Founded by Spanish designer Jorge Penadés, EXTRAPERLO is a curatorial platform for the unorthodox. Its goal is to challenge the systems, structures and codes existing in contemporary design, offering progressive alternative beyond commercial and institutional contexts. The 2021 edition of EXTRAPERLO was titled Curating Curators, a project which Jorge Penadés co-curated with Milan-based independent curator Maria Cristina Didero.
There was a guideline in which all projects and materials submitted to Curating Curators had to fit in one shoebox. Below are the participants in EXTRAPERLO 2021 – Curating Curators and their respective projects.
Director of Museum of Applied Arts Hamburg (AU)
Since my diploma in industrial design, I haven’t worked as a designer ever. My material are words, thoughts, images, research and continuously learning from design and through design and many other things. After a long period of being paralyzed I decided to use this challenge to go through my stuff, trying to sort them and in a way show you what I am thinking of, working on, what I love and what I fear. I don’t claim any intellectual quality and promise no outstanding inspiration. It is simply the attempt to let you be part of my work.
Director of Pin Up Magazine, New York (USA)
Ah! The fun of confetti. For a brief celebratory moment, the dopamine rush of watching it shot into the air, dancing in free fall like hedonistic snowflakes. Everything is lighter, beautiful, more jubilant. Yet often what is left? An impossible mess to clean up, tiny scraps of paper, or worse, of plastic, sowed into every corner of a room. The fantasy of celebration, crushed by feet, diminished to dirt by overeager brooms and roaring vacuum cleaners with unrelenting suction. And yet: It’s always worth it.
Independent curator and design historian (UK)
Let fate curate. When conceiving ideas for a new exhibition, the choices can be overwhelming. Will it be a museum show or an exhibition at a temporary fair? Will the content be historical or contemporary? Should it be thematic or monographic? Let fate dictate the answers with the amazing and completely revolutionary Curatorial Paper Fortune Teller™. Based on the old-school origami game, the Curatorial Paper Fortune Teller™ is layered with curatorial options from which to choose. With each layer, a new direction reveals itself, ultimately leading to the final decision and qualities of the exhibition to be curated.
Founder of From Now On, curator and educator (UK)
Designing in a Pandemic is about responding to immediate need. This is exactly what the group now known and the Coronavirus Makers in Spain did. In doing it so quickly they contributed to a global design fit for local fabrication of much needed safety equipment that formal institutes were failing to supply in time. This happened in early March 2020 when an accelerated build up of the community through social media led to immediate prototyping of co-designed iterations involving nurses and doctors, designers, makers, producers and communicators. Designing at its best is a response to real needs through an iterative and inclusive process. The conversation started on Telegram social media and picked up momentum to accelerate the community into action. One of these strands was around the design, improvement and production of face shields. Derived from an open source digital file, most likely by HanochH and parallel to other open source files being released around the world. The invitation to participate in Extraperlo 2020 was an opportunity to collaborate with César Garcia, Co-founder at Makespace Madrid, Digital Fabrication researcher, known for his podcasts at La Hora Maker, who found himself in a corralling role during the accelerated response of the makers in Spain to the Pandemic.
Gianluca Pugliese, a maker and teacher in Madrid specialising in digital fabrication and sustainable materials was one of the early adaptors collaborating as the CoronavirusMakers network along side César Garcia to get things done and share information in the best way as fast as possible. In the process they prototyped what open source distributed design could do better than the systems that were failing to respond to the needs for essential equipment. In effect mass producing in small quantities across multiple locations, near the places where the products were needed. Circumnavigating distant manufacturing, assembly, storage and shipping.
They also inspired local industry. PoliSur, a company specialising in injection moulding of fruit packaging based in Andalucia, joined their efforts and converted one of their production lines to make low cost face protection kits. Could this be one of the characteristics of future of designing and making? Will maker spaces, such as the one near here, Makerspacemadrid, play a bigger role in our cities everywhere? The invitation to participate in Extraperlo 2020 was an opportunity to collaborate with César Garcia, Co-founder at Makespace Madrid, Digital Fabrication researcher, known for his podcasts at La Hora Maker, who found himself in a corralling role during the accelerated response of the makers in Spain to the Pandemic.
Curator and founder of Dzek (USA)
So much about my experience with design involves assessing the failures and missteps that we encounter along the way. The eventual outcomes we define as ‘a success’ are embodiments of this accumulation of failures rather than the generally inferred singular experience of a finished product. ExCinere took us on a meandering journey from glass to glaze that totaled nearly four years. We went through hundreds of glaze and ceramic body tests before we arrived at the four glaze options we now offer as the product. I have boxes full of them. Combining a selection of these studies into a series of door handles reinforces the value of perseverance and the inherent beauty of failure.
