‘Foyenzo’ is the outcome of a workshop about the work of Italian designer Enzo Mari, we did with students of Grundklasse Design in 2019/2020, in collaboration with Andreas Glücker, who is doing a PhD on the work of the designer .
Enzo is especially known for his DIY furniture concepts (Autoprogettazione), which are characterised by their easy assembly and robustness, so that everyone could afford nice design by constructing it themselves. The building instructions for the furniture were sent by mail, making Enzo one of the first open source designers.
With ‘Foy-enzo’ we wanted to create a community place for the students of the Foundation year. The chairs and benches are arranged according to a certain scheme and are firmly connected to each other to promote communication in a new situation or with “unknown” people. In addition, it is intended to encourage people to leave their own comfort zone, to face unknown situations, to reflect and listen. The constellation is a combination of chairs and benches, designed according to and inspired by Enzo’s designs of Sedia Uno and Bambinooo – children’s bench. Enzo published 19 Autoprogettazione designs, and we would like to think of this as his potential 20th furniture, a constellation of his chairs and bench to be used for public or social space.
In early works, Enzo had created different apparatuses for the viewing and recognition of oneself and one’s environment through illusions or special situations (wahrnehmungsapparat). Inspired by these works we created the Mirror Window, which partially looks backwards and forwards, confusing the visual mind and challenging the optical sense. The eye as a lens can thereby direct the focus to the outer or inner events, as soon as the mind has released from the confusion. At the end, ‘Foyenzo’ is a Wahrnehmungsapparat in its own way: from Enzo’s one-person apparatuses for self-reflection, ‘Foyenzo’ is itself a whole room as an apparatus for self-reflection while existing within a social group.
We hope that the Foyenzo will be used as a social space and platform by undergraduate students. Unfortunately the pandemic which started right after the end of this workshop, has paused this plan, as we are now not allowed to sit so closely to each other inside the school.
On the recent death of Enzo Mari and his wife due to covid complications, Andreas Glücker published this beautiful text and this podcast on the work of one of the most important, inspirational and provocative designers.