MILAN 2008: Fethi Atakol’s Functional Artwork
One of our favorite finds at this year’s green-themed Salone Satellite was the work of ascendent Swiss “redesigner” Fethi Atakol. His design debut would do Duchamp proud, as it showcased a wonderful assortment of “functional artworks” made from found objects. Atakol’s designs are funky and fun, joining together a disparate set of everyday items to extraordinary effect.
With all of the excitement stirred up by the booming green marketplace, it can be easy to forget that the most eco-friendly designs are those that require no new materials, no processing, and no energy intensive production. Fethi Atakol’s work breathes a breath of fresh air into a field that exists to make and move products, for he reconsiders the worth of things already-made.
Each of Atakol’s painstakingly handcrafted pieces is a unique exercise in function and form, and he’s a master at drawing out the hidden talents of his materials. A colander becomes a beautiful light casting lampshade, a sturdy old suitcase makes a stool that can store things. He does for found furnishings what Martino Gamper did for derelict chairs. He’s an inspiration for DIY designers everywhere.
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