The recession may be over (fingers crossed) but making do, do it yourself, being frugal stingy or perhaps saving costs is thriving. Yep it's become more and more obvious as I browse blogs, Etsy, websites and magazines you are all hungry in knowing how can I make that! From hanging a quirky coat hook to growing your own vegies at home to baking the perfect cake has consumed us all. The credit card is staying in the wallet and the electric screwdriver is coming out. Goodbye flatpacks hello manual books?
As discussed on Icon Eye there were no products in the Recession Design exhibition in Milan during the Salone back in April, just a set of instructions for visitors to pick up so they could make the products themselves.
The exhibition was one of the few shows in Milan organised by a group of Italian designers. While the overall theme for the rest of the fair last year was refinement, the emphasis here was cheap and rough "because we think that in this period it's important to make design projects with no money", says graphic director Michelangelo Petralito – words that will no doubt fall better on consumers' ears than designers'.
Initiated by Italian architecture practice Pop Solid, the exhibition's 18 designers (mostly from Italy, but also Japan, Spain, Portugal and Serbia) each designed pieces that you could make with materials from your local DIY store. While the concept might be rough, each product was beautifully presented as a leaflet, with a seductive lifestyle photograph on the front, and a set of simple instructions on the reverse side.
The paintbrush hook is my favourite and more of my speed.