In 1974, Enzo Mari published “Autoprogettazione” – a book of plans that can only be described as open source furniture. In it’s final form, the book was sent, for free, to anyone that asked for it. Really it was more of a project than a book, though. The purpose, says Mari, was to teach how to “judge current production with a critical eye”.
How is it possible to change the state of things? This is what I ask myself. How is it possible to accomplish the deconditioning of form as a value rather than as strictly corresponding to contact? The only way I know, in that it belongs to my field experience, is what becomes possible when critical thought is based on practical work. Therefore the only way should be to involve the user of a consumer item in the design and realization of the item design. Only by actually touching the diverse contradictions of the job is it possible to start to be free from such deeply rooted conditioning. But how is it possible to expect such an effort when the production tools are lacking as is, above all, the technical know-how, the technical culture it would take a fairly long time to acquire?
In the autumn months, I plan to adapt one of his table designs for an outdoor workbench.