There’s a vast amount of incredible design on display at Milan’s Salone Internazionale del Mobile at the moment, from huge, big-brand collaborations releasing worldwide collections to lone practitioners making limited-run objects by hand. Big or small, the aim of the game is showcasing intelligent, beautiful products and design. Which makes it odd that the first person I got talking to here has temporarily given up his day-job as a product designer to spend time developing a more conceptual practice.
Marco Monterzino has spent the past year creating The Ark of Many Voices a collaborative, community project that aims to reflect the narrative of the world’s numerous protest camps by adopting the protestor’s own design vernacular in a product made to amplify their message. Marco spent a month living within the Occupy London camp at St Paul’s Cathedral learning from the camp’s carpenters about fashioning usable objects from scraps and offcuts of materials before producing an object that caters to their needs.
The resulting product is a giant, crudely-fashioned megaphone that can be carried from protest to protest (no matter what the political climate), shouting slogans across crowds while simultaneously recording them for posterity. Marco’s since taken the Ark on tour, and created a short film that perfectly demonstrates the purpose and power of the device.
You can see Marco’s work at Designersblock satellite in the Magazzini, Porta Genova until April 13.