Sunday, June 13, 2010

Enzo Mari: Rebel without a pause.

Enzo Mari may be the quintessential designer's designer: His eccentric-bordering-the-esoteric sensibility more often finds favor among the designerati than the commercial market. Now, at 77, not only has his characteristic vision not paled with time, it appears more relevant than ever.

These pieces are from his Autoprogettazione (or "self-design") series: Nineteen d
o-it-yourself pieces designed to be both materially inexpensive and easy to assemble. In the 1950s he noticed the tastes of the public tilting toward mass-produced furniture of lesser quality. The Autoprogettazione was intended to bring people back to quality and process in a way anyone could afford. More on this here.

Mari's practice explored avenues of theory, psychology, and perception. He saw himself as a theoretician as much as an artist and designer. And the boundaries between, he believed, were mostly meaningless.

Imagine Ikea without Mari's precedence: If they're not paying him residuals, it's a crime.

As for the "rebel" moniker, well, if the outsized footprint of his work required a character of equal magnitude, then the shoe fit Enzo Mari very well indeed.

For an interesting description of Mari the man, see here.

A Mari chair in kit form.

A fruit "bowl" in bamboo.

The EFFE table: For Mari the architectural details are not just designer's artifice. The structure simultaneously provides strength and embodies it, yet retains a certain delicacy.

An EFFE table mashup made with parts from Ikea. More on this story here.

An hommage to the Autoprogettazione in stainless steel by Buenos Aires-born artist Rirkit Tiravanija.

Mari's work isn't confined by material, medium, or mentality; Not even time and space, for that matter. E' una vita bellisima, maestro.

No comments:

Post a Comment