Gewerbemuseum (english)

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5 May to 6 October 2013

No Name Design

"No Name Design" is a paean to the inconspicuous things that surround us in our everyday lives, rarely attracting a second glance. The exhibition is both a tribute to them and a treasure trove for devotees of found objects and curios that do not attempt to dazzle or seduce, but are simply there, waiting to be discovered by an attentive observer such as Franco Clivio.

In addition to being a designer and lecturer, Franco Clivio (born 1942) has been a seeker and a finder for decades. He is passionate about the banal and apparently artless. He tracks down top quality design and looks for the extraordinary in the ordinary. To do so he rummages not only through second-hand shops, flea markets and junk shops, but also hardware stores and department stores – drifting wherever his curiosity takes him. This has resulted in a magnificent array of anonymously designed objects which, viewed in the right light, suddenly reveal qualities that usually lie dormant and hidden.

The exhibition resembles an Aladdin's Cave filled with a multiplicity of instructively arranged articles. Around 900 mostly small objects are on display, including clasp knives, knick-knacks, multipurpose gadgets, gripping tools and new versions of old friends such as scissors, spectacles and measuring instruments. The common denominator is always the sophisticated quality of the design, which is concerned less with beauty of form than with an unusual aspect of function, material or construction.