Hosted by milanese department store la Rinascente during the world’s largest home design fair Salone Internazionale del Mobile 2014, In a State of Repair, occupied eight storefront windows with different categories of objects including accessories, shoes, books, toys, electronics, clothing, chairs and bicycles, as they underwent processes of repair. Members of the public were invited to bring their broken objects to Gamper: the designer saw his installation as a way of allowing the consumer to witness the highly skilled process of fixing things, which is usually missed when we send goods away.
In a State of Repair expanded upon Martino Gamper’s Serpentine exhibition design is a state of mind. Where the latter foregrounded personal ways of collecting and gathering objects, Gamper focused in this installation on the question of restoration and repair.
Martino Gamper is concerned with how the experience of the consumer evolves over time; in finding out what happens beyond the point of purchase, when objects are subjected to everyday use, wear and tear. He expressed his hope that his installation will ‘encourage people to keep their belongings rather than discard them, to improve what they buy rather than throw it away’. It also represents Gamper’s desire to celebrate the the craftsmen and women, artisans and technicians who repair the things that break, stop working or go wrong. He sees their work as an act of transformation, which in this instance sees each repaired object becoming a one-off piece of design.
By showcasing the work of others, the Serpentine’s collaboration with la Rinascente at their flagship store in Milan became a means of continuing the spirit of generosity in which Gamper’s London show was conceived: design is a state of mind involved more than fourteen designers as well as Gamper himself, and In a State of Repair took this further; bringing further designers and members of the public on board.
Martino Gamper’s design is a state of mind exhibition took place at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery from 5 March to 18 May 2014.