mono.kultur #32


mono.kultur #32
“True ugliness can be a treat.”

Martino Gamper is the kind of product designer we all have been waiting for: Brimming with ideas, energy and humour, his designs are disarmingly irreverent and irresistibly fun, and unlike anything one will see in the puristic galleries of contemporary design. Crossing over from studying sculpture to completing an MA in product design at the prestigious Royal College of Art under Ron Arad, Gamper has had little time to worry over the theoretical do’s and don’t’s of his profession – instead, he has followed a simple rule of learning by doing, meaning the more you do, the more you learn.

At a time where design is overly concerned with form and less so with function, Gamper is not too bothered with either, but rather by how design might affect the everyday. Coming to attention with his epic project ‘100 Chairs in 100 Days’, where he assembled discarded furniture and waste material into curious and charismatic new pieces, considering the history of materials as well as the context of his work has become an important element of Gamper’s practice, which sits comfortably and playfully between the worlds of industrial design and fine art.

If anything, his work is driven by an insatiable curiosity and openness, which is also expressed by the frequent collaborations with friends from different fields. Martino Gamper treats his work as a means of communication and interaction, frequently inviting visitors and passers-by on the street to join and engage, or by creating not only the furniture, but also improvising the 7 course-menus for his legendary Trattoria pop-up dinner evenings – elevating, as an inevitable and highly welcome side effect, design into a profoundly social activity.

With mono.kultur, Martino Gamper talked about his idea of fun, why a chair is the ultimate challenge and what design has in common with cooking.

Visually, the issue is bursting with references and ideas, reclaiming image material from left and right, while unveiling the structure of a book with three different booklets of different sizes all combined into one.