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.
“Have you ever thought, not only about the airplane but whatever man builds, that all of man’s industrial efforts, all his computations and calculations, all the nights spent working over draughts and blueprints, invariably culminate in the production of a thing whose sole and guiding principle is the ultimate principle of simplicity?
“It is as if there were a natural law which ordained that to achieve this end, to refine the curve of a piece of furniture, or a ship’s keel, or the fuselage of an airplane, until gradually it partakes of the elementary purity of the curve of the human breast or shoulder, there must be experimentation of several generations of craftsmen. In anything at all, perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away, when a body has been stripped down to its nakedness.”
Antoine de Saint Exupéry — French Aviator
Today we pulled the wraps off my company’s fourth product shiftd.com: A web service to bookmark, share, and discover videos worth watching.
We’re only in prototype form now. So for those that enjoy playing an active part of an ever evolving creation, please sign up and let me know what you think! I’m really looking forward to receiving your video recommendations (@mosko) and sharing some of my own favorites with you.
Here’s one to get started:
We’ll be on Facebook, Twitter, and (of course) Shiftd if you want to stay posted.
A new subway line is under construction next to my apartment. The neighbors hate it – but I love it. Seeing heavy machinery rip up the earth is about the most exhilarating and fascinating thing I can imagine.
A few weeks ago, massive trucks wheeled in a strange looking digging machine that must be 15m in length. I wanted to share a few pictures… and see if anyone knew more about it.
Like an earth-eating monster plucked from a four-year-old’s nightmare, sharp teeth and hydraulics force huge shoveling arms deep into the ground extracting its soil.
Construction doesn’t seem to follow normal business hours in Asia. They’ve been running this machine 24-hours a day, rain or shine, even on Sundays, until they reach a depth of what appears to be about 100m.
At that point, dozens of welders begin work on a rebar structure. Once complete, it’s placed into the trench by the tallest crane I’ve ever seen. Dump-trucks of rock and cement then arrive to fill in the trench. And the process repeats.
They’re making these about every 20m up and down the street.
If anyone has more information on this digger, please let me know. I’m quite curious.