Per un nuovo museo del design

Enzo Mari launched a curatorial project to create a new design museum with a number of designers. Each of them had to either accept or reject each other’s selections of objects to filter out the “modern redundancy of ‘signature’ designer products” (Mari). Using the same system Mari constructed, together with nine Spanish designers, we made our rendition of our essential design museum. 

Starting from my nomination of objects, the following rounds emerged in this order: Miguel Leiro, Tornasol Studio, Pía Mendaro, KAL A Studio, Sylvia Pérez, Vicent Carbonell, Lucas Muñoz, ACME Estudio and Joel Blanco.

Achille & Pier Castiglioni, Mezzadro Stool, 1957
Alvar Aalto, 60 collection (Stool 60, Chair 66), 1933
Arne Jacobsen, Cylinda collection, 1968
Christopher Dresser, Teapot, circa 1879
D.C. Simpson, Monobloc Chair, 1946
Eero Saarinen, Tulip Chair, 1957
Egon Eiermann, Eiermann 1 Table, 1953
Eileen Gray, Adjustable Table E1027, 1927
Enzo Mari, Autoprogettazione (Armadio), 1974
Karl Elsener, Swiss Army Knife, 1891

Enzo Mari’s firm belief in collective effort was the object of his design process, “Utopia is not an individual dream, but rather an ethical model”. He aimed to create new models for societal renewal by researching the truest form of a product.

Mari has continuously searched for the essence of things, “An essential shape that could not be any different, that has no alternatives. If it does have alternatives, this means the shape is not essential, it means its shape is, at most, dull, if not awful”. How would our world look like if only filled with the essentials?

Per il nuovo museo del design is a project Mari launched for Abitare magazine. This utopian initiative makes us question the truest essence of an object, having to look back and choose creations that have had at least a 45 year existence to prove its essential quality.

This museum presents itself as a playful exercise and an ongoing project. This experiment was an attempt to deduce what objects people consider as essential, but it has demonstrated how this is entirely subjective to each individual. Ultimately, as Enzo Mari rightfully concluded, “Design is only design if it also communicates knowledge”.