Thoughts on a 'Niche' in our homes and lives, for Recession Design

Crafted for the event 'Design Fai da Te 2.0' meaning 'DIY Design 2.0' with the theme of 'design against the economic crisis'.

by Michele De Lucchi

This was part of the event 'Design Fai da Te 2.0' meaning 'DIY Design 2.0' against the effects of the economic crisis.

It encouraged Michele, Andrea Branzi, Alessandro Mendini e Aldo Cibic to create a simplistic sustainable design that, following the instructions freely downloadable from the web, anyone can build with low-cost materials, readily available from a hardware/DIY store.

The message of the 'Niche' is to reduce the overabundance of objects of poor quality and cluttered spaces. The continuing act of accumulating in an uncontrolled manner is a serious act of irresponsibility that is detrimental to our planet and its sustainability. Against the compulsive production, against the growing mountains of waste and against the inevitability of pollution, "The niche" comes from the act of removing and adding where there is already a lot. It is an object that takes shape through carving and emptying the existing matter, it refuses redundancy and creates an empty space. Perhaps for this reason, it has more freedom, more humanity.

Maybe we should all take a moment to reflect and think how we are going to build OUR own 'Niche', both in our home and even in our minds!

    • Michele De Lucchi


      Milan / Italy

      Michele De Lucchi was born in 1951 in Ferrara and graduated in architecture in Florence. During the period of radical and experimental architecture he was a prominent figure in movements like Cavart, Alchymia and Memphis. De Lucchi has designed furniture for the most known Italian and European companies. For Olivetti he has been Director of Design from 1992 to 2002 and he developed experimental projects for Compaq Computers, Philips, Siemens and Vitra. He designed and restored buildings in Japan, Germany, Switzerland and in Italy for Enel, Olivetti, Piaggio, Poste Italiane, Telecom Italia. In 1999 he was appointed to renovate some of ENEL's (Italys principal Electricity Company) power plants. For Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Bundesbahn, Enel, Poste Italine, Telecom Italia, Hera, Intesa Sanpaolo and other Italian and foreign banks he has redesigned the service environments and corporate image, introducing technical and aesthetic innovation into organization of their working environments. He designed buildings for museums including the Triennale di Milano, Palazzo delle Esposizioni di Roma, Neues Museum Berlin and the le Gallerie d'Italia Piazza Scala in Milan. In the last years he developed many architectural projects for private and public client in Georgia, that include the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the bridge of Peace in Tbilisi, the Radison Hotel and Public Service Building in Batumi. His professional work has always gone side-by-side with a personal exploration of architecture, design, technology and crafts. In 1990 he founded Produzione Privata, a small-scale production and retail company through which Michele De Lucchi designed products that are made using dedicated artisans and craft techniques. From 2004 he has been using a chain saw to sculpt small wooden houses which create the essentiality of his architectural style. In 2003 the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris has acquired a considerable number of his works. Selections of his products are exhibited in the most important design Museums in Europe, United States and Japan. In 2000 he was appointed Officer of Italian Republic by President Ciampi, for services to design and architecture. In 2001 he has been nominated Professor at the Design and Art Faculty at the University in Venice. In 2006 he received the Honorary Doctorate from Kingston University, for his contribution to “living quality”. In 2008 he has been nominated Professor at the Design Faculty of the Politecnico of Milan and Member of the Accademia Nazionale di San Luca in Rome. In 2009 he received the Golden Fleece Order and in 2010 the Presidential Order of Excellency by President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili.)