It shows thirty different examples of DIY designer objects, from chairs, shelves, lamps, toys and other decorative objects to bicycles and even a recycling plant. Curated by Ana Domínguez Siemens, the exhibition is located in D-Espacio, the permanent section of CentroCentro dedicated to contemporary design.
“Do it yourself (DIY). Designer objects to make at home”
October 14, 2016 – January 29, 2017
Plaza Cibeles, 1, Madrid
D-Espacio, CentroCentro’s gallery space dedicated to design, is hosting a new exhibition which explores the DIY trend among contemporary designers. Recently, the DIY concept has proven to be a well-established trend which has been joined by many designers, giving away to the user whatever he would need to build a quality-design product at home.
“These are designer objetcs that can be brought together in a simple way, with standard materials – at an affordable price – by anyone who would want to,” explains the curator. “While this iniatiave has positive consequences for the environment and the consumer’s economy, especially in these times of crisis, the fundamental thing is the meaning of this gesture, a message delivered as a small rebellion against mass production systems.”
The exhibition features some thirty do-it-yourself examples in the field of design. From the first milestones that marked the beginning of this trend – the “Furniture to make yourself” brochure by Gerrit Rietveldt or the table by Enzo Mari-m to a small recycling plant, many designs of chairs, shelves, lamps, toys, decorative objects, outdoor kitchens, dog huts, and even bicycles. In addition, Thomas Bärnthaler’s book “Do-It-Yourself”, published by Phaidon, will be displayed, showing 50 product designs and instructions for building them at home.
The exhibition can be seen on the 3rd floor of CentroCentro until January 29, with free admission.
The history of DIY and signature design
The DIY phenomenon is not new. As Domínguez Siemens –the exhibition’s curator- explains, Gerrit Rietveldt proposed an early version of it when he edited a brochure so that other cabinetmakers could make their own furniture from simple wooden planks. The idea later acquired a political meaning in the hands of the brilliant Italian designer Enzo Mari, who published “Autoprogettazione” in 1974, a catalog that was distributed free of charge with instructions to make the furniture of an entire house with a few wooden boards and nails . The manual became a true manifesto that questioned the role of the designer and the commercial purposes of design becoming a luxury item.
In 1999 Tord Boontje presented his collection “Rough and Ready”, a collection of a few pieces that could be made with recyclable or easy to find materials, at the ICA of London. The drawings and instructions so that anyone could make them were distributed at discretion. On the other hand, the designer also encouraged users to customize the design and, in some way, make it their own. Ten years later, a project by Piet Hein Eek, whose work has always had a social content, was presented at the Milan fair. He provided the plans for one of his well-known chairs, designed for a cultural center in Edam, his native city. His idea was a statement against a society where everyone is obsessed with money. The designer reacted against a market of pieces of mediocre design, which are sold at a disproportionate price relating to the fact of being unique or a limited series. Max Lamb also introduced shortly after, in Tokyo, his “DIY”chair, made entirely of identical boards that anyone could copy. In fact, the drawings and instructions were published at the same time in Apartmento magazine.
Since then, many designers have been joining this initiative by putting some of their designs within everyone’s reach, whether in magazines, books or web pages. A gesture in favor of the democratic access to design without without a great cost.