Design Issues: Exhibition Review

 

The new Design Issues (MIT Press Journals) is out now. Very happy to be part of it with a review of the exhibition Saša J. Mächtig: Systems, Structures, Strategies

 
 

Design Issues
Winter 2017, Vol. 33, No. 1
Pages 90-92
© 2017 Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Bruce Brown, Richard Buchanan, Carl DiSalvo, Dennis P. Doordan, Kipum Lee, Victor Margolin, and Ramia Mazé, Editors

The first American academic journal to examine design history, theory, and criticism, Design Issues provokes inquiry into the cultural and intellectual issues surrounding design.

Regular features include theoretical and critical articles by professional and scholarly contributors, extensive book and exhibition reviews, and visual sequences. Special guest-edited issues concentrate on particular themes, such as design history, human-computer interface, service design, organization design, design for development, and product design methodology. Scholars, students, and professionals in all the design fields are readers of each issue. Design Issues is a peer reviewed journal. 

Saša J. Mächtig: Systems, Structures, Strategies
Museum of Architecture and Design, Ljubljana, Slovenia
(November 26, 2015–May 1, 2016), co-curated by Maja Vardjan and Špela Šubic, display designed by Mertelj Vrabič Arhitekti and Žiga Testen
(Exhibition Review)
Barbara Predan
English translation by Rawley Grau

First paragraph:
The minutes of the 9th General Assembly of the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID), which met in Brussels in 1976, record a criticism put forward by a young designer from Slovenia, then part of Yugoslavia. His name was Saša J. Mächtig, and he was attending his first general assembly as an official Yugoslav delegate. As a representative of a country without political allegiance to either the West or the Soviet bloc, he was disturbed by ICSID’s centralist structure. He proposed that in the future the organization reserve a spot on its executive board for someone from the developing countries and that it create a task force to examine issues of regional organizing, participation, and self-management. In Mächtig’s opinion, the profession lacked mechanisms to encourage planners, designers, and users at all levels to participate more actively in the design process.

More (Design Issues)
About the exhibition

Buy the book: Saša J. Mächtig: systems, structures, strategies
Nakup knjige: Saša J. Mächtig: sistemi, strukture, strategije
Edited by/Uredila: Maja Vardjan
Ljubljana 2016, 226 pp.
ISBN 978-961-6669-37-5 (slo)
ISBN 978-961-6669-38-2 (eng)

Opening speech (in Slovene)
Kratek nagovor na otvoritvi razstave Saša J. Mächtig: sistemi, strukture, strategije
26. 11. 2015

V primerjavi z Majo Vardjan in Špelo Šubic je bil moj prispevek k raziskavi večplastnega dela Saše J. Mächtiga orientiran k študiji zgolj enega dogodka, organizacije 17. mednarodnega kongresa ICSID v Ljubljani leta 1992. Kljub morda navidezno čezmerni usmerjenosti v le en detajl pa je po mojem mnenju prav ta detajlni, »mikroskopski« pogled razkril eno od izjemno bogatih plati Mächtigovega načina dela, pa tudi njegovega karakterja. 

Namreč, z raziskovanjem korakov, ki so bili potrebni za organizacijo tako pomembnega dogodka, kot je bil mednarodni kongres leta 1992, se pravzaprav vračamo štiri desetletja nazaj. Prelomno je bilo leto 1976, ko je Mächtig z idejo policentričnosti in opozorilom o preslišanih glasovih z obrobja takratni mednarodni skupnosti s področja oblikovanja glasno nastavil ogledalo. Ta ključni glas vpijočega v takratnem z železno zaveso razdeljenem svetu, prihajajoč iz neuvrščene države, pravzaprav izriše protagonista današnje razstave v tisti pravi luči. 

Pred nami je oblikovalec, ki se s pitbulovsko odločnostjo bori za svoj glas, vztrajno ponavlja tisto, v kar goreče verjame. In prav zaradi teh njegovih karakteristik se danes sploh lahko ukvarjamo s tako pomembnim dogodkom, kot je bil omenjeni kongres. Kongres, ki mu ga je uspelo izpeljati v času razpada države, desetdnevne vojne, menjave treh vlad, ekonomske krize in spremembe družbenega sistema. 

Saš, zdi se mi, da je napočil skrajni čas, da ti, če mi dovolite nezaslišano – tj. govoriti v imenu stroke oblikovanja – izrečem iskreno zahvalo. Zahvalo, da si slovensko oblikovanje s svojim delom vsakič znova postavil na svetovni zemljevid oblikovanja, na križišče drznih zamisli.

Zahvala pa gre tudi obema kustosinjama, ki sta mi omogočili »mokre sanje« vsakega teoretika, to je 6-mesečno brskanje po neizmernih količinah arhivskih dokumentov. Hvala vama, vodstvu in ostali muzejski ekipi.