Independent curator and educator (PL)
Congratulations on your purchase of a MATYLDA. Please read the instructions carefully.
MATYLDA’s open yet uncompromising attitude allows her to do pretty much anything, shifting themes and disciplines, mixing formats and methods comfortably.
MATYLDA is both a host and a guest. She can be left alone occasionally but needs to be fully immersed by people regularly.
MATYLDA challenges the existing. She needs people who think and act the same way. If the desired effect cannot be materialised, leave her alone.
MATYLDA twirls her hair. She needs to compensate energy.
MATYLDA’s uniform is made from Omega, a limited edition jacquard fabric by Valentina Cameranesi. Designed as homage to Bloomsbury Group’s Omega Workshop, which believed that artists could design, produce and sell their own work.
Last but not least, place MATYLDA close to you. Check the results of her influence from time to time and extend phases with her as necessary.
Written by James Tyler Foster
Designer and curator (USA)
I have had three great love affairs in my creative life: skateboarding, graffiti and industrial design. I started skateboarding when I was twelve, graffiti at sixteen, and industrial design at nineteen. I saw them as unrelated activities or disparate visual cultures, and I—somewhat myopically—felt that to be truly devoted to one I had to set aside the others. Recently I have started seeing the connections between these endeavors, and how they have all informed my aesthetic ideals.
Director of Design Miami/Basel and Tongji University professor (PRC)
This project is not about reinforcing widespread stereotypes about China and its reputation for copying. Instead, it aims to problematise what it is we mean by “copying.” Several years ago, I became fascinated with the various “Original” stickers I came upon while browsing the Huaqiangbei electronics district in Shenzhen. These are versions of the holographic stickers that brands often affix to their products to verify their authenticity. However, in Shenzhen—a oncenotorious center of piracy and counterfeiting that has quickly transformed into a hub of innovation—anyone can buy these stickers and apply them to whatever they want. The copy becomes the “original,” while driving an industrial ecosystem that evolves to produce true originals. Copying comes in many forms. Some are indeed nefarious, but most are in fact generative; human culture relies on it. As a curator, these stickers are interesting to me because they signify our role in assigning value or originality to objects, while also posing questions about authorship, how ideas are transmitted, and the sometimes arbitrary and convoluted relationship between the original and copy.
Ana Domínguez Siemens
Independent design curator and journalist (SP)
I would love to do an exhibition in which the designers “narrate” the pieces they want to make through a voice message and that whoever is going to do it interprets it according to what they heard. No drawings. No exact measurements. Just through intuition. From mouth to ear, from ear to hand. An experiment in which designers see themselves in a mirror that represents them inaccurately. I chose Inma Bermudez because she is a very precise industrial designer, one of those who draws plans to the millimeter and with little space for chance. Inma ordered a set for her family’s Sunday breakfast ritual, with containers that vary in size and function. From a tall glass of coffee for Moritz, another wide and low so that Otto can dip his muffins, a “normal” measure for herself and a plate for Carla’s pieces of fruit. She also asked for a plate for the soft-boiled egg and its shells, as well as a small vase for her wild flowers. Finally, for the napkins, some differentiated brass rings. To do it, I chose two studios in order to observe the difference interpretations of the same project. Canoa Lab (Raquel Vidal and Pedro Paz) who work both ceramics and metal, in a simple and exquisite way. And Adriana Cabello, a ceramist with a delicate expression and subtle tones.
Curator and consultant (FR)
With this project, I wanted to reflect on 2021 and its legacy, what it has brought us and what we, as a society, wish to release. I am interested in what is being created, what stays, what gets forgotten or destroyed in order to build a better version of ourselves. I want to explore how design has influenced this year. I also wish to showcase the process of curating the ‘before / during / after’ phases, and the idea that curators are here to give a theme to react to and a platform for artists to express themselves. I selected a varied list of ten artists and designers, ten styles and ten messages in order to paint a broad spectrum of what the creative industry has felt in 2020 and would like to release in 2021. All of them will provide a physical artwork, which will be exhibited in a box and burnt at the end of the show during a fire ceremony, and a selection of images to create a one-minute film which will continue to live online. The project casts a critical lens on the fact that most of the work commissioned by institutions and other cultural bodies is ultimately destroyed, or simply forgotten post-exhibition. The system needs to change, and we can start by raising awareness on what is happening. In a nutshell, it’s time to shed our skin, let go, transform, move forward and build the new, while making sure that the creative voices of our generation are being heard.
