The market of last things: a point of view on Torino Geodesign

Antonio Scarponi, Torino – The Architectural Magazine Abitare launched a project called Geodesign in collaboration with the international event Torino World Design Capital 2008. The aim of this project is about connecting designers, community, and companies to design specific project related to a specific need of a specific community in a specific context: this is a geodesign practice. A competition was launched. Designers from all over the world applied with a methodological approach. Workshops were carried on with different communities of people in the city. An exhibition presenting the prototypes produced was opened on May 23rd in Torino, Pala Fuksas, Piazza della Repubblica 25.

I was one of them and now I am going to tell you a bit about the project we made.

Marco Lampugnani (co-author of this project) and I, applied with a methodological proposal for a free market called “Balon”. This is a special place. “Free” meas that anyone could go and sell stuff. Anything have a marked and a value there. You can buy the most meaningless broken chair, toy, spare shoe or hardware tool. If you have nothing to loose, in the sense that you do not have anything, but you collect something in the street – means that you have something to sell in the Balon market.

Every Saturday at five a.m. a battle for “the two square meters” begin. The negotiations of land occupation takes time and bitter blood. The association “vivi balon” is there to “rule” the place and make sure that anybody get hurts. Our task was to find a way to define the market plots in an ultimate way. The street is made of stones and paint is washed away very easily. They’d liked also to have folding trolley to deliver the goods and shelters to protect merchants from rain and sun.

In our proposal these are the tree elements of an instant kind of urbanization, as the market is, an instant place. We worked associated with two multinational companies: IKEA and Italcementi.

1. dices: a gambling game like an other. We started defining a tile to be graved in the pavement like a stumbling stone in order to design an element that could qualify the public space and spot the market position. The tile would have nine holes, say like a special dice. Closing the holes would allow to make a number. And by attaching them one next to the other, a number with one or more ciphers could be made. So trough the production of one single tile we would have the possibility to customize an infinite possibility of numbers by simply closing the holes with liquid concrete. The tiles would be arranged in the pavement in a way that they could spot a car park plot when the market is not in use as it happen during the week.


2. broder: “My name is buck and I am here to fuck”. Each tile has a square hole in the center. This allow to stick a vertical element produced by IKEA belonging to the series called “broder” (8€). With four of them one can clear a position. We used a shower curtain, also from IKEA to make a shelter. And by using the Broder hight extension, the shelter an inclination.

3. RIKEA: A manual without kit. So the folding trolley was called. We have assembled it using a “svingen” (a folding bed 25€) two IKEA bags sawed together (2€ each), three “broder” shelf and two bicycle wheels. Everything is assembled together with dry hardware, no welding and no drilled oles (pure brico-freaks).

Here follows some pictures of the exhibition.

The next issue of “abitare” will be released with a catalog of this event and a special report on Geodesign. Stay tuned.

8 Responses to “The market of last things: a point of view on Torino Geodesign”


  1. 1 Martijn van Berkum June 2, 2008 at 8:53 am

    Antonio! Super inspiring this ‘small solutions, maximum impact’ kind of works! In particular the my-name-is-buck-and-i’m-here-to-fuck tool. hehe, what a name…

  2. 2 scarponio June 2, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    that is actually a quote from Kill Bill I. Where the guy named “buck” with the “pussy car” try to get on Huma Thurman with Vaseline for engines…
    I have decided to put this quote because I have used a sex lubricant to do the mold. Believe or not it worked perfectly. The lubricant was called “Glide, the liquid love” also the cheapest I could find in the Supermarket (the it the only reason I have used it).
    It reminded me of the Kill Bill scene, like a gross feature for a Truck Drivers… With all the respect of people who delivers our goods around with any intimate habits of course.

    sorry sometime I am so trash, but I could not resist this quote. Thanks for comment.
    ant.

  3. 3 sergiodavila June 3, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    Hi Antonio! Really inspiring project, there are two things in special that I found super interesting in your creative process: first the use of existing objects available in the society and easy to replace, this empowers the society to activate your system and represents a great example of the evolution of design running far from formalisms and reinventing dynamics and relations. Secondly, despite what I said about the formalism, I really like your illustrations and the manual to cast the lattice. Congratulations for such a great project!

  4. 4 scarponio June 6, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    Hi Sergio,
    thanks for the comments and remarks. Well the re-use aspect is very important for us. Especially in such a place where everything is re-used re sold. It sounds strange but this is how we actually manage to convince IKEA about sponsoring. At the beginning they could not understand why they should sponsor us for such project since their issues are only about social responsibility and environmental issues (the do give furniture to hospital, for instance).
    We insisted of the fact that is important to show how people could actually transformed industrial product, re assemble them and create new furnitures. This is why we call it RIKEA. As far as we have convinced them, they have been great to us.
    Also we had to face a no-budget scenario. So far the community are quite happy now we hope to go on an set in up…. In case more picture to come on the blog.
    ant.

  5. 5 Janna June 8, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    really nice project! simple and thorough. for a swede the act of renaming IKEA-furniture has another twist to it. usually all the stuff have male or famale names (not Buck though, but pretty close)and you gave them some more carachter, so to speak…

  6. 6 cartoon network bakugan April 19, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    Howdy! I just want to give a huge thumbs up for the nice data you’ve gotten right here on this post.
    I will be coming again to your blog for more soon.

  7. 7 ディオール ひし形シリーズ September 26, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    シナリオ の背後にある 今日利用可能な。 自家製を作る 睡眠袋 理由の範囲。すべて する場合があります 行うは場所をヒット 、 インスピレーション卸売デザイナーを見つけることができます 財布およびハンドバッグ。定期的に、ファッション自体を保持する前の季節のハンドバッグのオンライン販売を家 探した 絶好の機会 を購入する 分数でデザイナー ハンドバッグ の、 元 コスト。


  1. 1 Antonio Scarponi nominated for the Curry Stone Design Prize « Trackback on August 29, 2008 at 12:13 pm

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