In 1974, the Italian designer Enzo Mari published 19 furniture designs that one could make by oneself in his book ‘Autoprogettazione?’, thereby creating a milestone in the history of design. As an alternative to Formalism and intended as a democratisation of design, with the ‘Autoprogettazione’ programme Enzo Mari created a provocative counter-proposal to the capitalist paradigm of mass consumption. It is not easy to translate into English the Italian word Autoprogettazione. Literally it means auto = self and progettazione = design. But the term ‘self-design’ is misleading since the word ‘design’ to the general public now signifies a series of superficially decorative objects. By the word autoprogettazione Mari means an exercise to be carried out individually to improve one’s personal understanding of the sincerity behind the project. Build furniture yourself, as you need it. That was the idea.
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Pictures: Elena Veronese - Simone Serlenga