Fabrica - For the People, From the People

Fabrica: For the People, From the People

The lecture "Fabrica. The Benetton Communications Research Center" by Omar Vulpinari, who has been responsible for Visual Communication with Fabrica since 1998, continues the "design > new strategies" event series presented at the MAK. This cooperation project between the MAK and departure explores, through lectures and accompanying exhibitions, the question of how to position Vienna internationally as a young design location - with the long term objective of developing, and establishing itself as, a design capital like London or Milan.

In his lecture, Vulpinari will speak about education, experimentation, and implementation in art, design, and communication. Established 1994 by Luciano Benetton and Oliviero Toscani, the Fabrica in Treviso sees itself as a creative lab, as a meeting place where people, artistic activities, languages, and forms of expression meet and enter into interdisciplinary networks.

After the lecture, the exhibition "Fabrica. For the People, From the People" will be opened at the MAK DESIGN SPACE. The title of the exhibition underlines Fabrica's unique two-way dialogue with its global audience. Featured in the show are three different areas of application that give an insight into the various fields of activity of Fabrica whose central concern is social commitment: a selection of posters from four campaigns for UNWHO and UNICEF, the participative "Colors Notebook" project, and short documentaries on "near-extinct" trades.

"Show the Truth", for World No Tobacco Day 2009 is a recent poster campaign for UNWHO that focuses on the fact that reality-based pictorial health warnings are more effective than simple text-based ones. For the "Global Child Injury Prevention" campaign for UNWHO and UNICEF, 2008, the Austrian graphic designer Valerie Gudenus created colorful little Plasticine figures to symbolize children who are then shown in life-endangering situations. "Global Road Safety Campaign for Young Road Users" for UNWHO, 2007, consists of five posters, the target group being young people in traffic, who have the highest casualty rate in road accidents. "Global Violence Prevention Campaign" for UNWHO, 2003, takes a stance against any form of violence (child abuse, violence against women, suicide, etc.)

The "Colors Notebook" project is the result of a cooperation of Fabrica with the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, and Reporter Without Borders. Blank-page special issues of "Colors" magazine are regularly sent out all over the world to give people an opportunity to express their opinions without filters or censorship. On view in the show are originals: a selection of "Colors Notebooks" filled out and sent back to Fabrica where they were collected.

New blank "Colors Notebooks" will be available for free at the MAK DESIGN SPACE. Visitors are incited to participate in the project by taking them home, filling them with text and designs, and sending them back to Fabrica.

Under the title "Unique Trades", six documentaries portray occupations which presumably will soon have ceased to exist, such as the "Manna Man" in Sicily who produces bread, or two fishermen hunting for shrimps from the horse-drawn cart in the shallow coastline waters, a school for toreros in Madrid, the last glass-eye maker in Great Britain, etc.

Like Ron Arad before, Vulpinari will pick, as curator, young Austrian designers to be showcased in the second START_UP presentation which will be shown in September under the cooperation of MAK & departure.

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