Documento senza titolo

WHY MODERNISM? WHY POST-MODERNISM?

Tobia Scarpa

 

Modern because father and mother, history and necessity have oriented men to think, to look for solutions and, to find appropriate paradigms, and accept them.
The dream of modernism was, and is, noble. There was a profound link between the changing society, emerging industry, and the forms that it was possible to give to the necessary products. The spirit of Modernism lay in the knowledge of the new, and in the resulting need to give it a face. This was done.

Then post-modernism arrived, with an ever-increasing proliferation of products that enlarged into the paradox of the superfluous which, in turn, generated commercial competition and the birth of the global market. One makes the mistaken assumption of some logical equations: post-modernism = global market = no ideal = only competition. Taking a closer look, I find that a superfluous product cannot possibly present itself in the market asserting values that belong, and must belong, to the project. A non-existent project would confer the non-existence of design. But what can we call those who produce current objects dedicated to the global market? If we apostrophize the superfluous product with the term ‘Rubbish’, we can perhaps call one who defines it with the techniques of design a ‘Duffer’.

Perhaps the answer to a market that answers the needs of the consumer – defenceless, possibly, but also without real need, apart from the psychological - can be found in the fashion product.
Fashion! Here is the answer.
Since the word ‘design’, like the word ‘fashion’, only forms part of the culture of rich countries, the objects of fashion and design become luxury products, increasing the space of ‘desire’ – above all for those countries which reach the global market - and can count as an area of acquisition. It is like showing off one’s good memory by wearing an alarm clock around one’s neck.

Personally, I do not have solutions, nor do I have such strong personal theories. I take refuge in the attempt to continue, define, realize ‘the beautiful’, as has occurred in past times in other cultures, to other individuals. The ‘beautiful’, as an attempt to find common ground with the foreigner, is the universal language that consists not of words, but rather of sentiments. There, in that space of absolute equality, we can dream together, what was once the dream of the modernist.
It should be said in passing that a product that finds its life in daily use, in parataxis, should have neither magazines nor museums, but simply the dignity of little things that, like a puff of smoke, leave behind a bit of perfume, and then nothing.

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Design Management
VIZO Workshop

“Design makes the Difference”
Brussels, Belgium - 29/30 November 2002

 
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