The Revival of Contemporary Design: Exploring the Postkrisi 50 Movement


Postkrisi 50 is a design movement that emerged in Italy in 2016. The movement is characterized by a return to traditional craftsmanship, with an emphasis on sustainability, durability, and a focus on timeless design. Postkrisi 50 was created to mark the 50th anniversary of Enzo Mari’s “Autoprogettazione” project, which advocated for self-production and DIY design in the 1970s. In this article, we will explore the key features of the Postkrisi 50 movement, its impact on contemporary design, and its relevance today.

The Origins of Postkrisi 50

Postkrisi 50 was initiated by an Italian creative agency, Analogia Project, which specializes in design research and cultural innovation. The agency wanted to pay tribute to Enzo Mari’s “Autoprogettazione” project, which was a seminal work in the history of design. Mari’s project was aimed at encouraging people to make their own furniture, using only basic tools and materials. The idea was to empower individuals to take control of their environment, and to promote a culture of self-sufficiency and collective creativity.

Analogia Project was inspired by the ethos of “Autoprogettazione” and wanted to create a contemporary design movement that would be relevant to today’s context. The agency brought together a group of designers, artisans, and thinkers to explore the idea of self-production and DIY design, and to create a new aesthetic language that would express the values of sustainability, durability, and authenticity.

The Key Features of Postkrisi 50

The Postkrisi 50 movement is characterized by several key features:

1. Craftsmanship

Postkrisi 50 is a celebration of traditional craftsmanship, with an emphasis on hand-made objects that are imbued with a sense of history, culture, and identity. The movement seeks to revive artisanal skills and techniques, with a focus on small-scale production and individual expression. This approach challenges the mass-production model that dominates contemporary design, and seeks to create objects that are unique, personal, and meaningful.

2. Sustainability

Postkrisi 50 is committed to sustainable design, which means using materials and processes that are environmentally friendly and socially responsible. The movement advocates for the use of natural materials, such as wood, stone, and clay, that have a low environmental impact and can be recycled or biodegraded. The movement also promotes the idea of a circular economy, where objects are designed to be reused, repaired, or repurposed, rather than discarded after a single use.

3. Durability

Postkrisi 50 values durability as a key criterion for good design. The movement seeks to create objects that are built to last, with a focus on quality, functionality, and comfort. This approach challenges the disposable culture that dominates consumerism, and promotes the idea of investing in objects that have a long lifespan and can be passed on to future generations.

4. Timeless Design

Postkrisi 50 advocates for a timeless aesthetic, which means creating objects that are not tied to a specific era or fashion trend. The movement seeks to create objects that are simple, elegant, and universal, with a focus on form, texture, and proportion. This approach challenges the fast-paced, throwaway culture of contemporary design, and promotes the idea of objects that can transcend time and place.

The Impact of Postkrisi 50 on Contemporary Design

Postkrisi 50 has had a significant impact on contemporary design, both in Italy and internationally. The movement has inspired many young designers and artisans to explore the idea of self-production and DIY design, and to create objects that are rooted in tradition and culture. Postkrisi 50 has also sparked a renewed interest in traditional crafts and techniques, and has helped to revive many declining industries.

Moreover, Postkrisi 50 has raised important questions about the role of design in society and the relationship between the designer, the producer, and the consumer. The movement has challenged the dominant model of mass-production and consumerism, and has promoted the idea of a more sustainable, ethical, and democratic design culture.

The Relevance of Postkrisi 50 Today

Postkrisi 50 is more relevant today than ever before, as we face growing environmental, social, and economic challenges. The movement offers a viable alternative to the unsustainable and exploitative model of global capitalism, and provides a practical and inspiring vision of a more sustainable, ethical, and equitable world.

Postkrisi 50 also offers a way forward for designers and artisans who are struggling to find their place in an increasingly homogenized and automated world. By embracing the values of traditional craftsmanship, sustainability, durability, and timeless design, designers and artisans can create meaningful and socially responsible objects that reflect their own unique identity and cultural heritage.

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