Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The museum I like...

The keywords of this projects are quite clear.

design, production, memory, local territory, museum.

For the time being, I would like to focus on the museum bit of the overall process/project.

The museum I like should be a place where design is the added element to improve, change, distort or, in some cases, devastate my life.
At the same time it should be a place where I can play, I can listen to interesting stories, different tools and ways to learn.

Time machine: go back to when you were thirteen. After a day of classes battling demanding teachers and aggressive classmates, you are back home for lunch with your family (please allow me this memory of a time before the self-distruction of the Italian family), followed by the comfortable normal activities of the afternoon (again , no judo workshops, no drug rehab sessions, no psychoanalist: stay thirteen a little longer).
Dad and mum go back to work, or housekeeping, elder brother goes back to study so that later in life he will have a job, and you: you have to decide.
A nearly endless afternoon of possibilities: you could study for tomorrow's class (boring admittedly, but still needs doing). You could sink yourself in some fantastic book universe - Japanese animation ahd not yet claimed most of your time. Or you could go to the park, meet your friends, and start a long session of fun and games.

Do you remember that open feeling? Lunche dealt with, an afternoon of freedom - the last real freedom you'd have in your life, although of course you didn't know that at the time.

3 possible options

1. Open a notebook, start doing homework, review the classes, work through problems (LEARNING).
2. Enter for the first time Tolkien unverse, or watch Gundam. Or appropriate your elder brother's entirely inappropriate books and magazines (STORY).
3. Play football with your friends. Or start a never-ending Barbie-day (PLAY).



Imagine a table: on this table you see a graph-papaer notebook, the last Harry Potter book, a PlayStation.
Under the table are stink bombs, scratched knees and restless curiousity about sex.
Above the table parents preside over the process that will make you what you are now.

It would be nice to imagine this museum as a completely different "table".
Where there is no clear split between leanring, telling stories and playing. A table becoming a fluid mental attitude that takes the shape of the space provided - the shape of circumstances. It can be a stone quarry, a felt factory, all the places we have seen in December. A place, part of a world where art and poetry are a solid way to invest capital. A place where culture is basically an alibi.

A place where form follows fiction. This should be the departure point for travelling in the learning/story/play triangle that defines all our life.

If it is a museum, there must be some enticing story behind. Some solid scientific principle, and a dash of contradictions: some oddball element, palmistry, telepathy, little green men. There must be contradiction and conflict, because that's the source of stories, and stories are what people listen to.

Where do we learn induction, deduction and abduction? Sherlok Holmes
Where do we learn the scientific method and the love of knowledge? Jules Verne
Who teaches us the tragic sentiment of life and its imperfection? Diego Armando Maradona and Jimi Hendrix
Who takes us adventuring in the Brazilian jungle? Claude Levi-Strauss
Who makes us dizzy with hyperbolic spaces and infinite tesselations of infinite planes? M.C. Escher

This strange museum is not about things. It is about inventing new stories.
People will go back home with a head full of fiction, great fiction. And then they (actually, we) will realize that this was neither a movie nor a novel, bus simply the new world where we're going to live.

(thanks to Walter Aprile for sharing and developing my thoughts)

Happy new year

Spike Jonze, “Being John Malkovich”, 1999

Ciao dears,
first post of 2008.

My first contribution to this blog, is a short collection of quotes useful to our project.
I love to collect quotes, just for their pure beauty. Sometimes (like now), they become pretty handy...


Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.
G. Orwell

Anyone who can handle a needle convincingly can make us see a thread which is not there.
E. H. Gombrich

The artist (the designer) overcomes tedium by the invention of new formal combinations and by more daring advances in previously established directions. These advances obey a rule of gradual differentiation because they must remain as recognizable variations upon the dominant memory image. The differentiatons are bolder among young designers and their tempo becomes more rapid as a style approaches its end. If a style is interrupted early for any reason, its unused resources become available for adaptation by participants in other styles.
G. Kubler

Memory is not an instrument for exploring the past but its theatre. It is the medium of past experience, as the ground is the medium in which dead cities lie interred.
W. Benjamin

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Balme / Acqua

L'Ecomuseo delle Guide Alpine di Balme, il paese dell'acqua Pian della Mussa, vuole documentare la nascita e l'evoluzione di un piccolo villaggio di alta montagna i cui abitanti, vissuti per secoli in condizioni di severa sussistenza e di isolamento, furono protagonisti, come guide alpine, della stagione pionieristica dell'alpinismo. L'allestimento dell'Ecomuseo è attualmente articolato su un nucleo espositivo e su alcune sedi periferiche, completate da un percorso didattico di carattere etnografico e naturalistico.

The Alpine Guides Ecomuseum of Balme, the town of Pian della Mussa water, tells the tale of the birth and the development of a small village highupin the mountains, whose inhabitants, after living for centuries in isolation and having to deal with tryingliving-conditions, found themselves at the forefront of the era of pioneer alpinism, in the main role of alpine guides. Specific sections are dedicated to the description of the main features of the surrounding environment and the peculiarities of everyday life and local culture.

Cambiano / Argilla

Il territorio tra Cambiano è Poirino e situato su un altopiano di terre argillose. La fornace di Cambiano,attiva dal 1907, produce tutt'oggi materiali trafilati utilizzando l'argilla della cava adiacente. MUNLAB Ecomuseo dell'Argilla ha aperto gli spazi della Fornace di Cambiano a studenti e visitatori offrendo percorsi di visita interattiva, attività didattiche, eventi culturali.È anche possibile visitare anche lo stabilimento attuale che produce mattoni trafilati in modo completamente automatizzato.

MUNLAB the Ecomuseum of Clay opens the kiln of Cambiano to students and visitors, offering a wide range of interactive experiences, educational activities, cultural events. The Carena kiln produces bricks since 1907: it has therefore vastly influenced the life of the local community for a century. It is also possible to visit the current brickworks that produce drawn bricks in a completely automated way, using the clay of the nearby quarry.

Perosa Argentina / Cotone

Nel territorio di Perosa Argentina l'industrializzazione ha inizio sin dalla seconda metà delsecolo scorso quando, grazie alla imprenditorialità di due famiglie straniere, vennero impiantati un setificio per la lavorazione dei cascami di seta ed un cotonificio su filande preesistenti. L'Ecomuseo dell'industria tessile di Perosa Argentina valorizza il patrimonio derivante dalla secolare presenza nel paese di questo tipo di attività produttive e si articola in due strutture:la sede museale e il percorso di visita esterno, per scoprire la quantità e la qualità delle trasformazioni che l'insediamento delle industrie tessili ha provocato in un agglomerato urbano di fondo valle.

In the area of Perosa Argentina, industrialization started from the second half of the 19th century, when, thanks to the entrepreneurship of two foreign families, a silk factory for the working of floss and a cotton mill were founded. These two mills were built on pre-existing ones. The Ecomuseum of Textile Industry in Perosa Argentina enhances the heritage issuing from the centuryoldpresence in the town of this kind of manufacture and is divided into two structures: the museum andthe external visiting track, which leads the visitor towards the discovery of the quantity and quality of the changes that the settlement of the textile factories had caused in a built-up area at the bottom of the valley.

Prali / Talco

Per gli abitanti della Val Germanasca il lavoro in miniera ha rappresentato, per più di un secolo, la principale fonte di reddito. L'estrazione dei minerali (rame, grafite, talco...) è iniziata, infatti, alla fine del '700. Il talco estratto in Val Germanasca ha caratteristiche inconfondibili ed è utilizzato nell'industria cartaria, automobilistica, farmaceutica e cosmetica, nella fabbricazione della ceramica, delle materie plastiche, delle vernici e nell'industria alimentare.Scopriminiera, sito principale dell’Ecomuseo Regionale delle Miniere e della Val Germanasca, si trova a Prali. Oltre tre chilometri di gallerie e due diversi percorsi di visita sono stati attrezzati nelle miniere di talco Paola e Gianna.

