GLOBAL TOOLS | Side Gallery

Side Gallery

Side Gallery







Side Gallery presents Global Tools, from 11th May to 14th of July 2023 curated by Luis Sendino at the gallery space in Barcelona. For this season´s Spring group show, the gallery showcases a curated selection featuring ten international designers from five diferent continents focusing on everyday life and aiming to rediscover a direct relationship between craft and design product.

The title of the exhibition is borrowed from eponymous experience of Radical Design and its multidisciplinary school program. The Global Tools movement began with its foundation in 1973 by groups and figures drawn from Italian Radical Architecture, Arte Povera, and Conceptual Art. Names as Ettore Sottsass Jr., Gaetano Pesce, Alessandro Mendini, Andrea Branzi, Ugo La Pietra, the members of the collectives Archizoom and Superstudio and conceptual artists and intelectuals as Franco Vaccari, Giuseppe Chiari, Luciano Fabro and Germano Celant among others. Global Tools consisted in a network of workshops in Florence to promote the use of natural technical materials and the associated skills, aiming to encourage individuals to develop their creativity freely.

With this ideary in mind, Side Gallery asked to ten young international designers to re-think those ideas and giving a contemporary meaning and new vision. The result is a selection that includes seminal works by Mac Collins, Seung Hyun Lee, Charlotte Kingsnorth, Elissa Lacoste, Gyuhan Lee, Sabine Marcelis, Nifemi Ogunro, Tadeas Podracky, Taher Asad Bahtiari and Johan Viladrich, being all these works limited editions of unique pieces.

As we read in Global Tools manifesto, in the last years the entire history of industry and design has distanced the use of crafts techniques from the home and from cultural production in general. Mass production has replaced the artifact, the one-of-a-kind piece or, in any case, the maker´s prototype almost everywhere. This distancing, while on the one hand favoring the spread of an average level of taste in society, has on the other made the so-called “applied arts” disappear, anmely all those constructive and often experimental activities not aimed at industrial production (though often upstream from it), endowed with a very high level of technical and expressive quality.

These days a new space is opening up for this type of activity: the designer, in search of a more incisive role, rediscovers in “manual making” an inmediate possibility of expresion. The “applied arts” are not in an impossible competition with design and with the function of industry; they are their necessary complement.

Global Tools seeks to establish the conditions to free up individual creative energy from the logical constraints that had constrained it for centuries.

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