Flexibility, design in a fast changing society

Curatorial assistance and research
Torino, 2008
images | www

"Labyrinths of roads, agglomerations of buildings, mazes of relations. In 2050 over 90% of the world's population will live in cities, places that already today are characterised by growing complexity. The urban panorama is a system of close-knit connections between material objects and immaterial factors produced by man. An often chaotic space, that conditions, restrains and sometimes paralyses movement, considerably reducing the space for manoeuvre of individuals. Too often, in fact, the structure and products used every day are characterised by rigidity and poor adaptability.
In this scenario, flexibility becomes a need and a response at the same time. Flexibility as a need to break down walls, to leave well-trodden paths, to step away from pre-packaged solutions.
Flexibility as a response: an attitude that allows individuals to react to a context that changes at ever-increasing speed and produces unexpected results, sometimes with an explosive impact.
The exhibition “Flexibility - design in a fast-changing society” poses questions about bonds between flexibility and design, where flexibility is intended as the ease with which a system or components of it can be modified and adapted for use in different applications or settings to the ones for which they were originally designed. A narrative and experiential path explores the diverse ways of designing the world and society starting from a concept of adaptability, from the perspective of transforming town and city environments into more elastic places, durable but also welcoming and changeable spaces.
At the “Ex-Carceri, Le Nuove” former prison, the show stretches out along the corridors flanked by the cells, creating a route in three stages, with the sound track from the musical research of three sound designers. The effect is strident and of great impact: the defence of flexibility and the constriction of the place interact, giving life to a particular conceptual oxymoron.
In the circular space of the panopticum, from which the prison wings reach out, the exhibition introduces visitors to the multitude of meanings attributed to the concept of flexibility. After this, in the men's wing, examples are proposed of effective design objects and solutions in terms of adaptability and versatility and that can be applied in our houses, workplaces and cities. At the end, the exhibition route finishes in the women's wing where ten installations created specially by ten rising designers on the international stage are on show.
A multi-faceted voyage proposes and supports flexibility as a design approach, as well as a process to learn and practise so as to exploit unpredictable opportunities and refine the capacity for individual adaptation, and therefore survival."

Guta Moura Guedes

torinoworlddesigncapital.it

Curator
Guta Moura Guedes

Assistant curator
Rita João (Pedrita)

Exhibition design
Pedro Gadanho
with Mariana Pestana

Communication design
R2

Exhibition Producer
Rita Morgado