The presence of industrial activities in the Val Germanasca, and among these, in particular, the talcum mining industry, has played a significantly important role: it offered additional income to that of the agricultural activities. In this sense, the mining activity brought deep change to the development of the territory, ensuring many families the possibility of not abandoning the valley, and therefore to allow its prised cultural and natural characteristics to survive. The heart of Eco-museum of Mines is represented by Paola and Gianna’s mining museums, situated in the Municipalities of Prali and Salza di Pinerolo, downhill from an extraction site, where about fifty miners still work.

Rorà / Pietra

L'Ecomuseo della Pietra di Rorà si articola in due luoghi assai rappresentativi della vita della comunità: il museo Valdese,che attraverso oggetti ed attrezzi, documenta la storia ricca e movimentata dei rorenghi, contadini e cavatori e la cava storica del Tupinet, oggi cantiere non più attivo, che rappresenta in modo efficace la condizione delle cave originarie ottocentesche.In passato la Pietra di Luserna è sempre stata considerata un materiale povero ma venne abbondantemente impiegata in seguito per l'edificazione della capitale italiana dei Savoia: Torino e da Antonelli per la costruzione della Mole Antonelliana. Oggi la Pietra di Luserna, il cui mercato è diventato mondiale, è utilizzata nell’edilizia civile e per la produzione di oggettistica artigianale.

The Ecomuseum of Stone in Rorà consists of two sites, both greatly representative of community life. The first site is the Waldensian museum, which, through artifacts and tools, testifies the rich and eventful life of the inhabitants of Rorà, peasants and quarrymen. The other site it's the historical quarry of Tupinet, which is no longer operative and effectively represents the condition of the original 19thcentury quarries. In the past, the Luserna Stone was always considered a cheap material but it was widely used, later on, in the construction of the Italian capital of the Savoias: Turin and Antonelli used it to construct the Mole Antonelliana. Today the Luserna Stone, whose market has become worldwide, is used in the public building industry and in the production of artifacts too.

Villar Pellice / Feltro

L’industria tessile ha svolto fin dall’Ottocento un ruolo di primo piano nel panorama delle attività economiche della Val Pellice: nel 1833 viene fondata la Manifattura Mazzonis di Pralafera, nel 1892 la Società Fratelli Turati e nel 1901 la Ditta Vaciago a Luserna San Giovanni, infine nel 1904 la Crumière di Villar Pellice. Nel 1986 la società si scioglie per fallimento. I dipendenti si costituiscono in Cooperativa continuando a produrre feltri per cartiere, nastri trasportatori per industrie alimentari, manicotti in lana e feltri ad uso industriale.
Inizia nel 1995 la collaborazione tra il Comune di Villar Pellice, la Comunità Montana Val Pellice e la Cooperativa Nuova Crumière, finalizzata alla realizzazione di un progetto per la trasformazione del fabbricato esistente, in un ecomuseo dedicato al feltro.

The textile industry has had since the 19th century a prominent role amidst the economical activities in the Pellice valley: in 1833 the Mazzonis Manufacture in Pralafera was founded, followed by the Turati Bros Society in 1892 and the Vaciago Firm in Luserna San Giovanni, and, finally, the Crumière Felt Factory in 1904 in Villar Pellice. In 1986, the company broke up due to bankruptcy. The employees decided then to set up a Cooperative, and carried on producing felt for paper mills, conveyer belts for the food industry, woolen muffs and felt for industrial usage.
In 1995 a cooperation between the Town of Villar Pellice, the Mountain Community of Villar Pellice and the New Crumière Cooperative started, with the aim to realize a project for the transformation of the existing building in an ecomuseum of felt and industrial archeology in the Pellice valley.