Flexibility – design in a fast changing society 15.07.08

words Anna Bates

Of all the events and exhibitions being held in Turin to mark its status as this year’s world design capital, the most interesting to date is Flexibility, a series of installations by the likes of Bertjan Pot, Patricia Urquiola and icon’s cover star this month, Fernando Brizio.

The installations took over the corridors and cells of Le Nuove, the city’s disused prison. In one cell, Brizio provided a splash of colour with his Renewable Clothing; the wearer can choose the colour of the garment by placing un-lidded felt-tips into integrated “pockets” and allowing ink to do its job. The outfit can be washed white, so a different colour combination can be worn next time.

Pot designed a vertical blind with revolving mirror segments, doing strange things to passers-by as their image melts and dissolves before their eyes, while Italian designer Giullio Iacchetti’s piece had an ethical slant – a park bench that can be turned around by night to shelter the homeless (or by day to cover those caught unaware in a downpour).

More “recyclability” than “flexibility”, Kram/Weisshaar presented their felt and concrete units originally designed for Basel’s Designers of the Future award, suggesting they could be used as sculptural building units. Others involved include Ross Lovegrove, Antenna Design and Emiliana design studio. Commissioned by Portuguese curator Guta Moura Guedes, the installations will be up until the 12 October 2008.

top image Fernando Brízio: Renewable Clothing

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Bertjan Pot: Mirror-blind

Patricia Urquiola: Chasen

Antenna Design: Domestic Sandbags

Giulio Iacchetti: Flexible Bench

Kram/Weisshaar: Jailbreak (vendôme series)

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