Spontaneous creativity and anonymous design

Spontaneous creativity and anonymous design

May 2017


neo~local design


Anonymous ingenuity in a study by Daniele Pario Perra, that has resulted in two books, one exhibit, a website and a thematic park. From North Europe to the South of the Mediterranean, for a project permanently ‘in progress’.


In the Sixties Bruno Munari wittily suggested to award the Compasso d’oro to the unknown authors of those ingenuous simple and functional objects that don’t follow fashion. More recently, it was the economic crisis that turned our attention to objects generated by the need of getting by and improved and sharpened by necessity. Books like Vladimir Archipov’s, Home-Made: Contemporary Russian Folk Artifacts, for instance, or Alberto Bassi’s essay on anonymous design, are the signs of the times as they proof a new interest towards plainspoken design – an illusory product of the desire for simplicity, immediately seized by the system of products or by the haste, sometimes even ethically-driven, of avoiding waste and the dissipation of meaning.

Visiting the exhibition.

In Daniele Pario Perra’s repertory, the result of a survey from North Europe to the South of the Mediterranean, thousands of examples of spontaneous creativity take the form of a visual archive: proposals – designs or ‘almost designs’ – suspended between the spark of a poetic intuition and the solution that nails a functional demand.

Easy eating tools.

Objects and actions that provide at a time for a need, or for the necessity to translate in forms, signs, gestures the elementary effort that summons us to taking care of a space, building a community, setting up the space we wish to inhabit.

To play soccer.

The title is Low Cost Design, but low here means not the minimal or null cost of a product, but rather the ‘low expense’, the economy of means associated with a high concentration of meaning expressed by the cleverness of a widespread and alive knowledge (being able to see, to do and think) among us humans, beyond the excess of specialization we have too often pursued instead of simply doing our part.

The travelling exhibition counted more than 500 objects.



Marco Sironi

Designer and scholar at DADU


(Graphic) designer and scholar, focused on the idea of place, his background combines design skills and practice in literature. In Milan he has taught visual identity and basic design for graphics; collaborates with our Department (teaching Graphic and Product Design) since the beginning of the Design in Alghero venture.