Category: design

Low Cost Design: bottom-up creativity by Daniele Pario Perra

Thursday, December 16, 2010 15:59

Posted by Alessandra Pellicanò

(To read this entry in Italian click ‘Italian’ in the black menu bar above)

‘Low Cost Design’ is a recent publication by Milan-based researcher and designer Daniele Pario Perra, who with his book illustrates the innovation of bottom-up creativity through 7000 photographs taken across Europe and the Mediterranean region.


Magazine rack (jalousie)
The design presented through these images is an everyday design without authors; a design created outside the traditional boundaries and elitist connotations, which so often limit its reach.

The work of Daniele Pario Perra probes into that spontaneous creativity which has imbued itself into our daily lives – almost to the extent of becoming invisible to the eyes of the beholder. It is a participatory design, which isn’t born in a design studio, but rather from the simple improvisation of anonymous designers: individuals who possess intuitive and abstract skills, which enable them to envisage an object in the making, predict its transformation and even its possible reuse in the future. Perra stresses the relevance that these design projects have to their cultural context while he detaches them from their geographic origin.

The text is divided into two main parts: objects and actions. The former includes images of objects grouped into five levels, according to a scale of values that grows in proportion to the object’s capacity to solve complex problems easily, among them are: an electrical cable bobbin converted into a bedside table; window shutters recycled into magazine holders or even a walkway to help cats get in-and-out of the house.

bobinaBedside table with central cup holder  (bobbin for electric cable)

In the latter section of the publication ‘actions’ the authors broadens the concept of ‘low cost design’ shifting it from the sphere of object transformation to public space, where spontaneous actions are taken to satisfy unmet needs. These pages illustrate methods and practices, which apply a participative approach to managing the commons. A prime example of this can be found in a photo showing a goalpost painted onto a church door, allowing the public to make use of the outside space for recreation purposes.

cancelloFootball goal painting on church’s gate

“Low cost design” is a publication by Daniele Pario Perra with the partecipation of Emiliano Gandolfi and texts by Bebbe Finessi, Francesco Morace and Pierluigi Sacco

(Thanks to Valentina Carta of Interaction Design Lab for the link!)

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One Response to “Low Cost Design: bottom-up creativity by Daniele Pario Perra”

  1. Christophe says:

    December 16th, 2010 at %I:%M %p

    Cluster | City – Design – Innovation » Low Cost Design: bottom-up …: 'Low Cost Design' is a recent… #innovation

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