Milan 2014

Designer Enigmisti Anni 10 - Chiara Alessi

“The designers of the ‘twenty-tens’ seen as enigmatographers, introverted monads, talent-in waiting.” (A Mendini)

Usually – in design – a book comes out after an exhibit. In this case, I wanted an exhibit that would tow the book along, like a tug boat, but that at the same time would portray it differently from the image presented in print.

So for the Milanese launch of the book “Dopo gli Zero” (“After the ’00s” ), I gathered together 64 designers representative of “new Italian design” in an exhibit that was planned to last only a single evening. The intention was to capture a hazy, out-of-focus snapshot of the mobile, fluid, shifting map of today’s design landscape, charted with the help of the designers themselves. Each of them was interviewed personally and asked where they saw their place in a diagram that was physically reproduced in the gallery space, organized around the six poetics set out in the book (neo post, sulpezzisti and integrated, metonymicists and empiricists, soft pop, rizomati, messengers). Intended neither as definitive nor all-inclusive, these poetics are intertwined with each other and, beginning with emerging features, were defined by the cases of a few exemplary designers and other newcomers who have had close ties to them.

An impromptu exhibition, it was dismantled at the end of the presentation. Symbolically, the idea was that — given the proxemic and physical closeness to this generation of projects — it is more interesting to view the work projected in the future rather than as a retrospective on the contemporary state of affairs. Starting tomorrow, we will draw new maps. With other vanishing points. Better yet, they will design the designers themselves.

Designer Enigmisti Anni 10