueng Caputo, becomes strange, and vice versa. Bahbak lives and works ininstallation commissioned for the corners and the multiple emo- was a calm place to relax for a having completed a research london.Baltic Centre for Contemporary tions provoked by the single moment. And this is what they residency at the Jan van EyckArt, 2004 –05 and Skit, Bloomb- right-angled boundary. Alongside provided by constructing a Akademie in maastricht, gandererg Space, 2005; SCApE, a ten- this concern with underused cardboard hotel called Five Stars participated in the artists’sculpture installation commis- spaces, gamper also nurtures an Cardboard. the two young residency programme of thesioned for Spacex, Exeter, 2005 interest in unwanted objects. designers are based in zurich rijksakademie in Amsterdam.
  13. 13. thanks to: phyllida Barlow, Sue Barr, valerie Bennett, valentin Bontjes van Beek, travis Broussard, martino gamper, ryan gander, Bahbak hashemi-nezhad, graham hudson, Sarah keung & lovis Caputo, korey kromm, Stefan laxness lucas maassen, Enzo mari, Charlotte newman, lorenza peragine, Joe pipal, Stefano rabolli pansera, Clemence Seilles, Alma wang; Bahbak hashemi- nezhad and Clemence Seilles for the private view event: Auto-assemble-food; Centro Studi e Archivio della Comunicazione, universita degli Studi di parma; triennale design museum, milan; the Aram Store Exhibition designed by AA Exhibitions with wayne Adams and nicholas mortimer produced and edited by AA print Studio design: wayne dalyAA Exhibitions Art direction: zak aaprintstudio.netAutoprogettazione revisited printed by Beacon press, EnglandEasy-to-Assemble Furnitureby Enzo mari and invited guests Architectural Association 36 Bedford SquareAA gallery london wC1B 3ES3 to 27 october 2009 t +44 (0)20 7887 4000monday to Friday 10am–7pm F +44 (0)20 7414 0782Saturday 10am–3pm Architectural Association (inc.)Autoprogettazione revisited conceived registered Charity no. 311083by philip Sharratt and zak kyes and Company limited by guaranteecurated by AA Exhibitions: vanessa registered in England no. 171402norwood, lee regan and luke Currall. registered office as above