AUTOPROGETTAZIONE? - an homage to Enzo Mari (Milan, 2032)

In 1974 Enzo Mari published his masterpiece “Autoprogettazione?”, a manual trough which the designer provided a step-by-step guide freely available to any user to make his own furniture. In this way, according to the radical vision proposed by Mari, people could then be able to build chairs, tables and other such furnitures from scratch, simply using plywood and some nails. As explained in “Autoprogettazione?”, Enzo Mari aimed to an ideal democratization of design. “He refused to play the game of galleries, of the commercialisation of his designs into fetishes,” said Hans Ulrich Obrist. Self-production was in particular intended as the only way for a user to understand the process of realisation of a furniture and thus its original soul. Taking inspiration from the teachings of Enzo Mari, in 2032 the Milan town hall launches an experimental project introducing some open-air courses of “self-production” in the academic programs of asylums and primary schools, teaching the art of manual labour to children. This very successful initiative is then adopted at national level, transforming Mari’s utopian vision in reality.