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“To live means to leave traces” so starts the book by Dario Scodeller, with the words of Walter Benjamin.
The spontaneous design of every day drive us to reading this little book. It is a walk in everyday life that leads to reflection on the sense of the object, on its history, on its use. Objects that we have under our eyes every day, or almost, become a reason for criticism but also for discovery!
The use or the free interpretation of the objects transforms the objects themselves into new design pieces, with the added value of personal and personalized touch! It is a courteous invitation to look around and draw from the things that surround us a new meaning, a new life that comes from our culture, from our eyes. Observing carefully and more intensely “things”, to discover their true beauty not only in beauty itself but also in utility.
Twenty-four traces, signs of man, described in this booklet, twenty-four examples of non-award-winning genius … or at least not yet!
From “the Chinese and the grasshoppers” that with an umbrella without cloth creates an excellent display for his creations of paper: ecology and sustainability!
Or the praise to reuse that generates real works of art: plastic bags cut into strips and planted on a stake in the garden as a scarecrow; plastic bottles with cut bottom used as funnels; aluminum trays for food used as saucepans or perforated blocks of bricks as a broom-holder. Or the spatolagomme again!
But also reflections about how the experience of things is reduced today to simple manipulation: automatisms and mechanisms of the modern world. Or about the changes in the territory, that anthropization that distorts its being.
And again the déplacement, that is the displacement of an object from its original function that generates amazement and the question: is it art or is it not art?
These and many other traces are”the signs of living” but also “the signs of being”. It is really worthwhile to follow them and then resume watching the world, perhaps with a more curious eye!
Dario Scodeller is an architect and historian of design. He teaches design at the Department of Architecture of the University of Ferrara. He has worked as a designer of exhibition and retail-design, as a consultant for Fabrica and with the Archiroom studio. His essays have appeared on “Casabella”, “Abitare”, “Luce e design”, “Domus”. He has published essays and monognafia about design and taught in various universities, including the Milan Polytechnic and the San Marino Degree Course in Design, of which he was director in 2014-2015.
Published by Corraini, “Design Spontaneo” is also in our bookshop!