Dejha Ti x Ania Catherine (LA), Lily Consuelo Saporta Tagiuri (NYC), Emilie Baltz (Montreal), Andre Mendes (Curitiba), William Cobbing (London), Wondervision (Paris / Lausanne), Thijs Biersteker (Amsterdam), Objects of Common Interest (Athens / NYC), Chow and Lin (Beijing), HY William Chan (Sydney)
Designer and curator (AU)
Flatland is an exhibition concept highlighting the shifting perception of domestic objects today. When staring in the screens of our computers, the physical objects of the surrounding environment happen to appear blurred — ghost-like background figures which can be seen as a first stop before final vanishing. In the present model, the back wall represents a typical background image for zoom meetings.
The title Flatland refers to Edwin Abbott Abbott’s book Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions, first published in 1884. The story takes place in a two-dimensional world describing both geometrically and philosophically the implications of life in two dimensions. Beyond sharply looking at societal injustice in the Victorian age A. Abbott’s book questions man’s understanding of physical dimensions. Alluding to the dominance of images, the exhibition Flatland aims to critically question the future of physical objects.
Independent curator and consultant (UK)
Project Death presented at Extraperlo is a work-in-progress that reveals how all our projects begin – with a deep dive into research and a cluster of objects or images that we find resonant and somehow provide the catalyst for shaping a curatorial perspective. The material gathered here is a prelude to the larger Project Death where we will invite designers and artists from different cultures to imagine their own death and re-design death rituals and remembrance from a 21st century perspective. Our intention is to explore how we can bring new meaning and imagination to how we celebrate the dead, rooted in humanism, ecology and an understanding of our place in the natural world.
Curator and journalist (IT)
There is a form of proactive sabotage that acts through the radical questioning of the system of knowledge – great dogmas as well as small certainties. Some children do it, with a sense of provocation and a love of paradox, when continuing to ask why in front of every answer obtained. And Parasite 2.0 studio does it, meticulously dismantling the paradigms of the disciplines to freely rethink design, architecture and scenography. The dialogue, the exchange of ideas and different points of view, is the driving force behind the work of Stefano Colombo, Eugenio Cosentino and Luca Marullo. The flow of their thoughts is permeable, open to the external solicitations and the interventions of other people, as in the case of the curator. The invitation to add a step to their research, with a project that must fit into a shoebox, sets in motion a cascade mechanism of absolute questions – how much does space weigh? – and led to the fragmentation of the Renaissance ideal city, then reassembled on an impalpable fabric according to the peculiar vision of the Italian collective. A very light, modified, transportable architecture, which invites the visitor to free interaction and, above all, to independent thinking.
Curator and professor at Kingston University (UK)
This film is a form of curatorial note-taking that translates research into visuals, sounds and movement with quotes from a text as a form of sceptical testing. The condition of lockdown in Spring 2020 stimulated my interest in notions of time, in particular slow and long time. The consequences of our short-term thinking seem to show their detrimental effects in all parts of life from politics to education and the environment. I became an avid reader of Dan Hill’s Slowdown Papers (medium.com/ slowdown-papers). Roman Krznaric’s The Good Ancestor became a place to understand the end of ‘normal’ and take responsibility not for us but future generations.
Maria Cristina Didero
Maria Cristina Didero is an independent design curator, consultant and author, who has collaborated with magazines such as Domus, Vogue Italia, L’Uomo Vogue, Flash Art, Apartamento, Solar, Flair, L’Officiel, and was editor-at-large of Icon Design from 2018 to 2020. She has contributed to many publications and consulted for companies such as Vitra, Fritz Hansen, Lexus, Fendi, Louis Vuitton, Valextra, Diesel among others. Based in Milan, MC works internationally, curating exhibitions for institutions: some of her recent projects include Nendo: The Space in Between and The Conversation Show at the Holon Design Museum, Israel; The System of Objects (with Andreas Angelidakis) at Deste Foundation, Athens; FUN HOUSE by Snarkitecture at National Building Museum, Washington D.C.; SuperDesign a project about Italian radical design, NY; Vegan Design, or the Art of Reduction by Erez Nevi and The Fish and The Crowd by Carlo Massoud, Milan. She is currently preparing a solo exhibition on the subjects of migrants with Fernando and Humberto Campana at Dallas Contemporary, a project at the MK&G in Hamburg titled Ask Me if I Believe in the Future, and one in Eindhoven for 2022 plus a series of ongoing collaborations.
Jorge Penadés was born in Málaga in 1985. Coming from a family of cabinet makers he studied Interior Design in Barcelona before graduating with a MA in Product Design from IED Madrid, where he established his own practice in 2015. The office (OF PE) works internationally across a variety of projects ranging from industrial design, interiors, one-off commissions and architectural experiences for different companies, institutions and galleries.
Opened on the 18th to the 20th of February
Information is extracted from the catalogue. Photography Geray Mena