Enzo Mari

Designtransfer: Enzo Mari and “Autoprogettazione?”

The 19 ‘do-it-yourself’ furniture designs, which the Italian Designer Enzo Mari published in his book ‘Autoprogettazione’ in 1974, marks a milestone in the comtemporary design history. Positioned in contrast to the formalism at the time, Enzo Mari suggests the democratisation of design and creating a provoking alternative to the capitalist paradigm of mass consumption. Building your own furniture, when required, that’s the idea.

40 years later, Enzo Mari grants the team of CUCULA the rights to use his designs, to build and further develop his furniture. This is how in the CUCULA manufacture, Enzo Mari’s ideas meet the ones from young African men who fled their homeland. They are now engaging with their personal stories to form new perspectives.

Enzo-Mari’s plans, irrespective of language barriers, present an opportunity to build high quality, sustainable and beautiful furniture with simple tools and little know-how when it comes to carpentry. As the refugees integrate relicts of their perilous journey across the Mediterranean into the traditional wood construction, they make a statement, which goes beyond the furniture’s sheer practical value. They transform a personal and univeral catastrophe into a constructive future.
By doing so, a process of learning and reflection develops, which calls on the individual creative power. In this creative argument, the design classics meet with the stories of their builder. Design as a performative force, which develops with those stories, to develop a new identity. Design becomes intimately connected with sustainability and social responsibility.

Designtransfer – take a seat! The ambassador chairs will distinguish their new owner – as a personality, who doesn’t believe in waves of refugees, but in people, who have strengths and talent.

„Design has something to do with utopia.“ …

“I want to create models for a different society.“ (Enzo Mari)