Cucula, to ‘do something’, together

Cucula, to ‘do something’, together

July 2017


neo~local design


An association, a workshop and an educational project, this first ‘Refugees Company for Craft and Design’ works in Berlin for new possible forms of integration, by exploring the social and political value of doing-designing.

Photo F. Moseley.

In a Berlin’s workshop a group of refugees landed on the italian island of Lampedusa from East Africa, learns the art of woodworking and, backed by a team of educators, craftsmen and designers, produce the furniture of Enzo Mari’s 1974 Proposta di Autoprogettazione, proposal for an auto-design.

Mari has granted them the right to use, develop and sell the furniture, to support the idea behind Cucula’s project – Refugees Company for Craft and Design: a learning path into craftmanship can be a first step towards integration and an opportunity to stay in a welcoming country. Because doing something together also means taking care of each other.

Photo S. Lazic.

Based on a very solid idea and thanks to sponsors, the project started in 2014 aiming at re-thinking things while producing them. Things that carry traces of the history of those who produce them by discretely incorporating snippets of the migrant’s barges in Enzo Mari’s original fir boards scheme. So that these simple but intense fragments witness a tragic passage, but also of hope, calling for the energy it takes to reach the end of the race.

Photo V. Bruning.
Photo V. Bruning.


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.